Originally Posted by ihugtrees
Yeah, THIS. This is what I was looking for. Is it horrible to not nurse/rock/bounce/hold your baby until they fall asleep? Again, most of the children I babysat were able to go down on their own, sleep reasonable amounts of time, etc. There were only one or two that needed to be rocked or patted to sleep. I was wondering if those parents made them CIO as tiny babies to make them learn to sleep on their own or not? If not, how do you put your baby down to sleep? Is it possible to do this while breastfeeding/cosleeping?
I am still catching up on all the replies, but wanted to point out that babies and toddlers are known to behave very differently for sitters than for parents - heck, very differently for fathers than for mothers....especially if the mother is completely out of sight, earshot, and smelling range (apparently babies can smell their mother's milk from really far away...).
I haven't gotten the nerve to try it with my crappy sleeper, but I keep hearing from friends who also have/had crappy sleepers that their babies slept longer stretches for sitters.
ETA: My son actually was a wonderful sleeper from pretty much birth until he was about 5 months old. Something no one ever told me before I had a baby: milestones realllly screw with their sleep. Mine hit milestones, got teeth (6 at once at one point), and illnesses back to back for the last 6 months. I'm reallllllly tired. And my son is 11 months old and practically running. He climbs, he can get out of bed and walk to the door (we just found this out tonight...).
In any case, my point is that sometimes it's also a combination of circumstances and temperament that results in the difficult sleep pattern. Even Ferber and other sleep training methods tell you not to do anything when there's a reason for the night wakings. I had a baby crawling in his sleep and banging his head into a wall. And a baby getting 6 teeth is NOT a sound you'll listen to for more than 30 seconds.
Really, once you have your own baby, you'll find that you have a physical - almost animal - response to them crying. You will do anything in your power to make the crying stop. For me, in those first couple months, I informed DH that I was not in my right mind if the baby was crying. He cried in his carseat every time he was in it, and I had to stop driving further than 10 minutes....and even in that time I was known to pull over and get DS out of the carseat...
I'm tired and rambling, but my point is really echoing that of a previous reply - you will know your baby better than anyone and, if you really listen to your gut (which is remarkable in translating the cries of your baby), you'll know how to handle all of this.