Baby not sleeping? Time for a bit of balance

mumandbub

I’ve talked before about how controlled crying just isn’t for me. If it’s the right thing for you, I understand; but it’s not something I can do.

Today thought I wanted to talk about the other end of the spectrum.

I’ve had enough recently of people giving mothers a hard time because they want some structure to their day, or they want to do something for themselves.

One of my BabyBliss mums recently told me a story about a guy on public transport observing a mother not talking to her baby (because she was trying to encourage the baby to go off to sleep) and the guy telling her, “In my day we interacted with babies!” She was floored. And not surprisingly, upset.

It’s time we gave parents a break, especially those mums who are spending all day every day with their babies. A fantastic privilege, but also a difficult job.

Motherhood is a beautiful thing but it’s also one of the most difficult jobs you’ll ever do and one that no one trains you for.

When you have a baby not sleeping, all you can think about is getting them to sleep, how long it will take and when will it happen. It’s stressful, physically demanding and emotionally harsh.

I don’t believe you can put everything on hold for your baby and completely subjugate your own sense of self and your own needs for them. In the long run, it’s not healthy for you or the baby.

It is perfectly ok for you to want a good night’s sleep – a night in which you don’t have to hold the baby all night or have your arm go dead because you’re on a mattress next to the cot with you hand on the bub.

It is perfectly legitimate for you to want a solution for getting around the house and getting things done without necessarily having to babywear 24/7. (And a bit shout out to all the baby wearers out there – if that’s your bag, I’m all for it; it’s when you have to do it and you’re miserable and you want alternatives that I’m talking about).

I just don’t believe in “anything goes” when it comes to babies. I also don’t believe that the only alternative is a strict, controlled crying regime.

I’m unashamedly in the middle of the spectrum when it comes to baby techniques. You need an approach which is responsive to their needs and makes them feel safe and secure, an approach which acknowledges that you’re a person with your own needs and hopes and it has to be practical and sit with your own philosophy.

If you are sick of people saying, “It would be so much simpler if you’d just….” or “You should just….. and all this will be fine,” or “You should just respond to whatever your baby wants whenever they want it,” tell them to back off.

Balancing your own needs with your baby is nothing to be ashamed of!

All the best

Jo

xxx

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