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Article  •  27 July 2018


Top tips for getting your baby to sleep

Emily Writes tells us her top tips for getting bubs to nod off.

Getting your baby to go to sleep is quite simple. All you need to do is change your diet, their diet, your environment, your lifestyle, and be prepared to rid yourself of everything you hold dear.

But this will work: if you follow these simple 627 instructions, your baby will be sleeping through the night every night except when they’re teething, sick, wet, dry, bored, hungry, not hungry, lonely, questioning their existence, upset, not upset, tired or happy.


  1. The best way to get your child to sleep is to accept that they will never sleep. What does sleep really mean? Is it a metaphysical concept from which we truly need to wake?
  2. Have you considered a night light? Have you considered six night lights? Have you considered syncing them so that they simulate a gentle lightning storm in Denmark?
  3.  Help your child to understand the difference between daytime and night-time by repeating IT IS DAYTIME IT IS DAYTIME IT IS DAYTIME IT IS DAYTIME over and over and
  4. over and over and over again between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. At 7 p.m., begin chanting IT IS NIGHTTIME IT IS NIGHT-TIME IT IS NIGHT-TIME. You only need to do this between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. for around one to eight years.
  5. Have you considered getting a product that can act as a security item for your child? How about an axe with the blade dulled slightly? This will help them feel safe at night. Or you could purchase a succubus to crouch at the end of their cot. Most succubi can be summoned at 3 a.m. if you stand inside a circle made from the blood of three virgins from Hamilton. Or you can hire them from the ‘succubus’ section on HomeHelp.com.
  6.  Read The Iliad to your child. In Homeric Greek.
  7.  Babies need to understand and organise their innate circadian rhythms. Spend three days collecting cicadas. Do not eat or sleep. This is an endurance test, and how you approach it will dictate your worth as a mother. Do not give in until you have at least 600 cicadas. Train them to play tiny instruments and teach them gentle lullabies like ‘Run to the Hills’ by Iron Maiden. When your cicada metal orchestra is complete, have it perform for your baby every night between the hours of 8 p.m. and 11.45 p.m. They’ll be tired. They’re cicadas. They’re not used to this kind of thing. You’re going to need to champion them. Lift their spirits. You can do this, cicada mama.
  8. Avoid coffee. If at all possible, try to get your baby onto decaf. Also, most class A drugs have caffeine in them, just something to keep in mind.
  9. Attempt, if you can, to halt the Earth’s gravitational pull. It can impact the sleep patterns of your baby.
  10. Try some hypnotherapy — when you see your baby, tell them they’re getting very sleepy. After you hypnotise them, resist the urge to get them to make goat noises for your (and your friends’) entertainment.
  11. Rent a cruise liner. The soft rocking motion of being on the open sea may assist your baby in settling and staying asleep. If this isn’t possible, consider moving onto a boat or small dinghy. Or sleep in the bath.
  12. Put your child to bed awake and they will fall asleep on their own. If they don’t I don’t know why, because that’s what they’re meant to do, apparently. All babies are the same, so they’re all meant to sleep if you just follow the definitely not contradictory or made-up advice you see online. Maybe take your baby back to the hospital and ask if they can check the factory settings.

Is it Bedtime Yet? Emily Writes

A collection of writings on being a parent in Aotearoa - from hilarious to heart-breaking.

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