Creative Child

What's The Rush? Milestones and Parenting

Part 1
by Brittany Ferrell

At a recent excursion to the park with my daughter, I was approached by a couple of other moms who also had their toddlers in tow. We engaged in pleasantries and then the inquisition commenced.

When did your daughter start sleeping through the night?
Did you breastfeed? Have you started potty training?
How many words can she say?
How many languages does she speak?
When did she start walking?
What play groups does she attend?
Do you have her on the waiting list for preschool?

What?! She is ONE. Should I feel amiss because I have not pushed her to hit particular milestones or signed her up for preschool? I just could not help but to think, “What’s the rush?”

Rush #1: The Race to Sleep Through the Night

I get the desire, nay the NEED to rush this milestone. My daughter is nearly two years old and has never slept through the night. As in, ever. Most days I resemble an extra from the television show, The Walking Dead. My daughter, on the other hand, is happy, healthy, and bursting with energy. My pediatrician informed me that sleeping for only two to three-hour increments is simply “her normal”.

Do not get me wrong, I would love it if my daughter could sleep through the night, but I do not feel like a failure as a parent because she has not achieved this milestone.

I do not personally believe in the Ferber “cry it out” method, but I have read a stack of books on the subject of sleep training. I have tried all of the tips and tricks for sleep training like adhering to a consistent bedtime routine, warm baths, and the use of essential oils. I really enjoyed reading The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley because it made me think about baby sleep habits in an entirely different way. I realize now where I went awry when my daughter was an infant.

Continued on next page...

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