Thursday, 11 December 2008

Sleepy time stories: Contented little babies

Gina Ford is Britain's baby guru. Her cornerstone book, The New Contented Little Baby Book: the Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting, holds the secret: the CLB routines. The book goes into careful detail about routines appropriate for each stage of the baby's life. Everything is stipulated in the routine: the baby's sleeping, eating, bath, playtime and cuddle time. Don't worry, your sleeping, eating, bath, playtime and cuddle time is scheduled in as well.

Above all, stick to the routine - unless you have to pee outside of the stipulated potty break, in which case all hell will break lose.

It's 7 am, time for baby's first feeding of the day. Critter's asleep? Wake that darn baby!


His nap time slot has come and gone and still no sleeping? Well, you better keep him awake now until the next appropriate sleeping time.

If baby falls asleep while nursing before bedtime, wake him so he goes awake to his crib. "When cuddling him during the wind-down time, do not talk and avoid eye contact" (because he will feel safe in your love and warmth) "as it can overstimulate him and result in him becoming overtired and not settling". And, of course, baby needs to learn to fall asleep by himself in his crib, so there is a "crying-down" period.

The thing is, I'm sure this works. How could it not? The baby's needs are all met before they even arise. If not, just wait until the next carefully selected time interval.

Even if I didn't cringe at her suggestions, most days I'm organized enough to shower and change into clothes that somewhat match by noon, so I don't think the CLB routines would work with us. The CLB routines are "created to meet the natural sleep and feeding needs " of babies. Couldn't I just take cues straight from my baby? I'm sure he's aware of a baby's natural needs.

No comments: