Re: November Infants and Toddlers
posted at 11/4/2012 4:26 PM EST
Oh, boston, hiding under the coffee table, SO CUTE! I think the absolute cutest age for babies is once they start to crawl, from 9-12 months of age - those bums crawling and the hands slap-slapping on the floor as they speedily crawl to whatever.... so cute! And the clapping and the being so PROUD of themselves starts, I'll agree, they are just too cute. That's when I yearn to have a baby....
As for bedtime routines, I think that if a bedtime routine works for you, whatever age your baby/child is, then it's fine. If you can rock your baby to sleep and enjoy it, and have them stay asleep when you put them in the crib, great. If their waking once or twice doesn't bother you, great - for others that's a deal breaker and they have to try to stop the wake ups. If 1 hour of rocking works, great, if only 10 minutes works for you, great. yes, when you teach your child to only fall asleep either by being rocked or nursed (or bottle fed) then you do have a problem - no babysitter or father can nurse a baby to sleep, for example, but you can solve it if it becomes a real problem. If your baby just keeps moving forward like boston's does, and does new things on their own (and most do) like sleeping through the night, etc. then you're fine!
And what works for your first child might not work for your second - or vice versa. So if rocking a baby to sleep for 20 mins worked for your routine and life with your first, it might not when you have an 18 month old getting into who only knows what in the livingroom.... or perhaps your baby goes to sleep after your toddler so it does work!
I don't think parenting is an all or nothing thing, a black and white thing - and no amount of parenting books can be right for all people. For some, the Happiest Toddler books were godsends, for other toddlers it made them crazy (see the Terrible Twos post).... but I do think it needs to work for the FAMILY - if it's making you crazy to rock your child to sleep, or to do CIO, or to get up 3 times in the night, or whatever, THEN you need to change something. But only if that's true.
But I do know parents for whom the rock until fall asleep and then slide into bed as babies became 1-2 HOURS at 18 months of age..... and when you have a mountain of work to do, or studying, or whatever, 2 hours can be onerous.... and THAT's when you have to recognize it before it gets to 1-2 hours and do something, no matter how much it might hurt in the short-term, to make sure you don't get to that 2 hour thing.
And remember, for those of you who use childcare of whatever sort, your babies do probably know how to go to sleep on their own, since no childcare center or family childcare home can fully rock a baby to sleep every single time - so find out how your baby does it at childcare and take heart that if he/she can do it there, s/he can do it at home.... just gonna take some work to get them to realize that the rules have changed at home.