Since becoming a Dad I’ve realised there are many strategies involved in trying to get a young child to sleep.
And not all of them involve having me stood at the front of the classroom teaching them!
I’ve seen them being used by other people as well. But, as I’m sure you’ll appreciate, different strategies work for different children. Sadly, it’s a not a case of one size fits all.
And they change depending on the child’s age! How unfair!
One way is to physically swing the child from side to side. This has the helpful effect of distracting an angry baby from their violent crying. Unfortunately, the extreme disorientation can result in some serious vomit issues.
Another way is to put the child over your shoulder, clutch them tightly and pat their back in the hope of burping up whatever it is that is distressing them. This can work but does make the child unhelpfully reliant on you for sleeping.
A third way is the great outdoors. Into the car seat or the buggy and, so the theory goes, they’ll slip off to sleep as soon as the cold fresh air hits their face or the gentle motion of the car kicks in. Which is fine, until they cunningly realise your plan, refuse to give in to the crushing might of sleep and scream even louder. Now you’re stuck in a small metal box with their anger…which only amplifies it and makes it ten times worse.
Finally, you can block out the lights with a cover hiding them away from all distractions and pray that next time you peek under the cover the child will have got the message and simply dropped off. A horrific trip round Sainsburys which resulted in me having to take her out of the buggy to comfort her whilst similtaneously carrying a shopping basket and a clothes airer as well as pushing the buggy itself will haunt me forever as a reminder not to use this technique!
How do we do it then? Well stay tuned as later this week I’ll be revealing our (current!) foolproof technique!