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.