When I use the term “Life Saving Devices”, I may not be referring to what you would automatically assume.
Baby monitors, nose bulbs, car seats… you’re way off base if those types of things are what is going through your head at this very moment.
Those things are of course very important tools to have- but right now, the one item that has been the most useful, helpful, life saving thing on the face of the earth? The Fisher Price Cradle Swing.
Did I not mention I was talking about ADULT life saving baby devices? As many things as there are that are helpful for your baby.. some will be even more helpful for you. Namely, your sanity. Unless you’re one of those assholes with an unusually happy child.. I hope you get pooped on!
When Holden was a baby, he positively LOATHED his swing. It may have been because we had a super cheap, old-model Graco swing that didn’t really lean back, didn’t seem all that comfortable, and only swung forward and backward. I think we used it ONE time to swing him in.. and while it put him to sleep- his head slumped forward causing him to totally freak, undoing all the good it had just done. With Holden, the life-saving device was his vibrating bouncy chair. It was the “shut up” chair, the “mommy and daddy want to go back to sleep” chair, the “I would marry you if you weren’t an inatimate object” chair.
Middle of the night feedings where he wouldn’t go back to sleep or would start crying if you stopped rocking him? Bouncy chair solved that. Refusing naps? Plop his fat butt in the bouncy chair. Arms need a break? Yep, bouncy chair. We must have used up batteries every two weeks or so. Sure, I felt bad about sticking him in it so often- BUT- when your kid screams bloody murder.. anything that makes them happy is welcome. When baby is happy, the world is happy- and Mommy won’t end her day stuffing her face with a pan of brownies and cutting Daddy if he looks at her the wrong way.
Thinking we wouldn’t be getting preggo so soon after, I passed along that bouncy chair to my brother for his son (6 months younger than Holden) once Holden grew out of it. Plus… as much as it worked for us, it was a mega-cheapo bouncy chair, so it didn’t pain me to give the thing away.
We bought a used (but in like-new condition) from Craigslist for Parker, hoping it would have the same effect for when Parker was born… and as much as the kids are alike, not so much in the bouncy chair area. He likes it when he’s awake and happy, but it does NOT calm him down if he’s upset. If you put him in that thing when he’s even the slightest bit upset, he freaks. Hell, even if you set him down when he seems to be happy- it’s a 50-50 chance that he’ll scream as soon as you so much as take two steps away from it. Even with the vibrate on.
We’d also bought the Fisher Price cradle swing off of Craigslist, not being sure that we’d ever really use it considering past experience.. and it has been the best purchase to date.
As a newborn, at night Parker refused to sleep in his bassinet until we were in the room with him (and no way am I going to bed at 9pm). The only place he’d sleep was that damn swing. Naps? Swing. Not even with it on. He loved it even more when it was off. Batteries weren’t even necessary for the first month.
The older he’s gotten, the less I seem to put him in it… until the thrush hit him hardcore- and then once again, the fabulous cradle swing has come to my rescue. Awake, asleep, drowsy- doesn’t matter- it keeps him quiet or puts him to sleep. Sometimes for hours on end.
And especially now that he’s decided to go into turd-mode and wake up incredibly early and then scream after his bottle instead of going back to sleep… after rocking him for 20 minutes and getting nowhere, I give up, drag myself out of bed when it’s still dark out, plop him in the swing and turn it on… and I don’t hear a peep until morning (and while I realize 4am is technically morning.. morning to ME, is 8am or later. Or at least when the sun is actually up).
Again, I do feel guilty for having to put him in it so much instead of holding him or trying to get him happy myself.. but there’s only so much a mama can do without wanting to snap due to horrible failure.
To re-iterate some sage advice from a fellow Mom of a two year old and an infant: “Take sleep how you can get it.”
Truer words have never been spoken. Anything to help you get at least a few hours of consecutive sleep, or to stop a screaming baby when you can’t seem to do it with your own arms is a freaking Godsend. Write it a thankyou note and call it a day. Nothing is better than a happy baby, no matter what means it comes by – minus putting nyquil in your kids bottle or anything equally as stupid.
I do hope to have a happy enough baby.. or a baby that sleeps enough on his own WITHOUT having to resort to the swing, but for now i’ll take what I can get and be satisfied with it.
Thank you oh mystical cradle swing, for saving my sanity and giving my child naps that last more than 15 minutes! You are my current best friend, and I shall bake you a cake!
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