Let me tell you, the last two days have been interesting.
It started on Friday, when I noticed that I had around five hundred more page views than normal, which brought my grand total to 600 (haha! Kidding) (But close).
“Gee!” I thought to myself, “How swell!”
I checked it out a little further to see what it was that was suddenly garnering so much attention, and it was this post about baby sleep. Yes, the one that starts off by saying how Adam told me not to write it because, “Ugh. Another post about baby sleep? No one cares.”
I took a few minutes to gloat obnoxiously because clearly people do care, ADAM. FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE! And then I got over myself and went to sleep.
The next day I checked again to see if the trend had continued. At noon I had six thousand page views.
“What that WHAT?!” I exclaimed in shock/horror/excitement/disbelief, and then Adam tore the phone from my hand and I didn’t see it back for the rest of the day. He spent the entire day (we were travelling, so there wasn’t much else to do, really) refreshing my site statistics and shrieking numbers at me. “Seven thousand!” “Eighty-five hundred!” “Ten thousand!!”. My in-laws, who I was travelling with, were similarly stunned.
“But it’s not even your funniest post!” cried my mother-in-law. “What about the cupcakes?”
“I know!” Adam exclaimed.
At the end of the day Saturday the post was at well over eleven thousand page views. “This is ridiculous” I thought to myself. I had no idea how this was even possible. I mean, I was even getting nasty comments telling me that Olive was going to grow up clingy, dependent, and obnoxious because I still nurse her to sleep!
Strangers on The Internets were judging my parenting style, I mean this was real mommyblogger stuff!
I thought that was the end of it, and was sort of mind-boggled that it had happened at all. I mentally checked off “Go viral” from my life list and went to bed Saturday night feeling slightly overwhelmed.
(note: I do not now, nor will I probably ever have, a life list. If I did, “go viral” would be more likely to read “eat hot dogs”.)
This morning I opened my stats expecting to see the other side of the curve, the numbers decreasing as sharply as they rose.
That’s how many people read that post today. What does it mean? How is that even possible? That’s four times the population of the town I live in.
Guys, is this what it feels like to be Oprah? I am walking around demanding that Adam separate my m&m’s and redecorate my house entirely in white. I am ordering everyone to avoid direct eye contact with me, and smile without showing any teeth. WITHOUT TEETH I SAID, OLIVE!
I am drunk with power.
But a wise (spider)man once said, with great power comes great responsibility. I am not quite sure what that responsibility entails, but I am pretty sure it involves writing, so here are a few things I wanted to share in the wake of this strange event:
- There are an incredible number of moms out there feeling guilty for rocking their babies, for picking them up when they cry, for nursing them to sleep, and for co-sleeping. So much guilt. Let’s just agree to not feel guilty any more for giving babies what they need, okay? Picking up a crying baby is not the same as giving in to a toddler having a tantrum. You are not spoiling them, I promise. I wish I could tell new-mom me that, and so I am telling you that instead.I am a research person, and I like seeing cold hard facts and studies when I am talking about warm fuzzy things like babies. I am working on assembling a page with a bunch of my favourite legit research, peer-reviewed articles, and posts that helped keep me sane in case anyone else likes that sort of thing, too. In the meantime lets just agree that you can’t spoil a child with love.
Cheesy, but I 100% guarantee it to be true.
- Many people commented that more than the actual sleep deprivation, the worst thing about their child’s sleep habits (or lack thereof) was the feeling that it was their fault. I just found that really interesting and I wanted to share.
- I am not against sleep training. This post was really popular in the attachment parenting community, and I totally understand why. Much of the way I choose to parent falls within the AP model, but I often find myself resisting the label because sometimes parenting methodologies skirt a little too close to religion for my taste – preaching one truth at the cost of another (I mean if I believe 100% that I am right…what does that make you over there doing the exact opposite?).
