I’ve just read an article (crikey I sound like my dad!) which really resonated with me. It was about laying with your child until the fall asleep for as long as they need you to, it’s from Family Days Tried and Tested and you can read it here. I liked it because it echoes my sentiments about nurturing your child.
I’ve been slated a lot about my parenting techniques, I’ve had people bitch behind my back about how I breastfed my daughter until she was over one, about how she was clingy because I cuddled her too much and didn’t palm her off enough to be looked after by others from a young age so that she didn’t cry for mummy and finally I was slated for not using the cry it out method at bed and nap time.
Well actually as an 18 month old, she’s confident, very sociable, she’s resilient and a happy well developed intelligent little human and I haven’t had to leave her to cry buckets. Ok her first few weeks at the childminders when I went back to work took some adjusting to however she also during that time contracted every cough and cold going as well as hand, foot and mouth so coped pretty damn well for a 1 year old adjusting to a massive change in routine.
Babies aren’t met to be able to be left alone or separated from the mother. It’s an old fashioned and unnatural point of view and they are meant to be able to self soothe. They need to be taught, reassured, loved and nurtured into having the confidence to know they’re safe and that mummy will come back. Crying it out doesn’t do that, it teaches them that if they cry no one comes.
Much to the disagreement of one health visitor I saw when my daughter was about 7 or 8 months old, I didn’t do the cry it out method. Instead I’ve gradually moved further and further away without leaving her and now I love our bedtime routine. It’s calm, it’s gentle and it’s our time and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Post bath, Toddler P quite happily has a snuggle with me as we read books, usually the same one over and over “gen!” We count our fingers at toes which she does have ten of each but seems to dislike the number 5. We sing our favourite nursery rhymes and give lots of kisses. When she’s ready (with a lot of my guidance) she asks to go in her cot and we move from my bed into there were I simply sit and watch her as she rolls about singing and chatty for a few minutes until she drops off to sleep holding “Baa-amb and Moo-Cow” looking oh so innocent with her long dark lashes resting on her cheeks.
I love this time, it’s usually a half hour, to 45minute routine and after a long busy day rushing around from work, whichever childcare it’s been that day, cooking tea, playing with and feeding the chinchilla, it’s nice to have some calm together in our own little bubble. So yes, I will lay with her and sit with her for as long as she needs me to, to drift off to sleep because it’s calm, it’s not taking that long and it’s nice to have that time together.