Driving around in my automobile

by Lara

I have a friend whose baby slept through the night – 7pm to 7am – from the time he was 6 weeks old. And he was all happy all the time during the day. I hated her.

Ok, I didn’t, but I was a wee bit jealous seeing as how I have had three babies and none of them slept more than about 1.5 hours at a time for the first three months and did A LOT of crying and not sleeping during the days too.

I had to come up with a lot of strategies to not lose my mind and to make sure my babies got some sleep.

Obviously every baby is different but I thought I would share some of what I did :

1) Baby wear.

This was more difficult to do with twins (although I did it and still do it a lot when they are fussy).  I have many types of carriers.  I really liked my long stretchywrap when they were little, and as they got older I really liked my mei teis.  I have a Kozy and a more structured carrier that I found easier to use to get babies up onto my back on my own called a Beco. I HIGHLY recommend just putting your baby on and bouncing around the house (or go for a walk) when they won’t sleep. SO effective!

Lara & Kiernan

2. White noise

White noise reminds babies of being in the womb. It calms them, it seemingly drugs them into a state of calm.  It was my saviour.

Some people use the kitchen fan, some the bathroom fan, some the vacuum – I used my hairdryer. For about a year both times, my hairdryer lived on the floor in the nursery set on cold.  In really trying moments it would be run on full blast and babies almost always calmed right down, often falling asleep. For us, only REALLY powerful hairdryers worked so it can’t be a cheapo low voltage one.

We still have a white noise machine going almost constantly in my daughter’s room.  Graco makes  a great one that is also a nightlight and you can plug an MP3 player into for other uses.

3. The car

Do you get drowsy in the car? I know that if I’m not driving I almost always start to pass out on long car rides. I think my parents programmed me for it, and I’m FINE with that.  I have attempted to do the same with my kids 🙂

When my babies wouldn’t sleep I often would say “fine, let’s go for a drive!” – with Kiernan it was often one of the few ways I could get a decent length nap.  Not eco-friendly, I know, but driving up and down the highway for an hour sometimes gave me the break we both so desperately needed.

With the twins, I explored back country roads and my husband and I are still known, on occasion, to take a REALLY fussy baby for a drive at night to get them to sleep when nothing else will work.

And I’ve seen a lot of the city and countryside during my drives!
90 : 365
32 : 365
25 : 365

Oh, and also a lot of this:

Tim Horton's

What do you do to get through the fussy crying periods?

Lara is mom to 3.5 year old Kiernan and 1 year old twins Quinn and Juliette. You can read her blog at Gliding Through Motherhood.

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12 Comments

Filed under infants, Parenting tips

12 responses to “Driving around in my automobile

  1. LOL! Lara, you crack me up! We had to walk the twins, high over our shoulders, for hours. When they were infants, I was afraid to be left alone with them! To complicate matters, we had the “Magical Stairs”: any sleeping baby would “magically” wake up when carried up the stairs to their cribs. Hold on, it can only get better, right? Rumour has it that (at some point in the distant future) children go to bed all by themselves!

    • I am comforted only by the fact that Kiernan now goes to bed reasonably well every night and doesn’t wake up until after 7 each morning. And that the memories will fade, thank god the memories will fade 😉

  2. It was when I had a baby that I really began to understand the value of the drive through

    • seriously! although there was a time with kiernan where I would bring him inside (no longer an option with my gaggle) because he would start to wail if we were stopped for too long (ie, for mommy to get a coffee) sigh

  3. Stepping outside usually did the trick for my babies. I don’t know if it was the change of scenery or the change in the temperature but it worked!

  4. We had a middle of the night and then stay up for hours waker. Every night before bed, we had to make sure that “the path” was clear, so that we would not trip on things while we walked around the house in the dark. He just wanted to cuddle and be sung too. For hours!

  5. my sling was a savior to both the jellybean and i when he was wee. now we sleep with fans for white noise. i’ve been sleeping with white noise for years. i always have trouble sleeping away from home. the car is always a sure bet for a nap se we try to time long drives strategicaly.

  6. Isabelle

    Lara, you’ve just described my life with my first child. Now 4, he’s still not a great sleeper. Our long drives with him resulted in us buying a new house – we drove around different neighbourhoods until we found one that we really liked.

    I was worried when my second baby was born, but right off the bat she was a better sleeper (not great, but better). The only thing is, she doesn’t sleep in the car – ever. And now that she’s 7 months old, she tries to wake her older brother so that he’ll provide entertainment during the ride!

  7. For the longest time I hated anyone whose child slept for 5 hours straight or more. And took naps longer then 20 minutes. 🙂

    We don’t have a car but our stroller was nicknamed “the sleep machine”.

  8. I highly recommend ‘sleep sheep’ I bought him at chapters one day during the period of my son’s life that shall be known as colic+thrush=horrible-ness. The first night he had sleep sheep, he slept 6 hours in a row. It was the most sleep I’d had in 4 months. I also ingrained a song into each of my kids heads that I was sing over and over and over for them when they were babies and wouldn’t sleep. For my daughter, it’s twinkle twinkle little star; for my son it’s you are my sunshine. Even now that my girl is nearing 4, twinkle twinkle still helps her off to dreamland.

  9. Um, you weren’t talking about *my* magical sleeping baby who slept through the night all the time,were you? 😉 Just think of everything us *sleeping moms* miss while you are awake!

  10. Pingback: September recap – what you might have missed « Kids in the Capital

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