I have NO idea how to get my daughter to sleep, never mind give advice on this topic because what works today may not work tomorrow! However, over the last few weeks I’ve noticed that it has been getting a little easier for me to put her down. I have no idea if this is down to my own miracle method or simply a little lucky streak – but either way it is a win
! So, if you are hoping for your own stroke of luck (or if you are just sick of Googling “Jennifer Garner; Go the fuck to Sleep” then here are some ideas to help your bundle of joy get to dreamland…
1. The Nappy/Diaper:
This is always my starting point, the last thing I ever want to see again is a nappy bursting at the seams with trails of poo juice tracing my daughter’s every midnight move! A wet and dirty baby is a nightmare at 3 in the morning: you wake up, you smell it… you HAVE to turn the lights on because your bed looks like one giant port-a-potty that has been tipped over by some young hooligans and your baby turns into an uncooperative, playful gremlin that doesn't want to stay still while you change her rotter of a nappy and necessary clean-up ensues! So here is my tip – get that little baby clean and fresh before you start the goodnight process and things will stay much fresher (*disclaimer you might have to repeat this step many, many times!) The picture here makes me giggle now... it was so poorly put on that the aftermath had me in the dog house with the missus, the baby and the midwife. I didn't know they had guideline markers on them!
2. The Bottle:
In our house between 7pm and 7.20pm, the stark shriek of Tommy Tippee Perfect Prep gets the baby salivating like Pavlov’s dog to the ring of a bell. I like to give it an extra minute in the bottle warmer for that extra blast – hot milk and sleepy time is calling! Word of warning though, she may
fall asleep without getting wind up and a 10pm wake up from a projectile milk stream or a wheezing, spluttering baby isn’t good, but hey, shit happens and, depending on where the milk goes, it can be hilarious (until your wife sees it!). These days she gulps it down and points to the stairs and starts waving goodnight which is amazingly cute... but doesn't ACTUALLY mean she's ready for sleep!
3. The Calm:
These days I always try to get things really calm, but before this wisdom kicked in I used to throw her in the air, tickle her and try to tire her out, but guess what? I just ended up with a frazzled little crazy on my hands and it could take up to 3 hours to get her sleeping! The giggles were wonderful… they lasted 10 minutes and the sleeplessness was 3 hours of hell! So, calm it down, play piano music, read her some story books and, my personal favourite, lots of hugs with a gentle rocking back and forth motion – everyone is a winner with this technique! I've seen some variations on this from my very slow side to side motion to the vigorous magic carpet amusement rides each to their own. Every baby is completely different and even this doesn't always work!
4. Twinkle Twinkle:
I’ve a terrible singing voice so nursery rhymes tend to make her cry rather than help her off to sleep so I usually leave the singing to YouTube, and you can’t beat YouTube for nursery rhymes – ALL
sorts of nursery rhymes!! You name it, they have it; fast, slow, loud, quiet, different languages, different dialects, famous voices or monotone – there are LOADS
of versions that you can go through! Try them all because babies find favourites fast (and change favourites on a regular basis!) Strangely Jade falls asleep to Twinkle Twinkle and ALSO a Chinese rhyme called Xiao Yen Zi 小燕子 (Here.. sure why not have a listen! It's not me singing thankfully, Click here.. Chinese Nursery Rhyme
5. Putting them down:
This one is an endless struggle in our house. The smaller she was the less I wanted to put her down (and the more I was criticised for “ruining” her), then the bigger and heavier she got the more I put her down too quickly and had to pick her up again within minutes because she wasn’t quite there yet! So, I have figured out that you have to just roll with it and figure out what is the best for your baby because here’s the hilarious secret… what works today may not work tomorrow and definitely
won’t work for long!
My final tip is the hug and roll Chandler Bing style, because trying to get that baby off your arm and into the crib, cot or bed is very very
difficult. It takes a few times to figure it out, but take my advice, buy your crib or cot with the drop test in mind! Can you get a baby into that crib without dislocating your shoulder, are you likely to bang your elbow during the extraction and can you reach a fallen soother without falling into the cot? Remember to tread softly because if you don’t that baby will no longer be dreaming… she’ll be screaming and the process starts all over again!