Down but not out

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When the BUBs were very small there was a phrase that made me uncomfortable, largely because I didn’t know what it meant.

People used to say “When do you want to put the baby down?” or “What time does the baby usually go down?” or ” Does he go down easily?”. Down where I thought? Where is he going?

My mother’s generation, it seems, were taught to put the baby down and walk away and the baby would sleep alone for a period of time before waking.  Lots of parents still do this, with great success. But as my friend Clio FitzHerbert wrote on her splendid blog the other day: “Somewhere along the line we just forgot to put him down. And now he cries every time we do.”

Oops, us too. I may get accusations of spoiling, or creating a monster, or of not letting my child get a proper sleep as he slumps against me for hours on end, but without me he slept for 20, maybe 40 minutes when he was small, and only a few hours now. So I could have taught him that it is only appropriate for him to sleep without me, that I wouldn’t come if he cried or that his cot is a much cosier place than in my arms.

But that would be a lie wouldn’t it?

  5 comments for “Down but not out

  1. September 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    A big fat whopper of a lie yes! For what it’s worth, I forgot to put my babies down too and I don’t believe for one minute that it spoils them. I do believe that it makes for very contented babies that grow into very secure and independent little people though 🙂

    • September 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      I’m glad we are not alone! They are simply not made to be put down are they? They are made to be held. Look at the design of them!

  2. September 4, 2012 at 5:41 am

    I forgot to put mine down too and the amount of times I was told I was creating a problem for myself was ridiculously high. I wasn’t. He’s 3 now and sleeps fine. Stupid bossy people.

    • September 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      I know. I think it takes a while to realise that the only people it’s a problem for is the ones complaining. The ones cuddling their babies with a big soppy grin on their faces don’t care thank you!!

  3. September 6, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Thank you for this post. As a new mummy who’s pretty clueless, I feel heaps better to get understanding from more experienced mums. As I type (one-handed with great difficulty), my wee one is sleeping soundly on my shoulder. Okay my biceps are feeling the strain a bit, but it’s heaven. The cot can wait for another day.

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