The Sleeping Baby

Is there anything sweeter than a sleeping baby? Case in point:


As new parents, sleeping is what you hear you will miss the most, that you will dream of your baby sleeping at night — ALL night. As a new grandmother, I am contractually obligated to offer up advice to the new parents which they can then ignore, because what do I know?!

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article in their Personal Journal section on Sleep Training. I’m sharing this with my daughter and son-in-law with the disclaimer that the opinions in the article and video may not be mine. Watch the video below for the gist of the article.

Parents have  wanted their infants to sleep through the night ever since the first cave tot middle of the night wake-ups revealed the family cave to the saber tooth tiger pack. In more recent history, Roland and I, too, wanted our precious babes to sleep through the night sooner rather than later, and grandmothers gave advice. Another disclaimer: I don’t remember if my mom or MIL gave us any specific sleep advice. At the time, though, I do remember talk around the playground about just how to accomplish this much desired goal.

They call it sleep training now (I guess along the lines of potty training). We didn’t call it that, but there was talk about letting your baby cry it out. Do you or don’t you. We didn’t. That’s my story. Laura, according to her baby book, slept through the night at 7 weeks! Woohoo! First kids do like to show off, don’t they?!

According to his baby book, Kyle slept through the night at 3 months. I must have written it down on the first night he did it, and then it didn’t happen again for 12 years. Well, maybe not 12 years, but Kyle was often sick with ear infections or bronchitus or asthma or something and I remember a lot of sleepless nights. I suspect we might have let him cry it out on a night or two.

Mostly, though, I remember trying the cry it out technique with naps. And 10 minutes was my limit, so I guess that “cry it out” is not entirely accurate. The idea was, after 10 minutes you check on the baby to let them know that you have not abandoned them. There is no picking up, just a rub on the back or the head, some soft assurances, and then you sneak back out, and start the 10 minute thing over again.

Parenthood is not very efficient.

There isn’t a right way, no one size fits all. There’s the way that you, as a parent, feel most comfortable with. At the end of the day, eventually, hopefully, everyone sleeps.


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