Baby Tricks on Playing, Smiling and Sleeping
Thank u very much. Really my baby is very healthy but people kept spinning my head…like u have to give her water and they said its necessary to give vitamins. I just wanted your opinion and yours makes sense so thank u and I like the idea of doing the baby chart, I’ll do that.
And now I’m gonna spin your head with my questions…but we also need you to give us some tricks on how to make babies laugh and how to play with them…and our biggest issue is sleep.
My baby doesn’t sleep easily specially at night i have tried feeding, rocking, singing, swing, bouncy chair, rocking bed and still she doesn’t sleep without crying so if there is something magical trick u know pls we need it. I just want my baby to sleep happily not crying. I hope I am not taking from your time. – M
Because your question comes in multiple parts, I’ve broken it down into multiple answers.
1. SOURCES OF ADVICE ON PARENTING
One of the biggest tricks in parenting is how to raise your child the right way when so many friends and family have RIGHT ways to do it based off their experiences with their children and their own lives.
But the truth is while every baby has things in common with other babies, every single child is unique and has his or her own circumstances. So ultimately you are the parents and your word is FINAL. And your friends and family need to respect that.
That being said, you have the responsibility of ensuring that what you are doing is correct in raising YOUR child. The best advice to fall back on is that of a baby doctor you trust and who has proven to be working for what’s best for the health of the child and not just a paycheck.
Others can help and offer advice, but you have to be the one who finally agrees with the answer you like and then doing it.
Perhaps a certain child needs vitamins because their mother is undernourished or simply exhausted from having to hold a job at the same time and thus not supplying full nourishment in their breastmilk. (And for women in this situation, I usually recommend Barley Formula.) But that’s their scenario.
What’s the sign of a healthy child? One that grows per or above expectations and isn’t sick frequently. If the child isn’t getting what he or she needs to be healthy they are going to let you know with lots of crying to be fed properly.
If your child is healthy and happy, then there isn’t anything wrong! Don’t fix what isn’t broken!
2. PLAYING WITH YOUR CHILD
Honestly this is one of the best parts of parenting. Finding out how to play with your child. Although your princess is still less than 6 months old, you should be getting plenty of giggles and smiles at this point. Usually tickling and playing with toys in front of them and running around with them is sort of what you are limited to until they start gaining mobility. I talk a little about this in the video on my web-site. http://www.cluelessfather.com/first-90-days/the-test-of-manhood-part-5
Babies at 16 weeks are pretty simple.
They like silly faces, strange sounds and their parents generally acting like goofballs. Once you get the hang of goofing around you realize your baby is just laughing AT YOU because of how damn silly you are acting. But their laughs are so magical that you won’t care at all.
I’ve found that dad making the most ridiculous faces possible works better than expensive toys.
As a caution, some babies go into squeals of laughter at certain things while other babies will scream their head off at the same thing. If your daughter gets scared at something you do to make her laugh just calm her down and then try something else. Don’t get bummed out about it.
You have just as much to learn about your child as your child has to learn about you.
One thing that really works on small babies is to place them on a comfy surface such as your bed or a nice rug and to go in very close to them making funny faces and tickly noises and then pull away. Then count “ONE TWO THREE!” Out loud and move towards them and lightly tickle them. Then pull away and repeat. This never seems to get old with my daughter. And now that she can run around, chasing after is added into the mix.
Another great one is peek-a-boo. Placing your hands over your face and then “peek-a-boo’ing” out while smiling at them. This can also be done from behind chairs, tables, plants, etc…
3. THE INFAMOUS SLEEP PROBLEM.
A magical trick huh? A baby’s inability to sleep is probably the most naturally frustrating thing for every new parent. So much so that I laid out an entire series of videos on dealing with the six most common reasons babies cry and how that relates to them not sleeping. http://www.cluelessfather.com/first-90-days/the-test-of-manhood-part-1
I’ll tell you the magic trick at the very end. But in the meantime here is some science as to how to get your child sleeping better.
a. Establish a schedule
You need to get your baby to set a routine. If they sleep a lot during the day, they won’t sleep at night. Teach your baby when you want them to sleep by closing the curtains when they should be sleeping and opening them for daylight when they should be awake.
A relatively newborn baby IS GOING TO SLEEP MORE THAN 12 -16 HOURS PER DAY. The trick is to get them doing that when you need them to so you can also get the sleep.
