A Guest Post by Mumma Scribbles
The best* advice on the internet.
I am on my second time of parenting now, and I have spent five years putting my gorgeous children to sleep. I have gone through very similar things with both of them, although with Oscar, those things seem to have gone on for a lot longer than they did with Zach. That being said, I am still an expert at putting MY children to sleep.
However, despite me having done this for five years, people still seem to poke their oars in and advise against everything that I do. They seem to know my children and I have heard those same words so many times…”you are making a rod for your own back”. It is SO frustrating and so here are the things that according to others, you absolutely should not do to get your child to sleep.
Do not breastfeed your baby to sleep
I mean this is like the worst thing that you can ever do for your baby right? So you are breastfeeding, you are their comfort. This tiny little being (or a slightly larger one year old) who doesn’t take a dummy, doesn’t carry a muslin round, and has no other form of comfort, should not be fed to sleep. You should not sit there feeding and stroking their beautiful hair as they fall deeper into sleep. You shouldn’t hold them close and breathe them in as they drift away into dreamland. Oh no, really you should let them lay in their cot and figure it all out by themselves. Otherwise they will never ever learn to fall asleep by themselves!
Do not rock your baby to sleep
Similar to the whole breastfeeding thing, rocking your baby to sleep will be the absolute worst thing you could ever do. To make them feel safe and snug as they drift off in your arms is just the most ridiculous idea. They will get used to the rocking motion and never ever be able to fall asleep by themselves. FYI, I used to rock Zach to sleep a lot and he very easily falls to sleep all by himself!
Do not let your baby get used to napping in the pram or car seat
Gosh, this is just the worst thing you could do. If you don’t let your baby get used to napping in their cot then you will forever be having to get them to sleep whilst on the move. All that rocking the car seat and going for those healthy walks just to get them to have a nap is no good for you. It doesn’t matter that in their pram they’ll sleep for 2 hours whilst they will only do 40 minutes in their cot, before then spending another hour attached to your boob to stay asleep. Oh no. Sleeping in prams is just not good. (For the record, mum’s who I have spoken to who have worked so hard at getting their children to nap in their cot, always complain about the fact they can’t get them to sleep anywhere else!).
Do not talk to your baby when they wake up in the night
Noooooo. Don’t talk to them. I mean you wouldn’t want them to think that you love them, that you care for them, that you are wondering what’s wrong with them. You wouldn’t want them to feel comforted at the sound of your voice would you? It’s just all kind of wrong to make them think such things!
Do not bed share. I repeat. Do not bedshare
This is literally the worst thing that you can do. It is like the end of life itself. Putting your baby/toddler/child in your bed is the biggest no go. Itt really doesn’t matter that they feel
safer being next to you. That they are content when they can feel your presence. That breastfeeding is way easier if you just have to lop your boob out and they can immediately latch. And of course, that your mattress is way comfier than those cotbed mattresses! It also doesn’t matter that when they are in your bed, more often than not, they actually sleep. Yes that’s right, actual sleep.
Oh no. You must go through the hell of trying to get your baby back into their cot on every wake up. You must sit, bleary eyed, yawning, exhausted, and knowing that you have to be up for the school run or work in just a few hours, whilst trying to get them back to sleep. Putting them into your bed in order to get a few hours of continuous sleep is just a big fat no.
So there you go. If you want to have a good sleeper, you must not do any of those things! It doesn’t matter whether they are happy about it or not, just don’t do it! You will get used to blocking out their cries and of seeing their tear stained faces. It’s good for them to learn a bit of independence after all.
For the record, I would love for Oscar to not need to fall asleep on the boob, to nap in his cot and to not be breastfeeding during the night. I’m just not willing to make him completely unhappy, just for that extra bit of freedom that I would like to have. I am slowly introducing ways to try and work it out, rather than by just making him cry a lot!
About Mumma Scribbles…
Lisa blogs over at Mummascribbles and is mum to Zachary and Oscar, aged 5 and 1. She recently quit her job as an Event Manager to work on the blog and be a stay at home mum. She finds the most pleasure in watching her children laugh and watching her children sleep, and she cannot start her days without a big mug of hot tea and a chocolate biscuit.
For more from Lisa visit Mumma Scribbles
Thanks to Lisa for taking part in this series with this brilliant post. Everyone’s an expert aren’t they! Especially when it comes to telling you how you should be getting your child to sleep. But in reality, you are the one doing it, so do it however you see fit!
This post is part of the How to Parent series. If you wish to take part in the series you can email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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