I’ve just finished reading your “Sleeping like a baby” book and I wanted to tell you how much it meant to me. While I was pregnant I was sure that a natural approach to raising my little girl was right. I didn’t do a lot of reading as I wanted to read my baby and give her what she needed, so apart from watching some brilliant ABA videos to set me up for breastfeeding and reading a couple of basic baby care books, I spent my pregnancy nurturing my baby and myself and not worrying. So far so good … and then she was born, and I was sitting up holding her the first night being told by the nurses that I SHOULD put her in her bassinet (and did I want her to go to the nursery?). And then a week later, when we were home and she still hadn’t started all the crying she SHOULD do, my mum told me I SHOULD put her in her cot “with a firm pat on the nappy” and make her sleep, instead of carrying her in the sling for most of the day. And then the in-laws all told us that we SHOULD stop giving in to this child and “letting her control our lives”. And ever since it has been a cascade of criticism about how much I am spoiling this baby and what I SHOULD be doing. My husband and I were the only ones who seemed to notice that our 2, 4, and 6 week old baby was calm, content, rarely cried, and settled herself over several sleep cycles by the time she was 8 weeks old. Now she’s twelve weeks old, and she doesn’t even need her Music for Dreaming playing to get a blissful 6 hour sleep most nights, from which she awakes in her bassinet next to my bed smiling, having had only to murmur in order to wake me because we have become so attuned to one another. She decides when her last feed of the night will be, pulls off the breast, rolls onto her back with a grunt of pleasure, and promptly falls asleep. I just pick her up and put her to bed! And yet when I shared this positive with people, they only said I was setting her up for a lifetime of sleep problems and she SHOULD fall asleep without the breast. And so despite all the evidence that we were all right (and the emphatic reassurance of my lovely hubby), only a week ago, after some particularly harsh criticism combined with a tough couple of growth-spurt days, I was in tears, full of self doubt, sure that everyone else was right and that I was wrecking my baby’s life for her. I felt like I was doing the exact right thing, but how can you be sure of yourself when everyone around you disagrees? And then, while looking through the ABA online shop the next day (to buy hubby an ergo because he loves carrying her so much too!) I saw your book. I read it from cover to cover the day it arrived with my baby sleeping on my chest and I have stopped worrying. I tune out at the word SHOULD. I am feeling strong and confident in my ability to raise my daughter, and I have found the strength to politely listen to the advice and the criticism, kiss my daughter on the head in her sling, and smile as I ignore everything that’s been said. I will make sure I read your toddler book before too long so that I am armed in advance this time. Last night we changed from bassinet and blankets to the cot and a sleeping bag for the first time – and no dramas! She was smiling at me through the bars of the cot when we woke this morning – awwwww that’s what matters! There is a big, bright note near our phone : DON’T LET ANYONE SHOULD ON YOU. So I just wanted to say thank you! for your wonderful book, a great website, and for making me feel that I’m in no way alone in what I am doing.
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