Are you trying to get a reluctant baby to give up and fall asleep. If so, good luck. Babies like to do their own thing and no amount of coaxing from you is going to help with that.
1. Getting into a routine
It is SO important that you have a consistent bedtime routine that is the same every night. The baby will consistently not go to sleep at bedtime, but at least you have an established routine.
2. Just lay them down and leave
It is essential that you put your baby down in the cot drowsy but awake.Then wait for her to scream because you put her down drowsy but awake! Pick up non-drowsy wide-awake baby and hope you can get her back asleep.
Following extensive shushing, singing, rocking, feeding and trying to get your baby to sleep by whatever means necessary, try to appeal to her softer side. Do not be too proud to beg your baby to go to sleep (exhausted tears of frustration optional).
‘Please go to sleep. Have mercy on my tired soul. Please, please go to sleep. PLEASE!!’
Continue with stages 1 and 2 until you start to think about enjoying a glass of wine. Time for extreme measures. Attempt to bribe your baby to go to sleep.
‘You can lick my phone and I won’t stop you. Those delicious looking bits-of-crap on the floor you have had your eye on? They are ALL yours. But only if you GO TO SLEEP.’
No more Miss Nice Mommy. It’s too late for wine and now all you want to do is to go to bed. Time to tell your baby who is boss.
‘If you do not go to sleep right now, I have a sleep training book and I am not afraid to use it.’
The baby smiles up at you. They can smell an empty threat from a mile away.
Tell your partner it is his turn, for goodness sakes! Give him the baby and head for the wine. After one gulp and five minutes of continuous screaming, angrily retrieve the baby from partner. Spend the next ten minutes considering whether partner never being able to get the baby to sleep is good enough grounds for divorce.
7. Try new tactics
You need to go to the bathroom, your lullabies have turned into a creepy monosyllabic droning noise and your back aches. Retreat to the living room. Put baby down with her toys. Baby immediately screams.
Pick baby up. Screaming stops. Sit down with baby. Baby screams. Repeat three times. Now you are screaming. ‘What do you want from me?
Your bundle of joy doesn’t want to be asleep; she wants to be awake. But only in a dark room with you. Therefore, you can either stand up holding a screaming baby in the living room, or stand up holding a baby who is not screaming in the bedroom.
You go back to the bedroom.
The good news is your baby is now asleep! The bad news is – she is asleep on you. At this stage is it essential that you do not attempt The Crib Transfer too soon. If baby is anything less than almost comatose you will be back to square one.
Dear God, If you really exist, I imagine you have better things to do. But if you could make my baby stay asleep I will be so much better…so much more patient with my children. Please let us all sleep tonight. Amen.
Thanks to Google, parenting advice is available 24 hours a day. This is a good time to type in ‘how to get a baby to go to sleep and stay asleep when they do not want to be asleep?’ You won’t find the answer but you can enjoy reading about all the things you are doing wrong.
Only when you are so tired you can barely stand should you proceed to the final stage. Pretend To Be Asleep No Matter What is not for the faint hearted. Bring your baby into your bed and close your eyes. Fake snoring is recommended. The baby will try to rouse you from ‘slumber’ using various techniques such as hair-pulling, nose biting, head climbing, cute singing and the ever-popular trying to prise open your eyelids, but you must maintain the façade of being asleep. Your baby should eventually fall into a deep slumber.
12. The final phase
Do not move. Do not cough. Do not even think about putting the baby in her cot. Simply lay still and enjoy the comfort of balancing precariously on the edge of the bed while trying not to breathe too loudly.
13. Rinse and repeat
When baby inevitably wakes up 20 minutes later and starts screeching, just latch the child onto your breast and pray the milk makes her conk out while you still try to get some rest.