About a week ago, a friend of mine asked for advice on Facebook on getting her one year old to sleep through the night. The comments were all about letting her baby “cry it out”, mostly the Ferber method which is a gradual crying it out, where you go to comfort the baby after a certain amount of time has elapsed, until he learned to soothe himself to sleep.
My philosophy on life and child rearing is ‘do what’s easy’. I chose the natural birth route because I am a scaredy cat when it comes to doctors and hospitals, and because it was the lazy man’s (easy) choice since my midwives came to my house to do non-invasive, simple check-ups where the most uncomfortable thing to happen was I laid on my bed and they placed a fetal Doppler so we could hear the baby’s heartbeat (not uncomfortable at all). When it came time to choose whether or not we should let our son cry it out, we decided not to. It was easier to have the baby sleep next to me and breastfeed him until he slept through the night. In regards to breastfeeding, he breastfed as a source of comfort and nourishment until he was three and then he stopped completely. If he cried, it was much easier to pick him up and comfort him than to ignore it, and in that way we all learned to be sensitive to his needs, and he learned that we would always be there to comfort him, and as a result of that he wasn’t a cryer and termed an “easy baby”. We didn’t force him into potty training, it was easier to show him what was possible and what we expected of him and to let him tell us when he was ready (3 years old), because of that there were never any soiled underwear, no soiled beds, no mistakes and clean ups. We were all on board and everything was super easy.
We don’t put chores on him, but he knows we expect him to tidy up after making a mess, and he knows that we are always willing to help him if he needs it. It is much easier to raise a person when you treat him with respect and an understanding that you expect the best of him. In this way we don’t really have any form of punishment because there was/is nothing to punish. If he did/does something that was wrong we use it as a learning experience to show him either a better, kinder way of doing something, or to explain why what he did would be frowned upon in the future, and it’s a rare day for him to do something a second time if we’ve told him that we didn’t want him doing it.
No, nothing’s perfect but it can be easy.