The One Absolute Truth of Parenting

by doodaddy on April 29, 2008



I’ve talked to a lot of people about a lot of different ways to be a parent, and I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re all right because pretty much anything works for some kids. Tell your kids to say va-jay-jay? Sure, why not. Start raisins at one year or four? You know your kid, make up your own mind. Play in the dirt? Up to you.

Sitting here in the dark, about to go in and help a screaming Boo get herself down for the 818th time, I’m inclined to think, that there’s at least one absolute:

Teach your kids to put themselves to sleep. Sometime before they’re teenagers.

Maybe it just seems like an absolute rule because it’s near midnight.

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in exhaustion,sleep ·

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne April 30, 2008 at 6:43 am

I’m doing that now… I’ve gone from rocking him to complete sleep, to putting him down when he’s only been asleep for a minute, to putting him down as soon as his eyes shut and stay shut, to putting him down when his eyes start to get heavy. Remarkably, it’s been pretty easy. I’m hoping by the time he’s ready for a “big boy bed’ we’ll have it down. The pessimist in me isn’t counting on it though.

Hehehehe… there’s a cafemom, No MEN allowed ad displaying on your page. HA! They’d be lucky to have you.


cryitout April 30, 2008 at 7:41 am

Oh man, this is so hard, I know it. Good luck to you guys!


Jane Huber April 30, 2008 at 8:48 am

Been there (still there some days). Those well-rested parents whose children sleep from 7-7 don’t know how lucky they are.

Jack is dropping his nap, and that has helped his nighttime sleeping. On no nap days he’s in bed and nearly asleep by 8ish and sleeps until 6-6:30.

It’s an improvement from his sleep only spanning from 10-5:30, but I really miss his nap!

I hesitate to give unwanted advice, but moving to a big kid bed could really help….



doodaddy April 30, 2008 at 9:44 am

That’s a really interesting idea. I’ve been thinking that big kid bed is appropriate but my wife thinks that’ll make self-sleeping harder — because Boo could just get up at any moment.

Hmm…. we might have to try that!


sugarplumsmom April 30, 2008 at 10:51 am

Ugh! Good luck! We got extremely lucky with Sugarplum when she was an infant and she slept great unless she was sick… until 6 months ago. Last week she was up every 2 hours every night… I think it’s been a really active dreaming period for her. The last three nights in a row she has slept all night long from bed time around 8 to 6 am… I don’t dare say the cycle is over because I don’t want to jinx it… but getting some much needed Z’s is sure helping me out. Hang in there – this too shall pass.


David April 30, 2008 at 11:49 am

Any ideas? We’re about to start with our 7.5 month old, who just happens to be *highly* opinionated and *highly* vocal.

Misery loves company, I suppose, so keep us up-to-date, if only to know we’re not the only ones wearing our exhaustion around on our sleeves.


doodaddy April 30, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Yeah, right — like *I’d* have ideas! We’re the idiots who put this off until 2 1/4 years, remember!

We’re trying the 5-minutes one night, 10 the next night, etc. — I think they call it “modified cry-it-out” or something. It’s been successful a couple of times, and one really good outcome is that Boo is completely content in the crib alone now, but she just entertains herself endlessly.

Good luck!


Amy April 30, 2008 at 12:35 pm

I’m so glad we aren’t the only ones. Danielle is 15 months old. She used to have it down, but she seems to be forgetting lately…stupid molars.


Amber May 1, 2008 at 9:51 am

What an excellent point! Too bad we didn’t read this earlier. My husband set a drop dead date of this Friday to start the transition (for the 4th or 5th attempt at this), but I’m already chickening out. As the working mom, its just so nice to have the cuddle time with Baby B at night…which of course turns into rollover feedings all night long… and turns into Baby B expecting to be fed to sleep… maybe one day we’ll figure it out!


doodaddy May 1, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Yeah, a lot of what goes on for us is my wife wanting more evening time, too, which I completely understand, but still…

Well, good luck with it!


Dawn May 2, 2008 at 7:17 pm

I feel your pain, misery loves company, I’m so happy to hear that my 12 month old isn’t the last kid on the planet who won’t go to sleep alone.


Rob O. May 3, 2008 at 7:40 pm

Our little guy does very well at putting himself to sleep and sleeping through the night but I don’t take much of the credit for it – I think the key is just consistent timing. We have a pretty tightly-regemented daily routine. And we’ve only ever allowed him to sleep with us when he’s been really sick a couple of times and it was kinda freaking him out.

Sometimes though, he gets a little twisted around in his bed and sorta startles him. Once or twice a week, he’ll cry out in the night and one of us has to go straighten him and his blanket out and then he’s back off to sleep.


doodaddy May 5, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Sigh. We tried your consistent timing approach for the last few days, but she defies us. I had her down at the usual nap time today and she slept like a champ — until 7:30. We were making noise, flushing toilets, hanging pictures… nothing would accidentally wake her. So her usual 9:00 p.m. bedtime I think is a pipe dream!

Ah, well. This, too, shall pass.

I think.


Jessica May 9, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Amen. I suck at this talent.


Thom May 12, 2008 at 11:43 pm

Oh, the truth of it!

The demon wakefulness that stalks the angel sleep!

And just as you said for practically anything working for different children, the same goes for getting them to sleep.

At the moment it’s Allegria (the cirque du soleil soundtrack) with gentle hand motions on the bed beside her.

Best of luck!


doodaddy May 15, 2008 at 5:03 pm

I’ve moved on to shamanistic chants and interpretive dance… although, come to think of it, the Cirque du Soleil soundtrack resembles that pretty closely!


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