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Old 01-31-2012, 06:07 AM
Location: Geneva, IL
12,976 posts, read 11,796,877 times
Reputation: 14677


I loved this article. I think most new parents have an idea and a plan when it comes to sleep. They plan to implement and stick with it. For some kids, that works out great, and for others....fugetaboutit! When my first was born, he loved schedules, he needed a lot of sleep, still does. From about 6 months he was asleep in his room, and slept through every night. The next one came along, and nothing worked. She didn't need much sleep, still doesn't, and wakes up with the slightest noise.

I think it's important for parents to be flexible, and do what works with each child, and not to be too hard on themselves.

Personally, I think that as a culture we are a bit too hung up on getting our kids scheduled and independent practically from the time they are born. But I'm not out to convince anyone of that as a pediatrician. When I talk to parents about their kids and sleep, aside from finding out if what they are doing is safe and healthy, what I most want to know is whether what they are doing works for them. If it does, we move on to the next topic. If it doesn't, I'll work with them to find a solution. That solution might be getting their kids to sleep independently and through the night -- but it might be something else.

Honestly, there aren't all that many absolutes when it comes to raising kids. You must love them, really love them so they know it. You must do everything you can to keep them safe and healthy. You must keep their future in mind, because at some point they will move on and you want them to have a good and choice-filled life. But there are literally millions of ways to do these things -- billions, really. As many ways as there are families.

One bit of advice, if you are going to curl up in bed with your kid: Don't buy a toddler bed.
Claire McCarthy, M.D.: Confession: This Pediatrician Is a Sleep Softie
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