Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Baby Sleep Tactic #1001 - the one with 100% Strike Rate!

You learn a LOT of lessons on-the-job as a first time mother. You have to. It is an ironic fact of life that to gain a drivers license you need to pass a written and practical exam, demonstrate 100+ hours of driving practice with a responsible adult, keep a log book and all-but get a letter of recommendation from the queen.

But to get your credentials as a mother? You just need a working pudendal and a willing rooster.

Ok ok that's a bit crude... but you get my drift.

It is one of life's greatest tragedies that babies do not come with user manuals. Even a curling wand comes with a user manual, dammit! No, the moment your vernix-covered, puffy-faced, screaming piece of perfection arrives into this world you are on.your.own. 

But fear not, first-time mothers-to-be! I am here to impart my most precious piece of wisdom, until this moment guarded like a crown jewel. And it's about getting your newborn to sleep!

I've talked about sleep previously. Here, for example. But that was then. Way back-when. I've learnt a lot since then about newborns and the way they tick and what I am about to share with you may well transform your world! Well, maybe not quite that dramatic.

Ok, we all know the Eat-Activity-Sleep-You (EASY) adage, right? Except, I ignored this completely the first time around and fed Fern to sleep. If that didn't work I rocked, patted, stroked, bounced, sung, played music to or went for a drive in the car. I kept her with me constantly. And the consequence was a baby completely dependant on me for sleep. Im still paying the consequence!

This time around, I'm doing things a little differently. You might call me a radical. I:

- Feed my baby and
- give him a little activity (like cuddles or tummy time) and then
- put my baby into his bed when he starts yawning.

waaaay too simple. But it turns out it works! Who knew?! ... but here's the clincher. Most of the time, the above is pretty much all I need to do to encourage my little one to get some shut-eye between feeds in the daytime. He's a keeper, is my Elliott.

But on those occasions he is not so keen and I don't want to (or physically can't because Fern is literally tugging at my ankles or screaming for attention) go through my old adage of rocking etc as listed above, I have one other slightly unorthodox but oh-so-effective method for getting Elliott to sleep WITHOUT TEARS. I  ----

--- turn the Dyson on outside his bedroom.

ok ok, my vacuum may not have been emptied in 2 yrs...
Yes folks, it is sleep to the lullaby of the vacuum cleaner. And it has a 100% strike rate! It only takes 5 minutes - max - and Elliott is happily sound asleep without any intervention from me. I can't believe I didn't know about this sooner! Yes, you can buy a CD of white noise... but why would you when you have free 'white noise' right at your fingertips! And he LOVES it!

The only slight concern is my vision of packing Elliott off to boarding school at 16 with a suitcase... and the Dyson. But hey, I'll worry about that later!

What unorthodox methods have YOU used to great success to encourage sleep for your baby??


  1. that's is so funny,i used to find when i put music on or vacuum under the bassinet the boys would never wake but as soon as we have quiet time...they just wake up LOl.i guess we do what we can to get our babies to sleep.hope it works always for you xx

  2. My baby has gone to sleep to the sounds of our vacuum and also my hairdrier... free white noise, love it!!!

  3. I am going to try that vacuum thing tonight! i have a 6 month old who wakes 2-3 times a night still and I am working FT so it hurts!

    New follower :) & loving the blog.

  4. Tee hee, love it! I'll definitely be putting this one in the memory bank! Thanks Nicole :) Oh, and in answer to your question re: BB's name... hubby and I (well mostly me) always said we would wait until bubs had arrived before settling on one but the closer we get to D Day, the more names we seem to be crossing off the list because already they 'just don't feel right' for our baby. So yes, I think we have decided on one and Matt is being cheeky and is already using it! Not sure it will be everyone's cup of tea but luckily for us living o/s has meant there has been no discussion of names around family or friends... which has meant we haven't had to worry about people slagging off at names on our list which you know better than anyone can be very off putting... ie. Atticus! I suppose we'll all find out soon enough :) x

  5. For newborns ~ I stand at the side of the cot and stare into their eyes until their eye-lids get so heavy that they can hardly look at me any more. Actually, that sounds more like hypnosis - I don't actually stand that close, I stand just so that they can see me. The eyelids get heavy, and then I wait until the last little peak they take out of the corner of one eye at me (it's one of my favy baby moments, so cute). Until, sweet bliss, their off on their own. I came up with this technique after becoming too lazy to ever rock a baby to sleep again. [You have to put the baby down while they're still happy though, not where they're past tired.]

  6. Oh that's a classic Nicole - will definitely remember that one for second time round :) I did the whole patting, rocking scenario when Grace was a newborn. Sounds like Elliott is an angel bub x

  7. Brilliant. Second time around i used to just leave him to cry because i was busy with No.1, then by the time i'd gotten around to go and see him, he'd usually fallen asleep!

  8. OMG - my first (and only) had such bad colic and the only time he would stop crying is when we ran the Dyson. Sometimes we would have it on for almost 45 minutes and it would be getting good and hot but the second it went off my son's eyes would fly open and he'd start screaming again. I think I loved the Dyson more than my husband that first year! (We tried a CD with vacuum recorded white noise and it didn't work at all)


Hello - oh write me a little note - do! do! Your comments really brighten my day and its nice to know Im not alone out there in cyber space ! x