You stare down at the snoozing baby in your arms, eyes gently shut, breathing softly and you wonder how anything could possibly be so angelic. You, yourself start to nod off on the lounge. You’ve finally found a moment of serenity to sleep for the first time in approximately 22.14 hours. Because let's be honest, the only time you can and will sleep is when the baby does. It’s not the most tossed around piece of baby rearing advice for no reason.
But then it all goes to custard.
The little cherub quickly turns into something from the Evil Dead. There's screaming, crying, red faces and the baby doesn't seem too happy either. But why the sudden turnaround, you were sleeping so soundly 10 minutes ago, little one?
So you start moving down the baby-needs-checklist:
- Hungry - no dice, they ate 15 minutes ago and pretty constantly for the past 12 hours. Plus your poor nipples may need a few minutes of R&R.
- Wind - burping worked to some extent. If by worked you mean they threw up all over your shoulder and still proceeded to scream so loudly your eardrums may be permanently damaged.
- Nappy - for once it’s actually poop free. Which is nice because more shit hitting the fan is the last thing you need right now.
Do not lose hope! Here are some other mum-tested tips to try when all the obvious solutions fail!
- Mum, meet baby carrier. Baby carrier, meet sleep deprived mum. You two are going to get on just fine. (Most) babies like to be close and hear your heartbeat and this wonderful invention allows you to use your hands - which can be helpful when, you know, living.
- Some babies quite enjoy a walk and the rocking of the pram is all they need to nod off for a few zzzs. It also has the added benefit of you getting some fresh air and exercise.
- Or if you really can’t deal with the outside world today, pop them in the pram, find a ridge in your carpet or flooring and rock them over that. They won’t even know they’re not going anywhere.
- A drive in the car can be very effective for some babies. Take yourself on cheeky chicken nugget run while you're out, you deserve it! Desperate times call for desperate measures, and cheeky nuggets.
- If all else fails and you have a willing partner/neighbour/friend hand them over so you can get some sleep. It’s a team effort after all, and you’ll tag back in after all the crying and not-sleeping is over.