Okay, I MIGHT be an overindulgent parent. When my daughter was first born- two and a half years ago- I let her sleep with us because nursing was more convenient (As were every 3 minute checks to make sure she was still breathing) When it became obvious that her place between me an my husband was semi-permanent I even took the mattress and box springs off the frame to make sure than an accidental fall wouldn't hurt her. One of the main reasons that I chose our new place was because the master bedroom had a connected large room to house her toys... and hopefully eventually her bed.
So our bed, for now, is still frameless, but tonight my lovely little daughter is sleeping on her own mattress at the foot of our bed... My hope is to move it further away from our bed each night until it is on the other side of the french doors and on it's frame. We will probably keep the doors open for quite some time just so she can kinda be in the same room with us still. Wish me luck on maybe being able to sleep alone with my husband again.
So, there was my story. So lets talk about the wisdom of bed sharing with our little ones! Oh, and because I can't resist... here is the bed hog in question:
What's to talk about? For two and a half years you have deprived both you and your husband of being able to sleep together. You have weeks (if you're lucky) or months (if you're not) of fighting with your daughter ahead of you.
In return you were able to deprive your daughter of the chance to grow emotionally and gain self assurance by sleeping alone. You are now facing the fact that she is scared to death to be in a different room and will almost certainly pitch a fit if you force the issue.
All because you didn't want to leave the bed for feeding for a few weeks or months. Your child and husband have paid a high price for your selfishness and you will now be added to the list.
On the other hand, there are an awful lot of people that will totally flame me for this and will tell you that you have made perfect choices.
Good luck with regaining your husband and bedroom - it probably won't be easy.
A baby was accidentally smothered about 35 miles from here because Mom and Dad had her sleeping between them. I'll admit we allowed this at times, but it isn't a good idea to have infants sleeping in bed with you.
I just wanted to let you know that I'm not putting you down. Many do this, but I want to send it out as a warning to other parents of babies.
Every now and then an unusual story like that occurs and its sad.
Was that the case of a very young baby and an extremely large mother?
Wow. I didn't really expect that kind of emotion.
In my defense, it really wasn't laziness as much as worrying about her stopping breathing in her sleep. Easy breast feeding was a convenient excuse for giving in to my anxiety. So if I emotionally damaged her, it was over protectiveness not laziness. I admit the former is a big problem and I'm dealing with it in therapy.
On the other hand, she was diagnosed with autism but shows very few signs of the associated bonding issues. She cuddles and hugs freely. She has little difficulty making eye contact with my husband and I either. So yes, I may have over bonded with her, but (accidentally) I think it actually was helpful in her case. I also wore her in a sling and breast fed on demand. She was pretty much in direct contact with me for the first year of her life.
You'll get there in the end. I have to admit my first child (also a bed hogger) was in bed with us until the age of three. Bit of a hassle to get him into his own bed, but we did eventually. Didn't make the same mistake with my second child. Good luck.
Not my place to judge what works and what doesn't with kids.
In many cultures whole families sleep together.
Some child rearing "experts" would tell you you need to have your infant on a strict schedule after the first week.
Don't ask me!
I do want to comment on your adorable daughter.
She reminds me of ZsuZsu in "It's a Wonderful Life."
*smiles* The easiest way to make me smile is to tell me my daughter is adorable. I think so too, but I realize I might be a little biased Its been so long since I've seen the movie I forget what the little girl looks like, guess I'll have to track it down and watch it again.
On the other side of the story is the fact that there always have been and always will be huge differences in parenting styles - that can/may all work out well (or horribly).
I faced something of the same questions with mine, whom I nursed much longer than a lot of mothers did and who were allowed to sleep in our bed much (though not all) of the time.
While I was wondering about the wisdom of some of my practices, I met another mother whose only son was a teenager - one of the most anti-social, brooding, negative individuals I have seen. The mother talked happily about how she had forced him to sleep in his own crib very early on because her doctor told her "You need your sleep more than he needs his." Wow. I didn't particularly like the long-term result of what I saw there, but he may have (by now) gotten through his teens and young adult years very successfully, for all I know.
Bottom line: parenting is a marathon, not a sprint.
I was 17 when I had my oldest son and was a haphazard parent at best for the first few years of his life. He turned out ridiculously well-although we had a couple year rough spot- His problem is that any physical display of emotion seems to make him very uncomfortable. My other kids take and give hugs without a thought. It may be his age or just his personality though. We have great communication and he's a loving kid in general-to everybody- I just worry about his future relationships.
Oh Gosh ,I laughed and grimaced all at the same time when I read your post!
Laughed because my babies are all 6ft tall and all grown up now,and I no longer have to feed,burp,snuggle,hum soft tunes in my sleep. Breastfeeding days ,or 24 hr Dairy Queen,oh the bliss and contentment ,and the tears of frustration when the world got a little too hectic (and that was before I had even left the house) haha..
Grimaced at the memories of stuff that never mattered,but at the time lived in my mind rent free ,like
Friends,in laws, strangers all have with their input and advice. Funny really because I don't remember asking them for advice.