A few people left comments that very respectfully disagreed with what they saw as my dismissal of sleep training, and I replied to each of them for the same reason that I am writing this , because I think this point needs clarification. My railing against sleep training had nothing to do with the sleep training itself, and everything to do with the fact that I didn’t want to do it but I felt like I should.If whatever sleeping arrangement you have goin’ on is working for you, then you don’t need to fix it. And that’s where I was getting angry, because there is a whole industry built around fixing problems that often aren’t viewed as such by the only people to whom it really matters (namely the parents and the child).I wanted to write this post to let people know that it’s normal and developmentally appropriate for infants and toddlers to have erratic sleep, and that it is not necessarily indicitave of something you are doing wrong, or something that needs to be fixed, so if you are happy, just keep on keepin’ on and don’t feel like your baby sleeping poorly is your fault somehow.
- HOWEVER, if you are going crazy from no sleep, if you are snapping at your husband and slamming doors in strangers faces and falling asleep mid-sip of your morning coffee; if your physical, emotional, or psychological health is suffering; or even if you simply don’t like what is going on with your baby’s sleep – the right thing to do is to change it. By all means, change it.
There is no point becoming a sleep-deprived crazy person out of a misguided sense of martyrdom.
(I do think that methods of sleep training like CIO [cry it out] require a bit of research, as even most of their original proponents recommend that they be used only on children six months or older, and don’t advocate simply leaving a child in a room to cry by themselves. If you’re going to go this route, talking to a pediatrician and thoroughly reading the philosophy and method to understand what it entails would be a good idea.)
I haven’t sleep trained, because I like nursing Olive to sleep. I don’t mind having her in bed with us if she’s having a rough night, and I am ok with getting up with her a few times throughout the night. If that changes, our routine will also change and she will adapt and so will I.I wanted to clarify this because the whole energy behind my post was trying to strike down the judging. I felt judged. I hated it, I hated that I changed my behaviour because of the pressure (real or imagined) that I felt. It kind of drives me nuts thinking that other people might be coming away from my post feeling like I am looking down on them for sleep training. Not at all.
- Furthermore, the only way we are going to kill this whole blasted “mommy wars” thing is to trust that each woman is mature, intelligent, and compassionate enough to be doing the right thing for the wellbeing of herself, and her child.More than that, if someone is sleep training there is a reason.No one just decides one day that it would be fun to listen to their baby cry for half an hour, it’s hard on everyone involved but for whatever reason, that has emerged as the best choice.Let’s trust that, ok?
- So many moms left comments about their four, eight and thirteen year old children who were once nursed, rocked, walked or co-slept, and are now happy, healthy, independent human beings fully able to fall asleep and stay asleep on their own.Do you know how incredible it was to read that story in different variations, dozens of times over? So many women coming together and saying, “This was my experience. It worked. I loved it, and looking back, I miss it.”That was what I was looking for all those months ago, I was searching for that community of women to tell me it would turn out okay, and over the course of the last few days and the sharing of all of those experiences, a lot of new moms found that in the comments section. Thank you so much for commenting.
- I have a doppleganger out there somewhere! One woman posted that she too has a husband named Adam, and a daughter named Olive. I have SO MANY QUESTIONS for this woman! A sampling:- Does your Adam also steal wigs from mannequins to transform himself into J. Biebs?
– Does your Olive also talk for 58 of every 60 minutes in the day, and happily shriek so loudly that she makes other babies cry?
– Are you me in the future? Should I get that coat I am lusting after? Can you slip me some lottery numbers? What does Adam want for Christmas? Help yourself out, here lady!
– Do you also happen to have an obscenely large, semi-blind, perpetually drooling dog named Gus, by chance?
- It’s so much fun to have so many of you around. I really loved the comments, the sharing and the feedback – even (and perhaps especially) from those who disagreed. It was great to have such a conversation going, and more than that, it was so incredible to see that something that I wrote with my two hands resonate with so many people.Writers write so that someone can read, that’s where the satisfaction lies.Knowing that I might have made someone laugh, cry, think, or identify with my words is one of the best feelings I have on this earth.I anticipate things going back to normal here in the next day or so, the audience will contract and things will become soft and quiet again. But before they do – thank you! Thanks for reading, and thank you if you were one of the ones to comment, email, or share my post.I truly appreciate it.
