Almost exactly two weeks ago, my wife Miranda and I were blessed to bring our son Jack into this world. Well, I guess she did most of the work, but I was there and felt quite involved the whole time.
We arrived home from the hospital a week ago Wednesday and started our new life as a family of three. What we found when we got home was something no one had prepared us for.
See, when we brought our newborn Jack home from the hospital, I thought, at first, that we were bringing home a baby (you might have thought the same thing if you were in my position).
However, I was wrong.
We didn’t bring home a baby – we brought home a puzzle. A living, breathing puzzle.
The goal of the puzzle is to get the baby to sleep. The reward for solving the puzzle is that you get to sleep too. If you fail to solve the puzzle, you get immediate negative feedback in the form of an inconsolably crying baby.
Ok – here we go. Week 1: the baby only slept for 45 minutes at a time. Every 45 minutes – around the clock – the baby would wake up and start crying. That means as a parent you only get to sleep for 30 minutes at a time, max. Woah – what an adjustment.
By the 5th day of this treatment, my body started to shut down. There’s only so long you can go without sleep. Miranda and I started taking shifts. She would sleep while I rocked and comforted the baby, and vice versa.
The by the second week we started getting smarter about the puzzle. We started trying new things. We put the baby in a bouncer, a swing, we tried different bassinettes, different sleep angles, different swaddles, different outfits, different diapers, different sleep sounds, different sleep times, etc. etc…
I never knew there were so many variables to consider when trying to get a baby to sleep.
We still have not completely solved the puzzle (we’re probably close to ½ solved), but here’s the formula that has worked somewhat well so far.
- Go to bed around 10pm, two layers of clothes with a swaddle – arms out
- Use the smaller stroller bassinette (he doesn’t like the larger bassinette we got for the bedroom)
- Humidifier on full blast
- White noise machine on
- Bassinette on a slight incline so his head is higher than his feet
- DON’T use the swing during the day, because he’ll then only be able to sleep in the swing at night
With all of these adjustments we’ve been able to get him somewhat successfully to sleep for —
Scratch that… baby just started crying again. Back to square one.
And here are a few pics of the little guy (at least he’s cute):