05 February 2010

My take on infant sleep

All this talk about "Babywise" and other sleep training methods out there, "Ferber" and the like I got to thinking.  Why do people think they have to train their babies to sleep?  Here I thought newborns sleep all the time too, unless my children were doing it wrong?  So, why did my children never have the problem of mixing up their days and nights?  I'm sure you already know I have a theory....and I do.

It's because we co-sleep.  Either with them just in our room, or in our bed but the kids sleep in our room.  Our kids all slept in our room.  We tried the separate room with James, and it didn't work.  He would not sleep on his own from birth and looking back now I can't imagine why I thought he would.  He just came from inside me, why would I think he'd just magically sleep on his own?  So out of necessity he started sleeping in the bed with us and all of a sudden he slept so much better than he had.  I believe it's about hormones.  Our hormones affect our children, so when our hormones are telling us to sleep, it affects the babies hormones also telling them to sleep.

It's been shown that when you're close together your hormones will affect the other people you're around, you'll react to them.  I just don't understand now that I've looked into it that people still insist on forcing their children to cry to sleep so they'll learn?  Children learn best by mimicking adults so what better way to teach them to sleep than by showing them how?  Of course that does mean they'll need to be in the room with you! None of my kids had problems transitioning to their own rooms either, and I didn't have to make them cry until they "learned" that I wouldn't fulfill their needs.

I just think more parents should do more research into this, kids cry for communication, and because they need a need met.  Comfort is a need, and should be met also and it really is unrealistic to just expect a baby to "learn" immediately to sleep alone in a room in a huge bed.  CIO does make them learn, but only that they can't rely on you, do you really want that to be a lesson your child learns?