Thank you for being so authentic. I enjoy seeing 50 people reward my post… It is so rewarding to know you made a difference. I nursed my daughter to sleep and co slept until she was about 10 months. Then I followed a sleep training method and it was hard for me but it worked like text book.,. For a while. Then she just stopped sleeping well for a while then that stopped too. Now she is almost 3 and her Daddy puts her to bed most night with a tubby a book and cuddles till she falls asleep. Always around 12pm-2pm she comes to us in our bed and we scoop her up and cuddle together peacefully. It works for us, we love our time with her and know everything changes. My daughter is incredibly smart, confident with adults and other kids and enjoys sleeping over at her grandparents. We should never apologize for doing our best and what feels right for us to do. Thank you for your humor. I hope your success continues, people need more of your genuineness! Thank you.
Thank you so much, Lara!
I read your post on Facebook, it was shared by a friend. I enjoyed it do much I had to subscribe. I might even get a chance to read past posts, when Ellariel reaches 18 and is in college lol.
It was great to see a post that spoke the truth of what we all feel. I have a book called “the sh*t no one tells you” and it says in blunt terms all the things that happen in the first year, and I was agreeing with everything. I felt that with your post. To know that by cooing and staying with my baby until she falls asleep is not going to scar her is a great relief.
Keep up the awesome posts, can’t wait to keep reading them.
Very cool, go Maddie!! Now you should write a post about vaccinations. KIDDING! ;). Actually, not really, as I’m interested to see what research you may have come across.
I, too, saw your post on Facebook, and it was exactly what I needed. My little dude (almost 5 months) is a great night sleeper, but terrible with naps. He won’t nap in his crib and often fights daytime sleeping altogether. Reading your post made me feel so much better, I’d been feeling so much guilt, thinking that I was messing him up and ruining his life by not having him on a strict nap schedule. Bottom line, he’ll sleep when he is tired and if that is laying on my chest, so be it!
Thanks for the post and for the laughs 🙂
So excited for you Maddie!! I’m not surprised at all of course:) you are such an amazing writer! So real, and I always connect and relate. Just so far being pregnant, I have received so much parenting advice on “the right way” to do all sorts. It was great to read from you to help each other rather than judge:) I think this is very important, and look forward to having the community here to support each other.
You rock! I have spent the last couple of months feeling guilty and stressed because my baby can’t self settle, that I feed him as part of our bedtime routine and he falls asleep on the bottle, that I put him in bed with me on a rough night, that I rock and shush him to sleep if he wakes at night or for daytime naps. Not anymore! Why should I let him cry it out? I don’t want him to cry out for hours, why should I? I now don’t care if I have to rock him to sleep or put him in bed with me… as long as he is happy, I am happy and we’re all getting some sleep what’s the problem? Similarly, I don’t care if he’s still crawling into my bed to sleep or for cuddles at 5 years old… I’m going to savour every second as I’m sure the time will come when he’ll think he’s too old for cuddles and kisses from his mom 🙂
I just wanted to say, you wrote EVERYTHING that is on my heart. I heard someone speak on sleep the other day and she said “no co-sleeping, no nursing to sleep” etc etc. Ever since my son (nearly 20 months) was born, this has been something that seems to resonate from nurse to nurse and thus mum to mum. I live in Australia, they come and ‘check’ on the sleeping arrangement within the first year of baby’s life. While I get that it’s all about SIDS, the fact is, many Mums feel guilty or even to the point of raging anxiety about co-sleeping and the like.
My husband is from Indonesia. He never slept in a cot. Because in third world countries like that, a cot is a luxury few can afford. Having him partner next to me in this parenting game has been such a blessing – because it has provided an insight from a culture that never puts the baby down etc. I think that our culture in Australia has very much become about ‘convenience’ parenting – unfortunately having a baby isn’t ‘convenient’ at the best of times.
I am trying, though, to extend grace to the whole ‘cry it out’ movement. I think I have been anti-CIO or any type of ‘strategy’ for a long time. But in my defence I think it is a reaction to how I have been ‘treated’ by a culture that is very anti alternative. This is something I’m working on, particularly because I’m in a leadership position around other mothers.
Where I’m at now: I lie down with my son and have him feed to sleep in our bed. I then transfer him (fingers crossed) to a cot not because I’m anti co-sleep, but because we wake each other up!
