Getting Babies to Sleep
As soon as the sun starts setting, my heart sinks a little. With the setting sun comes night and with night comes “bedtime” for Zoe. “Bedtime” for Zoe is not what it is for most of us – for her, it is the six hour time block where she will be inconsolable, cry incessantly and, when not crying, stare at us like she is ready to party.
Tactics for Getting a Baby to Sleep
We have tried a handful of techniques and have only come across two that *somewhat* work:
The first is to drive her around the block until she falls asleep. After a few minutes of screaming, she eventually eases into slumber but we then run into the problem of having to remove her from the car seat and put her in her crib without her waking up. One night I actually laid down on her bedroom floor and stared at her for two straight hours while she slept in the car seat to make sure she was breathing. I did not dare touch her and figured that sacrificing my sanity was what needed to be done in order for her to get some sleep and be happy.
The second is to wear my baby carrier so that she is up against my skin. The minute I get her into the carrier, she is out cold – she enjoys being close to me and hearing my heartbeat. Again, the problem is when I need to get her out of the carrier and into her crib. I don’t mind wearing the carrier during the day so she can nap between feedings but at night, that is not possible. It takes me about 30 minutes to get her out of the carrier because I go so slowly, all-the-while praying she doesn’t wake up.
Each night is when I repeat my good, better, best mantra as we try the long list of techniques to get her to sleep. First we sway, then shush, and then swaddle. We try the swing, the vibrating chair, nursery rhymes, books, and bouncing. Sometimes we will come across one that works and are relieved to get some shut eye. When none of those work, it’s on to the car and carrier.
My body has slowly gotten used to running on 3-5 hours of sleep a night but it is not ideal. My brain is not functioning as it used to and I will admit that I have found my car keys in the fridge, left a bag of groceries in my trunk and can be incoherent at times when trying to talk. Our doctor and friends say it is a phase and she will soon grow out of it. Please, please, p-l-e-a-s-e don’t let teething be the next phase.
Have you encountered a similar predicament? If so, what has worked for you?
- Parent Webinar: Good Days, Great Nights – How to Help the Whole Family Get Some Sleep
- Bright Horizons Online Community: How to Get an Infant to Sleep at Daycare
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Teaching a Baby to Self Soothe
- Read more posts about infants and posts about sleep from the Family Room bloggers