Update on sleep

It’s a shockingly slow day here today at work. A lot of my coworkers are out of the office and it appears that no one made adequate arrangements to pick up donation checks for me to process, which is the bulk of my work during the holiday season. I decided to use this rare downtime to write a blog post.

It’s been one week since we started sleep training E and it has gone swimmingly, if I do say so. The first few nights were pretty difficult for all of us, but E now cries less intensely and for less time, if he cries at all. The keys, for us, have involved making sure we’re really aware of his sleep cues, getting him to bed before he’s overtired, and following a consistent pattern so he doesn’t feel confused by what takes place. While we have used a modified Ferber approach, we aren’t the type of parents to adhere staunchly to any particular theory or principle to the detriment of our child or selves.

I’ve been hurt by the level of judgment we’ve received from people who know us about our decision to use any form of sleep training. It shocked me that people who bear witness to my love and care for E would think that I would ever do something that I felt would intentionally cause harm to him. Like vaccines, circumcision, and feeding, sleep appears to be yet another battle in the dreaded “mommy wars.” I know I’ve said it before, but it continues to be a common theme – parents are all just doing the best that we can with the information we have available and what feels right in our hearts.

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8 thoughts on “Update on sleep

  1. We used the so called cry it out method with my daughter and my son, my daughter is now 5 and I have never had an issue with her going to bed on her own since we did it at 6 months old. My son is now 2 and well I waited longer with him, he’s my final baby and I think I was babying him a bit more, so he was about 9 months or so old and it took a wee bit longer with him and we do sometimes have a struggle with him at bed but usually only if he’s not feeling well or if he’s overtired or we have guests staying with us. It only took my daughter 3 nights before she was adjusted to going to sleep on her own and it also took care of her night time waking. She was capable and confident in being able to put herself back to sleep without needing me. Yes I want my babies to always need me as their mama, but as parents we are here to teach them to become self reliant confident adults and I feel that this method worked for us in the sleep department. I hope it works for you as well. I know too many people who have me grief in the “mommy war” way as you describe it, who have 4 and 5 and 6 year olds who still either sleep all night in their parents’/care givers’ beds or they wake in the middle of the night and end up in their beds. I don’t regret it and my children aren’t emotionally harmed from it, heck my they don’t even remember it. In fact my 5 year old is a happy, spunky, confident, and outgoing kindergartener, who also gets plenty of rest before school since she knows how to put herself to sleep. 🙂 E looks like a healthy and happy baby, so I’d say you’re doing a great job!

      • You’re welcome, I can understand how it is wading through all the controversies of parenting, as if simply parenting isn’t hard enough. I had in laws (now ex in laws, my daughters father’s family) who were always telling me what I was doing “wrong” because it wasn’t how they’d do it. Thankfully I have a great husband now and great family and with child number 2 I simply let neigh sayers know it’s not my first rodeo, and while I appreciate their thoughts but I’ll continue doing it my way which is going with my instinct on what’s best for my child and if they want to kindly give suggestions fine but if they are simply there to try to be a know it all and tell me what I’m doing wrong then they can simply keep their unkind words to themselves. But then I’m rather outspoken now. 🙂 wish you the best

  2. I’m so glad you are in a better place with the sleep. Our experience with our first was very similar — a few (very) rough nights and then we all were much much much happier (including the kid — alas the second one didn’t respond to the same formula, but we figured that out when we got there, too).

    • Darn those individuals and their lack of adherence to a formula! 😉

      I actually think one of the largest traps we parents can fall into is clinging to a specific principle or strategy to our detriment and the detriment to our children. Sounds like you skillfully avoided that parenting trap!

  3. I’ve always said that I can only be the best parent I can be if I am adequately rested. Sleep deprivation doesn’t do any good – not for the child (age-appropriate, of course), not for the parents. I commend you for doing what you feel is best for your family!

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