Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Catherine Method

Dear Readers,

Back when I was pregnant I thought "Maybe I should read some baby books."  So I half-read a few books, decided my husband and I were clearly superior to these people who couldn't figure out babies and went back to focusing on my fabulous maternity wardrobe and justifying eating frozen yogurt for meals because, clearly, that's what my body wanted.

Then I had a baby.  I was overwhelmed with how happy I was, how beautiful he was, and how absolutely scared out of my mind I was.  The lack of sleep and crying didn't help.  So I did what any educated person does when they don't know what to do - I read about 45,000 pages on baby sleep.  I even tracked down the leading children's sleep specialist in the United States and decided whatever he charged was worth it if my baby would just stop crying and sleep.

Then I went on Paxil.

Then I developed what I call "The Catherine Method" for baby soothing.  Here it is!  Hope it helps you as it helped me.  (By the way, my baby is a beautiful 7 month old now who is calm, always smiling, takes three naps a day and sleeps 11 hours a night.  New moms - yes, there is hope.)

How to calm your baby: The Catherine Method

1.  Swaddle your baby tight.  (Consider double swaddling - swaddle with a blanket inside a velcro swaddle wrap).
2.  Hold him in the nursing position facing you.  Hold him snugly so he feels safe.
3.  With your free hand hold the pacifier in his mouth (Avent Soothie's are Muffin's fav)
4.  Walk and bounce or bounce on an exercise ball (make sure his head is supported)
5.  Go "shhhhhhhh  shhhhhhh" as you bounce; sometimes sing (something soft and calm you like - he will come to associate the song with sleep)
6.  Keep the room quiet except for any white noise (Marpac SleepMate is the best on the market IMO!) and fairly dark.  Remember, you are essentially replicating the womb (see Happiest Baby on the Block - Swinging, Shh-ing, Sucking, Swaddling, "Shaking")
7.  He will start to stare when he's close to dreamland ("the baby stare").  Then he'll start to look like you do when you're trying to catch up on missed episodes on Hulu but you really should go to bed - head dropping, eyes closing and opening...
8.  At that magical moment, place baby in the swing on low or in the crib on his back - whichever he prefers.
9.  If baby still needs a little soothing, continue the "shhhhh" and alternate patting his tummy rhythmically and rubbing it.  I also found that gently bouncing the baby by pushing on the mattress on either side of him while keeping up the "shhhhh" sounds worked like magic.
10.  He sleeps. (!!!!!)
11.  Rest, mama.  You've earned it:)

PS: For more help, check out The Baby Whisperer by Tracey Hogg and Happiest Baby on the Block.

No comments:

Post a Comment