My first baby did not like to sleep.
My second baby does not like to sleep.
The first time around we tried everything. The second time around we tried everything else.
Turns out everything and everything else do not work on my babies...
However, after spending the past three years trying to get babies to go to sleep and stay asleep when they do not want to be asleep, I have a pretty good idea of how not to do it.
Here are a few techniques I have tried along the way that will definitely NOT get your baby to sleep:
If there is a God, I imagine he has better things to do than help me get my baby to sleep. But there have been a few desperate nights when I thought he might be worth a go.
If you make my baby go to sleep, even for just a few hours, I promise I will go to church every Sunday (except next Sunday as it is my friend's birthday and I have a thing one weekend in June). Actually, can we make it every other Sunday?
Keep her asleep ALL night and I will even throw in a christening.
After several hours of shushing, singing, rocking and walking around the room it seems I am not too proud to beg...
"Please baby. I am begging you. Have mercy on my tired soul. Please, please go to sleep.
"Pretty, pretty please?"
"If you will just go to sleep, tomorrow you can have anything you want!
"You can feast on stale food out of the bin and I will not stop you.
"Those delicious looking any-bits-of-crap on the floor I know you have had your eye on? They are all yours.
"I will let you put anything you like down the toilet and you can pull my hair all day."
Still awake. Babies are hard nuts to crack.
I am not proud of threatening my baby but some nights it is all I have got left...
"Right that is it! I have tried playing it nice and this is how you repay me. Well, I have had enough. If you do not close your eyes right this minute then from now on we are Crying It Out. Go to sleep now or I am going to cry you out big time."
"Seriously? Still not sleeping?"
"In that case I might even get myself a Gina Ford book. And follow it. To the letter. How do you feel about that Babykins?"
The trouble is; babies can smell an empty threat a mile off.
Burying your head under the covers and pretending you can't hear the baby only makes things worse. Much worse. You anger the beast and she just becomes more determined to stay awake all night. The longer you leave her the harder and longer she will scream.
6) NOT GETTING THE BABY TO SLEEP
After spending several hours in a dark room trying to get the baby to sleep, some nights I simply give up.
"Fine. You want to stay awake? You can stay awake all night for all I care."
So I bring her into the lounge.
It's not the end of the world, I think to myself. I can catch up on a bit of TV, wait for her to wear herself out...
I thought wrong. It seems she does not want to 'wear herself out.' Instead she screams the scream of a thousand tired babies.
"But this is what you want isn't it? To be awake?"
So she doesn't want to be asleep; she wants to be awake. But only in a dark room. With me.
Therefore, my choices are: Watch television holding a screaming baby until she goes to sleep or sit in a dark room holding a not screaming baby until she goes to sleep.
I go back to her room.
Take pictures of them not being asleep to post on Facebook.
Forget to turn the flash off.
Now they are wide awake and really pissed off.
Thank God for smart phones. I now have parenting advice available in the palm of my hand 24 hours a day. All I need to do is type Help!! My baby won't sleep into Google and help is at hand.
Because my Googling does not stop there...
Before I know it I am convinced my baby has reflux/schizophrenia/backache and numerous other health issues. And things are not looking good for me either. Did you know that sleep-deprivation could lead to diabetes, heart disease, weight gain and depression?
Wake your partner up so that you can discuss Possible Reasons The Baby Will Not Sleep.
Wake your partner up crying "I can't cope any more!" and ask them to try and get the baby to sleep. Three minutes of screaming later, retrieve the baby from your partner.
So there you have it.
I have exhausted all options and I am far too exhausted to try any more options.
But at least I can keep her awake all night in nine easy steps...