||Subject: Mom denounces "cry to sleep"
Dear Jan, although my son is only 8 weeks old (and
has shared our bed since his birth) my husband and I are already
debating how we will handle putting him to sleep in the coming months
and years - prompted by witnessing horrible bedtime scenes at our
siblings' homes with their kids. They are of the belief that the child
must "cry themselves to sleep" and that this will teach them
how to fall asleep alone. I say this traumatizes the child and I have no
intention of subjecting my child to this at any age. Comments?
It does my heart good to hear from loving,
sensible parents like you. Yes, it is strange that so many people
believe that children should sleep alone, cry it out, etc. when these
practices are only about 100 years old. For hundreds of thousands of
years, children slept next to their parents and siblings, their cries
received a quick response, and they were held all day until they could
Have you discovered the La
Leche League? They are an excellent source for both information and
support; they have a superb series of four meetings (which you can
attend more than once each). They were an absolute godsend to me when my
son was your son's age; I can't recommend them highly enough. I found
much encouragement for co-sleeping and other aspects of attachment
parenting at the meetings I attended.
There are also several excellent books on
co-sleeping. The one that we found most helpful was The
Family Bed by Tine Thevenin. Any arguments your relatives and
friends may raise are more than adequately answered in that book. Three
in a Bed is a fascinating and well-researched book by Deborah
Jackson. Two other wonderful books are The
Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff and The
Magical Child by Joseph Pearce.