Monday, April 11, 2011

Sleep issues II - reading Weissbluth

Since cupcake started having nighttime issues, I'm becoming well versed on sleep literature.  Something I thought I'd never do.  I really dislike parenting books, specially those that offer a one-size-fits-all solution to your "problems."

Another friend gave me the Weissbluth book, Healthy Sleep Habits: Happy child.  She didn't recommend it, she just gave me three parenting books because she now has two kids and she is DONE, and she will never need these books again.  Works for me.  I have no issue in reading these book so long as I don't actually have to pay for them.

My apologies if the Weissbluth method worked for you, but I hated everything about this book.  He is the type of author that makes me hate parenting gurus: sarcastic, condescending, alarmist, and narrow minded.  In contrast to the new Ferber book, which allows for different parenting styles, Weissbluth declares one solution, and goes so far as to admonish those parents who don't follow his directives.

For starters, he states that bad sleeping habits in infancy can result in a lifetime of stress, mental problems, ADD, etc.  Seriously?  I know for a fact that my parents weren't very consistent with my sleep schedule as a baby, and so far my only big problem is that I like to read to sleep.  Big whoopdee deal.  Also, his advice is to put the child to sleep earlier and earlier.  Well, its 7 pm now, and my Cupcake is taking a nap, like she always does.  She'll be up for another 3 hours playing with her dad (who's just getting home from work), and then will be down at 10.  No, I will not put her to bed at 6:30. Yes, I want to sleep, but I also want us to have time as a family.  You see, we wanted to have kids, and thus we want to spend time with them.  I understand that it's  late bedtime, but that concept is such a cultural one.  What to do you care if Cupcake goes to bed a 10, if she then wakes up at 9 am.  And to further suggest that a parent is keeping their baby up late at night in order to avoid spending time with the other parent is preposterous.  And beside the point, really.  Because I do want to spend time with my husband.  But if I didn't, that's neither here nor there.

Furthermore, she has MCAD.  She needs to eat every certain number of hours.  So shut your holier than thou trap about how feeding during the night can have terrible long term consequences.  If I wanted a guilt trip, I could just call my grandmother.

Ugh.  I got so annoyed trying to read this book.  I just totally vented into the Internet.  We'll keep our sleep problems, Mr W, regardless of what you think.  We''ll mess her up, maybe as bad as my parents did to me.  Somehow, despite not having a regular nap schedule, or going through rigorous sleep training as a baby, I managed to have a happy, fulfilling and successful life.  How do you explain that?


  1. That's one of the biggest beefs I have with sleep "trainers." They really don't apply in a lot of ways to our FOD babies.

  2. You are not alone and I share your sentiments 100%.Our baby goes to sleep at midnight and gets up at 11 am. Works for us-we spend time as a family, and we get to take her out with us at night. My spouse and i dance together, and all events are at night-so, we could stay home, get a babysitter, or bring baby with us. We choose to bring baby with us-she goes in a carrier, and all three of us dance together. She is a really happy baby and we are all having a blast. The early to bed thing is cultural-my spouse who is from South America calls it Nazi like sleep training which he never saw back home. He also shared his parents' bedroom till he was eight years old, and never turned out dependent, maladjusted, delinquent, or whatever else the sleep trainers threaten. Babies never sleep alone in his country and are never left to cry it out either. There is also far greater tolerance of children's presence in public, and no one would flinch if they saw a family out at a restaurant after 10pm. Many countries function this way, with no psychopathology in their children. So keep doing what you are doing!!!In other parts of the world it would be considered normal.And who knows, perhaps Dr. Weissenbluth never really had a childhood......

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