Originally Posted by Mawood
I know it's still way too early but I am interested in your experiences and opinions about baby's sleep habbits. Olivia is exactly three weeks old today. She sleeps in our bed and almost exclusively falls asleep at my breast. We figured since she is so little and that's what she needs (she cries if I just put her down or take her off the breast) we just follow her cue and I am enjoying it too - most of the times
My husband and I had been reading about attachment parenting in The Baby Book and very much relate to it. I do want Olivia to be able to fall asleep by herself eventually though and I do want her to have a night time routine where she has an early bed time for herself. I had thought you slowly start this at 6-8 weeks or even later 3-4 months. Now I have been getting different information that if young babies are getting used to being rocked or held as a newborn they will always want it and not be able to fall asleep by themselves.
I don't know. Friends I have who have done the same thing with their firstborn and who then had a second child who just couldn't get that much attention naturally and developed better sleep habbits than the firstborns. There is no way I would let Olivia "cry it out" at this age plus I had always thought you can't spoil a newborn you just read their cues and Olivia definitely wants to be held especially in the evening hours.
How do your babies sleep and where do they sleep?
I think the idea that a newborn-4 month old will get used to needing being rocked and therefore should be trained to self-soothe from birth is flawed in so many many ways.
I really liked the way The Happiest Baby on the Block
explained it...as neanderthals we very likely didn't come out of the womb until TWELVE months, but as our brains grew, our bodies began to expel babies younger...so emotionally and physcially we are not really ready to be BORN like other babies in the animal kingom, who can crawl and even walk a few hours after birth.
In fact, keeping your babies swaddled up, surrounded by comforting noises (your heartbeat, white noise) and close to the bossom, is exactly what they need to develop the coping skills
they will need to sleep better later. The more a baby is held and cuddled as an infant the more developed their emotional and intellectual sides of their brains become and there for the better they will be at coping with these things later.
DS was a co-sleeper, a night nurser, we swaddled him, he sucked a pacifier, and we played white noise and propped him on his side until he was big enough to tummy sleep...by 10 months he had all the coping skills he needed to fall asleep and fall BACK to sleep if he woke up in the middle of the night without any of those things. He needed to be rocked or swung to sleep until he was about 3 months old, then just patting/burping was fine. Sometimes even at two he needed to nurse til drowziness, and he still needs stories and singing to fall asleep at night at nearly 5, and if he has a bad dream he needs a grown up to hold him until he goes back down, but don't we all need that? I do!
If those friends think a kid under 5 will ever just be sent to bed and be all see ya later
, I think they have unrealistic expectations of kids...and it's a little sad to miss out on that special time. But generally, I think co-sleeping, swaddling and rocking to sleep help kids be BETTER sleepers, not worse. They will not always
need to be rocked to sleep...or maybe they will and they will grow up to buy a house boat or be a sailor. Who knows?
It's not that big a deal to rock a toddler in a rocking chair to help them get drowzy, is it?
My dd nurses to sleep, and at night we swaddle, turn on the static, nurse while rocking and then she goes down tilted to one side. She's the best sleeper I know...consistently sleeps from 9/10pm-4/5am then nurses for a wee bit and goes back down in the basinette right next to my side of the bed (we would co-sleep but DH is a VERY heavy sleeper, comatose like and he has nearly squashed her twice, so now she sleeps in a safer place by still in arms reach) for another 2-3 hours. She falls asleep in the carrier or the stroller or the car seat (any moving seat really), and when awake is the happiest darned baby ever...now most of that is just cause I got lucky with a happy baby that likes to sleep, but it is also because I follow her cues and do everything to help her sleep as well as she possibly can (for someone with such a teeny tiny tummy
You are definitely doing the right thing by following her cues and your instincts. That other information you have heard is just bad advice, IMO.
FWIW, I wasn't able to dictate the schedule to my child until we started day care at 14 months, but we had a pretty decent routine going by the age of 4 months (not including teething moments), and we were able to manipulate that slightly with blackout curtains and nap adjustments....but NOT in the first few weeks!