Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Some thoughts on sleep

Last night as I was nursing my baby to sleep for bedtime I started thinking about all the bad information moms get about infant sleep. Then I started to get mad about it.

Things I've heard or read about infant sleep...

Don't look them in the eye, it just raises their heartbeat so it takes longer to fall asleep.
Sorry, that's crap. It may raise their heartbeat, but in my experience will not make them take longer to fall asleep. I for one love to gaze into my nursing babe's eyes as he drifts off into sleep.

You must teach them to fall asleep on their own early on, or you will be putting them to sleep forever.
Wrong again! I have a four and two year old who put themselves to sleep. I NEVER did any sort of sleep training with them. I always rocked or nursed them to sleep.

Babies must be sleeping through the night by 4 months.
Nope. All babies will sleep through the night when they are damn good and ready. If you think about it babies have such small tummies, how could they consistanty go 6-8 hours without eating something? Even if it is just a snack. Heck, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night hungry or thristy.

You will have to let your baby CIO(cry it out), so they learn to self soothe.
This is one of my biggest soapbox issues, other than breastfeeding. Why on God's green earth anyone would suggest for someone to make an innocent baby cry themselves to sleep is beyond me. Last time I checked it was all men who came up with these methods. I love men, I love my husband, but sometimes they do lack the nurture aspect that mothers have. Let me put it this way.... If your baby were baby Jesus(or Buddah, or insert your god here) would you tell him, "Sorry, Jesus, you're just going to have to deal with it. Mommy will get up in the morning." I don't think so.

Bottom line is....

Love on your children. Nurture them. They will learn to self soothe, by you soothing them. Not by neglecting them and their needs. All that will teach them is that mommy and daddy don't really care about my needs. Cherish this precious time you have to snuggle them. It's not too far off that they will be in high school and want nothing to do with you.

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