If you’re looking for something easy to do to boost your self esteem and make you feel good about how effective you are as a parent and, generally, as a person, try night weaning your baby. Because getting your baby to sleep through the night is super easy! (That’s why I’ve nursed him twice since I put him down 4 hours ago.) For your edification, here is the complete Super Simple Guide to Weaning Your Baby From Night Feeds.
1. Begin to consider night weaning after three or four miserable nights in a row in which you sleep a total of six hours over three days.
2. Bring up the topic with your husband, who agrees baby should be night weaned.
3. Get irritated with husband because now you feel forced into a corner here.
4. Decide the baby is too young.
5. Go through the baby’s earliest photos.
6. Cry and say things like, “I miss when he was that little.”
7. Post pictures on Facebook of your baby as a newborn.
8. Nurse baby multiple times that night.
9. Walk into a wall, literally, at your workplace, due to fatigue.
10. Reconsider night weaning again.
11. Go online and Google night weaning.
12. Become anxious.
13. Google anxiety.
14. Google “breastfeeding linked to higher IQ.”
15. Nurse baby multiple times that night.
16. Find a way to take a nap the next day.
17. From new, rested, standpoint, decide not to night wean.
18. Have terrible night involving six feeds and a 3 a.m. playtime.
19. Have mental breakdown due to exhaustion, involving calling your husband and crying when you can’t find your sunglasses, which turn out to be on your head.
20. Reconsider night weaning, for real.
21. Think about possibility of (21 pound) baby (with molars) being hungry at night.
22. Think about possibility that eating half a hamburger and two slices of melon at 7 p.m. (nevermind the cookie you don’t tell the pediatrician about) is insufficient food for baby, and, after all, he cannot talk to tell you if he is still hungry.
23. Nurse baby multiple times that night, but, one time, take time to go to the bathroom before going in to him, which you consider progress.
24. The next day, put your cellphone in the refrigerator due to sleep deprivation.
25. Find self unable to Google effects of sleep deprivation due to lost phone.
26. Open laptop to Google effects of sleep deprivation. Do cost benefit analysis involving probability that 21 pound carnivorous baby is hungry at night versus probability of you getting into a car accident because you cannot focus due to exhaustion.
27. Commit to night weaning, for totally real.
28. That night, go in and hold baby instead of nursing him. Do this three times. At 2 a.m., nurse. Through sleep-muddled haze, feel like failure.
29. Realize you are just as exhausted as if you had nursed every time.
30. Google sleep training.
31. Google “my baby hates me after I sleep trained him” and “correlation between sleep training and later psychopathy.”
32. Google “if I keep bothering my husband at work he will divorce me.”
33. Call husband anyway to discuss sleep training.
34. Commit to sleep training.
35. At night, do not go in when baby cries for first two times. Third time, relent and go in and nurse.
36. ACK! FORGOT THE PLAN WAS ONLY TO GO IN AND HOLD! NOT NURSE! STUPID STUPID!
37. Denigrate self and self’s capacity to remember sleep training plan.
38. Cut self some slack because self is completely exhausted.
39. Assess whether baby still loves you despite not going in twice.
40. Determine baby still loves you as is evidenced by baby kissing you on mouth and chortling.
41. Think baby is too cute to sleep train.
42. Consciously banish that unhelpful thought and recommit to sleep training and, further, to remembering to sleep train even in the middle of the night.
43. Do not go in three times in a row. Fourth time go in and hold. Fifth time it’s already the morning, so nurse.
44. Realize you’re not getting any more #@!* sleep now than at the beginning of this debacle. Leave phone inside stand mixer bowl due to fatigue. Unable to understand why, as you are certainly too tired to bake.
45. Recommit again to sleep training, for totally real times infinity.
46. Go in only once and hold. Do not go in other few times. Unable to assess how many times baby wakes because of sleep deprivation-related hallucinations involving squirrels invading your home that emit cries similar to those of baby.
47. Assess baby in morning for signs of psychopathy or hatred of you, and determine he is as happy as ever.
48. That night, go in zero times. Baby only wakes once, but he cries for 15 minutes, which leaves your nerves entirely wracked.
49. The next night, go in zero times. Baby wakes briefly and settles back.
50. Baby is officially sleep trained. Rest on laurels and humble brag about baby sleeping through night on Facebook.
Wasn’t that simple? Next time you can try something even easier!

Samantha Rodman is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Maryland and a happily married mom of three kids under 5. Read her on Dr. Psych Momlike her on Facebook, and tweet to her @DrPsychMom.

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