I had a bit of an “Ah Ha!” after I wrote that post on Advice.
I was sitting in my Early Childhood afternoon group, listening to the midwife talk to one of the other women about putting babies to sleep. She was saying that you need to put them down immediately, at the first signs of tiredness and without elaborate comforting in your arms so that they learn to fall asleep on their own and don’t need the association of your warmth to do it.
It sounds great but this tactic only works every once in awhile with Gus. He usually cries right away in his bed and need to be more sleepy before he’ll stay calm enough to go to sleep. And sometimes he needs to already be asleep when I put him down. So, having heard her say this before, I had been feeling bad and confused that we weren’t able to do it right.
But then just that morning, my lactation consultant had come over and we had a big talk about the two sides to this whole debate (with one side promoting controlled crying and the other promoting almost constant holding) and she basically said there was a middle ground where it was fine to hold him to sleep in the first 3 months. That the wrapping, rocking and patting were teaching him to sleep as well.
I felt so much better. Finally not confused. And I realized that I really needed that certainty right now. Really needed to know my next step in the middle of the night and in the face of crying. Really needed a strategy.
But that afternoon as I was listening to the midwife again, I could see her point and could feel the doubts creeping in again and could see my new calm floating away.
So I bore down on it. I held on tight and I felt my mind saying ‘No’ to the midwife. I felt the arguments forming in my defense. And I felt myself thinking “you’re wrong.”
And that’s when I realized: this is how it happens! This is where all the adamant opinions come from. Well at least some, it seems.
So now I’m back (again) to the solid understanding that there’s no wrong way -it’s really what feels best for Gus. So funny what a big deal this can feel like at times.