Friday, April 10, 2015

You Won't Ruin Them

"I’m not offering you a quick fix solution, I’m not telling you that there is a magic trick to make babies sleep for hours on end, what I’m telling you is that what you are experiencing is normal." (From Hectic and Clueless)

That is a quote from this article on baby sleep has been making the rounds on social media this week and it really struck home with me.  The tone of this article is a little more confrontational than I think I would be myself, but there is also a lot in here I agree with. 
Mostly - I think if something is working for you and your child, then go with it. You won't "ruin" your child's chance at ever sleeping "through the night" - since that appears to be our main goal as early parents if you spend any time on the internet or talking to veteran parents.... you won't ruin them if you nurse or cuddle or rock them to sleep, and I promise you they won't be sleeping in your bed when they are 15 years old. The chances of that happening are less than 0.000000000002% from my non-scientific estimations.
You have 13 years before we kick you out, kid.

There have been rough patches when I did wish for better, more, longer sleep but mostly I have been okay with the way things have (almost) naturally occurred on their own with my FrenchFry's sleep. I nursed him to sleep every night for almost 2 years and would nurse him overnight if he woke up for those same 2 years as well. These are things that I feel almost embarrassed to tell people outside of my close friends for some reason - but it WORKED for us. 
Things usually got much worse when I tried to push him into something that deep down I knew he wasn't ready for yet. And then when I knew he was really ready -like when I night weaned him recently (read about it here: In Defense of Weaning my 2 Year Old) - when I did wait until I knew he was ready it went really well - without a lot of tears or heartache.
Mostly I want you to know that if you are in the midst of it right now - do what feels right and don't let the pressure of everything you read on the Internet - or the parents who forget what it was like to be there with a newborn or had a newborn that was very different than your newborn is and had different needs - don't let that create doubt or second guessing of yourself. And if what you are doing works for YOU, then go with it.
And know that there are people out there who nursed and held and rocked their kid to bed every night long past when they were told it was "okay" to do so.  People nursed overnight past a 2 year birthday who now get pretty great sleep most nights and is starting to missing those middle of the night cuddles a bit more than she thought she would. 
(Though really I always knew I would.)

FrenchFry sleeping in his big boy bed.  Apparently I didn't ruin him!

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