Everyone loves babies.
Babies are cute, lovable bundles of joy that make everyone around them happy, right? A new study says “maybe not”. The study, out of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, uses just one baby to test its hypothesis, but the results are pretty staggering. We got in touch with Samgar Shucklebay* (pretty sure that is how it’s spelled) to find out why they chose to do the study in the first place.
“We really just wanted to figure out what was going on with our baby, Condor*. We were really struggling to understand why he was so fussy all the time, so we started experimenting with different methods to help him fall asleep. We tried everything from sound machines with ocean sounds to Swedish death metal (I don’t recommend this one). We eventually found a few methods that worked to help him fall asleep, which included strapping him to our chests and going for a long, arduous walk, or putting him in his car seat and swinging him for several minutes. Basically every method we found that worked involved some level of intense work for us. Using science, we realized that he’s only happy when we are either straining or uncomfortable.” said Samgar*.
At this point the study about babies and their sleep patterns took a more interesting twist. Armed with the information that babies thrive on discomfort, they began to test out alternative methods to keep babies asleep. “We wish we had realized sooner how close we were with the Swedish death metal.” Samgar* lamented. “We just didn’t realize it was how much WE hated it that would ultimately work.” Samgar* and his wife began trying out various other forms of self-torture to see which ones would help Condor* sleep; things like stepping on legos and watching men’s ice skating. They began to create a list of things that caused them pain or anxiety and then ranked them according to how well Condor* would sleep while they were doing them. We’ve included an abbreviated list below with some of the ones that worked best.
- Laying on plastic objects while in bed
- 10+ miles walks (as long as it’s uphill both ways)
- Biting into a chocolate chip cookie and realizing it’s oatmeal raisin
- Listening to songs by David Bowie, covered by someone who is NOT David Bowie.
- Trying to buy only one thing at IKEA
- “Programming” in Excel
Samgar* tells us that they are continuing to research, but that just knowing babies feed on discomfort has helped them tremendously in parenting. “It kind of takes the frustration factor out a little bit, you know? Like, if I’m up, holding Condor so that he will sleep, I know if I try to put him in his bed he’ll wake up and freak out, and so I just don’t do that. Instead of being mad that it’s not working, I’m kind of relieved to know that all is still right in the world. Who cares I’m not sleeping anymore? I don’t really need sleep anyway. Now that I don’t sleep, I see the weird little men that come help me. Sure, they’re a little mean and whisper things like ‘You should stab someone’ or ‘It would be so much fun to go renew your driver’s license’, but at least I know I’m not alone at night, or during the day when I’m at the store.”
Samgar* tells us that they are seeing some promising results with wearing sleep masks that mimic their faces in discomfort to trick Condor* into sleeping, but he says that the little men aren’t so sure that’s a good idea. We’ll continue to monitor the situation with Samgar*, but we’re pretty sure his study is doing God’s work. So to all you new parents out there, stay strong, and know that the little men will probably come help you soon too.
* Name definitely changed for anonymity