What is it that new parents long for most of all. This is a no brainer - sleep. Before we get in too deep with the Zzz's let's back up a little first.
There is no doubt that the joys of a new baby often surpass normal human expression. We as new parents are ecstatic, in awe, and have never known such incredible emotion that we feel when our baby is in our arms. To put it plain and simple, we are head over heals in love.
As a parent, the feeling of love will remain for an entire lifetime. That's not to say there won't be bumps in the proverbial parenting path, though.
Troubles will come, hiccups will happen, and roadblocks will be a part of the parneting life. It's all in a day's work for moms and dads. For now, while baby is small the issues are going to be slightly less (we hope) worrisome than perhaps a teenager taking off in the new car for the first time.
For now, the fight is typically against wakefulness. It can seem like such a chore to convince a baby to fall asleep. But, keeping that precious baby asleep is a feat all in itself. It's common to hear parents going to great lengths to finally get their child to sleep soundly. Who's to blame them? It's a big job!
Here are 15 crazy things parents have done to keep the baby asleep. Don't be surprised if some of these tactics sound pretty familiar. All of us parents do them!
15 Dragged On A Blanket
For Darla, the magic was all wrapped up in her toddler's blanket. Timothy had a fun and crazy way of falling and staying asleep. Here's what his mom had to say.
"Timmy was nearing that age where he often didn't absolutely require a nap, but it still did him a lot of good. I like to keep the kids napping for as long as old as they'll let me.
He was was wild about this one blanket, and always napped with it. On especially rough days when he'd put up a fight, I'd do the craziest thing. I'd let him lay on his blanket while I pulled him around the house.
For some reason, he thought this was awesome. He would fall right to sleep (after a few giggles). If ever he stirred, I'd just move the blanket a little and he'd zone right back out."
14 Spinning In Circles With Dad
We're not sure what it is about dads that kids can't get enough of, but there is something magical. John and Paula discovered this when they were having trouble putting their little girl down for her naps. Here's the story.
"Brittni was fighting sleep like it was nobody's business. We just couldn't find a solution to help her go to sleep or stay asleep. One day, her and John were playing on the kitchen floor. She was laying on his chest and he was spinning her in circles. Amazingly enough, she went right to sleep!
He kept laying there on the floor with her for her whole nap. She didn't even stir. It must have been his warmth or something, but we used that tactic for many months. The spinning was a favorite of her sand laying on his chest was too."
13 Serenading The Baby With A Vacuum
Chuck and Diane had done all they could to keep their young eight-month-old son asleep. They'd tried a high-priced sound machine, the gentle swing, and the white noise on Chuck's old radio. He was such a light sleeper that nothing worked.
Enter the sleep king aka the common vacuum cleaner. Chuck clues us in.
"Short of standing on our heads, we'd tried everything. It was absolutely ridiculous. We were exhausted, and Chase was exhausted as well. We were at the end of our rope.
One day Diane was vacuuming the spare bedroom upstairs, which is right by Chase's room. I had rocked him to sleep, but he'd already awakened twice in 15 minutes. I noticed that the sound of the vacuum didn't seem to bother him. In fact, he didn't wake up once while it was on. Diane left it on for over an hour just to test my theory. It worked!
Now, like two crazy, desperate parents, we leave the vacuum on outside his door for every nap!"
12 Using The Dryer's Vibrations To Produce Sleeping Miracles
For Titus and Paula, the dryer has a different purpose than simply drying their clothes. It's a calming baby vibrator. Check it out.
"Devon was about three months old when we figured out that the dryer was going to be our go-to baby calmer. We were having trouble getting the little guy to stay asleep. One of our friends suggested it, and we just laughed at first.
We're laughing now, but for a much different reason! We got a little desperate one day, and Titus said to just give it a try. So, we strapped him in his carseat, put it on top of the dryer, and turned it on.
Apparently, it's the equivalent of a vibrating bed, because it worked like a charm. We're probably going to burn the motor out one of these days. We use it more for the baby than we do for actual laundry."
