Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm the weird one?

Since becoming a parent, it's been brought to my attention numerous times that I'm "different" than most of the other moms that I know. It seems that most parents are super-worried about promoting dependancy in their children. They let their kids cry and fuss because they want them to learn to self-soothe. They sleep train very early in order to ensure that their kid will sleep in their crib for long stretches of time. They put them on a schedule because they feel that they, as the parent, know what is best for their kid.

Now I'm not saying that these are bad things. I'm just saying that they're not really my style. Jade is still sleeping badly, and I have let her scream in her crib a few times in efforts to get her to sleep. But honestly, I regret that decision and it was something I did out of exhaustion and frustration and not love. I always try to put myself in her shoes. I don't feel that she's ready to sleep on her own, and really, I don't blame her. She was inside of me for 9 long months. What kind of sense does it make to put her in a crib all by herself when she's only 4 months old? Some babies do crave space, and do well by themselves, but she's not one of them... and I'm ok with that. I want to meet her needs. If meeting her needs falls under other people's definition of "spoiling" then oh well. I truly believe that meeting her needs now will help her to be a more independent person in the future.

I'm reading a book called Our Babies, Ourselves and I'm realizing that we, as Americans, are the weird ones. I might be weird within America for bedsharing, but worldwide bedsharing is the norm. I don't think there is any right or wrong... I just think it's important to do what's best for your family. I am amazed at all the people in our culture that think that our way is the only way to parent... particularly with bedsharing. The American Academy of Pediatrics says not to do this because of the suffocation risk to the baby and the increased risk of SIDS. Yet SIDS doesn't even exist in most places where bedsharing is normal. Can bedsharing be unsafe? Of course. You should never bedshare if you're obese, or under the influence of any kind of drug (alcohol included). I pull the blankets down and sleep on the edge of a pillow.

There have been numerous studies done that are so cool to me that show how the baby's and mom's sleep cycles sync. And I experience it every night. I often wake up right before Jade does. I'm able to soothe her back to sleep before she even wakes up all the way and then we're both right back to sleep. Now, I will admit this doesn't always happen, but I can assure you it doesn't happen at all when she's down the hall.

Anyways, I'm rambling. I'm just sick of people attacking me because I don't parent the way that they do. I'm just doing what I feel is best for my family and my kid :)


Emily said...

Oh, I hear ya! Now, I don't bedshare because I'm selfish and I want my sleep! I don't sleep well with the baby in bed with me because I am constantly waking up to check on him. I have tried this a couple times now. However, I have heard of co-sleepers where the baby's bed attaches to yours. I haven't seen one, but if things with his cluster feeding flare up again I might invest in one! Right now he is in a bassinett at the end of our bed. He's too little to be in his own room! Anyway, I have been on both sides of this one...the scheduling and now more on the side of just following baby's lead. Both ways work, but it seems to be more what each of my kids needed, ya know? Sorry people are harrassing you on your parenting choices...you're doing great!

~e said...

Emily, the co-sleeper that attaches to the bed is called the Arms Reach (they have a regular sized one and a mini). We have one... but Jade sleeps the same in it that she does in her crib. We only get longer stretches when she's touching me, haha. Thanks for the encouragement!