It has been widely documented that newborn babies maintain an extremely sporadic sleeping schedule during the early months of their infant lives. If a parent is fortunate enough, perhaps, they will be blessed with a child that can string together 2-3 good hours of sleep during the late night. Otherwise, be prepared to wake up at least 4 times during the night for various baby activities. Anticipating my impending initiation to sleep deprivation, I requested 2 weeks off from work to spend time with my newborn daughter and lend husband support to my wife. Now, first-time parents are usually briefed on the horrors of coerced insomnia, but nothing really prepares you for what is to come. Nothing!
During those early sleep starved days, you will become painfully desperate for a full night’s rest. You will find yourself at 5:32 a.m. walking around the living room like you’re auditioning for The Walking Dead; pacing in a zombie-like trance, rocking and pleading for your dear child to go to sleep. Your head will continuously ache. Your eyes will be afflicted with a dull burning. Trust me, it will not be pretty. You will resort to any and all recommendations you find on the Internet or hear from friends & family. You will try anything. And just when you think you have solved the sleep problem, your baby will switch it up and reject your advances for bedtime.
Many nights I found myself in the laundry room singing Always & Forever by Heatwave – over and over again. Don’t judge me – that worked for about 3 weeks or so! My wife and I employed the use of a white noise machine. We used a toy that played lullaby music and projected colorful stars on the ceiling. I even utilized the vibrations and sounds from the washing machine to induce slumber. Stephanie broke out a Michael Jackson jazz CD. All of it worked until it didn’t work. However, it was something about that jazz CD that was special. And then Kenny G entered our lives.
It was something about that jazz music that would put little Ava to sleep. Sometimes it seemed more like a battle of attrition between Ava and us before she finally acquiesced to the Sandman. One night, again – desperate, I recovered some of Kenny G’s greatest hits from a YouTube channel. I turned off the lights. I turned off the television set. Gently, I steadied Ava into a car seat position in my arms, and I slowly cascaded (don’t bounce) across the living room floor to Sentimental, Sister Rose, and Alone. Sometimes, I held my lips to her curly locks and hummed the tune of choice. Every night for the past 2 months; it is our ritual. Stephanie even started tuning up Kenny. We’ve probably never listened to so much Kenny G in our lives! Within 10-15 minutes, Ava is usually asleep. Sometimes a little less, sometimes a little longer. Nonetheless, a little over a month ago, our little darling slept through the entire night! Stephanie and I freaked out.
Promptly I phoned the pediatrician that day. I mean…I understand that babies eventually sleep through the night…but Ava wasn’t even 3 months yet. The pediatrician said we should count our blessings – we are amongst the few parents that have a newborn sleeping all the way through the night. No rice cereal. No secret baby formula (Ava gets breastfeed anyway). Now, I don’t have scientific proof that purports the tunes of Kenny G can knock a baby out cold, so please be advised that results may not be typical and may vary from child to child. However, you can best believe that Kenny G will be in heavy rotation for the forseeable months to come. Thanks Kenny! The Palmer Family appreciates you!