11 Taking In Some Cold Air Worked Magically
Tim and Lisa live in a four-season climate, but are raising a fan of the cold weather. At five months old, baby Daniel had already made it clear that the beach was not going to be his favorite place. Lisa tells the story.
"Danny went through a fussy period when he was about five months old. I blame teething, but who knows? It was January in the Midwest, and right smack in the middle of a rather snowy winter.
The only way to calm him down for his nap was to take him out in the cold to breathe the winter air. Something about it calmed him right down. We'd still bundle him up, but he wanted to be outside for a few minutes before his nap. Naturally, I volunteered Tim for this as much as I could.
Once he'd gotten a few minutes of the cold air, Tim would bring him in. He'd go right to sleep after this. If we skipped the outdoors, then napping was a huge fight. I think I may have given birth to an Eskimo baby!"
10 The Bouncing-Singing-Patting Combo That Puts The Baby To Sleep
Harley is a sweet young girl who knows what she wants already. At two months old, she's already the boss. Her employees are parents, Heather and David. These parents have become nothing less than a two-man show. Here's Heather's story.
"When my baby was two months old, she raised the bar a little too high for my liking. In order for her to go down and stay down for her nap, we had to perform flawlessly. David or I would have to pat her bottom, bounce her, and sing to her all at once for her to fall asleep.
The patting and singing had to continue for up to 30 minutes after the initial shut-eye occurred. When she'd stir, we'd rush in there to sing and pat, sing and pat, sing and pat.
Apparently we are both incredible singers! We've gotten pretty good at bouncing and patting too."
9 Surprisingly, Only The Bathroom Floor Will Do For Nap Time
Jack and Sarah have a huge bathroom that they've put to good use. By chance, Sarah discovered that her difficult napper felt more at home in the bathroom than anywhere else. Here's Sarah side of the story.
"I was working from home at the time. I changed Dahlia's diaper on a towel in the bathroom one day. I turned the little floor heater on simply because it was chilly and I didn't want her little bum to get cold. I had no idea the affect it would have.
It just so happened that Dahlia loved it in there, on the towel laying on the floor, with the heater on. For about 3 months, the bathroom was our prime napping area. The great thing about it was that my home-desk looked directly into the bathroom, so I could always see her.
People looked at us like we were crazy when we told them where our precious little baby girl napped. Oh well, at least she was resting finally."
8 Will Only Nap To Some Bach
For Tiffany and Sebastian, the key to keeping their little one asleep was found in music. Not just any music would do, though. Here's Tiffany's version of the story.
"My husband is a classical pianist, so music fills the house most of the time. If he's not playing, we're listening to a classic CD or station. It's just kind of normal for us.
Well, apparently this type of music has also become our son's standard as well. When Peter was only four months old, he had difficulty staying asleep. We tried so many tactics to get him to hit his internal snooze button. Nothing worked.
So, my husband would play him soft, gentle songs from his repertoire. That would usually do that trick. Soon we began to realize that one song in particular worked like magic. The Goldberg Variations by Bach was the key. We thought it was funny because the piece was historically written to comfort a Count who was an insomniac."
7 Swinging In Front Of A Roaring Fire
John and Tabitha have a lovely home with a beautiful fireplace. Although, the fireplace is typically only used for special occasions and very cold days, their young daughter took a liking to it. Check out this fire-loving baby.
"We brought it on ourselves, ha! During the holidays, we kept the fireplace going while we hosted our family events. Jazmine loved it! She would calm right down when the fire was roaring. When it would flicker or grow weak, we'd hear all about it.
Her obsession for the comforting fire got so intense that we would end up making a fire just to get a good nap in. It wasn't just a matter of lighting the wood, though. Oh no, she had to be in her swing, facing the fire, the fire had to be roaring, and she had to be swinging on the strongest setting. It was pretty crazy!"
6 Taking Baby On The Road
Willie Nelson and this tiny tot have one thing in common. They love being on the road. In fact, Rodger and Ericka's young son loved it so much that he demanded it during nap time. Ericka tells us the story.