The guilt thing needs to change. The anxiety feeding to vulnerable mums needs to change. Thank you, for being the voice!
I know it’s almost two years later, but I still feel compelled to reply. Do what works for you! Don’t feel guilty if it works. You are doing great 🙂
The only reason we did Ferber (the CIO with checking in) is because our other methods weren’t working. We were walking/rocking for 1-2 hours of our baby screaming. We would get frustrated, and she was frustrated. I agreed to try Ferber for four nights. The first night of Ferber took 1.5 hours. The next night was 45 minutes, then 20 minutes. Over a week in, now, she fusses for two minutes and then falls asleep.
If this stops working for us, we will try something else. I feel you on the guilt — I still get pangs of it — but I remind myself that my job is to do what works for my kid and not what worked for someone else. So rock on with your awesome mommying!
What a great article – well written and such a wonderful message. I have a 3 1/2 month old son who I nurse to sleep and who, in general, needs a lot of help to get back to sleep. I keep thinking I am doing something wrong (my daughter was and still is a good sleeper) but your article made me re-focus and remember all babies are different. I felt such a sense of calm after reading it and feel better about just doing what works for my son and forgetting about how to train him. Thanks!
I came across your sleep training post as well, and it is so true. I could reiterate everything that everyone else has said. Job well done! A couple things:
1) Someone told me “Welcome to the Mom’s Club” as soon as my daughter was born. I didn’t get it at the time, but boy do I now. No one else in the world gets being a mom other than a mom. No one. You can connect to any other mom out there at least on some level because that person gets it. That being said, it can also be the most judgmental, cliquey, offensive, and hard headed group of individuals I have ever come across. Mention CIO, baby led weaning, or vaccinations and I hold my breath for the hairs to prickle. I wonder why that is.
2) I think we should be friends.
One of the comments I got on that post asked me to write a post about how I felt about vaccinations, and I swear my face went white. Neverrrrrr! LOL
A friend in my mums’ group shared your post on facebook. I liked your voice so much that I’m now following you. (Not in real life, just blogwise, I swear!) so perhaps your views won’t go down too much after all 🙂 Mums need to follow their instincts and do whatever feels right, and sometimes, just whatever gets you through the night.
Ha! If I see any suspicious characters lurking around in doorways, I’ll know who it is 😉
Thanks so much for sticking around 🙂
Now that’s subtle! Great to hear from you.
Thank you so much for your honestly and kind, thoughtfulness. I am 8 months into being a mom and I’m finally getting it- the whole ‘trust yourself’ thing. I read a quote a while ago and I really like it…”Other people’s opinions of you are none of your business”. 🙂
i would have had a really small chance of ever finding your blog if it weren’t for that article going viral! SO refreshing to hear – i’ve been nursing to sleep for 13 months & i do have days i fear i’ve ruined her from the basic skills of life. so thank you for your honesty & helping others open up, so we don’t all wallow in our mommy failures!
Hey that’s awesome! Congrats on your first big post. Now you can totally get away with screaming, “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!” In public, totally 🙂 It seems these things that are “controversial” are what draw people in. Even though someone getting their baby to sleep guilt free shouldn’t be considered controversial!
Oh, I am out of control! And Adam has appointed himself my marketing manager, which so far seems to entail excited yelling and rubbing his hands together repeating, “We’re going to be rich!”
Lol, dream big, Adam.
So I saw your article on a friends facebook page (as really, nothing is as important as that), and it made me LAUGH OUT LOUD. You are hilarious and yes, I did read the cupcake story just to make sure. 🙂 Ok, so to be honest, the baby was asleep and I totally lurked on some of your pregnancy posts too (I did the weekly thing and loved that you wore the same dress through your shots…saving that idea for later) and the nipple week had me roaring! I’ve kept my blog pretty tame as I know I do not want my dad, father in law, brother, and brother in law to hear about all the details of my body, but there are times I wish I could just let it all out as seriously some of this STUFF is never mentioned. Anyways, I digress. You are now on my feedly and I thank you for putting the truth out there for people to see. Also I’m pretty sure we would have to be friends if you lived here in Thailand…just sayin.
Hi! Found your blog through your viral post and absolutely loved it. Thank you for writing something so honest and open. And not just honest and open about yourself, but open to others and the way they look at the world. I have a 3.5 year old daughter and a little one coming to join us in February. I know that what worked for my daughter may or may not work for my next child, and it was reassuring to read your words that there is no *one right way* to raise your kids. That was the main message that I got out of your viral post, and I was delighted to find it underscored in this one, again. Let’s just say, you have a big fan over here.
And congrats on going back to work! I know just what you mean about needing to use your brain. In fact, I think working and using my brain for challenging tasks makes me a better mom.
Excellent post! I think the guilt that society, parents and even husbands sometimes put on us is so paralyzing at times. We want to do what is best but all the noise that is created with what “we should be doing” can make any mom crazy. Thank you for your honesty. Sometimes my sleep routine is to sit upright on the couch with my 3month old on my chest while we both sleep. The way I see it is life goes by so fast and I am not going to spend the first year of her life making her cry to fit my needs. My LO and I come up with a compromise when something is not working, and voila we both sleep.
I nurse my 3 month old to sleep and I co-sleep at least part of the night and was SO RELIEVED to read your post- while I try to live by “if it works for us, then it ain’t broke, so don’t fix it,” it can be difficult to keep that up in the face of “you’re doing it WRONG.” So thank you!
I found your sleep post through a friend’s link on facebook, and as a new mom of a 5-month-old, I found it so comforting! Although unfortunately my son isn’t a good sleeper, I enjoy nursing him to sleep and my attempts at sleep training have been so traumatic, I gave up. Anyway, it’s nice to get a perspective other than “If you don’t do it right like we say, you are SCREWED for life.” And by the way I really like your writing so now I am here to stay!
Just so you know, yesterday I discovered your blog both from mates here in Melbourne, Aus, and also from some mates in Oxford, UK. So you’ve gone international.
Now, I must go so I can stop my 4 month old (who’s just woken up after I GUILT-FREE fed her to sleep for a nap) from trying to eat the cat.
Keep up the good work.
I spent some time in Melbourne during a four month trip to Australia a few years ago – we stayed in the St. Kilda area and I absolutely love your city. such a vibrant, gorgeous place! I can’t believe this little post has reached all the way to your corner of the globe – thanks for letting me know!
And enjoy that sweet baby of yours, 4 months was one of my favourite ages! All smiles 🙂
Yes, who’d have thought there were mums sneakily feeding their bubs to sleep all over the world, and then voraciously trawling the Internets to find blogs to vindicate them 😉
Well, the next time we get to take another 4 month trip (um…) we’re definitely coming to Canada. I get the feeling I’d fit right in. But for now, MY BABY IS TRYING TO COMMANDO CRAWL FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER as I write this! Get off the web you fool!!
I have a 2 month old and this week he’s slept 2 nights for 6 HOURS!! In my nook, in my bed, after nursing. It works for us. I read recently (Dr. Sears) that infants cannot distinguish b/t needs and wants. If a baby wants to held, then he needs to be held. Made sense to me. If they want it, they need it. Give it to ’em.
Mindy- 6 hours!? You’re living the dream! Keep doing what you’re doing- it’s clearly working for you guys 🙂
i have to say i just found your blog and read back through a LOT of posts. (is that creepy? hopefully not) and i love your sense of humor. oh, and i hear you on the drooling dog…we have a bloodhound with a major drooling problem as well!
Loving this! It’s SO my life right now! I whisper it only to understanding people giving me that knowing look… (“I feed her to sleep, shhhh”) I rarely include the fact that ( shock, horror) I place her on her tummy to sleep cos she sleeps longer… Apparently this is the epitome of bad parenting
Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but
I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about
making my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?
On research – have you seen this? It’s run by the University of Durham – reviews, gathers & evaluates a whole load of research & also has their own sleep lab? http://www.isisonline.org.uk (Infant Sleep Information Source).
