According to Wikipedia, wishful thinking is the formation of beliefs and making decisions according to what might be pleasing to imagine instead of by appealing to evidence and rationality. No where have I seen more evidence of this than in the debate over infants and safe sleeping.
I’ll explore many aspects of the debate in later posts, but one in particular that has always baffled me is the inappropriate promotion of “evolutionary parenting” and/or “biological imperatives.” While these concepts are completely legitimate in anthropological study, they lose a lot of validity and add to wishful thinking when applied to modern night time parenting and infant sleep.
There has always been a fringe movement that advocates a
more “natural” approach to living. In
the last decade, in what some call the greening of
There is a certain comfort in believing that bedsharing is a part of an ubber-attached, exalted connectedness. Certainly every mother would like more influence and control over their child's well-being and to think you can come closer to that achievement through such little effort while sleeping makes it even more appealing. For most babies and their mothers, it works well. The problem is the one morning you wake and that illusion, as well as your soul, is fractured into a million pieces.
Parenting shouldn’t be a robotic job always based on some sterile, rational behavior – but neither should it be completely commanded by our own desires of a perceived ideal. We need a balance; one where we can determine when our intellect should take the helm and when we can allow our imagination and spontaneity to explore new ideas. If those things are to be prioritized, what better impetus is there to guide us than the very life of our child?