As a parent it doesn’t matter where you are. You don’t sleep until the baby sleeps and babies are pretty good at making sure you hear them. It seems like every week Mathias not only gets bigger but learns how to increase the volume of his screams (not cries) to a completely new level. Nothing creates a tense situation like two parents scrambling to get a baby to calm down from DEFCON 4. That’s why I decided to go over some basic tips to help get your child to sleep under dire circumstances as well as keep mommy and daddy sane.
Note: These are not fix-all methods nor is this a discussion about sleep schedules/routines. This is what to do when the baby poop hits the fan and you for the love of everything holy just need to get that baby to sleep.
Note Duex: Check the diaper, check the diaper, check the diaper. I have spent far too many minutes of my life hopelessly trying to put my son to sleep to finally have the notion to look under the hood to see if there was a leak.
Don’t stop moving! Bounce, sway, walk around the house… hell, prance around it if it works. Even when you think you have them asleep keep going. They know you want to sit down, they know your back hurts, they are waiting for any sign of weakness to start wailing once again. Find something your baby likes no matter how ridiculous it looks and stick with it for a good 3-5 minutes after eyes are closed.
2. Sleep Props
When the baby figures out your moves or if your back is giving out from the “jitterbug” technique then go for the big guns. Bust out that rocking chair, pacifier, or swing. One of these devices can be the key to unlocking the meltdown that is occurring.
3. White Noise
Nothing gets Mathias quieter then some good ol’ extreme rain noise. It’s like flipping the volume switch from 11 to 0 when it gets turned on. This low cost option is great for long car rides or just bring them down from the brink. You can buy plenty of battery powered noise machines, find hours of white noise videos online, or download one of the many apps on your phone.
You may feel like you’re at the rodeo hogtying your child but swaddling works. Might Mats can get so worked that he forgets those hands and arms of his hurt. So, when our son starts boxing himself into a rage we head to the swaddle. This keeps his arms and legs snug while he is flailing about and for some babies is vital to getting them to go to sleep.
I talked about it a little when discussing movement. Babies are going to test you in new ways every time you try to put them to sleep. They won’t go to sleep immediately so take some deep breaths and stick it out for the entire game.
6. Mix It Up
Your baby will grow rapidly and change by the minute. One day they will love the rocking chair and the next day they will hate it. Try not to depend on the same gadget or method during their scream-athon sessions. They’ll figure out what you’re trying to do. They are smarter then they look!
Think I am full of it? Well, listen to the tips from some of my fellow Dadventurers.