What would you say if I told you that eliminating nursing from a baby’s bedtime routine is incredibly simple? That it is not a five step process or a gradual adjustment, but a simple one step practice that works from one day to the next? I call it the daddy bedtime solution and it is as straightforward as it sounds: make putting baby to sleep daddy’s responsibility.
To be fair, it probably would not work for a young baby. We implemented it as Birdy was 10 months old and it was the final step in the process of entangling the nursing and sleep equation. My guess as to why it works so well is pretty simple: as daddy cannot offer boob even if he wanted to, the baby does not experience frustration of not getting it. Easy, right?
And it is a wonderful solution in all respects. After having spent most of the day at work, hubby has the chance for some extra quality time with the little one as he cuddles her to sleep. He seems to be enjoying the newfound skill of successfully putting the little one to sleep – something he was not able to participate in much while I was still nursing her before putting her to bed. In turn, Birdy appears to have become even more attached to her daddy, well at least if her crying every morning as he leaves for work is any indication. And me? After helping with the beginning part of the bedtime routine, I relish the fact that I can leave the rest of the work in hubby’s capable hands and just relax. I can retire to the living room for a cup of tea and a book, or have a nice long shower.
There is only one downside to the wonderful daddy bedtime solution: half the time hubby falls asleep together with Birdy. He claims that the little one has superpowers to stay awake (on purpose!) for exactly long enough to make him fall asleep as well. As a result, many evenings the house is quiet by 9 pm and I am left entirely to my own devices.
Wait, did I say downside?