Infant Sleep – The RIGHT Way

I voted in this poll.

 http://abcnews.go.com/US/sleeping-parenting-tips-children-sleep-beds/story?id=14368358

 Let’s be clear:  I voted because I like polls and because I am curious, not because I am trying to foist my opinion on others or because I expect any action to be taken once everyone has voted.  Why?  Because this debate seems so stupid!  Time to move on.

 What’s the topic?  Co-sleeping.  That is, parents (specifically mothers) sleeping with their infants and children.  Aside from breastfeeding, I think the topic of infant/child sleep gets us riled up like none other.  But… why?

 The practice of co-sleeping is something that our culture will never agree on, and you know what?  That’s not a problem!  There is nothing wrong with disagreeing about parenting and lifestyle issues – matter of fact, we do it all the time!  Even before we become parents, we form opinions about anything and everything having to do with babies and children; and then once we become parents, the fact that we have strong opinions remains constant, whether they have changed or the stayed the same.

 So, tell me, why do we have to prove each other wrong?  Why do we polarize ourselves in such extremes, such as in the co-sleeping ‘debate’?  Fact is, many families co-sleep. Some do it happily and without complaint.  Some do it reluctantly and wish to stop.  Fact also is, many families sleep separately.  Some do it happily and without complaint.  Some do it reluctantly and want to stop.  Fact is, there are some safety issues with co-sleeping.  Parents should know what these issues are and should act accordingly.  Fact is, there are some safety issues with sleeping separately.  Parents should know what these issues are and should act accordingly.

 The co-sleepers are not better than the separate sleepers.

 The separate sleepers are not better than the co-sleepers.

 They are just different.  We all have reasons for making the choices we make, and  as long as no one is acting recklessly and putting other people at risk, our choices should be respected and not debated.

 I admit, I have a personal bias on this issue and sometimes I share that bias in conversation with other people – friends, clients, colleagues.  Also, as a professional, I sometimes answer questions and provide information on the topic of my bias, but – and read this carefully, for it is the most important part of this essay – I do NOT share that info *because* it is my bias, but rather because the parents have asked about it.  Period. 

 I’ve long believed that if we spent less time defending our position and simply spent more time standing by the decisions that work best for ourselves,  we all would experience more peace and we’d have more time to focus on that which matters to us.

 So, let it go people! This is not a battle that needs to be won.  There is room in Grandma’s feather bed for us all!

Regardless of whether or not you are alone or have little critters in bed with you, sleep well tonight, friends.

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Comments

  • Dagmar Bleasdale (@DagmarBleasdale)  On August 27, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Great post! Yes, people like to be critical if you parent differently than they do. I guess they take it as criticism as if they are doing something wrong.

    I just want to inform what works for ME on my blog, Dagmar’s momsense, and hope that it might help others. But because I’m pretty opinionated, people’s feathers get ruffled. I can live with that 🙂

    Dagmar ~ Dagmar’s momsense

    • kgibclc  On August 28, 2011 at 11:19 pm

      Nothing wrong with ruffling some feathers, if it gets people *thinking* and talking. 😉

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