American Beliefs Around Infant Sleep
“Our [American] cultural belief around infant sleep is that it should be solitary, scheduled, independent, and fuss-free.”
I disagree with this cultural belief. Reading about how babies are cared for in most of the world made me begin to challenge many mainstream American beliefs around what babies really need.
Quite a few of our practices stem from outdated advice from non-moms and/or align with our value of independence. They feel wrong to loving mamas and they are scientifically wrong.
Sleep is a very, very sensitive topic for parents and a huge challenge for moms, especially working moms. Waking up at night to care for a tiny human is hard.
Through many, many private conversations, I’ve learned that most American moms I know actually DO NOT follow the mainstream cultural beliefs.
Instead, most of us follow our gut and secretly snuggle our babies in our arms as much as they need — including in our beds. We just don’t talk about it because we’re told it’s wrong.
If you’re a mama struggling for follow the American sleep expectations, I suggest you zoom out a little in your research. The mamas and babies I know whose families break the rules are happier, healthier, and sleep better.
If you’re a mama who breaks/broke the rules, share your wisdom. You are doing/did the right thing.
Quote: Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us by Christine Gross-Loh
I'm a teacher, mama, and mentor. I created the You Before School e-course and more. I'm here to encourage and share self-efficacy skills for women.