Saturday, June 9, 2012

I Rock!

"Little one, I just want some sleep." murmured my exasperated wife. Upon hearing her plea, I pounced from my snug environs, pajamaed chest, emblazoned with a red S on a yellow background, and chin thrust out. "Pass me that delicate, screaming package ma'am." Within a moment the precious one was wrapped and within my powerful arms.

Narrative note: There may have been some exaggeration in the above passage, I definitely would NOT wear pajamas affiliated with the inferior DC Comics. They would be Marvel themed, quite possibly Captain America.

I'll try that opening passage with a little more realism.

"Little one, I just want some sleep." murmured my exasperated wife. "Hrrgh?" I respond to her heart felt plea. "Urrrg." I say as I roll over and pry the baby from her grip. "Ooof!" quite clearly articulates another roll, and stumbling out of bed, somewhat zombie like, but perhaps not so hungry as in the below clip:

Every child is different, every parent is different, and strangely enough everyone finds their own way of doing what results in the same thing.

When getting a baby off to sleep some parents like to cuddle an unwrapped baby. Others place their babies in beds, unwrapped, and they put themselves to sleep, other wrap and rock, the list is endless.

All our children have been wrapped, and generally until they are reasonably old; maybe upto 2 years (its hard to remember with the first two, it was a long time ago).

One thing I can do whilst catatonic is wrap a baby.

1. Spread wrap out so that it is flat
2. Place baby just off centre to the right
3. Bring left side of wrap across front of baby whilst pinning arms to side. This often elicits some form of protest; scream, squeal or struggle
4. Tuck left corner and side under baby's back, tightly. This ensures baby has less chance to free its arms
5. Optional, depending on baby length, fold bottom of wrap up across legs
6. Bring right side of wrap across to the left and tuck around back
7. Result, one wrapped and swaddled baby. Pick up and commence ye olde dance o sleep.

The dance of sleep are those precise and regular swaying, jiggling movements which will ultimately result in the one thing that is truly important; your partner falling asleep. Sure, the baby goes to sleep too, sometimes quickly, but the act of taking the the small fry away from your partner (and yes I'm being deliberate with word use here, contrary to popular opinions Dads also need sleep once in a while) will give them the best opportunity to get that vital rest.

My dance, or rock, is very much a left-right hip sway with a forward-back waist twist and a right-left shoulder dip. And after ten years of development, I don't mind saying I'm damn good. The rhythmic motion is one thing, but sometimes its necessary, depending on the little one's protestations, to hold firmly so she can't get the desperate wriggle she wants. Wriggling whilst trying to put a baby to sleep is bad. It gives the baby what they want, which is not to go to sleep and ultimately, coupled with an effective vocalisation of their protest, keep your partner awake, or heaven forbid get your partner out of the wonderful warmth of bed and snatching the baby away from you because "You're not doing it right!". And that just defeats the purpose of your getting out of bed in the first place. Its also nice to strut the next morning lording it over your partner about how self-sacrificing you were the night before.

Of course what you really want is the little tykes to sleep through, in their own beds as soon as possible. The other two did this reasonably early, this one, is still working it out, and whilst she does, I'll continue to rock and remember that every baby is different.


  1. We were wrappers, although I think we did it diagonally. Also I was a bum patter and swayer. My feet didn't move bit I would sway and sing They Might Be Giant's "Piece of Dirt" while patting the bum lightly on the upbeat.

    1. I do a finger waggle pat on the back as well. Forgot to mention it has it happens so automatically

  2. With all this musical allusion (read rocking and wrapping) it is important we do not forget the other mainstay of this industry. Drugs. I believe they work equally well on small children. You can stick to the pharmaceutical grade stuff if you want to get all precious about it.