4 Ways to not kill your baby at 3 a.m. babycenter blog electricity and magnetism lecture notes


1. Swear under your breath. I would say, “swear loudly,” but we don’t want to wake the baby up even more, do we? There is something very satisfying about swearing. I’m not suggesting you call the baby a little sh*t. But, a growled “f*cking hell” as you drag yourself from your bed for the third time in under two hours seems fitting. The baby doesn’t understand English yet. On a scale of 1 to 10, with kill the baby at 10 and hug the baby at 1, I think swearing comes in around the 5 mark, not the best option, but far better than death.

2. Do as the British do in all emergencies. Get the kettle on and make yourself a cuppa. Make it before you feed the baby. Yes, the baby is crying. Yes, you have to go there for the hundredth time in one night. But, the two minutes it will take to make the tea will not impact on the baby’s health and it will relax you, which is really good for the baby’s health at 3 A.M.

3. Put the screaming baby down in the crib and leave the room. Shut the door firmly behind you. Walk away. See number #2 and return in five minutes. Babies have very short-term memories. They will not remember why they are crying or why you left. You will return as their savior.

4. When all else fails, wake someone else up. Wake up your husband, partner, mother – anyone! In the grand scheme of things, everyone wants to be woken up rather than find you near breakdown at 3 A.M. If no one is around, phone someone and just talk to them. They won’t mind.

It’s been so long since I’ve had a night of multiple wake-ups like that, but with a teething 14 month old (as well as a 7 yr old who sleeps all night long, and a nearly 4 yr old who still wakes up sometimes), we have middle-of-the-night summonses on occasion and sometimes it feels worse to lose sleep once you have gotten it back, but only because I can’t really remember those weeks of no sleep. In a way it was easier with a newborn, because I knew they were waking up to eat, but with the baby, who knows why she wakes up. Yes, she’s cutting molars, but I give her advil before bed. It can’t be a lost pacifier, because she goes to bed with 8 – surely she can find one! Too hot? It’s November, plus the ceiling fan is on. Too cold? She goes to bed in jammies, socks and a warm sleep sack, so I know she’s cozy. I spend so much time worrying about this that I am wound up all day, and by bedtime, I’m a wreck and unable to relax. And she sleeps through the night 9/10 times, but it’s that one that gets to me.

Kristy: This is a blog, not expert advice. When you search for something on Babycenter.com, you can choose “expert” to narrow your results, and if that doesn’t do it, it’s still pretty clear which articles are “mom answers”, blogs, and which are written by authors in medical fields.

But more importantly, and I’m saying this without any sarcasm at all, if article titles like this trigger you so easily, you need to speak with your physician asap and consider some meds to even things out a bit. I’m being completely serious. Because if this article is all that does it for you, then what must it be like, watching T.V. and seeing the late news with serious stories involving kids? Or standing in the checkout line seeing the tabloid headlines about abducted babies or Casey Anthony? How do you do anything involving the internet without coming across any newsheadlines on Yahoo? Disturbing stuff, sarcastically intended or real, is everywhere. Any real, tragic headlines involving kids certainly causes distressing feelings in anyone with children and empathy, but if you know you’re going to have a disproportionate response, you can take responsibility and get help for that to make it more manageable.

Occasionally, someone will put up on a message board that their kids are driving them nutz, and inevitably someone like you will crawl out of the woodwork and lecture them on how lucky they are that they even have kids, as though to acknowledge every moment is less than idyllic is some sort of cardinal sin. Relax. I think it’s pretty obvious here that no one means for you to kill your baby, but I’m sick of people like you blaming everyone else for not anticipating your personal issues.

If people can’t discuss their real feelings, and we refuse to acknowledge that the exhaustion of new parenthood pushes people to their absolute psychological, physical, emotional limits, then we can’t honestly discuss coping strategies for those things either. If the internet distresses you that much, turn off your computer and call your doctor.