Thank all you dudes for your patience. So many of the posts I have been planning to do have either included a buttload of wordage from me, or pictures/videos that I need to remember to take before I sit down to write.
August is three months/15 weeks old. I had to log in to Baby Center to find that out because I have lost count. Mom brain is possibly worse than pregnancy brain, but you get less fat and you don’t pee your pants as often, and there’s a baby, so it’s still better overall.
All that said, I bring you: SLEEP.
I was gonna call this “Get Your Loud Ass Baby to Sleep,” but I realized that when your baby sleeps, you sleep, everybody sleeps. So this is how to get everyone some sleep.
First off, August is an almost champ sleeper. Saying that probably gets me kicked out of some mom club by all the angry, tired moms. I’m trying to be helpful, so shut up. Adam and I have needed to implement the occasional trick here and there, but he was sleeping better than most when he was born. Probably before he was born. He never woke me up in the middle of the night with rude kicks when he was in utero. He saved them all for waking hours. So, thanks, little sir.
After August was born, his birth weight went down and the doc told us to make sure we fed him around the clock, every 2-3 hours. So we had to wake him up at night to feed him. But he pretty much never woke himself up to eat. The couple times that we overslept an alarm or just forgot to set one entirely because we were new zombies/parents, August would snooze right along with us. Without any of the following, he would sleep for a five-hour stretch at night. But what I am about to tell you is what has helped us get him to sleep, and helped him to stay asleep, for an eight-hour family snooze, every night.
Part One: Get That Loud Ass Baby to Fall Asleep.
Tell your baby to shut up because it is Thursday and you wanna eat some chocolate and watch Parks and Rec in peace. If that doesn’t work, try this stuff.
This bubble bath is the baby equivalent of a crapload of rum. The bottle lasts a longass time if you are using one of those little baby bathtubs, because you just need a splash. A splash, I say! Unlike rum. It’s got this nice lavender scent, and it comes with a little wand so you can blow bubbles at your baby and make him think you are Criss Angel Mindfreak.
We use this every time we give August a bath. Afterwards, he is dead to the world in ten minutes. I gave a friend of mine some of this to try on her 24/7 party animal baby, and she sent me a picture of him looking 15 beers drunk. The reason you only need a tiny bit is because it makes a ton of bubbles otherwise, which makes it a pain to rinse the soap off your kid when you are actually cleaning him. Also, word to the wise: Bring a space heater into your bathroom while you’re setting up, and heat that room up big time. It’ll help keep the baby from freaking out because the air is colder than the bathwater, and helps move him closer to drunksleep.
Now, I can’t give August a bath every time he needs to go to sleep, because some of those sleeps are naps, and I don’t have time for that shit. As much as he is a champ nighttime sleeper, he took his good ol’ time with logging some daytime snoozes. Which is why Adam came home to a wife who still had morning breath at 6pm for the first couple months of August’s life. August naps when he is in motion. He naps in a carrier/wrap, he naps in the car, he naps in the stroller, but he has to be in constant motion. I can’t just stick him in his crib and tell him it’s nap time and leave the room without getting my ears assaulted for being so foolish. This results in one of two things. I am either encouraged to put on some deodorant and leave the house for a while to go on a walk or run some errands so he can pass out in the car or stroller or wrap, or I put him in this.
This swing is worth my weight in gold. I put August in here with his lovie and a blanket, and if he is sleepy, he is sleeping. If he isn’t tired, it’s still good for setting him in for 15 minutes so I can wash my face and maybe put on pants or something. It has a mirror he can look at himself in, and he digs the hell out of that. Dunno where he gets it. He also likes watching the birds in the mobile. One thing I really like, though, is he seems to understand what is going on by which music button I push. There is a really soft one I use for naps, and one that is a little more up tempo that I use when he just needs to chill so I can shove a granola bar in my facehole. It gives us a little unspoken agreement of what is going to happen when the music plays out. He knows he will either get picked up or he will be snoring. Short of driving my car in circles and plucking my eyebrows in the rearview mirror, this is how naps happen in our house and how I am able to wash myself and maintain some sense of human dignity when I leave the house.
Part Two: Get That Loud Ass Baby to Stay Asleep
This was a tricky one for us for a while. Babies come with a serious design flaw. When they are asleep, they punch themselves in the face and it wakes them back up. How do you fix this?
We started out swaddling August. But, turns out, he is a David Blaine and wiggled out while Adam and I would be trying to get some ZZZZZs and I was not going to let some stupid involuntary face-punching get between me and being unconscious for 6-8 hours a night. So I searched the internet, and the internet brought me the Double Swaddle. I tweaked it by also zipping August into a wearable blanket, and we have never looked back. Some people feel uncomfortable with this because they don’t want their baby to feel like they are in a straight jacket. Here is how I feel about that: Unless you are some kind of weirdo, your baby is a stupid baby with no idea of what a straight jacket is. What your baby does know, is that they were comfy as hell in your duderus, and there was not much in the way of wiggle room in there.
Being bundled up is comforting to your baby, and being rested is good for both of you. So try this.
When you do a Double Swaddle, normal smallish swaddling blankets don’t quite do the trick. You need something bigger to really wrap your baby up and keep em wrapped. I super recommend these swaddling blankets.
These blankets are enormous. Plus, the fabric is very light, so it is great to use in the summer or if you are a heat-blaster. I received a four-pack of these as a gift from a friend, and it was one of the best things I didn’t even know I wanted. Regular swaddling blankets are just too easy to wiggle out of. And I’m not into the Miracle Blanket or anything like that because I mess things up and have to do them over usually, and having to undo loud ass velcro on an already sleeping baby feels like you are giving yourself a big kick in your own balls when you are just trying to get yourself to bed. If you’re not currently pregnant or don’t have a baby of your own and know someone who does, buy them these for their shower or birthday or Tuesday. They will love you forever.
Along with the swaddling blanket, I use a wearable blanket. We aren’t heat-blasters, because Adam is always too hot and I am too cold and apparently I don’t matter. This adds a little more warmth and an extra layer of security. If you haven’t taught your baby how to work a zipper yet, he won’t be getting out of this and you will be the king of sleep.
I hope that if you came here looking for a way to get your baby to sleep longer, that you found what you were looking for. If none of this worked for you, you can always try this.