Indulgent urban parents are turning to consultants to learn how to kick the kids out of bed. Or they’re just giving in and letting the kids sleep in the parents’ bed while Mom may slink off to sleep in her daughter’s pink-on-pink room or catch a few winks on a cot. From the New York Times:
More than a decade after the infant sleep expert Dr. Richard Ferber horrified parents by warning against co-sleeping and advocating a cry-it-out approach, and four years after the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development published a survey in which 12 percent of respondents reported sleeping with their babies anyway, never mind Ferber, it would seem that those babies have grown into children, and those children are not at all tempted by the princess and airplane beds their parents have so hopefully prepared for them. Child-sleep consultants say their practices are swelling, and that they are treating the parents of â€œambulatoryâ€ children just as much as the parents of infants.
One mother laments:
With Gus, we tried the reward system, the stickers and the charts and the trip to the toy store. At Soho Parenting, they gave us a whole routine, with me in the chair moving farther away from the bed. At one point, putting him to bed was consuming our entire night. Now we have my son out of our bed, and my daughter, who has always been a brilliant sleeper, has taken his place.â€
A sleep consultant, who happens to be the daughter of the woman who wrote the classic Pat the Bunny, says parents need to learn how to set boundaries.
By the way, for those of you who like to be up with the latest trends, “Sleep is the new sex.” And sleeping with your children is a great way to avoid the old sex.
Update: On Early Stories, Richard Colvin offers a rant and useful bedtime advice.
If parents can’t figure out how to teach their children to sleep through the night in their own beds, then what can they teach them? The parents in this article seemed pathetically weak and helpless and resigned to the idea that, in fact, the children are the kings and queens of the household.
The advice is to establish a bedtime routine and stick to it. Common sense to some of us but apparently a revelation in the richer regions of Timesville.