There is a LOT to learn, and fast, once you find out you’re expecting. When the massive realization hits you that yes, you are responsible for the life of an entire little human who is utterly dependent on you for survival, it doesn’t matter how many child-raising books you’ve read…you’re going to look to others for advice.
All those women who had children before you have now become your wise-women, your mentors, the ones you can call at 3 a.m. because your new baby has the hiccups and you are convinced she’s dying.
But is there such thing as too much advice?
Absolutely. Especially when you get the worst-case-scenario, which is when everyone is telling you different things!
This comes up with sleep issues a lot. Everyone has their contradicting helpful tidbits on how to get your baby to sleep through the night. Advice could range from your Aunt Edna telling you to just let your kid scream it out alone every night to your best friend (who hasn’t slept through the night in seven years) telling you to just cuddle up to your baby in your own bed and let him nurse whenever he wakes up.
But before you take on a plan of action, ask yourself one thing.
Are any of these people trained sleep experts?
Okay. Well, just like you would probably take your child to a doctor if he suddenly broke out in strange-looking spots instead of taking your hippie mother-in-law’s advice to make him a cream out of dandelions, if your child is having sleep issues you should probably rely on the advice of someone who teaches parents how to get kids to sleep through the night for a living.
We love our friends and family, and of course they have valuable experience to share with us. But you also need to look at how effective their baby sleep methods seem to work in their OWN lives. You wouldn’t listen to your broke neighbor tell you how to make money (even though you like him as a person), so you shouldn’t listen to sleep-deprived family and friends who never figured out how to get their baby to sleep through the night. Just because your cousin has gone through sleepless nights with a baby doesn’t make her qualified to give professional advice.
Being a parent is hard, partly because you don’t always know what to do, but also because sometimes when you choose a plan of action you will be criticized. There are people who are adamantly opposed to making a baby sleep in a crib or cry at all at night (see exhausted parent example above). Others don’t believe in soothing babies at night when they cry. But you, as the parent, make the ultimate decision about wanting to teach your baby to be a good sleeper. You want what’s best for your child, and what’s best for your child is to learn how to sleep through the night. And luckily there’s lots of help from the experts.
If your little one is not sleeping, you may want to check out The Sleep Sense Program. It’s a step-by-step guide, designed to help get your child sleeping straight through the night.
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