I was a month shy of five years old when my brother was born. Within fairly short order my parents put me to work keeping him entertained. My job was to sit on the couch with my brother resting against my arm and the arm of the couch while he sucked on my knuckle. I was the human soother. It was a brilliant piece of parenting strategy on the part of my parents.
Our three week old is having a fussy day today and we have been rotating through different strategies to get her to sleep.
My wife is out running an errand with our five year old while I am home with our seven year old and 3 week old. We are hanging out and after I managed to get D3 to fall asleep I transferred her to the care of D1. They at comfortably together for a few minutes before D3 woke up again and was crying and fussing. We decided to try the soother and then suddenly I remembered the knuckle strategy. I suggested doing that and D1 was eager to try it out.
We had to do some adjusting since D1 was kind of feeding her sister a knuckle sandwich rather forcefully and that wasn’t going over too well. Once she eased off and was more relaxed about it her sister took to sucking her knuckle with enthusiasm and within a minute or so, she was asleep. It was magical.
I plan to make use of this strategy more frequently. We have two human soothers on site who are always looking for opportunities to do some big sister work. Now they can participate in soothing their baby sister and Laura and I can get other tasks done that need doing to keep everyone clothed and fed and in a periodically cleanish house.
Older siblings make excellent soothers for newborns. As a bonus it keeps them both busy!Click To Tweet
Hooray for new parenting tactics!