On Infant Sleep

Avoid Dr Sears’ and similars attachment parenting of sleep teaching like the plague when it comes to infant sleep unless you want to raise a codependent personality.

Sleep teaching is simple – allow the baby to sleep vs teaching anything. Often this involves letting baby cry first. Then baby falls asleep. Parent can’t fall asleep for baby – baby must do it for self.

Start a sleep routine for baby immediately at birth that is separate from waking routines including feeding. By four months of age baby is developmentally ready for sleep teaching, which is allowing baby to cry to sleep – no teaching involved. Go for Dr Weissbluth and his similars. He basically says put baby in his own crib at bedtime, and don’t go in the room to intervene until morning. Babies are not supposed to be digesting a meal or eliminating waste while trying to sleep, so avoid feeding-to-sleep. After bed-time routine put baby down when baby is awake but starting to drift off and then walk out of the room. Baby may “cry it out” until he learns to go to sleep quickly without crying. This can take a couple of nights to about a week. And then after that, baby knows exactly what to do at sleep-time for the rest of his life! He won’t need another person to help him fall asleep, and years of insanity fruitlessly trying to do so can be avoided.

All this attachment parenting wherein parents are up in the night with babies that need to be sleeping (not eating, not interacting, not having bowel movements etc), but can’t because of parental intervention, is the source of incredible codependency and sleep disorders in parents and kids alike. If I could go back in time, I never would have given attachment parenting “the time of ‘night'”.

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