I have been thinking a lot about an argument/discussion that has been going on over at Baby! the past few days about the whole Cry It Out method of child sleep. Or in the case discussed there: abuse. And I mean this to be no attack or comparison to Gillian over there but I was thinking about a list she made of all the “right’ things she does for her son in terms of feeding, sleeping, toys etc. On my drive into work this morning, I compiled some things that relate to the fundamentals of raising a child through his/her first year and how there are “conventions” and “ideals” for these. The only way for this to really make sense is for me to just start naming them:
- Elliot has slept in his own crib in his own room from day one. We have a baby video monitor. Whenever he cried for food, etc, I could be in there in about 4 seconds flat.
- The only co-sleeping we did was when I fell asleep feeding him in bed.
- Elliot has always slept on his back. That is, until he figured out how to roll over and I had a heart attack I just had to accept that he would be ok on his front.
- I breastfed him until just recently. That is almost one entire year! He still gets fed to sleep but he probably isn’t getting more than 1-2 teaspoons of milk out of me.
- I didn’t own a sling but I did have a Baby Bjorn. I carried him around the house all the time when he was a wee lad.
- If he cried, I almost always went to him. With the exception of a few times when he was crying just to cry – and he stopped after maybe 3 minutes because he learned how to calm himself.
- I do not own any toys that have been recalled due to lead paint. I also have thrown/put away any toys that are questionable (like those bath toys that were mine, dated sometime around circa 1980).
- Elliot eats all organic jar food and any other solids are either safe (like bananas or other fruits/veggies with a protective peel or husk) or low in sugar or sodium. He does not each sweets or anything. (He had chick peas for dinner!)
- I only put sunscreen on him if we’re going to be outside for an extended period of time (like when we ride the swings at the park.)
- He has had all of his shots, regardless of the fact that I would have like spread them out. Daycares sort of require it anyway.
- Elliot has seen plenty of TV but he is not really interested anymore. If it’s on, he does not sit there and zone out. He usually crawls out of the room and goes to find trouble.
- I admit to letting the dogs lick his face/hands.
- He gets bathed every other night. Sometimes more if he’s especially dirty.
- We use disposable diapers. Ash wanted to do cloth but I knew I’d be the only one doing the laundry.
- I used to have all Avent bottles before the big BPA scare. I promptly threw out the really scratched ones, bought non-BPA Evenflo bottles and then continued to use the other Avent ones after the hype/scare died down.
- I applied/gave in to the CIO method. Around 6 months, Elliot was still waking every 3-4 hours and when he ate, I coudl tell he wasn’t even hungry. I knew I had to go for it and after 3 nights and a total of about 45 minutes of crying, he was consistently sleeping 8-6 every night.
There you have it. My list of conventions and admission; this is what works for us. Elliot is a well adjusted little boy. Sure, he could be doing more, saying more, signing that he would like a filet mignon, etc. But we’ve made a fairly good go of this parenting thing so far.
Well, work calls. Have a happy Thursday!
Oh yeah, my carpal. It’s flaring up and I have a crapton of secretarial type duties to perform today involving my hand and use of a pencil. This is the biggest pain I experience with this condition. I can’t write but a few lines before it begins to ache and twinge. I take a five minute break and try again.