1. There is no magic solution to babies waking. Definitely not one that you can only access for $30 in your local book store. Trust me. if there was a magic solution parents everywhere would be shouting it from the roof tops.
2. Many parenting books make you feel like a failure. It is classic a sales technique to make you think you have a problem and then offer you a “perfect” solution. And bonus points, if it doesn’t work they can say you didn’t do it right – Double guilt.
3. Babies actually know how to sleep. Sometimes it can feel like they have no idea. And you would be forgiven for thinking you need to learn how to make a baby sleep. But it is biologically ridiculous to assume that a baby is unable to sleep. With enough food, warmth and comfort, babies will actually sleep. Sometimes not the way we want them to, or for as long, or as regularly. Yet, they may actually be getting the right amount of sleep for them. Normal newborn baby sleep requirements can be from 9-18 hours. This variation doesn’t impact long term health outcomes.
4. You have amazing instincts. You are very good at reading your baby and considering what they might need.
Experimentation and workability are the backbone of every confident new parent.
- Can I try something new? (tick)
- Does it work for me and my family? (tick).
And the more time you spend looking to your baby for cues, the easier it is. Before you know it they are talking, and telling you exactly what they need. It is no coincidence that listening to your baby cry makes your blood pressure spike. Mother nature has decided someone has to be responsible for the safety of your tiny baby. The easiest choice was you, their mother.
5. There is no evidence to suggest anything you do to help your baby sleep in the first 6 months impacts on sleep later on. So you are free to try new things. Do what works for you and your family. No need to worry about ‘spoiling your baby’ or making a pattern that will never change.
So this is the bottom line:
If there is a baby sleep book that works for you – go with it.
But, if you find yourself ‘failing’ please remember this. NO ONE, not even the greatest “expert” or ‘baby whisperer’ knows your baby as well as you. Before you know it, they will be teenagers, and you will wonder how they are able to sleep as long as they do!
There is another option. Where you can avoid getting caught up in the chaos of chasing the ‘perfect sleep’. Would you would rather spend this early time with your baby falling in love? Would you rather spend your time enjoying a meaningful start to parenthood?