My Pholosiphy-- baby sleep

I worked for many years at a child development center with children 0-3. I felt confident in my abilities as a teacher, but I have been surprised how much I worry about my parenting skills. When I am working with 8 children it is easy to accept that children are all different. I know that they may be advanced in one area and need extra support in another and that it doesn't reflect on my abilities... and it is OK. Now that I have one child I sort of feel like I am taking a pass/fail class, and if my baby doesn't measure up to others I "fail".

My baby does do really well in a lot of areas. But the area that I have the least experience with and tend to doubt myself the most is with sleep. Like most moms, at first I was very very sleep deprived. I feel like we now get enough sleep for me to function, but I sometimes compare myself to other moms and find myself feeling frustrated when I don't measure up. I figure if I am struggling with the issue, others may be struggling with it as well.

I asked for peoples advice and read several books about the issue. The more I read the more I realized that I knew deep inside me what I needed to do for my child. The knowledge and skills I had acquired did relate to sleep.

I always enjoyed my child development classes. I found it fascinating to hear how their growing minds work. After I started working for Early Head Start, we had a training on Conscious Discipline that was AMAZING!

A lot of what was taught was stuff I already knew, but the way everything came together felt so empowering and loving... and it just felt right. I left craving more information from Becky Bailey and ended up going to several more trainings, reading a couple of her books, and buying several CD's (music that supports her concepts, and audio from her workshops).

I loved that balance of structure and compassion. I feel that her way of teaching is the way my Heavenly Father teaches me. I still have to go through hard times, but I am sure He is there saying things like, "I know this is hard, but you can do hard things." I don't believe He is the one that puts in my mind, "How many times did I tell you not to do that?!" In fact I learned in one of her trainings that the word "discipline" comes from the same word as "disciple" that means, "to teach".  It is such a warm and cozy thought to think I can teach my child in the same manor that a perfect and loving Father in Heaven teaches me. Becky Bailey uses a lot of Brain research so not only does it feels good but it is based on concert information. But with all the trainings I attended, I only heard information that focused on children 3 years and up.

As I pondered all that I read and heard about baby sleep, I finally thought about Conscious Discipline. I thought if I were to talk to Becky Bailey and ask her about making my child, "cry it out" what would she tell me. I came to the conclusion that she wouldn't recommend abandoning a child while they scream with panic, terror, and hopelessness until they pass out.  When a child is in that "fight or flight" state, their inner speech is programed. I think this is such a good opportunity to help program my child's inner speech to a soothing peaceful tone that will help her be able to talk herself through struggles.

Some people may think that means that I rock my baby until she is in a deep sleep... which isn't true. I try to have her be as successful in her self-sooting. Sometimes I can tell she has a belly ache and I need to rock her and whisper loving and encouraging words in her ear. Other times I can tell that she will be able to do it if I stay by her side. Other times I can lay her down and hear a little bit of a whimper (but not historical panic crying), and she is able to fall asleep without me. I feel OK about her learning to deal with some discomfort, but I don't want her to feel abandoned when she "needs" me.

Today I came across this clip of Becky Bailey and feel so good about my decision to patiently help teach my baby to self sooth.

I am now craving more information so  I am totally buying myself this CD.
Conscious Discipline principles used with permission. ©Conscious Discipline

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