It’s all fun and snuggles when the newborn comes home.
You could cuddle the shit out of that little 7 pound package of squishy cuteness for hours, drinking in his sugary smell. And you do…for months…24 hours a day in fact. And by month six, when that little newborn is proportionate to a toddler, and the smell of his poopy diaper replaces the smell of his sweet skin in the forefront of your nasal septum, it dawns on you.
I need to sleep train this baby.
I choose to Ferberize my children because I’m lazy and it’s the only book I read about sleep training. If you think letting your kid cry self soothe for progressively longer and longer intervals is cruel, then you best go read something gentler…like a cereal box. This post is not for you.
If, like me, you’re okay with the somewhat demonized Ferber Method, then carry on.
To me, Dr. Ferber’s book is damn near perfect. It’s clear, concise and practical. He never talks down to you like you’re a big dummy who over-snuggled your kid and now you need A DOCTOR’S advice to correct your bad behaviour. It’s only missing one chapter—perhaps, the most important one. The one I call, How to Binge Drink Your Way Through Sleep Training.
Choose a drink that’s warm and abundant. You need something warm because you’re going to feel like a cold, hard bitch listening to your baby cry himself to sleep. Elect to drink something abundant because you could be in for a long night.
Suggestion: A huge bottle of Malbec. Who am I kidding? Go for the box.
Since you drank the better part of a box of wine last night, you need to rehydrate. You must alternate water and coffee to prepare yourself for what’s to come. Night two is upon you. It could be slightly easier than night one, but not by much. You will need something middle-of-the road to see you through.
Suggestion: A reasonably priced cheap bottle box of Pinot Grigio should do the trick.
Your baby is likely to buck back on night three. You need something with a boldly assertive aroma to inspire you. You must chase this with something salty to mask the taste of your baby’s tears when you go in to check on him.
Suggestions: Bavaria Red followed by a Caesar, alternate as needed
You will likely be pissed off by night three’s regression. You need to pair your rage with an equally angry drink. Morals say two wrongs don’t make a right, but science says two negatives make a positive. In this case, go with science—rage + hard liquor = who gives a fuck? You’re trying to sleep train a baby here.
Suggestion: double rum & Cokes (*Note: plural)
You will be delighted by night four’s progress, but you won’t remember it because you drank rum all night. Did I sleep through the baby’s cries? No, you didn’t sleep; you passed out, you drunk. Nevertheless, count night four as a success and prepare for night five. If you didn’t have the notorious buck back on night three, then tonight could be your night! Follow night three’s suggestions. Oh, and if your baby wakes up the other kids, you can also repeat last night’s angry drinks.
If last night ended up not being nearly as bad as you thought, you might be tempted to have a party drink. Don’t. You need a night of recovery so you’re ready to celebrate tomorrow night. Keep it light tonight.
Suggestion: gin & tonic (What? Gin isn’t considered a “light drink”? Fire in some mint…there, now it’s light.)
Hooray! You made it! Your baby is sleep trained! And you’re a (functioning?) alcoholic. No matter, it’s time to reward yourself for having the integrity to see this process through.
Suggestions: umbrella drinks and champagne (Chug both—you’ve built up an incredible tolerance this past week.)
Your welcome, Dr. Ferber. You can thank me by paying for rehab. Then I can write your next chapter: How to Detox After Binge Drinking Your Way Through Sleep Training.