Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Put a plug in it

It made me laugh the other day when a close friend of mine came to see Sam for the first time and thought putting him down for a nap was as easy as putting him in his cot and walking away. I wish it was as easy as that!! Very little babies need winding down to go to sleep. They aren’t like us, and therefore need a little bit of help sometimes with soothing to sleep, sometimes in the from a pacifier.

Until a pacifier of sorts is found, your baby will probably need assistance in getting to sleep. Some babies can nap after most feeds and they can feed up to 9 times a day when first born.

What a lot of soothing!

Deciding on how to pacify your baby is such a BIG decision.

The options are,  to allow your child
·      To thumb suck,  
·      To soothe with a dummy,
·      Or let them get on with finding a pacifier for themselves.  

People  judge you by how you choose to pacify your child.
It’s very serious stuff. People frown upon parents who have chosen dummies while others think thumb sucking is awful!

I too have been guilty of being one of those people who judge other parents on allowing a child to suck a dummy. Before I had my naughty and during the first year of her life I was very much anti dummies. I always thought dummies were a little chavvy. I felt that they silenced a child. How can you learn to read and help to soothe a baby if you plug him or her to silence? A baby generally cries when he or she is tiny because they are hungry, startled, wet, soiled, tired or need to burp. If you plug him or her with a dummy how can you know to solve one of the above problems?  I was however very Pro thumb sucking, as I used my thumb as a soother when I was little. Thumb sucking means the child decides when to soothe themselves. I felt that was a healthier alternative to the parent plugging the child for some peice and quiet.

I have learnt my lesson not to judge other parents, since becoming a Mum myself. Every child is different and needs to be soothed in different ways.

I have had it very lucky with my two! Sam my youngest child, found his thumb at 9 weeks. Up until then we assisted Sam in his soothing by putting him on my shoulder, jigging him a little and patting his bottom while he snuggled his face into me and rubbed the contents of his nose over my top till he was sleepy enough to drop off. This could take up to 40 minutes to sooth him to a sleepy state. So when he found his thumb and soothing became a little easier I was overjoyed.  The naughty found her thumb at 12 weeks and it pretty much sorted out her sleeping problems straight away. People always comment at Ida’s bedtime - “Was that it?” when as the bedtime hour switches off and Ida is put in her cot, the door is shut and she happily accepts sleep and dozes off. In fact if I fuss over her I simply get a squawked at to go away! No fussing from Mummy please.
I am lucky. Both my little ones found their soothers very early on.

I have friends whose little ones haven’t had it as easy. And I think they are still looking for their soother. Going to bed still needs assistance from Mummy or Daddy. And I really do feel for those Mummies and Daddies who are being used as a pacifier every night.

 My opinions of dummies have changed very much since having my two and seeing how different every child is. So when I stumbled across a Daddy blogger on twitter @ Stuart_Royall whose little boy Arthur, at a similar age to Sam, had been successfully given a dummy after sleepless nights, I realised that every baby needs a soother of some type. Sleep deprevation messes with every parents life so a little bit of help goes a very long way! 

So as Stuart and I have found, sometimes putting a plug in it can help! Whichever plug that may be.
I hope all other Mummies and Daddies find their little ones soothers very soon!

Blog inspired by @Stuart_Royall on twitter

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