Sure there are supposed “proven” sleep training techniques for your baby, but once you’ve tried swaddling, pacifiers, swings, black out shades, noise machines, blow dryers (yes this actually works sometimes), inclined beds, cryyyyyy it outtttt, stomach sleeping (without telling a soul, of course), stuffed animals with heart beats, etc., etc., etc., you’ll finally realize that there’s only one proven sleep solution – wake training your husband.
This is your only hope of getting more sleep when you have a baby.
When a baby comes into your life, you may notice that your husband has amazing powers much beyond what you previously realized. He is magic. He can sleep through anything. Due to his magical sleep powers, “wake training” your husband doesn’t actually involve attempting to wake him at night as he has already proven this is impossible. You have to get to him in other areas where he feels the pain enough to want to wake at night.
So how exactly does one wake train a husband?
1. First and foremost, it is IMPERATIVE that you get his buy in on the principle “happy wife=happy life.” You can start by making him miserable when you’re miserable. You haven’t gotten a chance to go to the bathroom by yourself? Then why should he? It’s a well-known fact that taking a crap is really a man’s excuse to veg out by himself for 45 years while you take care of the kids (source: if you don’t believe me, you can fist yourself).
The bathroom is his oasis. I recommend you knock on the door, send the dog in (pick the lock if you have to), trip the breaker on your electrical panel repeatedly, and play Mariah Carey music (or something equally nauseating) loudly outside the bathroom. Repeat the above in four-minute intervals until you bring his paradise down!
The objective is to make sure he knows you’re miserable and that sleep would make you happy. Of course, this means if he takes a sleep “shift,” you would actually have to be nice for a bit, but don’t let him get too comfortable. The goal is to get him taking “shifts” every night.
2. Second, invite your family over as much as possible to “help” you. Tell him you need them because you’re so exhausted from the baby keeping you up at night. Once the door is open to your family, allow them to be themselves as freely as possible. Hell, encourage it. In-law jokes came from somewhere.
Your family can likely wear your husband down a lot on their own without you intervening. If hubby is still pretending to like them, bring out the big guns – Jack Daniels for dad and boxed wine for mom. Then, set your parents loose on hubs.
3. Next, prove to him that work is a break. Many men think that if their wife isn’t working, be it a temporary maternity leave or a stay at home mom, this somehow gives him a pass to sleep away uninterrupted. Coming from a mom who has worked full time, part time, and had 2 maternity leaves, I can promise your husband that work is a break most of the time.
If he doesn’t take your word for it, call him every single time your baby or child needs something. If he doesn’t answer, call his desk phone if he has one or text him repeatedly. If he gets smart and shuts off his ringer, inundate his email. He’ll get the point eventually so be strong!
4. Lastly, use sex as a weapon. Turn him on. Then, tell him you’re too tired and go to bed. Just be sure to place firewalls to any porn sites on your computer and tv and hide the lotion so he can’t try to substitute for the real thing. Repeat until he starts taking night shifts. Warning: If he does take a shift, you will have to sleep with him to encourage repeat behavior…
And that’s how you wake train a husband. Just make sure when you’re doing all of the above that the message is clear – if he helps out at night with the baby, that would make you happy and you would stop acting crazy. If all else fails, you could always sharpie “happy wife=happy life” on his forehead while he’s snoring through the nighttime drama.
Good luck ladies.
PS – If you’re pregnant now, I recommend using the links below to send your husband this post so he can start rethinking his sleep patterns…
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