Remember when you used to sleep in on Saturday mornings until noon? Or when you got the recommended 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night? Yeah, me neither. Blessed be the fruit.
Everyone tells you that all babies do is eat, sleep, and poop.
What they fail to mention is that sleep they’re referring to? Is merely shutting of the eyes for an hour or so. Maybe two. That is not sleep. That is an extended blink. There is a reason sleep deprivation is such an effective torture tactic. Because it’s torture.
And eternally exhausted parents everywhere? Would do just about anything to get some shut-eye. Including UK mom, Ilarni Clark, who chose a rather, um, unorthodox way to get her baby to go to sleep.
Some parents use sleep aids like Pacifiers, or Blankies, or a special stuffed animal. Some use creepy mannequin heads. Wait. What? Look, desperate times call for desperate measures people. Behold:
Yes, my friends, that is indeed a disembodied doll head.
Staring vacantly into the darkness. Just waiting to come to life at any given moment, probably. Like Annabelle. Or Chucky. Or Babyface in Toy Story.
And while some may say this is creepy as hell (hello, me, I’m saying it), others could argue that it is actually an ingenious mom hack.
Ilarni’s 14-month-old son, Harry, likes to play with her hair to help him fall asleep. She tells the Sun:
Harry wouldn’t settle unless he was twiddling with my hair. He’s done it since he was a baby. I couldn’t leave him with his dad because he doesn’t have any hair to play with and he just wouldn’t sleep at all.
And after 14 months of hair pulling, countless headaches, and being woken up multiple times in the middle of the night with a little fist ripping out her hair, this 22-year-old mom had had enough. Wouldn’t we all?
Ilarni did what any desperately weary mother would do. She posted a plea for help on Facebook:
What doll can a get Harry that has as close to human hair I can get???!!! I’ve had enough he’s obsessed will not settleWithout Hair wrapped round his fingers. ???
Suggestions from friends came in. One person recommended an Our Generation Doll, another a Build-A-Bear Unicorn with long hair, and another person suggested clip-in hair extensions. However, none of these seemed to be quite right.
Not until one of her friends messaged her with the offer of a spare hairdressing doll she could try, that is. Which, as it turned out, was a lot less doll and more, just, head.
Ilarni decided to give it a shot. After all, if it meant she might actually get some much needed shut-eye? Bring on the creepy. And Harry? The little man loved it. Likely because it was so similar to his mom’s hair.
The doll hair is the same colour and same length as my hair. I don’t think he notices it’s any different.
Harry took to the head right away. Which was great. Until it wasn’t. Because then it started to get weird. Well, weird-er. And while I can’t imagine what could be weirder than sleeping with Babyface, here we are.
Harry named his little noggin “Baba” and started taking her everywhere. And by everywhere, I mean, literally everywhere.
In the kitchen:
Relaxing on the couch:
Even during meal time:
Am I the only one having flashbacks of the movie ‘Mannequin’ right now? No? Moving on.
While Harry loves Baba, Ilarni and her partner, Callum Mackay, aren’t exactly her biggest fans. For the life of me I can’t imagine why not. Oh wait.
Actually I can…because she’s freaking spooky! Ilarni admits that she has taken a bit to get used to:
For the first couple of nights, I shouted, ‘Callum, there’s someone in the room!’
Yeah, her name is “Baba” and she’s here to haunt your dreams. But she seems to be working.
Over the weekend, Ilarni received a call from Callum’s mother letting her know that Harry had fallen asleep on his own (with Baba), without needing to be rocked. And if that isn’t a winning endorsement to jump onto eBay and find your own severed doll head with human-like hair? I don’t know what is.
Look, all I can say is more power to the young couple. Sleep deprivation is no joke.
According to the Mayo Clinic lack of sleep can have a significant impact on our minds and our bodies. And none of it is good. Sleeping less than 7 hours a night leads to weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression. It also causes slower reaction time, memory problems, inability to focus, and increased irritability.
Not to mention, people do crazy things when they’re exhausted. Things like walking into walls, or rocking the dog instead of the baby, or leaving the house and forgetting to put on pants.
And when those nights with little sleep turn into weeks and months and even years? You better believe that parents will do anything, and I mean anything, just for a few more minutes of blessed slumber.
So try the rocking and the shushing, the swaddling and the security blankets. Try the black-out curtains and the singing and the bedtime stories.
Say goodnight to the moon and the light and the red balloon. Give one last drink and one last tuck. One last kiss and one last hug. And if it all fails? Here’s a link to hairdressing training heads.