Swaddling Blankets for Babies, Calming Techniques that Really Work
Kathy Derringer heads up Baby Steps Department and the Happiest Baby program. Since 2011, volunteer Debra Blaetterlein, a former resident of Connecticut for 23 years and now retired, has offered her time and sewing skills to provide specially sized swaddling blankets that are used to teach families swaddling techniques, and then left with the family for their use. Blaetterlein provides about 20 swaddling blankets per month, staying busy finding and purchasing the breathable material, then cutting and sewing to the specific size needed.
“Happiest Baby calming techniques are extremely effective in reducing persistent crying, the #1 trigger of Shaken Baby Syndrome. In just one hour of instruction, we can teach parents techniques for immediate use in helping their baby sleep better and cry less. What could be better than that?” said Kathy Derringer, Vice President of Helping People Succeed and its Baby Steps program.
More than 300 families of newborns receive these instructional home visits per year from Helping People Succeed staff that are certified in Dr. Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby on the Block system. This evidence based program is used widely throughout the country and is recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Prevent Child Abuse America.
“I really enjoy making swaddling blankets because I know how much it helps families to calm their infants,” said Debra Blaetterlein.
Blaetterlein spends around 20 hours per month making the swaddling blankets for families. “We keep reminding Debra that the work she does sewing swaddling blankets is actually instrumental in preventing child abuse,” added Derringer, pointing out the value of this service in reducing parental exhaustion and stress in the homes of newborns.
The Happiest Baby services are funded through Healthy Start Coalitions of Martin and St. Lucie counties, the Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County, and United Way of Martin County.