some of us formula feed, some don't circumcise, and some sleep train. we are all on the same crazy ride of parenting just trying to survive without our children learning four letter words and hoping they become upstanding citizens. so, i want to write an honest post, sort of to validate my choices and maybe yours.
i don't necessarily believe in sleep training - there is something to be said for leaving your baby alone in the dark crying for you but on the flip side i agree that babies should have the skills to self sooth at some point. i have four kids, that means other then the baby, i have three little people that demand and deserve my attention too. all my kids have been great sleepers, ones you could just lay down and walk away and they would sing themselves to sleep. robin likes to be rocked.
just a few weeks ago i was gushing to tim that i love to rock him, none of the girls would put up with this, they wanted to be left alone. go figure this time around i purchased the most uncomfortable rocker. robin doesn't insist on a set routine but whatever we do ends with rocking, bouncing, and shushing until he is all the way asleep before laying him down.
robin also likes to not nap long, thirty minutes and he is ready to play, so he takes several of these "cat naps" all day. when you start adding together the ten minutes of the rocking and shushing and bouncing for all those naps, my attention is occupied a lot of the day.
one particularly busy day a week ago i needed to get robin down so he could catch a quick snooze before our day began, he was fighting it, which is pretty unusual but it was still happening. i was anxious and getting flustered so i just laid him down, checked to make sure that he was safe, warm, and snug and i walked out to stand on the other side of his door. i made note of the clock on the computer and set a five minute goal for myself, promising to go in if his cry became anything more then a subtle one - at three and half minutes he was fast asleep.
the next nap came up and i tried again, this time he was pretty happy when i laid him down and a few minutes in i heard some mild whimpering and then he was fast asleep. dare i celebrate? i didn't want to give up our nighttime routine though, that is our special time and if he wants me to rock him to sleep then, then i will forever.
nap times are a breeze now and i am thankful for a few extra minutes in my day. naps are still only about thirty minutes, forty-five if we are really lucky, but i don't feel as anxious going into them, like i am trying to beat the clock. i was sure that this plan of mine wouldn't work, especially after those days of hysterical crying we had recently had, but it was just what he and i needed.
we all do what is best for our parenting style and family - we should all be proud of even simple accomplishments no matter how we got there. robin falls asleep great on his own now, even if i did let him cry it out for three minutes.