We said goodbye to a dear friend this weekend, Bouncy Chair. As you can see, he's been good to us.
When Sadie first started screaming (becoming "neurologically irritable") we found that bouncing her vigorously in this contraption was the best way to calm her nerves. What started out as a chair, a place to put the baby while we're eating dinner, quickly became like crack to us. We couldn't live without it. We took it with us to public places, to other people's houses, we even brought it with us to a wedding. It was our fail-safe.
Later, we learned about vestibular stimulation. Your vestibular system involves your inner ear, and some people with sensory seeking behaviors need their vestibular system stimulated to either calm them, or to excite them. For us it's calming, definitely calming. This is why you see people rock back and forth, or you see big swing-like contraptions in special education rooms. It's even why people like to swing or to ride roller coasters.
But Sadie was growing out of the bouncy chair quicker than we'd like. So, we started talking to the OT, Jessica, about something new. We looked at a lot of catalogues and many websites, but we weren't ready to take action yet. After all, we still had the bouncy chair, so we didn't need to. And who cares that Sadie's legs hung off the bottom almost to the floor, or that her head sometimes banged on the wire frame, it still worked. And we were comfortable using it.
Until this weekend.
The bouncy chair finally broke. It snapped right in half...on the metal. (I'll have you know, this isn't the first bouncy chair we've broken. But the last one had a cheap plastic joint obviously not meant for 5-month-old babies. And in our defense, it was kinda old and out of practice due to under-use.)
I'll say it. Brian broke it. I wasn't even home. I got a text full of bad words while I was driving. Even though I laughed, I was definitely feeling Brian's pain. I had to refrain myself from a complete panic attack at this news as I could have become dangerous to others sharing the road.
We kicked it into high gear. As some of you know, Brian had to be with Sadie alone on Monday for 6-8 hours, because I had to go in to work, and without the bouncy chair, he had no way to calming her, helping her sleep, etc. Saturday afternoon, we went out and bought this.
The idea was to hang some kind of hammock contraption in order to swing Sadie back and forth. (Long term the idea is to get her a special needs swing designed for vestibular stimulation, but it was Saturday afternoon, and we needed this to work by Monday morning, so we were desperate.)
But as you can see, the hammock we have didn't quite work the way we imagined.
Sadie didn't like it that much either.
We didn't know what to do. We spent most of the evening talking (more like yelling over the screaming baby) and coming up with ideas on how we could build something, but we were down to one day and if it didn't work, Brian was gonna be SOL.
The next day, we caved in to our addiction and started searching Craigslist.
Luckily, we found what we were looking for (many of you who DON'T have an addiction to a bouncy chair may not know that there are several different types. They all basically do the same thing...if your child is under 10 pounds and 1 month old. We needed a certain one. This one.), and it was cheap too.
We quickly learned that this bouncy chair is "inferior" to the one we had. It basically boils down to the fact that it hasn't been used as much as ours was. It just needs to be broken in. And the fabric is slippery.
Brian had a solution to that, and went to fish out the old cover from the trash (don't worry, we washed it and sanitized it, and there wasn't really anything else in the trash can anyway).
And now that it's Tuesday, and we've had a couple of days to break in the new bouncy chair, we've finally found success.
If you want to check out the other swings on this website, you can go here. And there aren't just swings...it's a pretty cool website.
So, thank you, those of you who have bounced Sadie, who have let us use your bouncy chairs, even those on Facebook who offered to give us yours when ours broke. Really, it's a bad habit we need to break. Maybe we can find some kind of bouncy chair rehab, heaven knows we need it around here!