Why does it seem like “other babies” don’t need as much sleep management as my bub does?
Is your neighbour’s baby asleep on the couch while there is a TV blaring? Does your sister-in-law’s baby sleep through the night? Do you feel as though you’re the only “crazy person” obsessing over your baby’s sleep?
You are not alone. We have all been there. Anyone who believes in practising sleep parenting wonders this from time to time. So, here are my thoughts on this:
1. There is no point in comparing with other babies because you never know the whole picture. How much is that other baby sleeping total in the day? It is EXTREMELY likely that a baby who should be clocking 14 hours of sleep is clocking 9 or 10 hours total and is grossly sleep deprived. Overtiredness, hyperactivity and crankiness resulting from that sleep deprivation could very well be waved off as “babies being babies.”
2. Many parents you know may have knowingly or unknowingly sleep trained. I know someone personally who told me his baby sleeps on her own when put in her crib with her favourite blanket within 5 minutes without any sleep training. I was gobsmacked. A few months later, he mentioned that his wife and he were “okay with a few minutes of fussing and crying”. So there you have it. They think they didn’t sleep train their baby using crying techniques but they actually did.
3. Let me assure you – almost everyone lies about their kid’s sleep. There is such a culture of shame around helping a child to sleep and “good sleep” has become such a sign of fashionable parenting that a LOT of people gloss over the troubles.
4. Parents with older kids sometimes simply forget.
5. What about that old adage, “all babies are different?” Well, to an extent. Babies are different but they are not THAT different. Their biological needs and rhythms are fairly similar, within a range. Having said that, genes do play a role, if not luck. Very often, parents have two siblings (or even twins) who sleep very differently, even if they are parented the same way.
So, please do not get derailed by comparing with others, guys! Having a securely attached child who counts on you to manage their sleep is actually a good sign and pays off in the long run.