Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Five - Ways to get your baby to fall asleep

Thursday was a "meltdown" day.  We have one of those in our house about every couple of days.  This usually includes Peanut screaming inconsolably for a couple of hours while I try every single thing that I have ever heard/read/seen/made up to calm her.  This is followed by me crying.  Sometimes it's while she's still crying, other times it's after.  Jon and I are almost positive that this only happens when she is overtired and can't seem to sooth herself to sleep.  Therefore it is our job as her parents (sidenote: OMG we're someone's parents...yipes!) to sooth her to sleep.

Which brings me to our Friday Five - Ways to get your baby to fall asleep.  Here is what works in our house.

1.  Wear your Peanut in a carrier such as the Baby Bjorn.


This one actually works every single time.  When it's the afternoon and Peanut hasn't taken a nap, I can almost see the meltdown coming.  Then, as predicted, she begins to wail inconsolably; so I pull out the baby bjorn, stick my little Peanut in it, and "wear" her around the house.  This is great when you want to go for a walk or get some stuff done around the house.  However, I must warn you.  It does a number on your back/neck/shoulders.

2.  Put your Peanut in the swing.


Sometimes babies just get tired of you.  And over stimulated by the world.  At this point it's best to just put them in the swing and leave them alone.  Our little Peanut can spend an hour just looking at herself in the mirror in the center of the mobile.


3.  Place your Peanut over the shoulder and pat the butt lightly but very quickly.


I'm not sure why this one works for us, but it does.  When she is just beginning her meltdown I can sometimes just throw her over my shoulder in the "burping" position and pat her butt.  She usually slumps down on my shoulder and falls asleep.  This one works best in the middle of the night.

4.  Swaddle your Peanut and put her in the crib with the Sleep Sheep.


We are trying to develop a sleep routine at our house and this is part of it.  So far it's been working pretty well.  This is also the case when we want her to go back to sleep after a midnight or a 2 am feeding.  We just swaddle her tightly and put her back in the crib or co-sleeper and turn on the sleep sheep.  Then hope for the best.  Often the pacifier is also involved.

5.  Lay your Peanut in the Bouncer, turn on the music, turn on the vibration, and continually rock the Bouncer with your foot.


Ugh, that brings me to Thursday.  We had a meltdown for almost the entire day.  I don't think she got a good night's sleep and proceeded to wail most of the day.  After carrying her around most of the morning and early afternoon my back wanted out and I wasn't blaming it.  So I thought I'd try one of the many other options that have previously worked.  Except nothing was working.  So I put her in the bouncer.  She wailed.  I turned on the music in the bouncer.  She watched me for a minute, then wailed.  So I turned on the vibration in the bouncer.  She looked at me, confused, then wailed.  So I started bouncing her with my foot.  She seemed curious.  I kept bouncing.  She looked disinterested.  I kept bouncing.  She started closing her eyes.  I continued to bounce her for the next 2 and half hours.


When creating this, I also had some weigh ins from the cyber world.  Here are some other ways to get your baby to sleep:
  • Put your baby on your chest and sing Amazing Grace
  • Put your baby in the car seat and rock

I am also currently re-reading Sleeping Through the Night...and other lies by Sandi Kahn Shelton (I'll tell you more about Sandi and her book in a whole other post sometime...hint- she was our landlord in the apartment we got engaged in) and this is a quick excerpt from her book about getting your baby to sleep:

Sometimes turning on the clothes dryer works.
Sometimes walking very fast while singing the words to your high school fight song works.
Sometimes wrapping the baby's feet in a blanket helps.
Sometimes not eating garlic for a while will prevent other incidents like that, but probably not retroactively for this time.

But sometimes - I can't lie to you - you just have to stay up all night, holding onto this miserable little person, and all you can come away with is the knowledge that when the sun comes up, it doesn't get light all at once, but just kind of gradually gets lighter and lighter gray until you can start to notice things like flowers and lawn furniture and the individual leaves on the trees.  
And that's when you realize the baby is asleep, and that you're most likely going to live through this time in your life.
Especially if you can laugh.
In fact, definitely if you can laugh.

Now, we all know how much I just adore your comments and advice.  Even the unrelated comments (you know who you are - I love that you don't have kids and still leave me very funny comments).  So please.  Let's hear your ideas!



