Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Type of Parenting, Part 3

Part 3 of My Type of Parenting is related to sleep.  This one is pretty controversial. 

First, I do not believe in CIO, or crying it out.  At least, not yet.  There is a lot of information out there showing that an infant younger than 6 months cannot manipulate.  When they cry, it is because they have a need that needs to be met.  And yes, cuddles and skin to skin is a need.

·         Some research shows that CIO can lead to the baby having emotional attachment    problems that can follow them for life. 
·         Neurons actually die.
·         The child can develop mistrust.

The popular book “Becoming Baby Wise” is a book about getting your child to fall asleep on his or her own.  They try to teach you about putting your child on a schedule for eating and sleeping.  This may sound nice, but in reality Baby Wise has caused infants to develop Failure to Thrive.  And the authors have many lawsuits against them because of it. 

This is where Tanner’s pediatrician and I disagree and many others as well.  (This is related to the 4-month wakeful many babies go through where they don’t sleep and eat all the time). She says Tanner eats often during the day, he should be able to go X hours a night without having to eat.  No.  During this time in Tanner’s development he is learning and growing.  He looks at things and studies them.  When he eats he often gets distracted, so he eats more often.  So when it’s nighttime and he is in a nice, quiet room he will realize he played so much during the day that now he is hungry.  If I followed Baby Wise because I am selfish and lazy and I just want to make my baby fall asleep so I can sleep, he wouldn’t be able to eat when he was hungry.  His pediatrician said he should be able to go over night without eating.   When Tanner wakes up in the middle of the night, he is hungry.  I feed him and he immediately goes back to sleep.  I signed up for this mothering business.  I will wake up and take care of my baby in the middle of the night anytime he needs it.  Even if it is 4, 5, 6 times a night. 

**Disclaimer: I know some babies and some circumstances call for CIO.  I understand some babies are very high needs and for the sanity of the parents they have to walk away and leave the crying baby alone for a little while.  This is not my circumstance. **

Now, for controversial part 2 of this post.  We co-sleep.  Now before anyone freaks out there is a difference.  Co-sleeping is when the baby is in a bassinet, crib, co-sleeper, or pack n play in the same room as the parents.  Bed-sharing is just that, sharing the bed with the baby.  (And there is a safe way to bed share. We just don’t do it full time.  I often nap with Tanner in my bed, but I am doing it safely).

I knew I wanted to co-sleep from the very beginning.  Obviously it makes middle of the night feedings easier on all of us.  I can hear Tanner stir and can get to him before he gets too woken up from crying.  And keeping him in the dark helps him fall back to sleep right away.  But it also can help prevent SIDS.  Mothers have that special instinct with their children.  Some moms can tell when their child has shallow breathing.  I can sleep through Nick’s alarm and when he gets up and ready for work, but I will wake up to Tanner playing with his feet.  It’s amazing. 

We don’t have a crib for Tanner here in San Antonio, he is still using his pack n play.  He will be 7 months old when we get back to Oklahoma.  But I don’t think I will transition him to the crib at night for a few more months after that.  I had considered it, but I keep hearing stories about babies several months older than Tanner now dying from SIDS.  I will take it one night at a time though, probably.  If he seems ready for it when we get back to Oklahoma, then so be it.  I do have to admit I love having him in our room.  I can wake up in the middle of the night and see him sleeping soundly, and I feel better.  

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