What would you do to put your baby to sleep?
Would you do anything?
And I phrase this like a question. Hah. Like we have a choice. When you have been up since stupid o’clock, it’s been the longest day ever (Come on, who snuck the extra hours into the day? Well? Hands up!) and you just can’t wait to sit down, put your feet up and have an hour to yourself after a long and busy day, correct, my friends, you would do anything to put your baby to sleep.
Bedtime can be stressful.
Been there, done, that, bought the T-shirt. I was never a big fan of making bedtime a stressful time for us as parents or for the babies. I always wanted to make sure that my children had positive associations with bedtime and that they fall asleep feeling happy, safe and loved as opposed to upset and stressed. I tried the “crying it out” approach with my first child and every so often in a while with the other three. We failed miserably. Sometimes I got the notion that I needed to be more textbook in my parenting style and that they need to fall asleep by themselves and self settle and all this “self” stuff. But as a Mama warrior you gotta do what you gotta do and sometimes it means going that extra mile for the little ones. (Find how how to worry less about your children’s sleep here! )
After nearly 10 years of parenting and 4 babies, who all came with their own special bedtime manual, I have loads of expertise *smug face*. I am rarely wise, so pay attention. For your pleasure, I have put together a little selection of scenarios you can expect when putting babies to sleep.
- You will rock your baby long enough until they doze off and not dare breathe or move until you are 100% certain that putting the baby down won’t wake them. Count to 4350 or so. This works 3 times out of 10. If baby wakes, repeat.
- You will hold them, rock them, let them grab your face, ears, hair, head-butt you until they finally exhaustedly put their head down on your chest and fall asleep.
- You will stand crouched over the cot and rub baby’s head, hand or [insert baby’s preference] until you are unable to move because your pelvis has just slipped up ever so slightly. #childbirthveteran
- Alternatively, you will sit next to the cot, with your hand between the bars, rubbing [insert body part of choice] and upon baby falling asleep try to figure out how the *bleep* you are going to un-wedge your forearm from between the cot bars without stirring the little creature.
- You will sit in the dark with the brightness of the display of your phone turned all the way down and squinty-eyed try to catch up on Facebook and email while waiting for baby to fall asleep. When you finally look up, you will see the little face staring right back at you.
- While anxiously waiting for baby to fall asleep you will experience a number of near heart attacks and freeze the minute baby twitches, squirms, fidgets or farts. MUST NOT BREATHE, MOVE, or MAKE ANY KIND OF NOISE.
- You will lie down in the most awkward position and every so often nod off yourself during the wait only to wake up 45 minutes later and stumble back to the living room bushy-haired, squinty-eyed, jaded and just generally crabby. You will be great fun to be around then. Where’s the party at!
- Once baby has nodded off you will realize that the kneeling on the floor in that awkward position has cut off the blood supply to your legs and you now have no choice but to commando-crawl out of the room. True story!
- As you do that you realize that every, and I mean EVERY, floor board squeaks very loudly.
- And just before you leave, you will shine the light of your phone into their cot to get a little glimpse of that cute little face and think how much you love them, and you kinda miss them already. You whisper “See you in the morning light” (in your head, my friend! Never NEVER actually whisper!)
How do you put your baby to sleep?
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