my comebacks are all planned

Thursday. Mothers Group day.

Today I told the others about Buddha Baby’s recent spat of midnight mummy-torture. About how I have been taking him into our bed and feeding him back to sleep.

No one said anything, but I saw the double takes curling round the room.

And I don’t get it.

There’s usually a lot of talk at Mother’s Group about what “they” say: They say you should scale the texture of solid food up quickly. They say that your marriage should come before your baby (this one is entirely bizarre to me). They say you shouldn’t swaddle them after three months… etc. etc.

And there’s no questioning of it.

This “they” word, it seriously gets my hackels up. I don’t like being told how to do things. It’s adolescent, no doubt, but my compulsion is always to do the opposite of what any well-meaning-but-not-necessarily-right authority figure tells me to do.

Upshot is: I. Will. Not. Make. Him. Cry. It. Out.

I won’t do it.

See, I don’t think that it teaches babies to sleep. I think it teaches them that their mother won’t fulfill their needs. I think it teaches them to give up, that there’s no point in communicating in the only way they are able.

I’ve said this to a few people. And their response has generally been something to the effect of: You’ll regret it. You need to get on top of him now. Don’t let him get away with it.

In my opinion, this assumes that babies are manipulative creatures. Which is absurd. It also assumes that babies are little creatures that ought to be controlled like an aggressive dog, rather than little human beings with rights of their own. I don’t think it’s my job to get on top of anyone else, let alone my own child.

The other thing that CIO assumes is that aside from hunger, cold, sickness, and any other physical discomfort, there is no valid reason for night-waking. That “wanting to be close to mum” is not a valid reason.

But I think it is. It is a need too; it’s just an emotional need rather than a physical one. And we all know what happens to babies whose emotional needs aren’t met.

(Well, we don’t. But I’m sure it’s not nice.)

And besides. It’s such a small amount of time that he’s going to need me like this; that I’m going to be able to provide this kind of comfort.

Why would I want to speed his growing up any more than it already is?

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7 Responses to “my comebacks are all planned”

  1. sky girl Says:

    I hear you! Those were all the reasons that I fought CIO. But eventually things got so bad that we had to do something. (Besides the fact that Frenchie was almost over the edge and insisted that we try it.) So I did a modified CIO method and it worked!!! I even (gasp!) picked her up.

    The most important thing is that you do what YOU think is best. To hell with “they”.

    The night wakings are so hard. Good luck to you hon.

    Have you read Dr. Sears “The Baby Sleep Book”. I think you might like it. He’s of the same opinion as you.

    xo

  2. electriclady Says:

    Totally agree. I have been told many times, “Oh, you HAVE to do sleep training.” No, I don’t HAVE to do anything, frankly. We do let BG fuss it out a little (simply because if she’s half-asleep and moaning, picking her up gets her more worked up, as opposed to simply letting her croon herself back to sleep, maybe with a little back-patting), but the second she escalates into a cry we’re there.

  3. dawn Says:

    ya know “they” say……………ha ha
    i hate that too. i have a know it all mommy friend i try to avoid except when i am desparate to get out of the house, she means well but gets on my NERVES!

  4. Becky Says:

    I agree with you, although on night’s that I’m up every hour, it’s harder to remind myself that he won’t always need me all night.

    But thinking that babies are manipulative is just twisted.

  5. Anita Says:

    I love when others say ‘they’. What it really means is ‘I think you’re doing a shit job at parenting your kid and you should do what I think is best.’

    Sgt and I spent several months training with our local Children’s Aid Society while we were in the process of adoption. What we learned is that many of the children that come into care due to neglect have mild to serious attachment disorders because their needs were not met in infancy and early childhood. While I don’t think we should run to our children the second they make a sound I do know that a baby’s cry means one or more of their needs is not being met. That could mean anything from being hungry to being board.

    Here’s a great site that can give you more insite into attachment disorders. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/parenting_bonding_reactive_attachment_disorder.htm Some of the issues are at the far end of the spectum but it gives you an idea.

    Graeme settles himself when put to bed tired but there are nights when we do go into his room to rub his back (he’s rolling onto his tummy to sleep now!) and let him know we’re right there if he needs us.

  6. Bea Says:

    It’s my understanding that different children respond differently to different methods, and also at different ages. So I’m not sure how “they” can make a blanket statement about this at all.

    Bea

  7. MsPrufrock Says:

    Not long ago I read about CIO on Moxie’s blog, as I was desperate to get P to fall asleep on her own, which she still does not do at 16 months. For a few nights I left her to cry, and it didn’t work for us at all. As Moxie says, some babies release tension by crying, others gain it by crying. I have one that gains tension, so no CIO for P.

    Additionally, some research suggests (heh, another “they”) that by letting babies cry it out, you are creating a negative association with sleep. That’s all we need, eh?

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