When one woman welcomed her second baby into the world, she assumed she wouldn’t see a full night’s sleep for a very long time. However, when her daughter was just three months old, she discovered a fail-safe way of getting her to settle. Now she’s keen to share her parenting hack with the world.
Laura Gerson comes from Essex in England. She lives there with her partner Steve Martin and her daughter, Abigail. And in early 2017, the family welcomed their newest addition, a baby girl named Amelia.
As is the case with many new parents, sleepless nights soon became a fixture in Gerson and Martin’s lives. In the first three months of Amelia’s life, Gerson attended to her baby almost every hour throughout the night.
Needless to say, the mom-of-two soon grew exhausted. She had to get to the bottom of why Amelia was so restless at night. So she turned to her baby’s video monitor for clues. That’s when she realized there was a simple reason her daughter kept waking up.
Gerson realized that Amelia started to cry when she awoke without a pacifier. “We’ve got a video monitor and was watching her one night trying to find her dummy when she woke up and couldn’t find it,” Gerson told the Mirror Online in January 2018.
Putting two and two together, Gerson realized her daughter was only crying for her pacifier. And when her parents returned the item to her, she would usually drift back off. “Ninety-nine percent of the time she just wanted her dummy to soothe her back to sleep,” Gerson explained.
That’s when the inventive mom came up with an ingenious solution to her and her family’s sleepless nights. She started leaving a few pacifiers in Amelia’s crib while she was asleep. That way, there would always be one at hand if she woke up through the night.
Gerson’s first attempts at her idea relied on trial and error. She needed to work out how many pacifiers she required for her theory to work. “I just put a couple in there,” she explained. “But we lost one down the side of the cot. So over the next few nights [I] just put more in there.”
Eventually, Gerson worked out that the magic number of pacifiers was ten. She left four of them directly above Amelia’s head and scattered six randomly at the top of the crib. In this arrangement, there was always a pacifier in reach.
Before long, Gerson and her family were reaping the rewards of her clever bedtime trick. Now whenever Amelia woke up she could quickly find what she was looking for and comfort herself. “She feels around, finds a dummy, sticks it in and she’s sorted,” Gerson told HuffPost in January 2018.
Amelia is now one and sleeps about 12 hours every night. Her parents keep an eye on her baby monitor in case she needs something other than her pacifier. However, they haven’t needed to enter her room for months. All thanks to a simple hack.
Gerson felt that her parenting trick was so miraculous that she shared it with other sleep-deprived moms and dads online. Introducing her idea on The Motherload Facebook group, Gerson wrote, “Weird bedtime routine that’s worked.”
She continued, “Since my little one was about three months old she’s gone to bed with roughly 10 dummies in with her. [I] found that when she cried on a night all she wanted was a dummy then she’d go back off.”
Gerson added, “[I] realized that if she had one to hand then she would just find it… [I] haven’t had to go into her on a night for about eight months now… WINNING! I don’t even wanna think about the time when the ‘Dummy Fairy’ comes to take them away though.”
It didn’t take long for Gerson’s post to take off on the parenting advice group. Soon, it had attracted more than 1,000 reactions from the community on The Motherload. And many followers were full of praise for the mom’s simple but effective trick.
Some of the post’s readers were even inspired to go and try the bedtime routine themselves. “This will be me tonight! Sleep training has started. Wish me luck!” wrote one user. Meanwhile, another added, “This is amazing. Wish I had thought of this when mine was younger!”
But not all the feedback Gerson received was as glowing. One user criticized the mother-of-two for using pacifiers at all. “You could never [have] introduced the pacifier and not ever have this battle. Four kids, zero pacifier. I hated the thought of giving them something unnecessary that I’d just have to take away later,” they seethed.
However, Gerson was quick to defend herself against such comments. “She isn’t a total dummy fiend and doesn’t even have them through the day really,” she told indy100 in January 2018. “But it really soothes her having them through the night. Having more in there makes it easy for her to find one, and hold one (or two).”
Gerson also had to defend herself against accusations that she hadn’t invented the pacifier trick. In her response she claimed she was simply trying to share the wisdom. “I know it’s not a new idea. Some people have done it before but there are lots that haven’t,” she told indy100.
In the end, Gerson was just happy to help other parents out, even if some didn’t appreciate her advice. “Our thinking is that if one or 100 families can get a good night’s sleep from a post that we put up because it was cute and humorous then it’s fantastic,” she said.