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?