I hate parenting advice, I mean absolutely hate it. Not because I don't value the options of others but mostly because the advice of others usually means nothing to my child who has never been "the textbook baby."
I remember like yesterday when I found out I was pregnant I ran to the library and Google to read every piece of literature I could about having a baby and none of it proved to work. I then gave birth and joined several online mommy groups and they too didn't work. Bummer. Someone had to know the answers, there was no way I was the only one who's baby was different from what the textbooks said. Sadly, I never found the answers online or in a book but life gave me answers. As a mom I tried things that worked and didn't work and also failed and I succeeded but eventually it worked it just took time and patience.
My daughter is now two and I can finally say I survived the infant years but now we are embarking on the wonderful twos and for any mom who shares my joy and my pain there's no book that helps to navigate parents through this stage, I looked and it's not there.
While I'm still struggling to find the answers to life myself I do have confidence that experience has taught me a lot. One thing I often hear from my friends with infants is how were we able to train my daughter to go to sleep at night. It was honestly was not easy and while there are no proven methods (even though they proved to work for us) there are some things I recommend that did occasionally work for us during our sleep training days:
I remember my best friend in college telling me her parents often told her stories about having to drive her around in there car to get her to go to sleep. I thought it was hilarious and couldn't imagine wasting gas driving around town with a sleeping baby. All bets were off when my baby was born. I remember the days when she would never go to sleep and I was brutally exhausted. One day I reflected on what my friend said and hopped in my car and drove around the parking lot and shockingly, it worked. The motion rocked her to sleep.
One of the best(and cutest) gifts I ever received when we had my daughter was a swing. We knew even before she was born that she would love it and boy did she love it. Anytime she was overtired we would put her in the swing let it rock and turn the overhead light on for her and within minutes she was sound asleep. It was our go to for many months before she was finally able to self soothe. Many parents frown upon using swings for anything other than playtime but for our baby the swing was her safe haven and place of rest.
Lavender Bath Time
I am actually ashamed to admit that this piece of advice came from a 7 year old little cousin of mine. She often suggested I buy baby lavender to help my little one sleep at night and like most adults I brushed off her cute suggestion. She's 7 what does she know. One day my interest peaked and I decided to read more about this lavender and to my surprise others had said the same thing about the fragrance. I decided to give it a try and to this day I still lavender my daughter down before bed time. It not only relaxes her for bedtime but it also relaxes my body.
Do you enjoy the sound of rain or even the oceans? Or what about the sound of birds chirping? I do and surprisingly so do most babies. I had read several customer product reviews for baby white noise machines but never knew they would actually work until we downloaded a few white noises from YouTube. The soothing sounds not only drained out the baby's cries but it also almost instantly put our baby to sleep. Now as far as the actual shushing method goes that so many books talk about? Reading about the method feels almost as silly as doing it does.
Rock your baby to sleep
Most older parents seem to be against the idea of holding a baby for hours and hours at a time especially at night time when they should be sleep but quite frankly sometimes that's all a baby needs. He or she just needs to be rocked. This was always the #1 sure way to put our daughter to sleep. While you may complain about the 24/7 rocks now you will appreciate them more when they're gone so suck it up, turn on a movie and rock they baby to sleep.
Now that you've heard my proven yet unproven ways to put your baby to sleep leave your tips in the comment season. Each one teach one :-)