Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Dooce method of Sleep

Gah! Have you all been over to the Dooce's place? 475 comments on how to get a baby to sleep. Unbelievable. I'm amazed. That woman must have to take a Xanax just to read her comments.

To be honest, one of the reasons I hesitated on having a third child is the sleep issue. It is true, believe it or not, babies really do keep you up at night. I'm here as a walking zombie to prove that.

My first child inherited my sleeping habits. I was a non-sleeper from the beginning. They called it colic back then, they call it 'acid reflux' now. Whatever, it just involves a LOT of crying. And no sleep. For anyone.

She would sleep for 10 minutes at a time. No kidding! 10! We called them 'Ala-naps' and laughed and laughed because, well, we were going insane. We never had a chance to do the 'crying it out'method with her, because well, she never really slept and she cried it out for 5 hours at a time even when we were holding her, coddling her, sleeping with her, throwing her in the air...I mean, well she just never stopped crying.

Sometimes, after the 6th or 7th hour of crying, I admit, I would put her in her crib and let her cry for awhile. Not because I did not love her. Not because it was 'inconvenient' for me to hold her. It was because I had exhausted all possible scenarios of why she was crying, and if I didn't take a break from her for 5 minutes, I was going to stick my head in the microwave.

That did not make me a bad mother. At. All. I was a tired, sleep-deprived, exhausted and worn out mother who loved her child but could not get her to stop crying.

When Al was about 2, way past her sleeping through the night, she had a phase of waking up in the middle of the night, coming into our room and sleeping in our bed. At first, I loved it, I always love being by my kids, and it was much easier than getting up. But then it got annoying, and we weren't sleeping and continually waking up at night. So, when she did it, I got up, put her back in her bed, and after a week or so, she stopped coming into our room.

That did not make me a bad mother. At. All. I was tired, sleep-deprived, and wanted my daughter to be able to go back to sleep ON HER OWN.

My second daughter slept through the night at two days old. I've never had to force to sleep, ever. She would fall asleep on a roller coaster. I believe this is well deserved.

That did not make me a bad mother. At. All. I did not drug her, knock her unconscious, or do illegal drugs during my pregnancy to make her such a sleepy child. She's just our Bear.

I cannot stand when other people judge you for your mothering. It's one thing if I am berating my child, or calling them effing idiots because they won't go to effing sleep already. I was really stunned at some of the commenters, saying we did not love our children and how psychologically damaging we were being to our children. One even threatened to turn Dooce into the authorities. Are you KIDDING me?

Look people. I have worked at a shelter for abused kids. I have SEEN it with my own eyes. I have seen 6 month old kids with broken arms because "he wasn't mindin'." THAT, that is abuse.

Teaching your child to be independent, and to comfort themselves, that is not. It's love.

Trust me. I have a brother who is 35 years old and still lives at home. I think I know what I'm talking about when I say, sometimes it is OKAY to say 'no' to your kids, and let themselves cry themselves to sleep sometimes.

As Dooce says, Land mines be damned.

And shoot, my kids have turned out COMPLETELY normal. See?



mrtl said...

People are going to believe what they want. They're so right they have no interest in humoring the other side with an open ear. This was obvious in the little bit of commenting I checked out on Dooce, but still there were those expending way too much time and energy trying to argue with the likes of this.

People who expect babies to mind... that just breaks me. My mother knew someone way back when who spanked her newborn for crying.

Bente said...

We did the CIO method when Elli was old enough, only we didn't even know it was a "method". It just seemed like common sense that a child needs to learn to put themselves to sleep. I'm not saying the other methods people use aren't based on common sense, though!

It drives me crazy just how much judging goes on between parents. There are so many right ways to do things. Too bad not everyone can see that.

J Bo said...

No one knows what you and your baby are going through unless they are right there, sleep deprived.

I have a co-worker who things that I am not coming back to work after my maternity leave later this summer. Are you kidding me? My desk job is my calgon take me away! At least I can sleep there! Maternity leave = 12 weeks of sleep deprivation.

I said this on Dooce's site and at Blurb's- you do what works best for your kids. If it works, why must you be judged? As long as it's legal....

J Bo said...

My coworker thinks, not things. My husband just turned on the lawnmover for the first time since last year. think I am having a heart attack.

J Bo said...

Lawn Mower. Not mover. Jeesh!

Vajana said...

mrtl: Oh yes I know! And although Dooce has her personal life out there to be judged, I'm still in awe at all the bottom dwellers she seems to attract.

Maybe it's not so much the opinions but the attacking that is more appalling. Or both.

Bente: Like I said, with our first one no method was going to work, other than her just giving up and falling asleep. I only wished colic on one person in my life, and that was a cop who pulled me over for doing 37 in a 35 and gave me a ticket while she was screaming in the backseat. Oh yes.

JBO: Hey those pregnancy hormones are affecting your typing skills! :) I had the opposite happen when I decided to quit my job when I had Rug to "JUST" be a stay at home mom. Actually I got that a lot! Just sit back and smile. Kill 'em with kindness, that's what my mom says.

Amy said...

Ahh, the lovely sleep. I would like some right now please.

My kids are pretty good. Knock on wood. I liked when you wrote,
"Well, because we were going insane". Funnny.