Baby Not Sleeping? These Commenters Think They Can Help

Photograph by Twenty20

Do you have a baby that keeps you up all night? Have you read hundreds of sleep books and websites about baby sleep but still not found the answer? Don't worry. Self-appointed experts with wi-fi and Facebook accounts are hovering over their keyboards, ready to help in comments:

Have you tried swaddling? In a heavy blanket? In a light blanket? In a medium weight blanket woven from rare silver unicorn hairs?

Could you feed your baby more? Or less? Give her solids? Formula? A T-bone steak with a side of mashed potatoes just before bed?

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What about putting him on a schedule? Or not worrying about schedules? Or just buying your baby a beret and assuming he really wants to live on European time? (Fake mustache is a choking hazard or will provide soothing comfort during teething.)

Have you tried infant massage using a slightly warmed oil made with snow melt gathered from the top of Mt. Everest? It has to be that oil. The generic stuff you got at the grocery store will not work.

Have you blocked out all the light in your baby's room?

Could you take your baby on a cross country road trip where you only drive at night? (By the way, you haven't installed the carseat correctly.)

You aren't making eye contact with your baby at night, are you?

Have you blocked out all the light in your baby's room? Or do you think your baby is afraid of the dark and needs all the lights on? Did you spend a lot of your pregnancy out in the sun? Because that's going to be a problem. #youaskedforit

Could you try exchanging your baby for a different one? Because my baby slept 12 hours a night by the time he was two days old, and I never did any of this stuff these other people are suggesting. #blessed

Have you tried just not trying to get your baby to sleep?

Have you tried cherishing every moment?

This is the answer: white noise.

What about a warm bath before bed to soothe her? Or a cool bath before bed to make her think, "Wow I am glad I am out of that bath and in this comparatively warmer crib. I should probably just go sleep."

How is your bedtime routine? Is it consistent? Are you singing the right lullabies? That one about a baby and cradle falling out of a tree might be freaking your baby out.

Wait, wait I've got it. I bet you have never heard about this in the millions of sleep books you have poured over in the 20 waking hours you now have in a day. This is the answer: white noise.

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Actually, this simple idea should work for any baby. Add blackout curtains to the entire house. Two hours before bedtime, close the curtains, turn off all the lights and unplug anything that uses electricity in the house. Sit in the dark and silence with your baby until she slowly drifts off to sleep. Then simply repeat this process every night for the next 18 years.

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