Frustrated Mom's Hilarious Take on Conflicting Sleep Advice for Babies Is a Must-Read

LOL 14

sleeping babyPointing out the utter futility of trying to follow the various "expert" parenting opinions out there is sort of a hobby of mine. I don't even know how people manage their pregnancies these days without going completely insane, what with the billions of confusing guidelines about what is and isn't okay -- and it just gets crazier once you actually give birth.

That's why I am so in love with mom Ava Neyer's fantastic rant about what the experts have to say about getting her babies to sleep. Her twins, who are now 5 months old, were on different sleep schedules, and Neyer said she went on Amazon and bought a ton of books on baby sleep and development to try and improve the situation. The advice she found, however, will be maddeningly familiar to any wiped-out mom who's ever attempted to abide by the so-called "rules" when it comes to convincing babies to get some shuteye.

Here are some of the highlights from Neyer's 728-word essay that was shared on a friend's Tumblr account:

You shouldn’t sleep train at all, before a year, before 6 months, or before 4 months, but if you wait too late, your baby will never be able to sleep without you. (...) Naps should only be taken in the bed, never in a swing, carseat, stroller, or when worn. Letting them sleep in the carseat or swing will damage their skulls. If your baby has trouble falling asleep in the bed, put them in a swing, carseat, stroller, or wear them.

Put the baby in a nursery, bed in your room, in your bed. Cosleeping is the best way to get sleep, except that it can kill your baby, so never, ever do it. If your baby doesn’t die, you will need to bedshare until college.

Swaddle the baby tightly, but not too tightly. Put them on their back to sleep, but don’t let them be on their backs too long or they will be developmentally delayed. Give them a pacifier to reduce SIDS. Be careful about pacifiers because they can cause nursing problems and stop your baby from sleeping soundly. If your baby sleeps too soundly, they’ll die of SIDS.

Don’t let your baby sleep too long, except when they’ve been napping too much, then you should wake them. Never wake a sleeping baby.

Using CIO will make them think they’ve been abandoned and will be eaten by a lion shortly. It also causes brain damage. Not getting enough sleep will cause behavior and mental problems, so be sure to put them to sleep by any means necessary, especially CIO, which is the most effective form. Extinction CIO is cruel beyond belief and the only thing that truly works because parents are a distraction. The Sleep Lady Shuffle and Ferber method are really CIO in disguise or Controlled Crying and so much better than Extinction. All three of these will prevent your child from ever bonding with you in a healthy way. Bedsharing and gentler forms of settling will cause your child to become too dependent on you.

Sleep when the baby sleeps. Clean when the baby cleans. Don’t worry. Stress causes your baby stress and a stressed baby won’t sleep.

Yep, that pretty much covers it. The worst part about trying to make sense of sleep advice is that when you need it, you REALLY REALLY NEED IT. You're exhausted and desperate and looking for solutions, and what's available is highly opinionated, mostly anecdotal, and occasionally downright frightening.

Not to mention how some other parents will treat you for disclosing your own personal sleep tactics. Really, the best advice I think any new mom can get is "Do whatever works, and if it stops working, try something else. And for god's sake, don't tell anyone what you're doing."

Or as Neyer puts it,

A lot of it is learning to read your children (instead of books).

What do you think about this essay? Do you agree that expert sleep advice for babies is all over the map?


Image via © iStock.com/vividpixels

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Katy Khan

Haha love it

femal... femaleMIKE

Its so clear, lol.

dekumama dekumama

That pretty much sums it up!

mello... mellowknees

That was brilliant and hilarious and I absolutely lost it at "clean when the baby cleans".

BlueJane BlueJane

Love love love love love!!!!

butte... butterflyfreak

Really, ANY advice related to pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing will be conflicted and confusing. Because everybody thinks their way is the right way and everyone else is WRONG. Every family is different and every kid is different. What works for Mom with one kid will not work for their next and so on. People really just need to get back to listening to their intuition and following their instincts when it comes to raising their children. Sure, you can ask for advice, Google it, whatever. But in the end, it's all about what works for YOU and YOUR family, which is not going to be the same as what works for the Smiths down the street or the Johnsons in your church.

Kaayla Lennon-Roach

My baby's DNA sequence is very different from your baby's and the so-called speciallists' DNA. My baby is in a different location, her room is different and both of her parents, you guessed it, bery different from one another. So trying to put her to sleep, get her to eat, or get her to play like anyone else or anyone else's baby would be assinine. My daughter co-slept for 5 plus months, we transitioned her slowly over the course of a month by first getting her to fall asleep on her own then moving her to her own bed, and she now sleeps in her bed for naps and bedtime. She is breastfed and loves her vegetables slightly chilled as opposed to warm. She is always smiling until she's mad, then she has a temper. She hates being on her stomach so when I tell anyone that, they automatically want to tell me that I HAVE to put her on her belly anyway. She drinks water from a sippy cup and only had a bottle when my supply went low. If I described YOUR BABY, please let me know. Until then, what works for me and mine works for me and mine. Try and figure out what works and stick with it til it stops. I knew a woman who pushed the bouncer against the crib and turned on the vibration to actually vibrate the crib. You haven't tried everything until that baby sleeps. And don't let anyone tell you that your baby HAS to sleep through the night. Not all kids do. I still don't, and not just because my baby doesn't either. Lol Good Luck Mommy!good luck

Nicole Cramer

Hilarious! So true! No one knows your child's sleep problems like you do. Just keep trying until you find what works best for you & your child/children.

Sarah Minto

Love Love Love this!!!!! It made me smile...my son is almost 2 and still doesn't always sleep throught the night...as a comment on Kaayla Lennon-Roach's post...You said someone you knew used to pust the bouncer against the crib and turn it on so the crib vibrated...I used to have to fold his swing and put it under my sons crib and let the music play in order for him to sleep some nights...you just gotta do what you gotta do!!!! :)


have a nice weekend 

nonmember avatar Aida

Oh how I really enjoyed this right now! My daughter is almost 3 yrs old and was a fabulous sleeper until we transitioned her to her toddler bed in January and it has gone down hill from there. I received a lot of advice about how I should not let her cry herself to sleep when she was a baby... but after 6 months she slept 12 straight hours... not a big napper but loved her night sleep... it worked for us.... now we have to reintroduce her to that again....... what a battle! This brought me a good laugh!

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