Just found your blog. Was led here by a Facebook page where mommies “come together to support each other through our breastfeeding journey”…which really means we have instant access to help when our babies go on a nursing strike, or we think we might have a cold and need to know what meds are ok for mommy to get drugged up….or we want to share an article that will make us smile. That was your post here….and the 40K superstar post from the past. Loved reading it! As I write this, it is 7am and my 4 month old is passed out (on me) from a self induced milk coma after a 15 minute nursing session, while my 3 year old is running through the house shouting something or other about how he wants me to make him a new Batman costume (it needs to be ALL BLACK, Mommy). Our sleep experiences have been rough over the past 3.5 years. I still carry guilt (I know, I know) because we did CIO with my first, and I haven’t yet figured out how to tell my hubby that I don’t want to do it with our second. Of course, just last night my hubby asked why we had to endure the torture of standing outside the 3yo’s door so he can fall asleep each night….
[…] Nov 18, 2013:I added a follow-up post to address issues about sleep training-shaming. It can be found here […]
Erm…all your interesting sleep post points aside (most of which as a mum of an 8 month old I fully agree with), my sister’s husband is called Adam and she has a two year old called Olive.
How many of you are there out there?! Is this a cult…..?!
My baby slept through the night until I went back to work when he was 3 months old. Literally, the night before I went back to work was the last night he has ever slept for 8 hours in a row on his own. Why does everyone ask new moms if the baby is sleeping through the night yet? As if that’s the benchmark of what makes a “good” baby? So annoying! Months 3-7 were tough, with the babe waking every 45 minutes to 2 hours at night. It was a dark time. I hallucinated a couple times. Finally, started co-sleeping to save my sanity and my marriage. While not our original plan and not always ideal, it works for us. We all sleep better now, but I feel so judged. I don’t like to tell other mom’s, for fear of getting an earful. There is enough mom guilt, I don’t need any more for doing what I think is best for my son. Thanks for writing about this!
I appreciate both of your posts immensely for several reasons: 1) My first child, now 6 months old, slept great for the first 3 months, then totally regressed (and it sounds like your experience was similar). 2) Since that regression, I have had countless people tell me to give him rice cereal, the “miracle sleep remedy” (which I feel is completely lacking in nutrition and probably not all it’s cracked up to be), countless say that their babies slept thru the night at 6-8-10 weeks (to which I am thinking, you had a unicorn), and a few family members question if there was something wrong with him or me (PPD? uh no, lack of sleep and feeling like it was my fault! You definitely hit the nail on the head there). 3) You helped me to realize WHY I was so falling apart for a couple weeks in there – I felt guilty. I felt like I was doing something wrong that was making my kid not sleep, and I felt like I was “ruining” him and creating all kinds of bad habits. Your post and the advice of some other wise mamas helped me to be able to let him cosleep (because that is how we both sleep best right now), and be okay with it. I feel so much less stressed, and we are both happier. Thanks for writing honestly :).
You rock. I totally agree with everything in this article. You are right that we need to stop feeling guilty about how we are raising our children. As a mom, I worry too much about what other people will think of everything I am doing for my child. I need to just do what I know is best for my baby and not worry about what anyone else thinks.
Yes. Yes. and yes.
Whatever works for you is what is best. It’s AL about mommy gut and if you don’t know then ask and trust your gut on the information you do find.
I have 5. Yes FIVE children who all slept on their bellies if it was best, some nursed to sleep always others not. Some needed to cry some to sleep. Others loved their bed and dove for it. Some slept thru the night at 3 or 6mo and one not til after a year. The older ones all sleep well now (7, 6 , 4, & 2).. and I am currently nursing my 9mo old as he sleeps. He used to sleep about 12 hrs straight but it has been months since. We are tired but it’s not forever. If something needs to change we’ll work on it.
Thank you for keeping it real. It’s all about doing your best for your family.
One of the things I love most about the popularity of blogs is that it does help me to feel so much less alone. Yes, it’s always nice to have books that validate what my instincts are telling me is the right thing to do, which back me up when I decide to do different things in the course of parenting my son. But what helps even more is to hear stories from real life people about doing the things I am doing/I want to do/I once did. It helps SO MUCH. Thank you for being here, and for talking about your experiences. The Internet may sometimes bring a lot of questions and judgment when it comes to parenting, but it also can be so helpful in building those communities that we all need.
