Bye, Bye Binky: Our 10-Step Baby Sleep Routine (Based on Science, and Other Stuff)

With a practiced look, our old-school-cool pediatrician assures us that a baby can’t self-soothe their way back to sleep until at least six months of age. That, unfortunately, we’re not quite ready for the infamous and sometimes controversial phase of sleep training. Not yet.

“You’re almost there, I promise. Just keep doing what you’re doing,” he says, right before running out the door in his faded tennis sneakers to what I imagine is most likely either another Jimmy Buffet concert or an emergency racquetball match. Maybe both.

Together, my wife and I nod our heads respectfully, even though this piece of information runs counter to the emergency baby sleep book (there are thousands) that she bought at the recommendation of a recent Instagram post by one of her most trusted reality television celebrity friends.

Like many who have come before us, we’re seriously wondering how anyone gets a baby to sleep or stay asleep or sleep peacefully for many hours in a row.  

And so, today's story follows two sleep-deprived newbie parents, occasionally exhausted and bleary-eyed, at other times perfectly fine and filled with surprising energy. Together they find themselves right in the thick of it, learning how to navigate the changing-by-the-minute sleep schedule of a perfectly wonderful baby boy.

But what will it take for these two newbies to maintain their sanity? What percentage of their brain cells will be lost forever? And how do you put a baby down to sleep without waking them up?

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, where have all the binkies gone?

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The Trials and Tribulations of Baby Boot Camp (and the Unfortunate Misplacement of a Very Important Car Seat)

Following the birth of Jack, our new little bundle of joy, Amanda and I were automatically enrolled in the hospital’s rigorous four-day baby boot camp in the maternity ward. It was there, under the watchful gaze and guidance of our hardheaded instructor, Nurse Linda, that we learned what it would take to become parents.

To feed, clean, wipe, dress, wash, swaddle, cuddle, and comfort a little baby at all hours of the day and night.

No stranger to being in charge, Nurse Linda packed our basic training regimen with a variety of cruel and invasive sleep deprivation experiments, parental survival training classes, and a long series of never-ending physical and mental drills that would test us at every turn.

But would we survive? And if so, how? As we would soon find out, having a baby was very serious business.

Very serious business, indeed.

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