Going against the norm…

Most parents will have heard about the programme airing this week about bedtimes with children. The one that will feature sleep ‘experts’ who will most likely advise methods such as cry it out and so on and so forth. Now don’t get me wrong I am fine with the fact that cry it out etc works for some people. Hell I even tried it with DS1 because I didn’t know any better and it was what the heath visitor and everyone around me was advising I do. Just like everyone around me, health visitor, doctor, media, were all telling me that I had to make my baby sleep in a cot, and to wean him on puree’s etc. These are the societial norms in the western world. They are what is accepted and promoted. I personally don’t feel that the other side of the scale is promoted enough, the natural/holistic/attachment/gentle, whatever you want to call it, approach is rarely mentioned I believe, although I know one twitter follower disagrees 😉

I remember having DS1 and being terrified of the fact he would only sleep on my chest or in bed with me. I had it rammed down my throat left right and centre that it was unsafe to do so and that babies shouldnt sleep with Mum and Dad … after a dozen or so sleepless nights I did some research and found evidence that counteracted that. And we soon slept happily together in the same bed without mummy staying awake the whole night watching him! Evidence such as this, put my mind at ease:

Co-sleeping might also turn out to give some babies protection from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a heartbreaking and enigmatic killer. Co-sleeping infants nurse more often, sleep more lightly, and have practice responding to maternal arousals (Source)


However this is against the norm. It’s against what we are told by our health visitors and midwives.

With my second child I had researched. Read. And spoke to people. Much like I did with my first son. But this time these were things/people I had gone looking for and not just what was freely available. I started to see this bigger world about following a babies cues. Feeding them when they were hungry. Cuddling them as much as they wanted. Etc. because I realised I wasn’t ‘making a rod for my back’ and I wouldn’t ‘pay for it later’ as so many believed. I would be doing what worked for us.

And that’s exactly it. You should do what works for you. And if that’s CIO so be it. But I believe alot of people do that because its the only way advertised. People don’t understand often that babies are not designed to sleep through the night. They are designed to wake up. It’s us as adults that have the problem with adapting because we are used to sleeping all night long and we want the baby to conform with us. Everyone has different parenting methods and what works for one family won’t work for the next. But I won’t apologise to anyone. No doctors. Midwives. Health visitors. For going against their advice and following my own instincts to what works best for me and my children.

Now if only there could be a bedtime live type program on natural baby sleeping and safe co sleeping. Then I’d be happy that both sides were getting equal press. Which I really feel is not the case.


4 thoughts on “Going against the norm…

  1. Great point hun, glad you’ve found what works for your family. I think a lot of new parents take the norms for granted but it really does pay to do your research.

  2. I totally agree, I never let my two cry, it felt wrong to. Understanding natural baby sleep behaviours helped a lot. Believe me we had our fair share of sleepless nights, but we found what worked for us without resorting to leaving our children to cry. Co-Sleeping was our saviour. The problem is that far to many people are told that leaving them to cry is the ONLY way. It really isn’t. You don’t HAVE to leave your child cry themselves to sleep. Co-sleeping isn’t the only alternative either, I appreciate it won’t work for some parents, yet there are other far more gentle methods of sleep training that can be used if needed. There are books devoted to ‘no cry’ sleep training, support forums, websites, but it seems few people in a position to advise are aware of them. Its sad that so many parents are given CIO as advice by health professionals, media, and ‘parenting gurus’.

  3. Well done for doing what you feel is right for you.

    There is an increasing awareness of what you are describing – probably more of an”attachment parenting” style if people are looking for advice and information.

    I think we should all do what we feel is best for our own family however everyone should be given advice on both sides of argument about how to do things safely. eg. How to co-sleep safely, Baby led weaning etc.

  4. I co-slept with my first. He fed on/off and I slept! He was v wakeful so it worked for me. I also worried about it particularly rolling on him so he always slept away from OH and in crook of my body and it just worked for us. He now sleeps 12 hrs a night in his own bed so it hasn’t led to any probs with his sleeping!

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