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14 comments:

  1. You got me on this one but it sounds like you're doing all the right things! Hope you and Peanut get some sleep. Thanks for all these baby tidbits. I don't have any kids yet but am hoping to have tons of info crammed in my head when I do :)

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  2. I don't have kids, but I worked in the infant room at a daycare for 4 years, and I've babysat my fair share of infants. I have a slightly odd trick that seems to work almost every time! I continually touch/soothe/rub(very lightly) the baby's face especially on the nose between the eyes. I do it in a continuous motion. It sounds a bit odd, but it really does calm them down...and eventually they drift off into a deep sleep.

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  3. I have a bad habit of doing the 'baby bounce' every time I get ahold of a baby. It is my mom's fault. I inherited it from her. It generally puts kids to sleep or at least calms them down. The problem is...I rarely get to sit down while holding a baby that knows I will do this. (That part will have to be remedied when I have kids of my own.) The 'baby bounce' is just gently bouncing up and down while swaying from side to side. I usually don't even know I am doing it until someone points it out. It's just one of my weird quirks...but it works magic on my niece and friends' kids.

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  4. I used to do something we lovingly referred to as "the figure-eight swivel bounce" lol Here's how it works (Doesn't work for us anymore, Joshua is too big and doesn't want anything to do with sitting still usually lol)

    You hold baby sideways, so your belly is to baby's belly and head is resting in the nook of one of your elbows, one leg on top of other arm, one hanging down below

    Begin bouncing baby, gently, but quickly

    add figure-eight swivel... while bouncing baby, rotate hips in figue-eight "shape"

    Sometimes adding in walking, or pacing back and forth around baby's room helps calm baby down more quickly.

    That's my advice. That and the bjorn! (But you already have that one covered) lol. It sounds ridiculous, but I've learned that almost everything that can be done do to sooth/amuse infants and toddlers pretty much is haha

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  5. When I used to babysit, there was a toddler that never slept unless I gave him a cheeto and then let him lay on top of me and rub my arms. I guess he liked the way they felt! haha I think your peanut is still too young for cheetos though!

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  6. So that's why my mom always put just a nip of gin in my bottle! Just kidding I don't think she really did that. I do remember her rubbing whiskey on my sister's gums when she was cutting teeth. And she blew smoke in my ear one time when I had ear infection. Of course that was back in the 80's. Hmmmmm maybe that's why I have this tick I can't control. ;)

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  7. I've done what Anna P. does and it works =) I also have a melody that I hum all the time to Zoe...I thought it was "lucky" by Jason Mraz...my hubby thought it was Rubber Ducky...turns out it's just something I started humming one day. But I hum it all the time and that repetition was really soothing to Zoe.

    White noise never really worked for Zoe...she didn't seem to care. Our animals help...they come check on her when/if she's screaming and it distracts her. Another thing that we did (this was a suggestion from a coworker) was to have and MAINTAIN a bedtime routine. Ours is bath, boob, bed. Every single night. In the beginning we used the Bedtime Soap from Johnson and Johnson...it's got lavender in it to relax her. It took maybe 2 nights of her crying it out and then bedtime became one of the easiest parts of our day.

    But at the end of the day....you know you're Peanut. And you're the best mom she could ever have. And every single new mom cries A LOT. I'm loving reading your journey =)

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  8. Oh no, how you guys hit the colic stage?! I cried just as much as Porter did! My friend came to visit when my husband was out of town when Porter was about 8 weeks old (Aaron was in a wedding about 4 hours away.) Porter cried all. day. long. Except when he was eating. It was awful.

    Here are some ways we got Porter to sleep: Porter loved to be held and walked around the house. Sometimes we had to bounce as we walked (I alone had the perfect rhythm bounce combo; Aaron never mastered it.) We also use to put him in his bouncer, turned it on to vibrate and ran the bathroom exhaust fan for white noise. I discovered that one day out of total desperation!

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  9. I love that she sleeps with her arms over her head! That's so stinking CUTE! Bubba would not sleep unless we swaddled the heck out of him.

