A Non-Exhaustive List Of Things That Won't Help Your Baby Sleep

by Jackie Semmens
Originally Published: 
baby sleep help
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When you have a child who is not particularly gifted in the art of falling asleep and staying asleep, friends and family will gladly offer free baby sleep advice. Even though anyone would instead prefer that they offer free babysitting, particularly between the hours of 3 and 10 a.m., you will try all their recommendation. As the months wear on, you will eventually be tempted to shout Dr. Seuss inspired profanities at the next person who gives you a suggestion, “No! He will not sleep in box, he will not sleep with a fox, he will not sleep in a house, he will not sleep with a mouse, he just will not freaking sleep!”

There is no point in offering you more sleep advice. You’ve read and heard it all. Instead, here is a non-exhaustive list of things that will not help your baby sleep through the night—non-exhaustive because I’m too exhausted to finish it.

– Swaddling

– Not swaddling

– Pacifiers

– Rocking to sleep

– Not rocking to sleep

Dream feeds

– Skipping the dream feed

– Drowsy but awake. Also known as, “I’m drowsy, but if you dare put me down while awake, a burst of adrenaline will shoot through my veins, and I will scream for the next hour.”

– A soothing bath

– A not so soothing bath where an older sibling dumps a bucket of water onto baby’s head

– Room sharing

Bed sharing

– Cry it out

– Bed sharing post-cry it out failure

– Lavender room spray

– Accidentally breaking a bottle of lavender essential oil, making your house smell like a bordello in Southern France for a week

– Singing lullabies before bed

– Acceptable levels of background noise

– White noise

– Perfect silence

– Neighbors slamming car doors

– Nursing to sleep

– Not nursing to sleep

– Cry it out again

– Any book or website ever written on the topic

– Homeopathic teething tablets

– Letting baby nap on demand

– A strict routine with two naps a day

– Skipping naps

– Car naps

– Stroller naps

– Crib naps

– Holding baby until your arm goes numb naps

– A robust bedtime routine

– Going to bed on time

– Going to bed early

– Going to bed late

– Waking up early

– Sleeping in late (just kidding—that will never happen)

– Fairy sleep dust made from ground unicorn horns bought in bulk from the local health co-op

– Cotton pajamas

– Fleece pajamas

– Sleep sacks

– Warm blankets

– Light blankets

– No blankets

– A new crib mattress

– Mercury being in retrograde

– Rushing into the room at the first whimper before baby could escalate

– Waiting 5 to 10 minutes to see if baby would settle


– Cry it out a third time

– Not returning the pacifier after it has been thrown across the room

– Returning the pacifier one hour later

– Bargaining with God

– Attempting to reason with the baby through logic

– Offering straight cash to the child

If you can focus your sleep deprived eyes long enough to read any article on how to get babies (or toddlers—let’s be real) to sleep through the night, you will start to notice one common denominator in each of them: time. In every success story, the baby gets older and starts sleeping through the night. Yours will too, at which point you will be inducted into a secret society of women who are permitted to say things like, “Enjoy it! It all goes by so fast!” to sleep deprived mothers standing in line at the grocery store. Until then, soldier on. Your baby will sleep eventually. A mom can dream, right? Well, daydream.

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