Have you ever had a moment when you tried every one of those five S’s (five times each, even!) and not a damn one of them worked? Don’t get me wrong, I think the shushing and all is a good place to start.
The truth is, there are going to be times with most babies that they are just going to cry and nothing in any book is going to tell you how to make them stop. At those times it’s so easy to feel like a failure, or like there’s something wrong with your kid. I think all of us—through trial and error, a desperation-driven moment of clarity, or treasured knowledge passed down by an experienced friend—try things to soothe our babies, or ourselves, that are not in the books. And sometimes those things actually work!
Here are some things I tried.
1. To get Sasha to sleep: I blew her eyelids and stroked the curvy transition from her nose to her forehead. (Worked!)
2. To get her to stay asleep: I tucked the bottom of her pacifier into the top of her swaddle. (Mostly didn’t work—it would inevitably pop out.)
3. To get her to breastfeed: I sat her straight up to my side, facing me, as if sitting in an invisible chair. (Worked!)
4. For myself? Uhm, pooping standing up turned out to be one of my most inspired discoveries. That and carrying around a pillow to sit on everywhere I went. Oh, and those ice packs that are like a bag of peas? Works wonders when you run out of those icy pads they give you at the hospital.
Many of you have told me little tidbits like this. There’s the guy who drove his infant around and around the airport all night long (I think this worked, aside from the fact that Dad still wasn’t getting sleep.) There’s the mom who told me about how she stuffed her nursing bra with macerated cabbage leaves to deal with an overabundant milk supply (this sort of worked, except that she was constantly having to macerate cabbage leaves and only the giant ones could cover her, so she was always running out of cabbage—not to mention having bits of cabbage fall out of her shirt while she was out of the house).
You have anecdotes like this. I know you do. Things you tried. Things that worked. Things that didn’t work. I’m collecting these things. For a little LST experiment. I have an idea about how to use these stories, and maybe if I get enough I can give that idea a try. But it really hinges on you guys participating, telling me your stuff. This project thrives because so many of you participate in it—and now I’m asking for even more participation. Please, please take a moment to tell me the things you’ve tried in the comments. And tell me whether or not they worked. Who knows? Maybe your thing will help some desperate new mom reading this tonight.
Thanks! I can’t wait to see what you have to say.
SubmissionsI'm looking for moms and dads to interview about surprising struggles in early parenthood. If you'd like me to consider your story, please email me.
We Can’t Stop Reading
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