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Unprepared for Parenting (Ezzos, Pearls, Etc.) *Public* Support and information for those affected by the Ezzos, the Pearls, and other punitive and adversarial methods of child-rearing.
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23. No posts harshly dissecting parenting moments of others since we desire to humbly cultivate a heart attitude of grace and not judgment towards other mamas. We all struggle at times as parents and have much to learn, and GCM's focus is to provide tools and information for each of us to parent more effectively. Posts voicing some frustration regarding choices made by others can be okay, but it needs to be within the overall context of seeking understanding or ideas for better responses in the future.

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Old 10-09-2020, 07:21 AM   #1
Maleldil's daughter
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Default Conversations about sleep training

I had an experience recently that was a little difficult and I'm looking for some advice on how to deal with follow up.

Dh and I are part of an intentional community meant for people planning to move overseas for disciple-making purposes. It's part of a larger organization, and last month we had a socially distanced training conference together with the other groups from this organization in our city. We are older than most of the people in the organization including the vast majority of the leadership.
At this event we were getting to know one of the leaders of one of the other groups who just had a baby. The baby was 8 weeks at that time. He shared that he and his wife had paid for some type of training or program of some kind that was going to help them sleep train their baby and that the goal was for the baby to sleep one hour at night per week of age, until at 12 weeks the baby would sleep 12 hours at night. I was pretty flabbergasted. The group activities were resuming and I just am not good at responding to things in the moment so I didn't really say anything at the time.
I was very unsettled by what this young dad shared. I went back and forth a lot about whether I should say something. Ultimately I felt like I should say something since it felt like the program he described wasn't just something I disagreed with but could be medically dangerous (I would not have said anything if baby was 7 months, even though I still wouldn't have liked it, but this just was so extreme). So I tried to casually get into conversation with the parents again, but that never happened and I ended up just blurting my concerns out to them at the very end of the event as everyone was leaving. It was really unsatisfying. I kind of figured I would never see them again so I would just pray for them. However, it turns out we might see them again this weekend. So, how would you approach this family? Should I try to have more of a conversation? Just leave it alone? I'm not sure what to do.
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Old 10-09-2020, 08:04 PM   #2
arelyn
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Default Re: Conversations about sleep training

That's really really hard. I hoenstly have no idea but I couldn't not reply. Praying God will grant you wisdom.
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Old 10-10-2020, 07:12 AM   #3
marbles
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Default Re: Conversations about sleep training

I also don't know but couldn't just read and run. I'm sorry, that's tough. Do you think you could possibly frame it in a way of being concerned for the safety of the program, without saying anything bad about sleep training? There are programs that work with babies to sleep and they're called sleep training but they're not CIO one-size-fits-all, maybe you could find one and suggest that one. It is so unfortunate that this is so prevalent in the church. We shouldn't be a people that needs such control over our children. I think there's a subset of believers who are hurt and their hurt comes out in ultra-devotion to ministry. I've seen it a lot, this idea that true ministry or service comes at great cost to your own family. Then you get people like this who see their baby as getting in the way of their work. Or people who leave their families to go serve somewhere else or this idea that in order to be an effective minister your children need to be in boarding school. It's really sad.
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Old 10-10-2020, 08:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Conversations about sleep training

I think I'd apologize and explain why I was triggered.

I'm so sorry. Sleep is so important. I hope you find the perfect balance between sleep needs and dietary needs. Babies double weight in first six months. Teething sometimes alters sleep. As a Titus 2 mom, I want you to know I'm available if you need support when things inevitably come up.

Young House Love blogger story. First kid slept 12 hours from birth and nusred every two hours in day. 2nd kid was normal.

I wanted to honor sleep needs with my 3rd, and she did sleep better. First all night was 5 months. I agree that 3 months is likely too quickly for most, but some do.

But here's the thing, you were there, and you know if the Holy Spirit was prompting you. He knows way more than I do! So my advice could be totally off for the situation.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Conversations about sleep training

I have no direct advice about what to say or to do, but perhaps God put you there for a reason. Maybe you are meant to help somehow. If it's Him, you will get all the wisdom you need.
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Old 10-12-2020, 04:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Conversations about sleep training

That's so hard. Sleeping 12 straight hours, not allowing for growth spurts or variances in development, sounds more dangerous than what most parents do, which is to aim for 8 hours of sleep by 3 months of age. I would have a heavy conscience if I didn't say something.
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Old 10-14-2020, 03:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Conversations about sleep training

I don't have any useful ideas, but if I were in your place, I wouldn't have even been able to speak up. So good job at least you gave them a different angle to consider.
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Old 10-17-2020, 05:28 PM   #8
Maleldil's daughter
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Default Re: Conversations about sleep training

Thanks everyone for your comments.

Just to clarify, in initially expressing my concerns, I focused merely on what I saw as unrealistic and potentially dangerous expectations of specific time frames they had been told to expect. I told them that I thought such long periods of sleep were not realistic for many infants of such young age, expressed that I did not want them to feel shame or failure if it didn't work out, and recommended running the plan by their pediatrician and making sure baby was still gaining if she was sleeping long periods. I'm not unhappy with what I said but I just dumped it on them and then had to leave. I should have asked more questions and had more of a dialogue.

I did see them again, but it was across the room at a socially distanced gathering. I neither avoided them nor sought them out, and they did not approach us. They seemed preoccupied with the people they had come with so I did not intrude. I'm fine with it. The whole episode has prompted some good internal reflection on how I handle (or perhaps don't handle) difficult or confrontational conversations, which I think is valuable.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Conversations about sleep training

Honestly that sounds like a good response. Enough to say you care about the baby but not saying that your idea is Right.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Conversations about sleep training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maleldil's daughter View Post
I focused merely on what I saw as unrealistic and potentially dangerous expectations of specific time frames they had been told to expect. I told them that I thought such long periods of sleep were not realistic for many infants of such young age, expressed that I did not want them to feel shame or failure if it didn't work out, and recommended running the plan by their pediatrician and making sure baby was still gaining if she was sleeping long periods. I'm not unhappy with what I said but I just dumped it on them and then had to leave. I should have asked more questions and had more of a dialogue.
I think that is excellent! And the suggestion to bring it up with their pediatrician is perfect. Even though some pediatricians are ok with sleep training, I think most would consider 12 straight hours without feeding to be problematic.
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