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Published on September 1, 2020

The new mommy diaries

Blanket, arms, lullaby song work best when baby won’t sleep

By Stephanie Johnson / The Bulletin

I never thought I would be up at 3 in the morning googling “how to get a baby to sleep”, but here I am, desperate.

I need help from this search engine. One restless baby and two sleep-deprived parents are willing to try anything.

This was a pretty common question on google search. There were over one million results. So, where did I start? Well, I just clicked on the first link; it seemed like the best way to start. Then, there was a checklist of items that started with No. 1, “have a routine.”

I try to have a routine, but sometimes it is all up to the baby.

Whenever he is hungry, I feed him, and it doesn’t matter if he is sticking to our schedule or not; a fed baby is a happy one. I do my best to have a routine, but if he breaks it, we just roll with it. Sometimes things come up, and the routine changes.

No. 2 on the list was “put baby to sleep when he is drowsy and not fully asleep.” I haven’t learned the difference between these two yet, but I know when I put him in his bassinet and he isn’t fully asleep, there is a breakdown that our neighbors can probably hear, so I am going to rule this one out for now and maybe recall it once he gets older.

No. 3 is something that I am very guilty of doing: “Don’t feed the baby to sleep.” This is one of the easiest methods to get him to fall asleep. Maybe it is a bad habit, but when you are sleep deprived, a little food to get him to sleep can’t hurt him, right?

“Stick to an early bedtime,” read rule No. 4. Our baby fights his sleep, and we try our best to stick to a bedtime and a schedule, but it doesn’t always work that way. This is great advice for the future, but not at 3 a.m. Next!

I skipped through a couple and then read “Let baby work it out.” He is only three months old, and this one is too hard for me to do. It is difficult to not pick him up whenever he is upset and crying. I’ve had multiple people tell me to let him cry it out. Again, maybe later, but not now.

The last number read “stop overthinking it.” I think as new parents, we are all guilty of this. It read word for word “Resist the urge to research “how to put a baby to sleep” every single night. Information overload causes parents to try a million different things.”

Well, they could have made that the first bullet point and not the last. I feel like I had just been tricked into reading all this information and then stumbled upon this.

As I try not to overthink anything I am doing to get him to go to sleep, I am overthinking trying not to.

What has worked since the beginning of time still works, as long as we keep it simple.

I grabbed a blanket, wrapped him in my arms, sang a soft, non-digital lullaby to him and rocked him to sleep in minutes. This is how they used to do it back in the good ol’ days when there was no Internet or google search to rely on.

Lesson learned - it took me longer to google and read the article than it did to hold him in my arms and put him to sleep. Sometimes Google can be your friend, and sometimes it can be not-so-useful. This time it was both.

Note to self: Don’t overthink it. Just do what comes naturally, and the baby will eventually fall asleep - whenever he wants.

(You can reach Stephanie at stephanie.bulletin@gmail.com. Or by writing to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)