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  10. Sometimes putting them in the car (in a carseat of course!) and going for a ride can be helpful. :)

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  11. Hi--I am a new reader and congratulations on the birth of peanut! My first baby, my daughter was much like that with crying all day and we resorted to driving around just so I would get a break from holding her. With my second child, I really stuck by the Dr. Weisbluth sleep methods and one piece of advice they have for newborns is to not let them be awake for more than 2 hours at a time for the first couple of months. This worked like a charm with my son. I would start soothing him to sleep after he had been awake for about an hour and a half. He would fall asleep easier and he might only nap for 30 minutes but he rarely had any of the crying fits where I couldn't soothe him.

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  12. Our oldest had colic for 3 months (and certainly not suggesting your baby does) so we know all about long nights without sleep. Driving around in the car did work surprisingly well--not a good option at night, but it was good at dinnertime. We would go thru a drive thru, get some sandwiches and drive around for 90 minutes. Kind of evil that gas is now $3.49, but you could pretend it was date night :) My child would scream in the swing, but if I ran the vacuum at the same time she would often conk out and sleep for an hour or so.

    Good luck

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  13. 1) I SO need a carrier. I don't have one and can I just say getting things done with one hand is getting harder and harder as my baby girl gets bigger and bigger!

    2) We have a swing and I think my little one is the only baby on the planet who could care less about it. Loves the car seat but her swing solves nothing. Boo!

    3) I call my baby a little parrot because she just LOVES being on Mommy's shoulder. Happy or sad. If she's crying I throw her over my shoulder and pat her butt and it works like a charm!

    4) The swaddle is her dad's best friend. he says that when she gets mad it works for him most of the time. I teach all my patient's parent how to swaddle because I think wrapping baby in a good swaddle is so important and such a great trick for parents to have up their sleeve!

    5) We don't have a bouncer but (along with a carrier) that is our next purchase. I'm hoping that even though the swing holds no magic for her, she'll like a bouncer. Especially since she loves car rides so much!

    Thanks for sharing your tips! It's funny how much of the same things work for us and also how some things are so different! Other things that worked for us: Sometimes Katie just NEEDS to be held. Usually over my shoulder will do. Makes it hard to get things done which is why I NEED a carrier. Also, my husband used to "do laps" around the house. She liked to cry at night and he would send me off to bed and take the first shift of watching her. The only thing that would soothe her was being walked aorund the house. And, nowadays since she's a little older, I sometimes feel like she gets bored. This is when just holding her won't work. She wants interaction so I talk with her, play with her, move her little arms and legs around or sing to her. And she'll just laugh and laugh!

    I also love the quote you gave. We have definitely had some sleepless, awful nights but even at the end of them I love waking up (or staying up) to that beautiful face!

    ~Layne

    ReplyDelete
  14. 1) I SO need a carrier. I don't have one and can I just say getting things done with one hand is getting harder and harder as my baby girl gets bigger and bigger!

    2) We have a swing and I think my little one is the only baby on the planet who could care less about it. Loves the car seat but her swing solves nothing. Boo!

    3) I call my baby a little parrot because she just LOVES being on Mommy's shoulder. Happy or sad. If she's crying I throw her over my shoulder and pat her butt and it works like a charm!

    4) The swaddle is her dad's best friend. he says that when she gets mad it works for him most of the time. I teach all my patient's parent how to swaddle because I think wrapping baby in a good swaddle is so important and such a great trick for parents to have up their sleeve!

    5) We don't have a bouncer but (along with a carrier) that is our next purchase. I'm hoping that even though the swing holds no magic for her, she'll like a bouncer. Especially since she loves car rides so much!

    Thanks for sharing your tips! It's funny how much of the same things work for us and also how some things are so different! Other things that worked for us: Sometimes Katie just NEEDS to be held. Usually over my shoulder will do. Makes it hard to get things done which is why I NEED a carrier. Also, my husband used to "do laps" around the house. She liked to cry at night and he would send me off to bed and take the first shift of watching her. The only thing that would soothe her was being walked aorund the house. And, nowadays since she's a little older, I sometimes feel like she gets bored. This is when just holding her won't work. She wants interaction so I talk with her, play with her, move her little arms and legs around or sing to her. And she'll just laugh and laugh!

    I also love the quote you gave. We have definitely had some sleepless, awful nights but even at the end of them I love waking up (or staying up) to that beautiful face!

    ~Layne

    ReplyDelete

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