Re: Creating bad habits
Here's what I think. For some normal developmental processes, we have a good cultural understanding of how they work, that kids are not ready or able to do things differently at x phase of their life, that this will change in the future. Like diapering: we understand babies are not capable of being toilet trained (i know, i know, EC, but i'm talking mainstream). So we put them in diapers. Diapers are gross, they're a lot of work, they leak, they produce waste, they make our babies get rashes and sores on their sensitive parts, and all the rest - and yet, we accept them because we don't imagine we can much do anything to change the developmental process needed to make babies ready to toilet train. We by and large accept that they'll do it when they're ready, and in fact we're shamed and warned against doing it too soon ("psychological trauma" and all that). No one berates us for putting a diaper on a 6 month old because "we'll still be diapering him when he goes to high school". No one tells us that we're "creating bad habits" by "giving in" and "coddling and spoiling" babies when we put diapers on them.
But we don't have the same framework for viewing how babies eat or sleep, even though those are parallel developmental processes. So. The task is, for those of us who do believe that eating and sleeping are parallel developmental processes, to just keep reminding ourselves that we are providing the best care for our little ones while they are little, while this is what they NEED (not want - a 4 month old's wants and needs are the same), and that these phases will not last forever. Just like diapering will not last forever.
My 2 cents.
Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.