Friday, July 15, 2011

Miracle of Miracles. The Baby's Asleep.

I don't know about you, but sometimes, putting my young babies to sleep is pure torture.  What?  You too?  Ah, I'm glad I'm not alone.  For the most part, my baby is pretty good about going down for a nap.  But there are those times (you know what I'm talkin' about) when my baby girl fights going to sleep, and it's pure misery for everyone involved.

With both my kids, they took to miracle products that aren't on any baby registry to help get them to sleep.  With my first baby, it was a HAIR DRYER.  Yep, you got it.  White noise at it's finest.  Picked one up at Ross, because I didn't want to burn through my own.  The theory behind it is that when the baby's in the womb, the sounds in there are fairly loud.  Some experts believe that the mother's blood rushing and other internal happenings can make it so the baby's in a constant sea of sound about as loud as a vacuum cleaner.  I'd heard people say they turned on vacuum cleaners or hair dryers for their babies, so I gave it a try.  Miraculous.  My boy would stop crying in mid-scream and drift gently off to sleep.

Now, I know there's new-fangled thang's called white noise machines out there.  For some babies, they work wonders, but they just didn't work with my boy.  Not loud enough, I think...or maybe he knew the sounds were fake.

With my girl, the hair dryer was completely ineffective, but she does like an EXERCISE BALL.  Bouncing on it while I hold her, to be exact.  It's the only, sure fire way to get her to stop crying instantaneously.  Seriously, it's like magic.  The theory behind this one is the almost constant movement while baby's in the womb.  She's used to falling asleep with the bounce-bounce-bounce of my daily activities (mostly chasing my toddler from one end of the house to the other).

She's also a fan of a FAN.  Pun intended.  Again, the white noise machines don't work on her, but the gentle whirring of an old-school fan is just the right mix of white noise to send off of to dreamland.  Works every time, and I give prayers of thanks every time I put her down.

So, ladies...please don't tell me that my kids are the only ones with odd attachments to household items as sleep aids.  Did you have any special tricks up your sleeves to get your babies to sleep?  What worked best, and why?  I'm insanely curious.  



Megan said...

We used a white noise machine with my son. So far for my daughter it's laying her on her stomach.

Alyssa Harper said...

Man, my kids need to learn from yours, Megan. I wish they would have gone for a regular white noise machine. :)

Tannie Datwyler said...

Temperature is/was a BIG deal for my new baby. I never noticed it with my other two, but my new one sure is temperamental about being comfortable in her body temperature. When she was born it was winter and she wouldn't sleep if she was too cold. Now it is summer and she wakes up/won't sleep if she is too hot. So that's something to watch out for.

Sadly, my baby also DOES NOT nap in her crib. Now, she sleeps fine in her crib at night, going 6+ hours at a time. But during the day, she must sleep in a her car seat or bouncer seat. My doctor said that is TOTALLY fine. She said to just break her of the habit when she is a bit older and I'm comfortable with some crying. So that's something to consider too.

amy g said...

What?! I never knew this blog existed, until now! I know most of the authors from the ol' Logan student married ward (shout out!). I will definately be checking in form time to time, I'm new at this mom stuff and am looking for lots of advice and information!!

As for my son (7 months) he had colic/reflux for the first 5 months of his life. The only way to get him to sleep was also the exercise ball. He LOVED it. He would not rock in our glider but would always nod off while we bounced. Unfortunately he became sleep dependant to the ball and would not go to sleep without it! We eventually had to do some sleep training (a 4 letter word in my opinion!) to help him learn to soothe himself to sleep. We found that when we traveled to family's houses we were exhausting ourselves bouncing on a matress in the middle of the night so it was time for some sleep training! I was really worried because in the past he was so dependant on the ball or me because of his colic. To our surprise, it only took 2 days/nights of no longer than 15 minutes of crying, sweet! He now sleeps with a fan, binky, and minky blanket up by his face and that seems to do the trick!

sorry this was long, but if anyone knows sleep misery and has a few tricks up her sleeve, it's me! Awesome blog guys!

amy g said...

also, fave sleep book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy child" by Marc Weissbluth. I've read a lot of sleep books, and this was my favorite! I'm not a Baby wise mom, but I know the Baby wise series refers to this book a lot.

Alyssa Harper said...

Amy: Welcome to the blog! And thanks for your comments! It's good to know the exercise ball worked for you, and also that you were able to successfully sleep train your baby off of it relatively easily. (I'm obviously going to have to cross that hurdle soon.) And thanks for your book suggestions. I was a huge fan of Babywise for my first child. He was seriously a Babywise champ, let me tell you. Fit him to a T. But my second is completely anti-schedule. Funny how kids are so different. I'll have to check out the Healthy Habits book you mentioned. :)

Tannie: My girls a total temperature bugger too. She's lucky to be born in this day and age. Little stinker. She never would have made it if she was born in, say, the middle of a desert 500 years ago. I thank my lucky stars for someone inventing A/C for the summer and a space heater for the winter. And hey, as far as taking naps in a bouncer/car seat, I say whatever works. I'm so glad you found a way that she'll sleep for you! I know you mentioned a earlier on that naps were a challenge.

Delia said...

We love fans too. A fan in the summer and a humidifier in the winter. They always seem to need one anyway. Even for the first year they first have that newborn congestion, then maybe they catch a cold...So it serves a great dual purpose.

Something that worked great for my second child was tight, tight swaddling. The minute I got the tight swaddle in, rocked him a minute, then laid him down, he was on the brink of sleep. Almost like clockwork. It also helped him stay asleep longer at night. At least that's how I remember it. It's been almost 3 years since he was born! Crazy!

Alyssa Harper said...

Delia: Ah yes. I remember that my first baby liked swaddling a lot too. Kept him from smacking himself in the face with those random jerks and fist punches that babies do in their sleep. :)

Tannie Datwyler said...

I'll second Delia - I've swaddled all 3 of my kids until 6 months (well, technically my youngest is only 4 months, but I'm sure we'll keep it up until then). I LOVE swaddling, it works great.