"Will was about three, maybe four months old when he started being a little booger about staying asleep during nap time. We found that car rides were incredibly peaceful with him, though. He would sleep so soundly when he was in the car.
Well, it got to the point where Rodger and I were a little desperate one day, so we opted for a car ride. It did the trick. For the next few months, we burned up gas like it was going out of style. Nap times consisted of long drives in the country, interstate, or wherever the road would take us. So long as it took us snoozing, we were cool with it. "
5 Only Skin-On-Skin Will Do The Trick
Gregg and Tricia found a very common way to comfort their little baby Amber. Skin on skin was what this little girl wanted most of all. In fact, she pretty much demanded it. Tricia tells all.
"I would be willing to bet that we weren't even home from the hospital before Amber made up her mind about how she wanted to nap. Her spot was Gregg's chest, 100%. Not that she didn't want skin-on-skin with me as well, but his daddy chest just seemed to be so incredibly comforting for her.
Usually, Gregg would take his shirt off or at least unbutton a few buttons so she could lay directly on his skin. It was good for both of them. So cute!
Although, this wasn't always the most convenient way for Amber (or Gregg) to nap, it was the only way I could get a really good nap from her.
4 Baby Prefers the Sound Of The Pool
From white noise to the sound of the ocean waves, today's sound machines are incredibly versatile. Evidently they aren't versatile enough, though. Little Andrea was very particular about the type of noise she wanted to hear when she napped. Lyssa and Bertrand tell us the tale.
"We had been at the pool a lot that summer. Andrea's older brother was enrolled in swimming lessons, so we were all about the pool. Andrea would frequently take her morning nap while her brother was swimming. I think that's where it all started.
We had a very tough time keeping her asleep for her afternoon nap. Because of the success in the morning (at the pool), we decided to try to find a white noise with pool sounds. Finally we found one, and it worked!"
3 The Pooch Keeps The Baby Asleep
Most babies just want a warm body to sleep next to. Luanne and Kenneth used their little Yorkie as warm-body comfort for their young son, and he loved it. Maybe it's true that dogs being man's best friend starts very young. Kenneth tells us why.
"Because of Kyle's restless napping habits, my wife and I had gotten into the habit of resting right beside him while he slept. This was avery inconvenient solution, though.
We noticed that our dog Max kept begging to jump on the bed next to Kyle. We had previously not allowed it being first time parents and all. Max got his way and snuggled right up next to Kyle. The two of them stayed like that for the entire nap.
Kyle is now four, and Max sleeps with him every night. It's quite adorable."
2 Singing For My Baby
Janet and Thomas are both musicians, so music fills their home 24/7. Zachary is nine months old and loves every minutes of it. He is a notoriously difficult napper, but that all changes when Thomas picks up his guitar and starts singing. Janet gives us the details.
"Zach was about five months old when we first discovered his love for music. Well, actually we'd always known he enjoyed it. We just didn't know it would help him nap so soundly.
One day, around nap time, Thomas decided to play his guitar and sing for Zachary. He fell asleep very quickly, and stayed asleep for two hours. It was great practice time for me and Thomas. Plus, Zach got a great nap!
We've been planning our rehearsals around nap time since then."
1 Box Fan Makes The Baby Sleep
Gloria and Poalo are fans of fans, if you will. There little one is obsessed wth the sound of the box fan. According to Gloria, the fan was a nap-saver. For weeks on end these new parents had been wrestling with keeping Jaden asleep during nap. Gloria gives us the scoop.
"It wasn't that Jaden couldn't go to sleep. It was that he couldn't stay asleep. He would wake up at random small noises. The creek of the house or a the dishwasher changing cycles, it would all awaken him.
One day, we turn a rather noisy box fan on in his room just for some circulation. Like normal, he fell asleep right away. To our amazement he actually stayed asleep. We all credited the fan, but couldn't believe it.
For several more naps, we tested it out. It was true! The fan was the only thing that kept him asleep. We stuck with the fan technique for a long time and it worked like a charm!"