I am currently facing the "what came first, the chicken or the egg?" dilemma. My sister works in a centre for child development and was explaining to me that some children need extra physical contact with their mothers that is imperative for their development.
Yousef (18 months) has to hold my hand until he falls asleep. The problem is that it can take up to an hour for him to sleep and sometimes keeps me awake for 2 hours during the night just to hold my hand. Every time I pull away, he wakes up screaming.
Therefore, about 3 weeks ago, I decided to break this habit by putting him in the crib to fall asleep on his own rather than laying down beside him and holding his hand. So far, not a single night passed without crying. And when I try to give him an alternative like a stuffed animal, he throws it out of the crib.
The question is: is it really a physical need like my sister is saying or is it just a habit that I created for him? I know so many mamas that indulged their baby's habits and ended up with 5 year-olds that still don't sleep on their own. I don't want that with my kids.