Here’s one “secret” to getting a better night’s sleep: do what is best for you and your family.
- Put your baby in a crib. Or a bassinet. Or a co-sleeper. Or a toddler bed. Or a regular bed with guards. Or on a sleeping bag on the floor. Or pull her into bed with you.
- Let him sleep by your side. Or in his own room down the hall. Or on a mattress on the floor in the hall.
- Breastfeed before bed. Ot bottlefeed before bed. Or breastfeed to bed.
- Put your baby to bed at 6 p.m. Or 10 p.m.
- Give a bath every night. Or every two nights. Or once a week.
- Read a book before bed. Or read ten. Or don’t read before bed at all.
- Sing songs. Or play a CD. Or go to bed in the quiet.
- Use white noise from a machine. Or from the vacuum. Or don’t use it at all.
- Rock your baby to sleep. Or drive around the block. Or take a walk around the block and put him in the stroller.
Sometimes I find that there are so many “voices” about the sleep issue that it’s best to simplify, to de-clutter, to put in ear plugs and let the background noise fade…and then to just do what is right for my family.
At first, I felt apologetic about my choices. But now I just share my experience and leave it at that. Some people might think we’re a little bit crazy. We’ve never used a crib (In fact, we recently gave ours to a family member because we knew we’d probably never use one again…). We co-slept for a year and loved it. Now, our 21-month-old daughter sleeps on a double-sized mattress on the floor in her own room. She breastfeeds to sleep at night (although that is changing because we are going through the weaning process right now – slowly and gently…). And she still wakes up in the night to nurse so I co-sleep with her from about 2 a.m. onward.
BUT – and this is a big but – we all sleep wonderfully in our house. My daughter sleeps from about 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. And all three of us wake up refreshed and happy.
So, should you pack up your crib and send it off to the Goodwill – and follow my “method”? No…you should follow YOUR method. Determine what makes you and your little one(s) the most peaceful and then do that. Proudly. Unapologetically. Happily. With humble confidence and without reservation.
NOTE: I think it goes without saying that you should follow safety precautions and take your child’s age into consideration when making your choices…