Naïve Young Parents in Chicago

My husband and I were newlyweds in the Chicago area, and about to have our first child. We wanted to learn more about parenting from a Christian perspective so we went to a GFI parenting class at church where we could get together with new parents-to-be.

My frustration is that it seems the Ezzos never took into consideration the moms who suffer from PPD. My depression was pretty debilitating and when my son wasn't "following the program" so to speak, it created a lot of additional stress.

Of course I wanted him to sleep through the night, but I felt like a failure because even though I was trying to follow the Ezzo technique he still didn't sleep through the night until he was 14 months old.

I wish I had used better judgment than using a cool washcloth to keep him awake for a feeding, yet when you have post partum depression you cannot think clearly and your judgment is very poor. When my husband and I think back to this time it makes us sick to our stomach because it seems so cruel to do that to a new baby.

I have always wondered if somehow my waking J up when his brain was developing has caused him to be the way he is today. For whatever reason, J was colicky starting at about 3 weeks and cried every afternoon & evening for several months. He is now 12 years old and has Asperger's (an autism spectrum disorder.) 

With our next two children I didn’t take this program as seriously.  At times I have resented this couple who developed this "sleeping through the night” method without testing it more and taking into account how different each baby's personality is; how adaptable they are, etc.

If you meet moms who have used “Babywise” or the GFI parenting program they either love it or hate it and it brings out a lot of emotions in them. That doesn’t seem right and I should have known that it wasn’t giving us any peace.  

For me it just added stress and confusion to my already difficult adjustment to parenting. I’m glad that now I can find some comfort in siding with the team of moms who had bad experiences with this "'natural' way to get your child to sleep through the night.  

by J.M.