Before my son settled into a (relatively) predictable sleep schedule, trying to get him to sleep often felt like trying to trick my husband into eating vegetables. There were a lot of screaming, late-night beverages to sweeten the deal and tears. So many tears.
But then I stumbled on an invaluable resource: the Internet and its 6,000,000 parenting blogs, filled with useful information.
If your sweet angel becomes a devil when the words “bed time” have just formed on your tongue, I have saved you time and frustration with my handy list of tips gleaned from months days of reading:
- Keep the baby in bed with you. It’s what mothers do around the world, and it’s the obvious and natural choice, you dummy.
- Actually, put your baby in her own room as soon as you can walk five steps without ripping your c-section stitches or peeing a little. The separation is healthy.
- So your baby knows how to soothe herself and doesn’t become a dependent, clingy adult who can’t keep a boyfriend, let her cry it out. Just go in every few minutes. It’ll be fine.
- Honestly, you’re a horrible parent, and I can’t believe you would even consider that. Letting your baby cry it out creates lifelong emotional scars, and she’ll never be able to trust. And she’ll probably have a lot of cats.
- Keep the room dark. But not too dark. Good Lord, you don’t want to give the baby nightmares, do you? Just keep a night light on, for Pete’s sake.
- Create a peaceful ambiance with a small fan set on low, a couple of white noise machines with the settings “Ocean Breeze” and “Grandmother’s Kisses” and an essential oil diffuser filled with lavender.
And when your baby sleeps more than two hours in a row, resist the urge to put your face on her chest to see if she is breathing. Because then she’ll wake up. And you may have to add another white noise machine.
Carrie Taylor is a native Texan and mother of one.