Thursday, December 30, 2010

Teaching New Sleep Habits

Baby "S" at only 3 weeks old. She is now almost 8 months old.

For the last 5 months, I have been allowing Baby "S" to nurse to sleep. Daddy "S" watches Baby "S" in the mornings while I work and she sleeps easily for him just by putting her head on his shoulder. Daddy "S" told me he would like me to wean her off of nursing to sleep, so I suppose I will try. In the long run it will probably help on several levels.

I am a firm follower of Dr. Sears. I believe in parenting to sleep rather than letting baby "cry it out". It is my personal opinion that making baby cry does not teach them to self sooth. I feel it teaches them that they either have to get very upset and cry very hard for someone to come, or they learn that nobody is going to be there for them when they are not feeling secure. I prefer to teach Baby "S" that her mommy will be there for her whenever she feels scared or unsure. That being said, I do like the Dr. Sears theory about Parenting to sleep. I feel it is my job as Mommy to teach Baby "S" that sleep is enjoyable and safe and also to provide her with comfortable ways of falling asleep. Nursing has always been the easiest way to get her to sleep. Sometimes I swear she falls asleep as soon as she sees what she wants!

Morning nap today was my first time in 5 months trying to get her to sleep without nursing. The first 10 minutes were sheer torture with her crying and trying to rip my shirt down. I almost gave in when I decided to give it one last ditch effort. I put her in the same position we use when nursing and I began rocking the chair. Instead of giving her me, I popped the paci in her mouth (she usually hates the pacifier unless she is just playing with it and chewing on it). After an initial whine of protest, Baby "S" quietly drifted off to sleep in about 6 minutes. The entire process took a little less than 20 minutes and the end result was a safe, quiet, relaxing sleep for Baby "S" and minimal stress for Mommy. We'll see if it continues to be so east in the future and at the afternoon nap!

Note: if you are a believer of "Cry It Out"/Ferber method, please know that I do not judge you or think you are wrong. I feel that all families need to find what works best for them. Dr. Ferber's method does not work for my family therefore I will not try it, but again, if it works for your family, by all means use the method!


Suertemom said...

You're doing a good job, Mommy! I'm following back. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

What a cutie! Thanks for following. I am following you back! :)