How To Train Baby To Sleep In Crib
You and Your Baby’s Needs
Part of the job of becoming a family is to discover what you all need. Some parents meet their own needs vicariously by letting their baby’s needs come first. This is how Pauline and leremy, parents of Hannah, Joshua and Martha, like things,
Martha has three or four stories and then one of us sits beside her bed until she is asleep, or outside her room, depending on her wishes.’
And Caroline, mother of four, says:
I didn’t have my children to ignore them. The health visitor just didn’t understand that. She kept saying “What about you, what about you?” Well, I’m sorry, but my children come first.’
Other mothers recognize that they need to meet their own needs first. Ruth, mother of less, four, and Alice, two, knew she needed her sleep:
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I knew I had to work so they had to sleep. My going to work is not negotiable and I cannot function if I haven’t slept. Both of my children have slept through the night from four to six weeks. From very early on I’ve put them down awake – from five, six, seven weeks. You could always rely on feeding them to sleep, but I decided I wasn’t going to do that any more. I take them upstairs and I’m down in 15 seconds. A kiss and in the cot. I don’t believe that any child needs to be fed and comforted every hour-and-a-half, and I’d be very unaccepting of a child like that. I believe there’s a range of needs, but I don’t believe that a baby has needs in the middle of the night. I think the lack of ambiguity is crucial – if they feel that they can stay awake then they will.’
If you know you can’t manage on five hours interrupted sleep a night, and want to do something about it, you shouldn’t feel guilty. On the other hand, if your own needs are met by being available for your baby through the night then there is no reason that you should feel that those who choose a different method are doing a better job.
Certainly your baby needs to feel secure before he can sleep. But his security comes in part from your loving, relaxed predictability – not just from your presence. You don’t have to be there when he goes to sleep and you don’t have to leave him either.
What is essential is that you communicate your needs clearly, negotiate ground rules and stick to them Don’t try to be nice or to please. If you have to grin and bear it, something’s wrong.