Here is a link to a somewhat humorous article about sleep and babies and all of the conflicting opinions about what we should and should not be doing as parents. If you’ve read anything about sleep training or infant sleep habits or have actually attempted to figure out the mystifying sleep patterns of a baby then you’ll find this article amusing.
I was hanging out with a couple of other moms today and talking about our babies and their sleeping habits. Our babies are all around the same age and it was nice to hear that we are all having similar experiences – mainly that our babies are no longer sleeping through the night. We were talking about this article and different things to try. There are so many strategies to sleep and what works for one baby may not work for another. And what works for one baby one week may not work the next week.
One interesting comment that was made and we were all in agreement was that we may decide to do something one way and then we remember something we heard someone else say and we wonder if we should actually be doing something different. Examples given were:
- my baby just started nursing himself to sleep for naps and it’s working for us right now but I heard that you can’t let them do that too much or they’ll depend on it.
- I’ve let my son come into bed with us now a few times because it’s just too much for me to keep getting up during the night but I wonder if I should stop to make sure he doesn’t get used to it.
The basic consensus was that we’re totally fine doing something until we let those other opinions get in our heads. Then we doubt ourselves and stress over whether or not we are doing it right. But when we ignore other people’s opinions then we are more content.
Hmmmm….. the answer seems obvious here. Ignore other people’s opinions and just do what feels right to you!
I know this is easier said than done. I am in no position to judge my friends here because I have been guilty of this many times over and am still working on this myself. What I’m learning is that the vast majority of times that I feel stressed or am questioning my parenting abilities is when I’m trying to listen to another person’s perspective above my own.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for listening to other people’s perspectives. I find value in hearing how other people have done things and in no way believe that I have all of the answers. What I’m saying here is that I am most successful when I hear what everyone else has to say, take each opinion into consideration, and then decide what I believe is right for me and my baby. I know my situation better than anyone else does therefore I’m the best person to assess what is right for me. The same is true for you. And you and I may come to different conclusions and that’s perfectly ok.
The main solution I’m coming up with is to trust myself above all else and know that there is no right way to parent!