Sunday, January 30, 2011

The art of laying down a newborn!

If your a parent to a newborn you'll already know where I am going with this post. There is a fine art to laying a newborn down in a crib. I'm talking about those times when you rock a newborn to sleep and make the judgment call that the baby is sleeping soundly enough that he/she can be moved to the crib without waking.

Some of you may think it sounds easy enough, but I am definite when I say... hundreds of thousands of Mommies out there will share stories of attempted transfers gone wrong, resulting in more rocking and a second, third, or even fourth attempt at a successful transfer.

It's not easy. It requires skill, determination, and a bit of luck too.

I had forgotten about this in just two short years... but now that H is getting into a fairly predictable routine there are three or four times a day when I try to transfer him from my arms into his crib or onto the couch so that he can nap peacefully and I can accomplish my 'things that require two hands' to-do list.

To begin... when baby is showing signs of being tired, we start out rocking or bouncing around the living room in my arms. I give this phase anywhere from 3 to 13 minutes depending on his level of fussiness.  Once I consider him to be in a deep enough sleep, which is usually when his head tips back a bit and his soother is half out of his mouth, then I shift him on me into what I consider to be his best sleeping position (his stomach).  I get him into position and then I rock or bounce for another 2 to 3 minutes to ensure he's adjusted to the optimal position and has resumed his deep sleep.

Once we've gotten this far, I approach the crib slowly and ensure there are no blankets or objects in the way of my descent path. Then, I place one hand on his bum, one of the side of his head and I slowly lower him into the crib, while at the same time praying the soother does not fall out of his mouth and that no one 1. rings the doorbell, 2. slams cupboard door, 3. starts playing Melissa & Doug's Pound and Roll toy, or 4. runs into the room yelling 'Baby up Baby up' or 'Mommy WATCH Mommy WATCH'.  If none of these things happen, then I feel I am 99% home free, as I slowly remove my hand from under his face and silently do an NFL touch-down dance as I tuck a blanket over him.

I tip toe out of the room... and move slowly away from the door praying that such a smooth transfer has bought me a good hour to myself to get things done.

Of course... this tale of a successful transfer happens probably 33.3% of the time ... while the other 66.6% of the time I am cursing under my breath as the baby starts his 'not so fast Mommy' cry. It's hit and miss, but I do find the more I do it, the more successful I am becoming at the transfer, and the better I am becoming, the longer H is actually napping. 

Take for example today, he had a 2.5 hour nap this morning, followed by another 2 hour nap before supper. I was in HEAVEN with my two hands free for over four hours today.  Talk about a way to cap off the weekend!

Are you familiar with the fine art of laying down a newborn, do you have any special techniques or tips to share?

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