QUESTION: I'm the mother of a 14-month-old baby girl and I'm exhausted. The problem is that I've never managed to find a reliable way to settle her down at night. Getting her to sleep has become a monster task that seems to stretch out over the whole evening.
By the time she's finally asleep, I have little energy left to catch up with my husband.
My baby doesn't seem to suffer from lack of sleep - but I do. I'm working four days a week and feel like I've got another huge job to do when I get home. All my friends swear by Gina Ford and 'controlled crying' and seem to think I'm crazy not to do it. But when I've tried to do this it just breaks my heart. It feels so wrong to hear my daughter screaming and not go to her. I'm just not strong enough. Am I being a wimp?
ANSWER: Right, I should start by nailing my colours to the mast, because the issue of sleep training is the Israel-Palestine conflict of parenting and hardly anyone is neutral. I'm not in the controlled-crying camp. It went against all my instincts and I always thought its most enthusiastic advocates tended to be the ones who liked to exert excessive control over their children in other ways, too.