This article inspired me to write because it really annoyed me. The second part of it really wound me up, in particular this quote: “If you look at any other mammal – if you go to the zoo – the babies will all fall asleep with the mums holding them, so that’s normal, that’s how it’s meant to be,” says Ockwell-Smith’.
Fine for those mammals but humans are a special and, dare I say, unique type of animal. The other animal babies do not need the stimulation to be able to talk and take part in a complex society. The other animal mums are not trying to raise children whilst maintaining a household, working 3 jobs, trying to emotionally juggle the rest of the family. Animals in the zoo are provided with food daily, it would be lovely if someone did this for me but I have to try to prepare meals with a 7-month-old who won’t let me out of his sight and won’t sleep long enough for me to do anything. Mammals in the wild have to hunt but they often have a pack or network to help them with the hunt or childcare, and their offspring have a shorter childhood so are more capable at a younger age. Animal children do not have so called ‘free will’ and are unlikely to turn their noses up at the meal you have spent hours preparing, or decide that the outfit you have selected doesn’t match their expectations, or think that drawing on the dining table is a good idea.
Sleep training worked for both Matthew and Anya but has failed miserably with Zach. I am quite a zombie at present and frustrated because he is exhausted too. I simply do not have the time to hold him for hours so he can sleep and I don’t want to be made to feel like a bad mother (mammal!) for wanting him to just wake once or even not at all. Last night he woke FOUR times for a cuddle and feed: that is a habit not need.
I intend to try sleep training again with him in the Christmas holidays when I don’t need to worry about him waking everyone else: wish me luck!