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please help me prep for visit with inlaws!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok, here's the background. My first baby is now 5 months old. We have been cosleeping since she was born. I never really planned on cosleeping, it just sort of came naturally to us (so much easier to get more sleep during the night- for the both of us). It has been working out really well for us. My DD sleeps one 5 hour stretch and then stirs to nurse every 2 hours or so until waking up. I feel very blessed to have a baby who seems to enjoy her sleep!!

I am going to visit with DH family in about 2 weeks. His mom is a sweetheart, but not really an AP type mother. She has never said anything to me about parenting stuff, but I can tell from the few times that DH has said " my mom says that we should be giving her time to cry and not always going to her right away so she can figure it out for herself", or that " mom says that from the time they are born they should be in their cribs to start building their independence".

Obviously I quash these things right away, I will not let my DD CIO- and I know that as far as sleep goes- putting a newborn or infant in a crib will not help build their independence.

However, in anticipation for the trip- I know that these things might come up, so I want to be ready with not only my own opinions but some research data about the benefits of cosleeping and data that dispels those myths about it making children more co dependent and that they will never learn to sleep on their own etc...

Any studies or articles that you mamas know of that I should read or that could be useful?

Thanks, I have been lucky so far that my side of the family is more AP minded- my mom breastfed all of us and we coslept when we were babies, but she did it without thinking it was part of a parenting style, it was just what worked. So I haven't really had to deal with being in a environment or being around people who are from the formula feed, CIO type of parenting style. I'm a bit nervous about it all, especially because while when we're home, DH doesn't say much about it, but when we are there and around his mom and stuff, I know that he will just try and agree with her and start pushing things that I don't want to do.
post #2 of 9
I would try the website for Attachment Parenting International. They have tons of info about the importance of attachment, emotionally as well as biologically.
post #3 of 9
I always appeal to people's desire to have "smart" kids. I tell them that when I had ds I found out that prolonged crying causes babies to release too much cortisol, which is a hormone that makes it harder for babies to learn. I figure it's a lot cheaper to hold my babies and sleep with them than to buy baby einstein (gag).

Simple explanation, presented as an undeniable fact. after all, if they can tell you, as someone did me, with a straight face, that breastfeeding after 6 months makes baby boys get erections, then I guess I can say my piece with at least as much decisiveness.
post #4 of 9
I have struggled with this with my mother and to be honest I just listen and then respond that every baby is different and that what works best fr one baby might now work best for another AND that we as parents have a responsibility to do what is best for our own children.
post #5 of 9
Try checking out James McKenna's website:
http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/index.html
He runs the mother-baby behavioral sleep lab at Notre Dame. He has tons of amazing information on cosleeping. Lots of good info you can share with family on the benefits of cosleeping, as well as a whole section on safe cosleeping so you can allay anyone's fears.
post #6 of 9
I actually found that when we visited family, it never really came up because we were all squished into one room, and so they didn't know. And I was always worried about not keeping other people up/waking them up in the night. You could always just say "I don't want the crying to disturb you." (Though to be fair, neither my parents or my inlaws cared a bit.)
post #7 of 9
I have similar issues with my in-laws. I think they see co-sleeping as not only something that inhibits independence, but also as a violation of the marriage bed. My MIL has always groaned when any conversation about co-sleeping comes up.

Anyway, after a conversation that we had last year about DS's sleep habits... I just decided to stop talking about it. We co-sleep only part time any more (he crawls into bed with us in the wee hours of the morning). We also don't let him cry himself to sleep (When she advised me once to let him cry it out in graduated increments, I told her that avoiding CIO was based on my mothering instincts and she told me that I had to be intellectual about it, too ) But I just don't talk to her about sleep issues any more. They live 15 hours away from us, so it doesn't come up much. But IME, all the research/info in the world isn't going to change their minds that babies ought to sleep in their own crib and in their own room. So why bother trying.

If you're staying with them, and you need to request the big bed, then just ask if you guys can take dibs on that bed. If she questions you about it, all you have to say is that you think it will help the visit will go much smoother for LO, since she's going to be out of her normal environment. If MIL continues to prod, all you have to say is, "thanks for your concern, but this is what works best for us." I wouldn't even go farther than that... my prediction is that it would only result in you getting more upset.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanniesue2 View Post
... I just decided to stop talking about it. We co-sleep only part time any more (he crawls into bed with us in the wee hours of the morning). We also don't let him cry himself to sleep (When she advised me once to let him cry it out in graduated increments, I told her that avoiding CIO was based on my mothering instincts and she told me that I had to be intellectual about it, too ) But I just don't talk to her about sleep issues any more. They live 15 hours away from us, so it doesn't come up much. But IME, all the research/info in the world isn't going to change their minds that babies ought to sleep in their own crib and in their own room. So why bother trying.

If you're staying with them, and you need to request the big bed, then just ask if you guys can take dibs on that bed. If she questions you about it, all you have to say is that you think it will help the visit will go much smoother for LO, since she's going to be out of her normal environment. If MIL continues to prod, all you have to say is, "thanks for your concern, but this is what works best for us." I wouldn't even go farther than that... my prediction is that it would only result in you getting more upset.
Ditto. We also have to remember that the "expert" advice all those years ago when we were kids WAS to CIO, and depending upon how far back you go, some generations thought it was harmful to even touch your newborn baby too much. When older generations give you advice, they are giving you advice based on what they did, which was, in most cases, what was thought to be best in general. You are doing something that's not only different but requires a lot of patience and dedication, and could possibly make them feel like they were bad parents, or like you're trying to show them up or tell them they were wrong. By all means, show up armed with facts, but I'd use them sparingly. Shanniesue's suggested words are wonderful. Easy to deliver in a peaceful way and then just steer the conversation on to something new.
post #9 of 9
I got this info from a friend when my in-laws visited:

There are lots of other locations / organizations that say bed sharing can be done safely – Attachment Parenting International (you can find them online and on Facebook. Online, they have a GREAT safe sleep reprint about safe sleeping in all environments. This could also be something to show family members to let them see how bed sharing can be done safely.), Dr. Jay Gordon, UNICEF, The World Health Organization, www.safebedsharing.org (this is a very simple site, but a nice one) – just to name a few.

As you well know, there are many organizations that are against bed sharing as well as most government agencies. The most common one is the American Academy of Pediatrics. EVEN though in their most simple recommendation they say one should not sleep with their baby, when you read through their official Policy Statement (http://aappolicy.aappublications.org...116/5/1245.pdf) and get to the bed sharing section (page 1247), they say the following:

"Bed sharing between an infant and adult(s) is a highly controversial topic. Although electrophysiologic and behavioral studies offer a strong case for its effect in facilitating breastfeeding and the enhancement of maternal-infant bonding,35,36 epidemiologic studies of bed sharing have shown that it can be hazardous under certain conditions."

So even THEY say, when they write at length, that it is hazardous UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS – which we would all agree is the case.


Show them what the experts say and talk about what safety precautions you are taking. That's what we did and it never came up again after that conversation.
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