Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Vent About Sleep.

Bring on the comments....I'm ready.

I'm sick of moms being judged by how much their children sleep.
I'm sick of moms being pressured to let their children "cry it out."
I'm sick of moms feeling as though they have to "teach" their babies to sleep.
I'm sick of moms who are told they are "spoiling" their babies when they don't develop some sort of "sleep schedule."

Are we "training" children to sleep, or are showing them that we are capable of ignoring their cries for as long as it takes them to fall asleep from exhaustion?

Frankly, it scares me that some people are so de-sensitized and unattached to their babies that they can handle listening to a baby scream for an extended period of time. I'm sorry, but if you can stand to listen to your baby cry for thirty-plus minutes, there's something seriously wrong.

...and that's my opinion. Let's discuss.

This article from Mothering sums up how I feel more eloquently than I do.


Jenny said...

LOL. I love when you post stuff like this.

As someone who did try, for a time, to get her child (Suzi) to sleep in a crib, I can say it was horrible listening to her cry. That's why we started cosleeping. For a while the crib seemed to suit her just fine, but when teething worsened, so did bedtime. The only reason we ever tried to get her to sleep in the crib is because we didn't know how to make cosleeping work safely. I got some advice from friends and we got a little bedrail (I would only use one of these with a bigger, semi-mobile baby and ensure that it is tight against the bed). We did much, MUCH better all sleeping together.

Ivey doesn't cry at night at all, really. I feel so bad for Suzi. She suffered as we learned--particularly because Jordan and I are both youngests and weren't parented naturally, anyway. It's hard to break the chain of what is done before and around you. My natural/attachment parenting friends made it a ton easier. A lot of our family members don't agree with our choices, but most of them have stopped saying anything because they don't expect to agree with us anymore.

I just wish new parents had better models and examples set for them, because it's so hard to figure things out all alone.

Ed and Elizabeth said...

Warning: this is a VERY long comment! :) Em-you know I can't resist your controversial baby disputes. Love them!!

I think it's HORRIBLE to let a child scream. OMG who lets their child scream for THIRTY MINUTES?? That is insane! From a developmental standpoint a newborn baby cries because he/she has a NEED, not because they are trying to be an A-hole.

I agree that someone who would let their child scream for 30 minutes must not have a soul or something b/c I wouldn't be able to stand that. I pretty much think that something of that caliber is child neglect in the least.

We had Jack in our room (as most parents do) from the time he was born until around 4 months of age. I pretty much did the co-sleeping thing at night b/c I breastfed and it was just much easier and seemed more comfortable for him. I always felt like he was too cold by himself in his basinette and was much happier snuggled warmly against me. From a selfish point of view, it was much more convenient to have him right there so he could eat whenever he wanted and I hardly had to wake up.

Around 4 months we moved him to his crib. He had already started out by sleeping in his crib for day time naps so he was used to it. I have never let him "cry it out," I believe that is cruel. My personal savior as far as sleep goes is a book called "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Mark Weissbleuth (I think that's how you spell it). Read this book! He's been a pediatrician for something like 20 years and he has 4 kids of his own. I read it before Jack was born and I attribute his great sleeping habits to this book.

People are amazed b/c whether it's nap time or bed time we literally lay Jack down in his crib and he goes to sleep. He doesn't throw a fit, he doesn't freak out...he might talk for about 2-3 minutes but he goes to sleep. He still takes 2-3 naps a day and goes to bed at 7:00 PM and wakes up at exactly 7:00 AM. He's like a personal alarm clock.

We don't rock him, hold him, drive him around in the car, etc. I know people who do things like this and it can take sometimes an hour of their time getting their child to go to sleep. Who has time for that???

There are no toys in his bed, only his "lovey" and his blanket. He knows that the crib is for sleeping, not playing.

Remember, it is important for your baby to have an early bedtime because sleep is VITAL to their brain development. If you are one of those people who drag your kid to Wal-Mart at 10:00 at night and wonder why they are so cranky, I hate are mean to your kid.

Also, it is sooooo IMPORTANT to have some adult time. Ed and I look forward to our evenings and we try to do couples bonding type things so we spend time together without the baby.