At the younger stages (and some of the later stages) a large reason why they wake-up is hunger. And if you are exclusively breastfeeding them, then about the best you can do is to start considering bottling your breastmilk and keeping it in the fridge and have you and the hubby take turns on feeding the girl from the bottle.
But otherwise, don’t let her nap too much during the day so that she is tired when bedtime arrives and set a fixed bed-time every day.
b. Give her a bath before bed-time.
This is part of establishing the schedule. A daily bath with warm water is great fun for you and the baby and can help the baby relax so they can sleep better. There are different baby soaps designed to “relax” the baby so they fall asleep. Some work, some don’t. Depends on the baby.
Also there is an old mother’s remedy of crushing lettuce leaves in the bathwater and letting them soak the water and then letting the baby soak in that for 10 minutes or so before washing them. Hey, it might sound crazy but I was so desperate I absolutely tried it.
c. Make sure she is really well fed right before you put her in the bed to sleep.
I f you are exclusively breastfeeding her and you don’t have enough milk at this hour to really fill her up you either have to bottle it and then give it to her or begin supplementing milk with a formula you trust.
Here is an interesting problem with breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding. With bottle feeding (with breastmilk) you can see exactly how many ounces your baby is drinking and can more accurately ensure they are getting enough food. I have no idea how big or small your baby is but at 15 weeks she should probably be drinking 6-8 ounces of breastmilk at a go right now.
However for some women switching to bottling breastmilk begins to hinder their breastmilk production. So it’s a tricky subject. But either way you just need to make sure THAT YOUR BABY HAS A FULL STOMACH before sleeping.
As a note, I personally never recommend powdered formulas anymore. We exclusively use barley formula. (http://www.cluelessfather.com/parent-skills/how-to-make-barley-formula-part-1).
d. Check for things causing physical pain or discomfort
Here you need to become a bit of Sherlock Holmes and check over every inch of the room and their crib to see if there is anything poking them, scratching them, making them uncomfortable. One thing that really helped our daughter was getting her a super-soft polar fleece blanket to sleep on.
Is the room too hot? Get a fan.
Is the room too dry? Get a humidifier.
Is the room too cold? Get a heater and a humidifier (so the heater doesn’t dry the room out)
Are their bugs such as mosquitos that are waking her up? Kill them.
Are their noises that scare her awake? Get a white noise generator or get rid of the source of the noises. (that doesn’t mean killing obnoxious neighbors although many times I have felt like doing so).
Are her clothes too tight? Bigger clothes.
Does she like sleeping with just the diaper? Lose the rest.
Here is a question for you: Is she sleeping in the same room as you and your husband or is she in the baby room now? As you get near the 6 month mark, you need to start weaning her off staying in the same room as you. Because there may also be things you and the hubby do while sleeping that wake her up.
There are dozens of things that could be bothering her and you have to check the sleeping room for all of them.
And now for the magic trick…..it doesn’t even require abracadabra.
e. TALK TO YOUR BABY.
Many people think that babies don’t understand what you try to tell them. I believe the opposite. I believe if you treat your child as an intelligent human being, they will respond as one.
When my daughter reached 60 days (and I was at the brink of total exhaustion from constantly waking up every night) I decided to sit down with her and have a talk with her. I explained to her that her mother and I needed to sleep so we could take better care of her and that I had to work every day and the lack of sleep was affecting the quality of my work.
I asked her to please start sleeping at least six hours at a go when we all went to sleep. I kissed her and told her we’d make sure she was fed and washed and comfy and in return she let us get a little more sleep.
And it was like magic. For the next 6-8 months she started sleeping at least 8 hours at a go.
That may sound ridiculous for some people, but honestly I don’t care. It worked for us and has worked for two other friends of mine after all else had failed.
Whose to say that a lot of baby crying doesn’t come from the frustration of their parents treating like them idiots? Maybe they just want a little respect. 😀
Anyways, there you go. Try the above and let me know how it goes. Do each step one at a time and see if that works. Don’t try everything in one day and then just decide that none of it works.
Perhaps the two greatest parent skills are love and patience in the face of an overwhelming number of reasons as to why one should be angry and frustrated.
It just comes with the entire package, but I am sure the love and beauty of your child helps you somehow make it through and still enjoy every day.
“cluelessfather” on youtube