Ever since we’ve welcomed our little Sweet P home a mere two months ago, I’ve asked the same question to every mom of two or more I’ve come across.
How do you put a baby to sleep with a busy and loud toddler running around?
Answers ranged from pop on the TV for a few minutes to just get your baby used to sleeping through all the loud noises. While all these ideas are great and work for many families out there, I slowly came to the realization that these strategies will not work in our household. Somehow, some way (I blame my kids’ grandfathers), I gave birth to two babies with seriously severe cases of FOMO.
What’s FOMO you ask? Well, according to Urban Dictionary, FOMO is the “fear of missing out.” My oldest had it bad (we’ve been able to get it somewhat under control), and it looks like our sweet little girl may suffer from the affliction as well.
It’s not all bad though. The first step is awareness. Once you acknowledge that your baby suffers from FOMO, you will know what to expect of them and be able to take action and lessen the side effects. Fortunately, we caught it early with my daughter, so there’s hope that we will be able to get it under control.
1. You laugh at all the advice books that recommend putting your baby down ‘drowsy, but awake.’
FOMO babies go from happy and alert to extremely mad to finally asleep. There’s no in-between.
2. FOMO babies display no tired signs until it’s too late.
Your baby could spend all day bright-eyed and giggling it up before you realize that they’re really just getting progressively more and more overtired. If you see your baby yawn, it’s over. Have fun trying to put your baby to sleep for the next hour and a half.
3. It may take hours to put a FOMO baby to sleep.
You will rock, bounce, shush, pat, swaddle, sing, and hum until your hands are numb and your throat is sore, but your baby will continue to gaze right back up at you with those wide eyes.
4. FOMO babies will not ‘sleep on the go.’
You don’t dare buy one of those car mirrors because you’d rather remain blissfully unaware that your baby has stayed awake the entire hour it takes to get to your parents’ house. It’s too bad the toddler is so darn honest. “Is she asleep?” “NO, baby P not asleep!”
5. FOMO babies will not sleep in an unfamiliar place.
Are you taking a visit to Grandma’s? Are you going away on vacation? Be prepared for zero naps. Why would your baby who only entered this world a few weeks ago possibly want to sleep when there’s so much to see?
6. FOMO babies will not fall asleep breastfeeding.
Despite the fact that you haven’t had any caffeine since before you became pregnant, your baby comes off the breast like she’s just taken a shot of espresso.
7. Don’t even try to breastfeed a FOMO baby in public unless you want to be exposed to everyone around you.
Your baby will do anything in her power to stay in the action (but hey, it could be worse). Although you can’t help but laugh when she unlatches prematurely and you end up spraying her in the face. “See what happens when you don’t pay attention.”
8. FOMO babies quickly catch on to your ‘sleep routine’ and will protest it loudly.
Unfortunately, they will most likely continue this resistance well into their toddler years. Don’t worry. I’m sure they’ll gladly sleep the entire day away when they reach their teenage years.
9. Speaking of ‘sleep routine,’ a long one only energizes FOMO babies.
Baths do not relax them. Baby massages are mistaken for tickle fights. Take my advice: Keep it short and sweet.
10. FOMO babies are light sleepers.
Blackout shades and sound machines are your best friends. They will not sleep through noise no matter how hard you try to train them. My son spent his early days living in a city, so you’d think he would have gotten used to sleeping through noise. No, he just never slept.
11. FOMO babies fight sleep with everything in their being.
Sometimes you may think you’ve won the battle as their eyes begin to droop only for them to suddenly open them with a renewed sense of energy. They will wear you down. Don’t ever look these babies in the eye when putting them to sleep. One look from you will power them for at least three more hours of awake time.
12. FOMO babies are smarter.
Okay, I don’t know if this is true, but you have to tell yourself something so you don’t pull all of your already thinning hair out trying to get these kids to sleep.
If you have found yourself nodding along with most of these signs, I’m sorry to say your baby most likely has a serious case of FOMO. Fortunately, your situation is not hopeless. Simply, find the darkest room in your house, turn up some white noise to the highest volume and stay in there for about one to two years.