The factory is silent. Its assembly line stands motionless. Somewhere off in the darkness, a buzzer sounds. One by one, lights begin to flicker and illuminate on long-unmanned diagnostic panels, giving a sense of enormity and complexity and scale to the machinery. The low hum of power supplies warming up comes next, followed by the higher and louder whine of turbines and electric motors. A whistle sounds, and one by one, employees begin to file in and take their places at the controls. Purposed for a single task, whose time has now come, the factory slowly comes to life...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cry it out? Not on my watch.

I read a really great blog post today about the "cry it out" method of "sleep training."

First, "sleep training?" I think the concept of training someone to sleep seems really counter-intuitive. I think it's double-speak for getting your baby to sleep on a schedule that you decide works for you. Because you know what? Babies sleep all on their own right from the time they're born without any special training, go figure. It may not be when or how YOU want them to, but tough. Newborns have their own innate schedule.

On "sleep training" methods, we got a copy of the "Babywise" sleep training book from our neighbors, and on the back it says something about being an "exciting infant management plan!"

Roll that around in your brain for a minute. "Infant management." When did we stop being parents and become "infant managers?" Have we devolved to such a level that we can no longer care for our children; we're just in the process of constantly "managing" them? My baby is not my employee! (Sometimes I kid with her that she needs to get a job, but that's different!) She's my daughter. I can teach, care for, instruct, love, guide and provide for her. But I don't "manage" her. She's not an animal. I'm not her handler.

So that brings me to the blog post. It makes me literally cry to think of the babies who are put through nights alone in the dark so that they will have a bed time that's convenient for the parents.

This post means a lot to me because it comes on the heels of a few day stint here where my ordinarily good sleeper is trying every last bit of our patience at nap and bed time! At times I have to step out of the room and take a deep breath or get Craig to go in to help her, but there's no way I could just let her cry alone in the dark. I understand the insanity you feel when the baby is crying and you just don't know how to stop it and you're so tired and you just want her to sleep because you know she's tired too! I'm not talking about having to let the baby cry to take a few minutes to catch up with your logical brain and regroup. That's normal, and actually a really good idea. But if my baby is crying it's because she needs something, even if it's just a few more minutes of being held. So I'm going to tend to her until I figure it out and she stops crying.

She's so little, and the world is so big...

She doesn't know anything about anything but what we show her. I want her to be independent and secure, but at 6 months old she has no concept of how to do that on her own. It may mean a 2 am bed time for us on a week night because she's holding out, but I try to remember that this too shall pass. One day she'll be big and I'll miss these nights of holding her in my arms in the rocker and waiting until she's taking those big sleep breaths under my chin to lay her down. There's plenty of time in life for her to be on her own, but not so much for her to be my little babe in arms...

Blog post:
Woman, Uncensored: "Just let her cry"

And that's why I can't do "cry it out." And I feel sorry for those who feel like that's the only thing that will work for their family.

1 comment:

  1. As someone who had shit sleeping patterns till they were five, I'm pretty sure my parents used to dope me up on cough syrup when they needed sleep.

    I have total faith in your take on this- the less you mess with Claire's circadian rhythms the better.


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