Oh, silly me. I forgot to include the title of this post in it's entirety. Here it is:
Baby Sleep Tips...for the Terminally Confused and Utterly Exhausted Parent.
Is that adorable little bundle of love keeping you awake at all hours? Are you at your wit's end? Are you feeling like exhaustion is kleepijng yo frome performinf Evan tha slimplest of trasks? (like, I don't know, say...typing?)
Well then Champ, you're in luck. Because I am about to clue you in on some very simple remedies for your present state of overwhelming fatigue and blazing sense of despair.
Follow these basic tips and hold into your hat, because your mind is about to be blown.
Tip 1: Feed the baby just before bedtime. Full bellies help babies sleep longer.
Tip 2: Don't feed the baby just before bedtime. It will create a situation whereupon the child will become dependent on nursing or a bottle in order to fall asleep.
Tip 3: Swaddle the baby. Swaddling contains the primitive startle reflex present in newborns that tends to rouse them (because a self smack in the face is no way to wake up), mimics the cozy snugness of the womb, helps regulate temperature, makes baby feel more secure, sleep better, and cry less.
Tip 4: Don't swaddle the baby. Swaddling newborns delays initial breast feeding, thus causing less effective sucking and increased post-birth weight loss. It also causes hip dysplasia, respiratory illness, overheating, developmental delays, and increased risk of SIDS.
Tip 5: Rock the baby to sleep. Rocking fosters a stronger bond between parent and child, reduces crying in colicky babies, promotes more restful sleep, helps regulate heart and respiratory rates, aides in regulating sleep patterns, assists in developing baby's vestibular system, and also results in heightened neurological and motor development.
Tip 6: Never rock the baby to sleep. They will become dependent upon rocking to achieve a sleep state. Instead, they must learn to self-soothe if you ever expect to sleep more than two hours at a time again.
Tip 7: Give baby a pacifier. The sucking reflex is calming and will help baby wind down for the night. Also, pacifier use has been associated with decreased incidence of SIDS.
Tip 8: Don't give baby a pacifier. Baby will become dependent on the pacifier and you will spend your nights as an under-appreciated pacifier retrieval service. Pacifiers are associated with middle ear infections and dental problems. Pacifiers will confuse your poor whiddle baby and create problems with breastfeeding.
Tip 9: Bring the baby to bed with you. Co-sleeping promotes better sleep, boosts milk supply, helps baby regulate breathing, results in children with higher self-esteems who engage in more positive behavior, and cures cancer.
Tip 10: Never (ever) bring baby to bed with you. He will die if you do.
Tip 11: Let baby 'cry it out'. The kid needs to learn to self-soothe at some point, right? Women two generations back will be the first to tell you that you're running a serious risk of 'spoiling' that baby totally rotten if you tend to every whimper. Perhaps a more rational argument is that not all cries are indicative of a real need and it's best to wait (at least a short period) before rushing to the rescue of a child who may actually be nearing the point of sleep.
Tip 12: Never let baby 'cry it out'. Excessive crying elevates stress hormones and floods baby's brain resulting in increased aggression, anxiety, and ADHD. The cry it out method also results in lower IQs, socially detached babies, clingy and dependent children, poor fine motor skills, and oh, it doesn't work anyways (or at least ends up needing to be repeated multiple times).
Tip 13: Keep the room dark and quiet. Newborns have a jacked up sense of night and day and use of light can help establish a proper circadian rhythm (keep it bright during the day and blacked out at night). Lots of lights and sounds at bedtime will only serve to confuse baby even further and stand squarely between you and that elusive eight hours everyone keeps raving about.
Tip 14: Don't obsess over keeping the room dark and quiet. Assuming you don't have the luxury of living in a sound-proof bubble, there will be all sorts of noises erupting past baby's bedtime; phones ringing, dogs barking, neighbors banging on the door complaining about barking dogs...Junior is just gonna have to learn to deal with all that and the sooner, the better. As far as light is concerned, even Mr Sun (...Sun, Mr Golden Sun...) is plotting against you come springtime.
So there you have it folks. It's all so very simple! And the best part is, once you get one kiddo all figured out, the second one will be a total breeze (sarcastic font).
You can all thank me later. Meanwhile, I'll be the one catching a much needed 10 second nap at a stoplight on my way to work.
Bonus Tip: Take a picture, it'll last longer.