- The bobble and sway. This is my fundamental technique. I stand, cradling her, and gently bobble her head while rocking from side to side. This has worked ever since she was born.
- The lullaby. Ashley loves to hear her parents singing. A soothing song can bring her down from inconsolable to merely mad. Frequently it bridges the gap between grumbly and quiet.
- The shush. Another classic. A light, whispering "shh" is hypnotic for babies. Also works to keep her asleep when she begins to stir or is startled by a loud noise.
- The ignore. For times when she's fighting sleep just for the sake of being difficult. I've been trying everything else for an hour, I know she's exhausted, but she resists all my attempts to calm her. I hold her, sit at the desk and read some blogs, and she succumbs to her exhaustion all by herself. Advanced technique; use with caution.
- The fake-out. Sometimes if she's been only mildly fussy, I only pretend to ignore her. "Oh, you're not ready to sleep yet? OK, Daddy's just going to check email..." She calms down completely, I bobble her a little, and light's out.
Mom helps Ashley get to sleep at night, but I take over naptime duty when I'm around during the day. Our baby is devious and very resourceful when it comes to methods for keeping herself awake. In the months I've known her, I have developed some powerful counter-measures for sending her off to dreamland. Here are a few of the best.