What would you do for a good night of sleep?
Would you actually go to the gym to wear yourself out? Or maybe you would drink more water instead of a bottle of Merlot. Simple changes to your life can improve sleep, and thankfully, they are all under your control.
These things apply if you don’t have a little gremlin two doors down the hall who manages to masterfully replicate the sound of a fire alarm. If you’re the parent of a younger child, we’re sending prayers your way because sleep is like a unicorn running in the wild.
But wait! Not all is lost. Enter stage right, “The Ferber Method,” a.k.a sleep training.
It’s an interesting concept that many people consider to be the go-to for training your child to sleep. On the surface, many of us uneducated child-less individuals (*raises hand*) know this as the method where you let the kid scream and wail until it goes TF to sleep. It all was handcrafted by Pediatrician Richard Ferber, hence the name.
After some light research, the whole process isn’t leaving your precious cargo in a crib to reflect on its exciting day—there’s more to it. However, I’m not a parent and I’m definitely not a scientist. I’m a lover of vino and getting sh*t done. Let’s drink.
In order for this to work, you need to prepare yourself. Wear comfy clothes, get a box of your favorite wine (one bottle won’t be enough) and take a shot or two. It’s going to be a long night and the prep here is crucial for survival.
The Set Up:
The crib is so soft. The favorite blanky is in place. All of the terrifying dolls your mother-in-law bought are locked away in a chest never to appear again. There is absolutely no way the baby won’t sleep here. Hell, we’re starting to think it looks like a swell place to take a nap. Maybe we shouldn’t have had so many shots.
The Put Down:
As you bring your little angel to the crib, you make eye contact with their puppy-esque eyes. You think to yourself, “I don’t know how I’m going to survive without you by my side.” The baby looks back, thinking, “oh don’t worry, you’re not getting ANY sleep tonight.” You gently place the baby and trade it for a Pinot Grigio.
The Pop In:
The first visit has arrived. Is the child asleep yet? Not at all. This is going to take longer than we thought. Thank goodness the kid doesn’t have a phone to scroll through Facebook until 3 am because that would be a disaster.
The Neighbor’s Pooch:
Sh*t. Your neighbor’s dog Balto is barking at some stray cat that’s wandering around the neighborhood. Balto hates you. Balto doesn’t care about your sleep and well-being. All Balto cares about is protecting the neighborhood from obnoxious cats. You shout to Balto and try to bribe him with a sip of bourbon, but Balto doesn’t listen. You know who is listening? Your now screaming child.
Now it begins. The baby monitor is ringing throughout your room and the speakers are about to blow. There’s still 90 seconds until you are supposed to visit the child’s crib again. The sound is agonizing and your neighbors are probably plotting your demise. Once the timer on your iPhone goes off, you run into the room as you carefully manage to not spill your vino on the carpet. If that’s not an achievement, I don’t know what is.
The Check In:
If you really think about it, this child has probably thought it’s been abandoned. Reassurance is key, so we will just let it know that mommy/daddy are here and that every little thing is going to be alright. As you walk out of the bedroom, remember this and take a huge pull from your glass. It’s only downhill from here.
The Cry — Part Deux:
You finally have the time to read the book your mother sent you last April and as soon as you get to the good part, you are interrupted by baby Stefanie. RIP to your serenity and focus. The clock still has a good amount of time on it before you check up with her again, so it looks like you’re just going to have to sip and breathe.
The Pillow Scream:
Have we hit rock bottom? Are we bad parents? How have we not received a noise complaint yet? The pillow scream is a classic one for frustrated adults everywhere. Take a shot, pick up your pillow, put your face to the pillow, and scream like Johnny’s been doing for five hours now. Take another shot and repeat.
The Cry — Part Trois:
WHY. BABY, WHY DO YOU HATE ME?! How can people actually do this? Does this seriously help in the long run? Not even noise cancelling headphones are shutting out Johnny’s crying. There isn’t enough wine in the world for parents to do this. It’s a travesty.
The time has passed and your ears have stopped bleeding from the terror that is Stefanie’s voice. It’s time to check on her one last time. Armed with a glass filled to the brim, you peek inside the crib to find Stefanie asleep. #Blessed. It’s time to clink glasses and celebrate for a successful night of sleep training—and by celebrating we mean going to sleep.