I was deeply saddened by some responses I saw on a status update recently. An 8 month old was waking twice during the night (NORMAL) so the mother was asking for advice. Most of which was to switch to formula to "stuff em full" (NOOOO!!!) or to let them cry it out (NOT NORMAL). Hearing mothers say, "He's old enough not to need feeds during the night!" At 8 months? FACEPALM.
As a society these days we expect too much of our babies. People "like me" (aka attached parents, hippies, whatever) are seen as "mollycoddlers" who are raising a bunch of sooks. Teaching your child to "self settle" by letting them scream is supposed to teach them independance. I disagree.
You start your first job. You walk through the front door, and your boss says, "OK, here is your workstation. Have a good day, I'll see you at 5pm!" and walks out. No training, no one showing you what to do. You call out to him because you have a question but he ignores you. Eventually you realise you have to figure this out on your own so you start jabbing at the keyboard uncertainly, no clue as to what to do. Having never been shown the way, you are never confidant in what you are doing, always nervous that you are making mistakes.
Now what if, on that first day, your boss stayed with you, showed you around, told you what you were expected to do. He stays with you for the first week, answering your questions, often doing the job for you so you can see how its done. Soon enough you don't need him there anymore, you are confidant that you know what to do. You continue with your work quite happily from then on, knowing that should you have a question or need some help, you need only ask him and he'll come back and point you in the right direction.
I know which boss I'd prefer!
As a follow on from my last blog, about the reasons I continue with AP in the face of sleepless nights...
I believe that aiding your child to sleep, by rocking, patting, breastfeeding or just BEING there... is NORMAL. Most babies desperately need their parents close at night time, its a scary time for a small child, who is so new to this world that the first poo that slid outta their butt must have scared the HELL out of them! I believe that by feeding my child to sleep, sleeping with her in my bed, and attending to her at night is helping her onto the road to independance. One day she won't need (or want) me there when she goes to sleep. That day will come. She will tell ME when she is ready for that.
And you know what? It might take YEARS to get to that point. YES, YEARS! Who CARES that the baby next door has been sleeping through from 3 months old. His mother might have forced that upon him OR he may just be that type of kid naturally. There is always too much comparison going on between mothers. "HER baby is sleeping through, why not MINE?"
Parenting your children is a long, hard road. Yes, the CIO method might seem like an awesome "quick fix", which I don't doubt it is. However I have seen evidence to indicate that children such as these tend to be MORE insecure and dependant than a child who is parented at night time. In the long run. I'm putting in the hard yards now for, what I believe to be, a fantastic end result!
I would dearly love to see less emphasis on making babies "grow up" prematurely, and more on accepting their needs and MEETING them.
How many times do we hear, "Enjoy it! They grow up SO fast!". I'm in no hurry for Butterfly to grow up. She will, and all too soon! I'ma enjoy her babydom, thankyou very much :)