Wednesday, September 19, 2012

To sleep: perchance to dream

So yes… we’ve had a pretty rough month in the Rowan-Campbell household when it comes to sleeping.  Our darling daughter Gwyneth went through quite a transition when she threw that Sousy away, and we are still trying to help her self-soothe and get some sleep.

I must say, the past two weeks HAVE been better.  Little did I know that our method of “sleep training” would stir up such controversy!

I really had no idea that there were such varying opinions on the matter of infant sleep.  Many of my friends were astonished that I would actually PUBLISH on Facebook that I was using the Ferber Method of sleep training.  “You’re brave to admit to that publicly,” one friend wrote, “but I’m in your corner.”

Another confessed that she and her husband used a sleep training method with all four kids, but didn’t tell any of their friends.

So what gives?  I had to learn more.

And learn I did.  Wow.  It just so happens that at the same time we were starting our sleep training with Gwyneth, the Moby Wrap Facebook page posted an interesting graphic – with interesting response!

Now honestly, I thought most of the conversation would centre around not using diapers – there ARE people who don’t, but that’s a discussion for another day – but no.  The overwhelming discussion surrounded the first bullet – having baby sleep in your bed.

Wow.  There are some NASTY people online who apparently like Moby Wrap, but still behave like they’re on the playground in grade one.  I couldn’t believe the comments flying between both camps – the co-sleepers and the non-co-sleepers (for lack of a better term).

We certainly tried several types of co-sleeping.  We started with Gwyneth in a bassinet next to our bed when she first came home from hospital.  But as you might imagine, after three months of sleeping in a busy NICU ward with lights on, bells and beeps and alarms going all night, and nurses bustling about, sleeping next to us in a dark, quiet room was not her cup of tea. 

So, we moved her to the crib and I slept on a twin bed next to her.  This also had mixed results.  She still wanted lights on – and even dim lighting makes it impossible for me to sleep – and we actually played the radio or music all night long for her, as she couldn’t handle the silence of small-town Fergus (where were the crazy kids who annoy us at the school next door on those nights?!?!?).

I have also tried having her in my bed, never for the night, but for naps.  She really doesn’t enjoy this too much. 

So I found the mudslinging amusing.  There were lots of good points on both sides of the argument.  One mom wrote, “All four of my brothers and sisters and I co-slept and we’re fine.”  Others posted links to various arguments in favour of both crib-sleeping and co-sleeping.  Some were over the top – one mom wrote, “This article basically tells you why it’s cruel to put your child in a crib.”  Which is funny, because I read the article, and it didn’t really say that… well, unless you're a cave woman and worried about wild dingoes eating your baby.

I think this mom summed it up nicely:  There are few groups of people as judgy as moms. Read up on what you want to do, use your own judgement, make YOUR decision and let everyone else do the same.

And so, that’s what we’re doing.  Gwyneth still takes at least twenty minutes to settle at night.  And last night, I admit I gave in and rocked her to sleep.  Honestly… I kinda like rocking her to sleep.  Because at the end of the day, I realize that soon enough she’ll be thirteen and telling me she doesn’t need a mom.

Might as well enjoy being needed while it lasts.

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