You can go into any bookstore, or google search any baby related sleeping term or phrase, and you will get a plethora of advice and tips, written by experts and doctors and smart scientist like moms. They obviously know your child and have lots of tricks up their sleave… right?
I never read a “getting your child to sleep through the night” parenting book. Not because I had a baby who slept through the night or who was a great sleeper, but because I always just did what worked for me and what Lucas wanted.
Lucas has not always been a “good” sleeper. He was a typical newborn sleeper. He woke up every 2-3 hours for several months. Sometimes more! I think he finally started sleeping through the entire night without waking up once when he was close to a year. Or around there, I didn’t write it in my diary.
I rocked him to sleep every night.
I nursed him to sleep every night.
He slept with us at times.
If he woke up, I went in and rocked him back to sleep.
I did this, because as his mother, this is what I wanted to do and what I felt like was the best thing to do. In fact, now at age 19 months, if he wants me to rock him to sleep, I will. If he wants me in the middle of the night for whatever reason, I’ll go to him. This is just something I feel right doing as a mom to my children. I am not worried about him needing me to rock him to sleep until he’s five. I’m not worried that I’m spoiling him or teaching him bad habits. As far as I know, he’s a pretty smart and independent little boy, who just happens to love his mama very much. 🙂 And by golly, rocking my sweet tired boy to sleep as he snuggles up on my chest is seriously the least of my worries.
He takes one nap a day, for two hours. He never fights naps. I swear he actually enjoys them. He wakes up happy and talking and I let him “play” and talk to himself in his bed for 20ish minutes before I go and get him.
He sleeps from 7pm- 8:30am (average) every night. He wakes up talking and happy.
(Most days/nights. I’m not saying every night is perfect!)
Rocking him to sleep, nursing him to sleep, attending to his every cry when he was a baby?
It did not ruin him.
My whole point in telling you this is because I hear so many people think or say that rocking their kids to sleep is going to “ruin them” or give them bad sleeping habits for the rest of their lives. Or, they think they’re going to have to rock them to sleep until they’re in the fourth grade. (For the record- that’s not likely. But if my kids want me to rock them before bed until they’re in the fourth grade, I will. We just might need to get a bigger chair.)
My personal tip or advice to new moms is to always listen to your baby and follow his/her cues. I really don’t think you can go wrong with doing what your baby wants and needs. No book or expert knows your child like you do! And also, doing what you feel is the right thing to do will leave with you no regrets!
This works for me! What works for you? Link up at We are That Family!