Remember how Latke so confidently declared that he would one day regain the bed back from LP? How LP might be winning the battle, but that Latke would win the war? Well. Let me just share my handy ten step guide on how NOT to night wean your baby.
- Tell your partner you want to night wean, make a plan. As it is predictable that such an endeavor might involve some tears, it might be best to undertake the night weaning over a long weekend.
- On the first night, get your baby good and tired, stuff him full of dinner, then let him have a nice long nurse. Put him to bed. Stand over the bed and look at his adorable sleeping face and feel a little guilty for wanting to night wean him. Remember how much your back hurts from months of trying to sleep with him perma-latched to your boob from midnight to 7am, then don’t feel so bad.
- When your baby wakes for the first time expecting perma-boob time, send your partner to soothe him back to sleep. When partner pats the baby on the back for all of three minutes and insists that you nurse the baby back to sleep, you might give in and do it. Immediately regret it.
- The next day, discuss with your partner that perhaps more than three minutes will be required to soothe your baby when weaning him from the almighty boob at night. Maybe five minutes. Maybe (gasp!) even ten or more. Have your partner reluctantly agree.
- On night 2, listen to your partner cursing while getting out of bed to “soothe” your crying baby. Also hear him irrationally arguing with your baby about how rude it is to yell in the middle of the night. Devolve into a whisper-scream argument about how to soothe the baby to sleep. Your baby will momentarily stop crying because he will be inwardly laughing. His plan has worked, the ‘rents are crumbling, milk will come soon.
- Repeat steps 3-5.
- The next day, when your partner gamely suggests that he really needs his sleep to go to work (your long weekend is over by now), remind him that not only did you lose sleep while you carried his child for nine months, but that you woke up every two hours in the beginning to nurse the sleepiest-baby-ever. Yes, there was a blissful couple months when he slept through the night, but that bliss ended many, many months ago. Invite your partner to sleep with a kicking, 20 pound bundle that is permanently attached to his nipple all night, every night. Would a few tired days at work be the equivalent experience? Would it???
- Finally, be relieved when the partner wakes up and soothes the baby back to sleep with no cursing or arguing. Unfortunately, this night, you wake up the baby with your own allergic sniffles and snores. When your partner demands that you must then nurse the baby, recall the eight bajillion times that he woke up the baby with his snoring, and wait, oh, he never woke up and did diddly-squat about it except roll over and mutter about imaginary legal briefings in his head. Drowsily try to recall why it wasn’t like this when you night weaned your other two children, then realize you’re too tired to remember anything.
- Wake up in the morning to this little person:
- Take stock. Crook in my neck from sleeping funny, check. Tired parents, check. Irritated mommy, check. Outrageously cute baby who is still on the all night milk train, check. Night weaning: mission not accomplished.
And that, my friends, is how NOT to night wean your baby. In case you were wondering.