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29th January 2014 05:30 AM #1
Are we losing our perspective on sleep and young children?
It seems that there is a lot of pressure on parents (and subsequently a lot of pressure on babies and young children) to sleep without disturbing their parents at night-time. Through the questions we ask new parents (How's the sleep? Are they sleeping through yet?) to sleep training books and sleep aid devices; parents can feel that their babies should be 'sleeping through the night' and something is wrong if they are not.
However, the reality is that babies and young children are designed to need their parents in the day and the night. This is normal and natural. My feeling is that we need to speak openly and honestly about how our young children are sleeping and accept this as a normal (and even enjoyable) part of life with young children.
I have personally found this article helpful: Getting a Good Night's Sleep - another perspective. Dr. Buckley writes:
'when we treat our children with love and respect for their needs, we plant the seeds for a lifetime of happiness – and relaxed sleep'
This encourages me to continue to parent at night-time with gentleness, love and without hurry for things to change.
I would love to hear your views on this.
4th March 2014 06:50 AM #2
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- Feb 2014
I like this. I'm not sure why, but there does always seem to be societal pressure about 'the right way' to raise our kids. Even when it goes against how we feel things should be. And honestly, when looking at how society is doing, I'm not sure why I listen! When our daughter was born and she slept in the same room with my husband and I, it felt so strange that our 2 year old son slept in a room all by himself while we all got to sleep together.
He hasn't been sleeping well recently and so he has spent a lot of time 'snuggling' with dad at night. I'm sure this is because Dad is busy a few nights a week, and just misses him. But the thought is always in the back of my head that we are 'spoiling' him by getting up every time he cries or bringing him into our bed. I prefer doing those things, but the pressure to raise him 'the right way' is always there. I'm so thankful that my husband doesn't care about stuff like that. If he's crying, he goes to him. Simple as that. Just like his mother did - and he turned out wonderfully.
Thanks for posting this!!
5th March 2014 07:05 AM #3
You are so welcome egamblin. I'm happy that you agree. You sound like a wonderful family. It doesn't get more natural than responding to our children's needs.
I'm sure that the way that your husband is comforting and cuddling your son in the night will build the foundations for a strong, caring relationship between them and your son will know that he can trust his daddy.
I believe in being baby-led/toddler-led/child-led; it doesn't matter what you call it but I want my children to know I value them and their emotions and I want to respond to them. The more research I read about baby sleep, baby wearing and breastfeeding on demand the more it seems that this way of parenting is backed up by science.
Many thanks for sharing your experiences on this,