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24th February 2014 08:09 AM #1
- Join Date
- Feb 2014
Can too much attention lead to spoiling??
My son is just over 2. For the longest time he went to bed with no problems whatsoever. We would read a story, say prayers and put him down and he wouldn't fuss or anything. He would fall asleep and we wouldn't hear anything till the morning. Over the summer, I gave birth to our daughter, so my husband has taken over a lot more with our son. My husband is a natural snuggler and so is my son. Consequently, the way he would put him to bed a lot of them time involves snuggling in the chair until he falls asleep. Then he gets moved to his bed. Now, if we put him to bed any other way, he cries and cries until someone comes in to snuggle with him. I want to tell my husband that we need to just take a week and let him 'cry it out' so he can put himself to sleep again. My husband doesn't like to do that. And admittedly, it is awfully tough when he is crying, 'want to snug!!' Makes me feel pretty heartless to ignore that. So - do we push through and make him self comfort himself or do we enjoy the chance to snug with him while we have it??
23rd March 2014 07:30 AM #2
I have a few thoughts about your post. The first is that our children don't stay little for long. Your son won't always 'want to snug' with his mum and dad. These are precious times and so, especially since your husband seems to be enjoying the special time with his son too, you could just go with it and best of all enjoy it. Now that your son has got used to the cuddling this is what he wants. It makes sense - I know I would prefer to have a long cuddle in bed before I fall asleep rather than sleeping alone
Have you had a look at the Infant Sleep Information Source (ISIS)? I really like this resource because it is research based and all about how babies and toddlers sleep. There is evidence that many children will not fall asleep alone/ sleep through the night alone until they are around 4. This is a protective function (i.e. knowing they are sleeping close to a parent who can care for them) in the way they were made. Interestingly, some toddlers will only sleep well if a part of them (however small) is touching a part of you.
ISIS also has some interesting information surrounding sleep training and 'cry it out' methods. The researchers write:
' 'Extinction' methods require that both parents and babies break the link between crying and consistent parental response. This means severing a link that has evolved to ensure infants' survival.'
If you wanted to return to your son being able to sleep on his own and fall asleep on his own (as he was before your daughter was born) then there are gentler ways to do this then use a cry it out method which some sources question the long-term effects of. The author and expert in this field Elizabeth Pantley has some excellent resouces and books about gently transitioning a child into a new way of sleeping. This involves making small, gradual changes to a sleep routine.
Another thought I had is that there is so much that changes in a toddler's life when a new sibling is born. It sounds like your son is gaining extra reassurance, bonding and cuddles from the way his dad puts him to bed and this may be just what he needs as he adapts to being a big brother.
I hope some of this helps you. Do let me know your thoughts.
26th March 2014 02:38 AM #3
- Join Date
- Feb 2014
Thanks for your thoughts. I know we have discussed this type of issue on another question. with my 8 month old not sleeping. Can you tell I'm just super tired!! In my heart I agree with you - this is the best way. I think of other cultures where the method of crying it out would be unheard of. In my sleep deprived state, I just look for help I guess.
My son is also a huge snuggler and I'm not so I know that is some of it. I probably take a bit too much pride in being 'independent.' When the older I get the more I realize that is not such a great thing. It's amazing the realizations you come to after getting married and having kids.
I will look up that resource you shared. It sounds like it would be very helpful.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
26th March 2014 07:35 AM #4
You are welcome egamblin. But please don't feel guilty about any of this - you need to choose the sleep routine which works for your children and yourself and husband.
It is particularly hard to think about this when you are tired - I agree. I have often thought things about our sleep routine/ sleep choices in the middle of the night (after numerous wake-ups) which I know that I do not think/ want to choose when I am thinking more logically in the daytime.
I also agree with what you say above about how getting married and having kids can open your eyes to the world around you. My children teach me so much.
I hope things get easier for you at night-time.