I read up on the latest parenting 'How To's' during Boob 1 and Boob 2 interchange. Didn't notice my feeding style in any of the chapters -but too late hormones and sleep take over.
I guess the author never contemplated a chapter on Contentment.
Those days and months ,specially of the bed sharing and bed adaptations are all hilarious memories now.
I don't know why some cultures are in such a hurry to 'grow babies/children up'? what is with that nonsense.
Gosh Melissa keep being a loving and caring and protective parent, enjoy every single minute !! before you know it that precious lil bed hog will be texting and never home!
Look at that blanket of contentment radiating from her adorable face.
She will face the world standing tall and strong ,because she had/has that strong foundation-trust me.
BTW, your child is beautiful! I've worked with autistic kids before and some of them are quick to show how affectionate and loving they are. These are special kids and should be given plenty of attention and love. So, do what you have to do and enjoy your little princess now that she's small!
Loving your child and being afraid for her, then taking on the job of ensuring she is close and making personal sacrifices to achieve that.
Sorry, I can't see anything but a responsible parent who is afraid for her child.... yeah I can see where that would make you a bad person!
Children can be over protected, mollycoddled or whatever you like to call it, but I guarantee that the love and attention won't do her any harm.
love your kids. Sure get therapy for any issues that YOU feel need attention in yourself, but loving her will not harm her in any way.
All kids are different, and nobody but your husband and yourself have the call on how it is to be handled on a child by child basis, others simply don't know because they don't know her.
She is as cute as can be by the way!
Nice one Klara!
I agree with Aficianada, parenting is a marathon and not a sprint. Each parent needs to make choices that are best for the individual child and family as a whole. Good luck with your transition. Your child won't be emotionally scarred for life and as you stated, you have a beautiful bond with your daughter. She will forever treasure this.
I am a Registered Sleep Technologist - this is no where near as uncommon as you might think. There is even a word for this it is called a "family bed." It is fine (I do not think you should do this with babies for safety reasons stated - a cradle next to the bed should suffice) but when the child is used to this as long as niether parent is against it - it's fine. The problems usually occur when one parent is against this and it is disruptive to yours or your spouses sleep. I worked nights - my children slept in bed with my husband all the time. They do have their own beds - and when they chose to they started sleeping in their rooms with no issues. Now they both sleep in their own rooms and started that around kindergarten when all the other kids had their own beds:) Good luck but don't worry too much it isn't that big of a deal.
Melissa, Real Housewife is correct about it being a common occurrence. In many cultures the family bed is used and is not questioned. When you 'bundle' your infant and allow her to breastfeed at will it merely reflects the level of bonding with her which will build trust. Kids will eventually outgrow the need to be in bed w/ mom & dad. As Earnest stated above-there are bigger crimes than loving your child and being in tune with her needs.
Melissa, I wish you luck! Every family situation and choice is different - I am sure your little one will move to her own room without too much trouble. Everything is a process!
We've had a similar room sharing situation (for different reasons - my son actually DOES stop breathing during the night and wakes about 100 times per hour - not much sleep happening there). He's pretty independent and will go to sleep in his bed in his room with no problem- we moved him out when he was about 3 and we were sure he would start breathing again after the apneas. Unfortunately, he does still wake on a very frequent basis, so he comes back into our room. Since we haven't slept through the night in 4 years, we're generally apt to leave him there (because he will just come back the next time he fully wakes, which is generally about 20 seconds later)!
It can be easy for people to judge, though they often have no idea of some of the difficulties going on behind the decisions.
Thanks guys for all the comments. Miss Lily slept on her own until around 6ish this morning when she woke up, crawled in between us and went back to sleep for a couple hours.
I honestly didn't realize that this was such an emotional subject. Wilderness has a point in that it did affect my husband and I's relationship. He never complained but I'm sure he would have occasionally liked to cuddle with his wife.
And I did worry about rolling over on her and suffocating her. I worried about her getting rolled up in her blankets. I worried about her spitting up and aspirating. LOL, for the first year I was a complete nut.
My pregnancy with lily came on the heels of loosing my son and I do have issues with over protectiveness. I'm getting help because watching my son shave to make sure he doesn't cut himself might be a LITTLE much.
So I get you leahlefler I hope the apnea will resolve eventually. Does he have a monitor or any type of cpap equipment? It might help a little...
It can definitely be a hot topic - people have deep feelings on the subject. My older son slept in our room for the first year and then moved to his own room (he slept in a pack-and-play in our room, not in our bed). My little one is obviously a different situation...
We are going for his C-Pap fitting on Monday. 2 years of untreated apnea (long story and several surgeries involved), but at least now we're heading toward the right direction.
How you bring up your kids is totally your business and there are no set rules as very situation and person is different - good luck with the bed moving. As an opposite view - I always admired my ex for her ability to keep the kids separate from us and apparently happy with that -but I believe the whole 'thing' that goes with it has made the kids into 'not so good' social adults and both of them a little lacking in self-confidence.