Thank you so much, Holly. I feel exactly the same way.
I know these posts are old, but I just wanted to say thank you for writing them. It’s not often I feel so much for a topic or opinion on the Interwebs that I bother to use my precious time to comment on it (especially sleep time – it’s 4am here and I’ve just nursed my 2nd baby back to sleep).
I have a now 3.5 year old who was nursed/rocked/cuddled/walked to sleep, who now quite happily sits and reads stories with us before bed time, then we sit together with a two-minute timer going (it used to be cuddle time but now she’s usually still jumping around the bed by this point) to all chat about our “favourite bits” of that day just gone… and then she heads off to her bed and lies there chatting to herself til she falls asleep. Amazing hey?
‘How does he sleep?’ is always one of the first questions people ask me about my son now – and I often get That Look when I say “really well”, or some comment that implies I’m just ‘one of the Lucky Ones’. Maybe so, but I think it has lots to do with giving my babies what they need when they need it.
This time around I’m trying co-sleeping, and I love it – I get so much more sleep than I ever did getting up and down to my firstborn. To think all I had to do was whip one side off the cot and push it up next to my side of the bed! Sure it makes getting in and out of bed a little problematic, but it means that I can hear him all night. All night. I can hear him self-soothing/settling, I now know, better than I ever did, which noises are just normal sleepy baby noises and which ones require immediate attention (read: feeding) to avoid a baby screaming apocalypse that will wake the rest of the house up. It is blissful. Yeah there was a week recently where he woke for feeds a few times through the night, and I felt like a zombie, but it passed!
Just give your baby what he/she is asking you for – just listen to your baby’s cues and they will tell you what they need! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! 🙂
Awesome advice, thanks for writing all of it – I’ll be back to read more, but after I’ve slept a little bit… 😉
I found your original post which you refer to in this article this morning after entering various search terms related to my crushing anxiety, guilt and shame about nursing to sleep and occasional “wee hours” co-sleeping. I love the eyelash flutters and snuggles. It have gotten so much judgement and messages that I am causing my baby future harm and upset. Your words left me with tears of relief streaming down my face. I’m a first time mummy to a thriving happy 3 month old baby girl and feel like I can relax and trust my instincts. Like you said, if it becomes a problem for our family we will adjust and adapt as needed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for gifting me the insight and support to enjoy my daughter and our own routines.
Lizzie, I can not express how glad I am that these words resonated with you!its such a terrifying, new time. And you are doing NOTHING wrong, I promise you! My nursed-to-sleep-for-20-months daughter now hoes to bed perfectly on her own. Font worry! Enjoy this time, enjoy your baby, enjoy the eyelash fluttering 🙂
I feel much more confident now to do just that 🙂 and I will be bookmarking these two posts for a comforting reminder as needed.
Thank you!!! Oxoxo
I know I’m late to this party, and so many people have commented on this and your previous post that I expect there’s been every possible point of view, but still…. I’m a foster carer for infants and toddlers and I’ve had a fair few babies under my roof. Some of them I have fed/rocked to sleep; some I haven’t. Some have slept through the night from a couple of weeks old; some have not mastered that skill until they were more than 2 years old or older. Some have insisted in sleeping only in their cots; some will pass out pretty much anywhere. Some wake up smiling; some wake up in full meltdown mode. All this variation can’t be about me – I’m pretty much the same parent every time. So it must be about the children. Yes, that’s right, they’re all different, and when they’re tiny you just basically have to go with it. I do sometimes do a little sleep training after 6 months old because I’m a single carer and the babies keep on coming so there’s no end in sight! And for some children, consistently not getting enough sleep can become a problem. The judgement needs to stop. The shaming needs to stop. The evangelistic promotion of one method of anything over all others (unless immediate child welfare concerns are at stake) must stop. Of course I formula feed all these babies – cue sideways glances at parent/baby groups. I’ve had 3-year-olds screaming “Don’t touch me! You’re not my Mummy!” in public places. People undoubtedly judge, but they don’t know our circumstances. Let’s try to remember – we don’t really know other people’s circumstances. Parents are not robots – we can’t give from an empty cup. We’re doing the best we can. Time to support each other. Thank you for your posts.