Handling a Groggy Baby
What if your baby is one of those babies who wakes up groggy no matter what? What should you do then? First, keep your initial approach to him low-key. Don't bound into the room all cheery and ready to play games with him. He's not ready for that yet. He's still slowly waking up. Though he's not asleep, he's not fully alert. Be respectful of his sensibilities and talk softly to him as you enter the room.
Stroke his head or arm or back or neck and talk to him. Pick him up and hold him. Kiss him, snuggle him, and then, perhaps while you still hold him, let a little light into the room. If it's full daylight out, why not turn on a lamp first and let him get used to that light before you open the blinds or drapes? Tilt the blinds open but don't pull them up yet. Give him a chance to get adjusted. Mornings are tougher for some of us than for others. You may be a morning person, but he isn't. Let him accept the morning slowly.
Change his diaper. Surely feeling fresh and clean will help him feel more wide awake. Then offer him a bottle or your breast, and let him wake up further as he feeds. Talk to him as he's feeding. Engage him. He may seem to be fully involved with his morning milk intake, but rest assured he's listening to you nonetheless.
If you are offering him solid food first, carry him quietly into the kitchen or dining room and talk or sing as you go, without rushing. If he senses haste and urgency, it could unnerve him.
After his breakfast, dress him or bathe him first and then dress him. Did you bathe him last night? Was his diaper so messy that he needs another bath? Did he play with the bottle and get milk all over himself? Did he eat his strained peaches so messily that bathing him seems preferable to a sponge bath with a washcloth?
By now he should be quite wide awake, and his blinds should be fully opened, although if it's winter and the sun isn't up yet continue to leave on the lamp. But if for any reason he isn't fully awake, a game is a great way to wake him up.
Peek-a-boo can be stimulating, depending on how it's played. Are you merely hiding your face behind your hands, or covering his eyes with your hands, or are you crouching down out of sight and then springing up into his line of vision? The latter is more stimulating, as long as he doesn't startle easily. Even “This Little Piggy” can be stimulating if you run your fingers all up and down his body on the line “Wheee, wheee, wheee, all the way home” and raise your voice excitedly. It's not only your choice of game, but it's also how you choose to play it.
By now your baby should be wide awake, but if he isn't, how about some stimulating music to get him going? Surely you have a music source either in his room or in the living room — a radio, a CD player, or a tape player? Whether you choose children's music, classical music, rock, or something else that suits your sensibilities, it will help energize your baby and get him on course for greeting the day with a sunnier disposition.