Ladies and Gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
A little girl named, let's call her, Paith, suddenly became scared to death of her bed. She woke up one morning happy as a lark and at 2:00 that afternoon went into fits of hysteria as her daddy, we'll call him CJ, put her down for a nap. He followed her routine, the routine she had set herself, but to no avail. She wailed. She screamed. She cried out "Whoa Baby" in moments of delirium (not kidding, she really did). Her parents, CJ and Namanda were unnerved and perplexed. How could their little Paith have had a change of heart so suddenly about her wonderful bed? See, you have to understand, little Paith had slept through the night 98% of the time since she was FIVE WEEKS OLD. She told us when she was tired, got her cozy (blanket) and baby and stood at her bed at nap and bedtime on her own. And worse than that, little Paith's parents had slept through the night 98% of the time since she was FIVE WEEKS OLD. They were accustomed to and relished in their child's sleep patterns. And now, NOW, little Paith was creating a hitch in their getalong. And they had no idea what to do. So Namanda, little fickle Namanda, turned to a social networking site, we'll call it LaceBook, with a cry for help. And boy, did she open the floodgates. People from every end of the parenting spectrum gave their 2 cents (sometimes their nickels and dimes, as well) as to how Namanda and CJ should gain control of this situation. And truthfully, they tried them. Pretty much all of them. They rocked, they sang, they swayed, they forced he to cry it out, they turned on a nightlight, they used music, etc. But again, no dice. Paith just wasn't going to sleep in that little jail cell of a crib any longer. She would sleep in the guest room, in her parent's room, in her room on a mattress, but not that darn crib. That darn crib that cost a pretty penny, an arm, and a leg and that converted into a toddler bed that she wasn't having either.
Namanda and CJ quickly realized that the only people that knew little Paith well enough to make a decision about her was them. They had been a part of her evolving patterns since the beginning. That it was more important to listen to their child's needs than to adhere to a certain parenting style that required an A+B=C method. So that's what they did. With the help of another website, we'll call it Pegslist, they were able to obtain a big girl bed for Paith, who doesn't seem so little anymore, sadly. They laid down with her at night and started a new routine that made her feel safe and comfortable. They did stay with her until she fell asleep and sucessfully (and sometimes not so successfully) rolled out of her bed and tiptoed out to the living room. Because Paith wasn't trying to control or manipulate them. She was scared. Of what? They don't know. But they knew their daughter enough to know the difference. And because Paith will only need or want them to read bedtime stories and sing to her for so long. Then she'll be too old or too cool for that. And they choose to cherish those moments, even if they rearrange CJ and Namanda's evenings totally. And the house doesn't get picked up. And they trip on Diego and Dora when they get up in the morning.
And guess what? Three days ago, Namanda read Paith the Bible, sang her a song and walked out. She expected waterworks, screaming, and banging on the door. Little Paith got out of bed, walked to her door and stopped. She turned around, crawled back into her bed, and fell asleep. I cried. I mean, Namanda cried. Because she was doing it on her own. She was overcoming something that even she thought she couldn't. That we weren't sure if she could. How brave of my little 19 month old angel. I don't know that I've ever been prouder of her.
So, do I think all those people on Facebook were wrong? Do I think all the things they did or tried with their babies was just BS and they need to adhere to our method? No. I just think that you are the expert on your little Paith. And they are the expert on their little Paith. And that we should all give ourselves a little more credit than we do, cut ourselves and our babies some slack, and breathe.