Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bad parenting

In England we get a developmental check at 8 months old. A health visitor (baby nurse) comes round to the house and makes sure baby is coming on normally and that you're not feeding the baby ground up glass or something.

Our local service was running behind, so Buddy only got his check this week. His length was measured for the first time since birth - he's 74.5 centimeters long - that's 2 ft 5. According to the growth charts that puts him just about in the 85th percentile for height. His weight is just a shade under 21 lbs - which is a shade above the median. But apparently he's a pinhead, his head circumference puts him in only the 20th percentile. I find this hard to believe considering his 12 to 18 month old hats are a little too small.

The health visitor asked us many questions about his development.

Holding a cup? - check

Babbling? - check

Pincer grip? - check

Crawling? - check

Following conversations? - err... sorta, like mom and dad he's a much better talker than listener

Sleeping through the night? - No.

Oh my goodness, you'da thought we were deliberately getting up in the night shining a flashlight in his eyes and crashing a cymbal over his head the way the health visitor reacted. The baby should be sleeping through the night. There's no reason for him to be waking in the night. It's only bad parenting that causes a baby to wake up. Whatever it is, he couldn't possibly be hungry.

And then when we admitted that we were co-sleeping, ohhh - the look of derision. "Well, you can continue with that if you want him sleeping with you at two and a half," she said. But it sounded more like "Well, you can continue with that if you want him to become a spree killer and a defrauder of churches."


I'm not going to let her beat me with the stick of bad parenting because my baby doesn't sleep through the night. For the record, usually he wakes, he feeds, he goes back to sleep. He's done that through teething and ear aches and recently his only really bad sleeping was when he had the stomach cruds causing diarrhea and vomiting. I think the whole sleeping through the night thing is a fallacy anyway. He used to sleep through, but he couldn't keep the weight on. He was a skinny little thing. He started waking to feed and now he's normal.

I'm not saying I wouldn't like a lot more sleep. I'm not saying that it wouldn't be nice to have one of those babies who goes down at 7 and sleeps til 7. But I'd also like to go out to the theater or dinner at an adult restaurant at the drop of a hat, too.

Her sleep solution was the old cry-it-out method. She said it would be sorted over a weekend as long as we stayed firm. Ehhhh, don't think so. Besides, that kid ain't gonna break over a couple of days.

She did have some good advice. We're going to start giving him more chewy solids more often and we're going to brush his teeth more regularly.

nb nxx
Sleep through the night, you must be joking.


Anonymous said...

And he has bad genes for sleeping through the night. He sleeps much more than you and VolBro ever did. Every child is different. When someone gives you a "one answer" solution, it may be okay for a large number, but not for everyone. VolMom

"John Galt" said...

When I read your first sentence I thought, "Wow. A payment for enduring eight months of parenting."

Silly me.

Sinead said...

Apart from letting them cry until they pass out from exhaustion did the health visitor have any other advice for getting them to sleep through the night? When I tell my health visitor that Zach (6 months) is waking every two hours to be fed they just comment that it can happen with breastfed babies..gee thanks, any suggestions to make it stop happening?!

Vol Abroad said...

Developmental check. Ha ha - No! But Buddy gets a check for over $500 just for being born which he can access as soon as he turns 18.

Guess who's having a hell-uva 18th birthday party?

Sinead - no advice except cry it out. And the promise it would only take a long weekend to break him.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Noble Savage said...

Oh, I can't stand Health Visitors. They always have the most rubbish 'advice.' I sometimes wonder if any of them actually have children themselves. Gah.

I'm genuinely surprised that anyone would be 'concerned' about their baby not sleeping through the night until he or she was at least a year old though. I mean, I know it's nice for the parents and all, but many kids just can't go 12 hours without food before they're 12-18 months old. Hell, I don't think *I* could go that long without food. I wake up ravenous after only seven hours in bed.

Anonymous said...

Sinead and VolAbroad must have forgotten that time tested and now a bit archaic practice of slipping the little darling a tablespoon of gin or rum. Great cure-all for insomnia, teething pain, and other (non-liver related) ailments. Bless its heart! But I guess the well-baby worker would'a had a fit over that too


Furrow said...

So what counts as sleeping through the night? Lately, Zora wakes up at 430 to eat and wants to stay up for good. Is that "through the night?" We'd say "no!" But she begs to differ, apparently. Oh, but I'd rather have a morning girl than a night owl.

Cute little Buddy. I wouldn't mind getting up with him, either. CIO sucks.

"John Galt" said...

Of course, in Tennessee (especially southern Middle Tennessee) more than likely the label on that bottle of homegrown baby sleeping draught included the name "Jack".

KathyF said...

My youngest daughter was seven before she slept by herself. She slept with us, sorta off and on, (when she'd fall asleep, we'd sometimes move her, if we were still awake) until she was three, then she slept with her older sister.

She is, by the way, a perfectly normal, very successful first year college student at a prestigious women's college.

Where she has a roommate, but still.

mamatried said...

My DD was not a good sleeper (when teething it could be waking up every 90 minutes) but like yours she would nurse and go back to sleep quickly. I have to admit I was getting worn out and then miraculously around 13 mos one night I nursed her to sleep at 7:00 pm and she slept until 5:30 am. Most nights now she sleeps from about 8 pm until 5:45 (she is a freaking early riser) unless she is feeling sick.

I hate advice about sleep as I worried endlessly and I think the kid either sleeps or doesn't and there isn't much you can do about it. I think we might also just be getting a break until the next round of teeth (but a much needed one).