As you all know I consider myself an ‘attachment parent’. I am pretty strong in some of my parenting philosophies and feel very passionate about how my choices can affect my kids. I am going to be honest with you here – although I try to be non-judgmental and will never tell another mother or family what not to do – I have strong opinions about certain parenting methods.
I totally get the notion of needing to do what is right for your family so I will never attack someone for making that choice for their family – whatever it is. I know I am about to “unleash” on a touchy subject here so I need to preface it by saying I am not judging you/your family/your choices if you have done/will do the CIO/”modified CIO/”Ferber Method” – but I personally do not agree with it.
I remember back when Big P was only 5 months old. I had people asking me if he was sleeping through the night yet – and I really didn’t get it. I mean – he is only 5 months old. He still woke up every 2 hours to eat and didn’t ever sleep more then 4 hours at a time. Was it hard? Heck yes! Was it NORMAL? Heck yes! He didn’t start sleeping through the night (which in medical terms actually means 5 hour stretches) until he was 2.5 years old. Princess R got into a routine of sleeping through the night when she was 18 months old, and Baby E, well, she is not there yet at 15 months old.
I am surprised with the amount of criticism I received because I was not ‘sleep training’ my babies. I have been told that I am spoiling my kids, that they would never learn to “self-sooth” and that I was setting them up for unhealthy attachment. I am so thankful that I was confident in my choices to not ‘sleep train’ and stuck with my beliefs. It is easy to switch up what in your heart you believe to be the best for your kids when you are met with opposition.
The main reaction I get to why I should “sleep train” my child (other then to allow myself more sleep) is that my child will learn how to ‘self sooth’ and that is good for them. The idea that they will be able to calm themselves down and go back to sleep themselves when/if they wake up at night. This statement bothers me to an extreme.
I do agree a child needs to learn how to fall asleep peacefully and to be able to go back to sleep on their own – but expecting this of a baby at 3, 4 or 5 months old is expecting too much. I would even go as far as saying expecting that of a child under 2 years old may be expecting too much. Each child learns at a different rate and we don’t expect our 3 month old to feed themselves, or use a toilet or walk – so why do we expect so much from them with it comes to sleep?I understand that babies cry, trust me I have 3 kids and they cry – but to me there is a big difference between a crying baby alone in their room in a crib and a crying baby in the arms of their mom or dad or family friend.
I also understand that sometimes Mom’s need a break from the screaming so I am not talking about those few in between times you need to leave baby safely in the crib and leave the room for 5 minutes for your sanity.I am talking about the “why isn’t my 5 month old sleeping for 8-12hrs at night” times. Routine – not crying – is the best set up for peaceful “sleep training”. If you set up the same routine baby will anticipate that it is bedtime and will know what to expect. Most children (baring some underlying issue) will eventually sleep more then 5 hours at a time.
No one said parenting was easy – night time parenting is just as important as day time parenting and expecting our babies to learn to sleep to our schedules is just asking too much.
What is your experience with sleep and your kids? What routine do you use that works?Share This Post: Tweet