The Art of Escaping a Sleeping Baby, Part I

If you are a mom or a dad, you know what happens when a baby falls asleep in your arms.  You either have to stay in that position for hours or, more likely, slither your way out without waking up the baby.  Yes, I realize that The Books all advise against letting your baby fall asleep in your arms in the first place, but let’s be real: sometimes, you just have to rock that fussy baby to sleep.  But then what?

Here’s our guide to escaping a sleeping baby at nap time.  We usually ended up putting him down on our bed, but this guide works for the couch or the floor just as well:

  1. Make sure the baby is completely asleep.  If you try to escape before he/she is in the deep-dream state, you will have to start the process all over again.
  2. If you are lying down on your bed and the baby is sleeping on your chest, this is good.  Most likely, you are on your back and the baby is tummy-down on your front.  Otherwise, you would be on your tummy and the baby asleep on your back, which is sort of weird.  Anyway, wrap your arms around the baby and get ready to roll over.
  3. You will want to keep your left leg straight and the right knee bent slightly.  Use your right toes to propel your body to your left, still holding tightly to your baby, particularly the head.
  4. Make sure you engage your core and tighten your abdominal muscles as you quickly roll over to your left, not stopping until you are face down with the baby beneath you.  You may need to hold your breath for a few seconds until the next step is complete.
  5. Use that right knee, left leg, and your chin to create a triangular tent to allow your baby to breath. Slowly lower the baby onto the bed.
  6. While still holding onto the baby, start distributing your weight more evenly amongst both knees and your elbows.
  7. Using your chin and your elbows as your support, slowly bend your left knee to match your right until your hips are parallel to the ground.  You should now be in a modified Child’s Pose.
  8. Continue contracting your abs and slowly move your elbows outward.
  9. When your elbows have moved all the way out, put the palms down next to your child’s shoulders and straighten your arms.  You should now be in the Neutral Spine position. Breathe normally.
  10. Now straighten your legs and raise your bottoms in the air.  You should now be in Downward Facing Dog pose, canopying your baby.
  11. You now have a choice of walking on all fours, inching backwards towards the foot of the bed until your toes reach the end, at which point you push off for a clean landing on the floor.
  12. OR you can push off on either side with modified cartwheel into a clean landing on the side of your bed.  This method works best if you have a double or twin sized bed, because you’ll want to do this in a single step; it’s too risky to jiggle the bed if your foot doesn’t clear the entire width of the bed.  For California King, definitely go with the other method.
  13. After you make your escape off the bed, stop once again to make sure the baby is still sleeping.  If so, you have a choice of doing a victory dance or a more reverend pose such as Tebowing.  In any case, you do not want to end up jiggling the the baby awake with your unsportsmanlike conduct.
  14. Make sure you protect your baby from rolling off, either with a bed guard or piles of towels and pillows on the floor surrounding the bed, and slowly walk away.

On my next post, I will discuss how we handled the more perilous situation: handling a sleeping baby in a public place, such as at a restaurant.

Did your babies fall asleep on their own or calmly in the crib?  Tell me your horror or victory stories here!

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