It’s 11 pm but the baby is still awake! She is tired and cranky but way too wiggly to fall asleep. She isn’t hungry, her diaper just got changed. What do you do?
1. Take a Walk!
Put the baby in warm pjs and put her in the front pack. Take a walk around the block or around the neighborhood. The cool night air will excite baby and she might coo at a bright streetlamp or a passing car. This excitement is so much fun to witness. Remember that she has never stared up at the stars. Never been in awe at the stillness and beauty of a deer. Enjoy these special moments with baby and forget about the dishes or that TV show you need to catch up on. Soon enough, the gentle rhythm of plodding footsteps and the warmth of her pjs will lull her to sleep. Babies crave this rhythm because they are used to being in a constantly moving environment in the womb.
2. Take a Drive!
Bundle baby up and put her in the car. Take a short ride and try to go somewhere pretty so that you can enjoy the car ride as much as she is going to. The gentle vibrations of the car and the moving lights she sees through the car window will soon have her mesmerized. Sometimes I find myself taking the long way home at night after I pick my baby up from the sitter, after work. Especially when I know that she is almost asleep, I can’t resist another loop around the block to send her to dreamland.
3. Make a fort!
Who doesn’t love a blanket fort?! I like to lay my baby in her crib and drape a blanket over the top half of the crib. She loves to bat at it and talk to it, which quickly tires her out, and that combined with the lower light level due to the blanket is a recipe for insta-sleep! Just make sure you remove the blanket after she falls asleep to avoid the risk of suffocation. Yikes! :S
4. Dance it Out!
Sometimes trying to put baby to sleep makes me just as cranky and tired as she is. Babies are crazy good at sensing this crankiness and may act out because of it. It is super important to stay chill and upbeat when putting a baby to bed so baby knows that bedtime isn’t a bad thing. To set a different mood, put on your favorite tunes, pick up your baby and dance your heart out. You’ll start to feel better as you sing along with the music and baby will too. Dance until you are pooped and I bet she will be too from all the excitement!
5. Take a Bath!
Bathtime is Echo’s favorite. She loves to splash in the water and slide around on her back in the bath tub. It is fun to run her hand under a running faucet or light up when her splash makes a loud noise. All that splashing soon tires her out and PJs feel extra warm and cozy on her damp skin. Swimming makes me tired too!
6. Snuggle Up!
You know how sometimes you just want to cuddle? Why is it so crazy to think that babies feel extra needy sometimes too? It is NEVER spoiling your child to give them extra attention. Attention is one of the basic human needs. Snuggle up close to baby and tickle her tummy, kiss her forehead and walk fingertips up her arms. She might make little cooing sounds. Have a conversation with your baby, taking turns listening and talking. You are her whole world and sometimes you’re the only cure for all her woes.