I just read another article by a self-proclaimed “parenting visionary” telling her readers not to rock, let alone nurse their babies to sleep at the risk of causing a life-time dependency and destroying all chances of a good night’s rest. Seriously? I frequently wonder who these people are and whether they gave birth to robots.
I proudly nurse and rock (and sing and cuddle and swing) my baby to sleep every night and nap time. I don’t care if it makes my baby dependent on my presence for falling asleep. In fact I’m hoping he is creating a pleasant association between nursing, rocking and sleeping. I always thought that knowing a way to get your baby to sleep was a GOOD THING.
Not to mention the fact that not nursing him to sleep would involve waking him up mid-feed. I don’t even want to see how that would go down, cause baby boy certainly states his case when he’s hungry!
I dread to think of other mums reading such articles and suddenly questioning their own parenting practices.
Let’s be honest here, sleep is a major issue for most parents. And there are so many different approaches. Maybe nursing works for you, maybe it doesn’t. Perhaps you use a pacifier, or switch on the vacuum cleaner or drive the baby around in the car. Maybe even your baby falls asleep by itself in its crib. Just as every baby is an individual person, every approach will work or not for any given situation. To me it just seems so terribly unhelpful for someone to tell you that there is ONE WAY and that anything else is a BAD THING.
Of course I sometimes wonder if I’ve made the right choice. Some nights I dream of being able to settle my baby in his crib, switch off the light and walk out to watch TV with my husband. And probably some day in the future our bedtime routine will change, I might set stronger limits and exchange nursing for a bedtime book.
But I’m glad that I haven’t listened to any blog, sleep expert or parenting book that has told me there is only one right way to handle sleep. And I wish all parents could feel confident enough to follow their intuition and rock, sing, dance or walk their babies to sleep as they feel fit.
Apologies for the all caps, but this subject really gets me riled up. Readers, what is your favourite way to get your babies to sleep? Please share in the comments!