I’ll preface this with the usual “don’t shake the baby” speech. You should be quite aware of this if you went to a hospital or have had friends with children, there’s a very long class to exit the hospital that involves teaching you to not shake the baby. I’m not talking about that type of shaking. If you think I am or you’re looking for justification to hurt you child you’re a moron. If you’re too exhausted after hours of attempting to sooth a child to appreciate humor, set the little one down in a crib, walk away for a minute, and take a breather.
Shaking the evil out of the baby
I guess at week three or four I noticed that the baby passed the eff out in a car when it was moving and jostling around. She woke up and the evil flamed up every time we got stopped.
While I’ll admit to a bit of road rage every now and then, the sheer demonic hatred of stopped cars that my daughter exhibits is something to be feared, and I worry about future city managers and what they’re going to have to put up with when she gets her license and starts calling them up asking why they’re idiots for their traffic pattern programming.
But I digress.
Movement that’s predictable such as rocking, swinging, bungee jumping, this child will see right through as an attempt to pacify the child and therefor a reason to protest, loudly and at extreme length.
IT mama Kim discovered also during this time that a baby being held while sitting down will flip out while a baby being held standing and sometimes walking will not.
Shake the baby*
(*don’t shake the baby)
Something people don’t consider when standing is that their bodies are going through a series of ridiculous movements back and forth to prevent themselves from toppling over. It’s something we learn to tune out but that babies with their built-in seismic detection gear can understand.
A parent sitting down obviously isn’t paying attention to evil baby’s needs and must be prodded, while a standing parent is probably doing something to ensure that the baby’s evil shall spread as soon as she’s able to walk.
Region-specific baby shaking
First thing to note – the head does not get rattled. You shake the head, you lose the game. You’ve lost your cool and need to call the parenting help hotline or the police to stop yourself.
A baby has three areas ripe for shaking. These are the legs, the butt, and the lower torso. Just so it’s perfectly clear: don’t shake the baby’s head.
The leg portion of the baby can be moved up and down at about the tempo of Low Rider by War. Make sure to not hyperextend the knees or to whack baby’s feet into anything unless you’re just attempting to piss the baby off. I usually aim to make the knees travel about an inch up and down, although you’ll need to figure out your particular baby’s range and song of choice.
The butt portion of the baby can travel roughly half an inch per beat and goes better for me at least to the tempo of Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm by the Crash Test Dummies. I’ve found that in many conditions simply manipulating the baby rump is enough to calm down the demon baby.
The torso can travel about an inch. Best rule of thumb in this is the torso can travel whatever distance the torso can move without moving the baby’s head. I usually go for a tempo similar to Circles by Soul Coughing. You can go for the Mike Doughty acoustic versions if you feel like it, but they might rock too hard for your baby and a Baby Doughty Meltdown is just a band name waiting to happen.
Calming demon spawn
An other thing we’ve learned the hard way this week is sometimes nothing helps and you just put the baby down and walk away for a bit.
At least two times we’ve suffered for hours attempting to sooth demon child only to fail at every turn and finally swaddled, put in a quiet room, and left alone (with us outside the door,) 3-5 minutes later the possession was finished and the baby was quieted and happy.
I haven’t been able to duplicate that for total freakouts without the swaddling component, but for minor “you wouldn’t like baby when she’s angry…” moments it has worked fine.
Also the face down baby hold has reduced gas, and produced a calm baby every time I’ve done in. The FDBH is done by putting the baby’s ass in your palm and their head in your elbow. Make sure they’ve got their head turned enough to breath comfortably. You can also burp them from this position without moving them, and burp them over containers should you wish to collect or contain your spawn spew gifts.
Week 6 wrapup
Baby actual is appearing more, grub is requesting food a little before freaking the eff out every time she’s hungry, and reactionary baby can be stopped by a little rump shaking. Approximately two hours a day or spent attempting to sooth the demon. This is down from roughly eight at week five.
I wonder if any of this could have worked at week five or if the baby brain was not mature enough to handle it. Dunno.
Oh yeah, in case it’s not absurdly clear, don’t shake the baby. Shaking the baby’s head can lead to brain damage and neurological impairment. You think taking care of the kid now is a challenge.