Cry or "Coddle?"

On my facebook wall, I tagged a link to an article calledCoddle or let the kid cry? New research awakens the sleep-training debate in the Globe and Mail.  You need to read this article that is attached to the link, as this is what this blog is about.  My friend asked my option on this… and so here it is…

First of all, I don’t like the word “coddled” as a word to describe a parent that does not let their child cry.  I never thought I was coddling my boys as I put them to sleep.  I didn’t read too many books on how to put my babes to sleep.   I was always a mom that loved holding them to sleep.  I needed that down time and so enjoyed that one on one I had with them.  I often made up a silly song just for them that was part of their going to bed routine.

I did hear of Ferber and did read his book out of curiosity.  It was not a process that I was comfortable with.  We did try it.  Everyone was talking about it and seemed to have great success with it.  I remember us trying it.  It was heartbreaking.  I just couldn’t find sense to sit outside the door and hear my babe cry.  I never had kids that cried for no reason.  I always felt that if my babe was crying there was a reason.

That said, this isn’t a judgement to those that believe in it and found success with it.  I remember being at someone’s house.  Their baby was 4 weeks old… it had slept through the night.  The mom said that since it slepted through the night, it must not need to eat and the next night let the babe cry till he fell asleep.  She told me she sat there and watched T.V.  I won’t lie, this broke my heart.  This child has grown up not wanting a lot of cuddling or comfort from anyone.  As a babe, it preferred to be put into the swing and sooth himself with his thumb.

I think that when you are desperate for sleep, when you are so sleep deprived you will do what you need to.  For me, having had three babes in 3 years… a husband that was not home often, I learned to do what worked for me.  I had them all fall asleep in our bed.  At some point we moved them.  Everyone got sleep.  

I am also the parent that had what is often referred to as a family bed.  It was not belief that had any baring except that we all slept.  Sammy’s little bed was on the end and when the babe woke up, I could feed them right there.  This is how I survived those days of being a blurry eyed being.

I have since understood that some people cannot go without sleep.  They cannot function.  It is those that have lived and breathed the Ferber Method.

I guess I am just a mom that never liked to see my babes cry.  I always felt that my job was to be there for this little babe, to see to their needs, no matter the cost of mine.  Whether this was right or not, it worked for us.

My kids eventually got to the point of being able to be kissed good night and sleep in their rooms without any trouble.  There was never any insecurities of even needing a night light, soother or blankey.  (I am not saying that the need of any of these items is based on insecurities… necessarily).

“In Dr. Ferber’s second edition, published in 2006, he added a preface clarifying the difference between his method and a shut-the-door approach. “Simply leaving a child in a crib to cry for long periods alone until he falls sleep, no matter how long it takes, is not an approach I approve of,” he wrote.

This  preface that he added is one I am glad of.  When I read his book, 2005, this was not mentioned and for this I did not agree with his thoughts.  Maybe he assumed parents would use their judgement in this but many a time parents may feel so unqualified to parent that they read and act word for word on the words of a Doctor rather than using the common sense that God gave us.

Most of us, love our children and will do the right thing.   Yet there are those that seem to be “done” at 8 pm and closing the door is a way of ending their shift to parenting.

SO…. as I read this article… I will say that I felt glad that there are writings on parenting the way I did… and that I was not weird.  Though as I was dealing with my infants over the years, I often found myself the only one parenting “differently.”  I am never one to push my thoughts on someone else… so I often hated the fact that others did not bestow that same courtesy on me.

I will end by saying that God gave each of us a heart and common sense.  If we listen to our hearts, we will no doubt do the right thing, no matter if it is different than others, when it comes to raising our children.
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