Melissa, my experience mirrors yours. Breastfeeding long-term is virtually impossible if you're in another room - it's like asking for failure and to anybody who can accomplish it I bow with great awe. Nothing abnormal in sleeping with our kids. Like you, both my spouse and I recognized the sacrifices and the potential problems, but muddled through somehow.
If I recall, I believe I read of a couple of studies or authoritative books or whatever that said that sleeping with parents at a young age is not associated with clinginess and insecurity in the kids as one might expect. Can't remember the sources now. Was in a parenting fog at the time.
I believe the mental soundness of a kid is virtually unrelated to single concrete decisions we make and totally related to the overall experience they have. Meaning, we might make mistakes, and certain things may be harder or easier, but (assuming no great Act of God/Nature like war, famine, disease, geological disaster, weather and such) they can live a happy life just fine if we raise 'em with the kind of love, respect, care and wisdom that allows 'em to develop a healthy emotional stable of tools to deal with setbacks that come from most of the mistakes we might make.
I also believe that only a parenting style as a whole can be "unforgivable," not an individual decision that comes from it. And because different parenting styles reflect very different lifestyles, personalities, and challenges, we have to be careful about kneejerk reactions to the style like "that's great" or "that's awful." For those parents, given their situation, given their kids, given what's possible...it's just hard to know from the outside, and the alternative - everybody using the same parenting style - could have serious associated problems.
Take it from a biological perspective - imagine if we didn't have varied parenting styles. If we were a uniform society, with its members having uniform resources and uniform survival challenges, and had been raised with the same parenting traditions, then one style could fit all. But we're not. And even then, in any biological group there have to be outliers so the group can change when environmental circumstances change - long term survival of the species, you know.
Basically, we're too clueless to say with any certainty, "That's a great approach!" or "That's a terrible approach!" We just have to watch the kid over time and see if she/he seems happy and strong and able to deal with life and adjust as necessary.
as paranoid parents, when it was time for our son to move out of his bassinet and into the crib in the other room, we bought this monitor which allowed us to hear and see the baby. An alarm also goes off if it doesnt sense movement like breathing and a heartbeat after 20 seconds.
Sure, the alarm goes off by accident all the time, but what's a heart attack hear and there?
(ps.. the alarm still didnt stop my wife from sleeping in the other room on the floor until about month 6... but at least the baby wasnt in our room).
My sisterinlaw's son is 4 years old, and still sleeps in their bed
I think we do what is comfortable for us parents and our families not for some critics who "know it all". Sleeping with or without your child is what you choose for yourself and not to satisfy some other people.
To you it is a small victory, a step to something new and exciting and I can relate to it. Your daughter will learn how to be independent without any trouble, in a time frame that is just right for all of you.
When I saw this I had to write a hub about it. This is before Barbara Kay's comment also. I don't think a lot of parents understand the dangers of co-sleeping with infants.
Parents who co-sleep do not necessarily do it the entire time. And there are special ways to do it and measures you can take to protect the babies from SIDS, like attaching the bassinet/crib to the bed with different bedding, etc. I also think you underestimate parents' paranoia about SIDS, which is understandable given all the weird and tragic tales that hit the news. I don't know a single parent who didn't watch their babies breathing a good part of the first year while they slept. Co-sleepers especially tend to be worried they're giving their kids a death sentence, so they learn to be alert to things like not taking "sleepy-making meds" or other risk factors for co-sleeping.
The research about SIDS is a lot more complex than you're probably aware of. The exact physiological mechanism of death is still not understood. Co-sleeping was suspected as a culprit early on, but only one of many, and from what I can gather after lots of assessment of the research, it's a weak association for which a simplification does not provide answers. For example, also associated with SIDS are:
low socio-economic status (which has been linked to a lack of education about "back to sleep")
low birth weight
smoking during pregnancy
breathing smoke after born
inadequate prenatal care
inadequate prenatal nutrition
use of drugs and/or alcohol in pregnancy, and after
younger sibling coming on the scene less than a year later
overweight infant or mother
season of the year (winter is worse - people tend to bundle up their babies more)
respiratory problems in days before death
gastrointestinal problems in days before death
feeding formula instead of breastfeeding
sleeping on tummy
overly warm room temperature
clutter on the bed (sheets, toys)
co-sleeping (mechanism remains unclear - may be suffocation instead of SIDS)
sleeping on the sofa
age from 2-4 months
age to 1 year
For more details, go wild on PubMed, or see:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article … ool=pubmed
Just an odd thought as well, when I was cuddled up to lily one night, I realized that I had unconsciously fallen into the exact same breathing pattern as her. I found myself doing it several times without thinking over the next couple years. I thought it was weird but laughed about it. I mentioned it to her pediatrician one time in passing and he said it was actually pretty common. He said he always thought that the "saved from the brink" cases where parents have woken up feeling like something was wrong and found their children not breathing may have been alerted when THEIR breathing patterns changed.
It is easy to pull up studies showing the data you want to support - there are also studies showing a reduction of SIDS deaths among co-sleeping infants:
http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep- … -baby-safe
http://thebabybond.com/Cosleeping&S … Sheet.html
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