I made a mistake. I read a book. Well not a book exactly, but I started following a “sleeping program” for my baby. I had always said I wasn’t going to read any how to baby books, but I thought this was different. It lured me in and I expected to have the great results that all the reviews were touting. I mean I didn’t know exactly how much sleep a baby needs. I didn’t know that I needed white noise and side patting and correct swaddling and a million other things to make sure my baby sleeps well, this program was the key to sleep filled nights and dream filled days right?
But here’s the thing: My baby hasn’t read the book [or sleep programme]. My baby is an individual who has individual needs. Here I was thinking I was doing the right thing keeping him up for an hour and a half at a time, only to end up with an extremely overtired baby. Because when I actually looked at him as an individual and his own particular needs, he was showing tired signs at the 45 minute to an hour mark! I had been keeping him awake far too long until it all fell apart one sunny day and we had a screaming, exhausted baby.
It made me think back to when I started following a training method with my horse. I was hooked, this was going to have us leaping over rainbows in no time! But I felt like such a failure when I wasn’t seeing the results that so many others apparently were! Things started to change when I stopped being so religious with following the steps exactly, and instead looked at my horse as an individual and used my own creativity to try doing things differently. And then we started to have breakthroughs.
You see, no one can create a step by step program that will work for everyone when you are dealing with individuals, beings with unique personalities. It’s great to take information from them and look at the principles underlying. But if you need to go off script, that’s ok too, in fact its probably good! Feel the freedom to use your imagination and creativity.
It’s important to educate yourself, but it’s also important to follow your intuition. If something isn’t working, try something else.
Tell me about any of the horse or child methods you’ve tried – did it work or did you veer off on your own?