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Why is this "not normal"? Grrrr...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I am still trying to figure out why bedsharing/cosleeping is considered abnormal.  My MIL thinks is crazy that my almost 5 yo still sleeps in the same room.  He was in the same bed but after having a new babe in December, his writhing around became a bit hazardous.  So now, he has a mattress right next to the big bed.  He loves having his own space while still being in the room.  I'll admit, we bought a co sleeper to use with my baby but he hasn't touched it.  At 1 wk old he was admitted to the hospital for an eye infection...absurd.  He was poked, prodded and...well, that's another post.  There was a sign on the wall "Babies cannot sleep on cots with parents and parents cannot sleep in cribs".  I was holding him in the recliner and just happened to wake up when the nurse came in. She proceeded to tell me that as long as I was awake he could be there but if I fell asleep he needed to go back to the crib for safety.  Safety?  Really?  Yet poking an IV into a 1 wk old is safer then a mother sleeping with her baby.  Grrr....

 

My MIL sleeps with two dogs but thinks it's wrong to sleep with your children.  So are dogs more special than children now?  Anyone else experience this nonsense...

post #2 of 11

I'm with you!  I am the very first person in my family to cosleep with their children.  I hope that I can start the AP style parenting for future generations now (as most people parent the way they were parented).  My own parents know and my sister knows that I cosleep with my 2 year old son, but I haven't even told my MIL that we cosleep (we don't have the best relationship).  We got our 2 year old his own queen mattress and it's on the floor in his room (I sleep with him there because DH doesn't sleep well with him in the bed).  My MIL said, "I've never heard of a 2 year old with a queen mattress before!"  I'm not ready to tell her that I sleep in there too.  Maybe I'm being a chicken, but my MIL is an "I'm always right" type person.  She even believes that formula is better for babies than breastmilk!

 

I can't believe that the hospital had a sign like that and that the nurse said that to you!  That would have made me so mad!

 

One day, although probably not in our generation, it will be acceptable and "the norm" for parents to sleep with their babies.  I just hope that it will be easier for my own children to parent in an AP way without being negatively judged and ridiculed by other non-AP parents.

post #3 of 11

Honestly, I think that our society (and movies and tv) has built up this notion that adult beds and bedrooms are some sort of hot, party, sex orgy zone, 24/7 and that kids should never be in there. Or that tons of 'alone, adult' time every night is required for healthy marriage.

 

Real life seems to be quite a bit different from how it is portrayed in the movies and I think that trying to live up to the perceived notion of 'normal' just gets people frustrated. And those who break from the norm are not comfortable sharing their 'normal' and so the cultural norm prevails.

post #4 of 11

Well I can kind of see the hospital's perspective.  If anything happens... its their fault.  Some new mothers are on painkillers a week later or are still very exhausted from giving birth and may not be the best candidates for bedsharing just yet.  Plus their beds aren't exactly made for it either.  Its easier to make a widespread 'no bedsharing' rule than to make sure each and every mother-baby pair knows how to and will be bedsharing safely.

 

Although at home it IS the norm.  Most people don't admit to it but over half of parents have their child in bed at least occasionally.  If she doesn't like it, its her problem.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

I agree ladies.  I don't actively share our cosleeping situation because of how people react and quite frankly I don't want to deal with it.  It's just sad that our society is still so judgmental over the things that are not considered the norm.  I think CIO is awful but I don't go around attacking people who do it.  I definitely have my opinion but for some reason people make you feel like its weird to co sleep.  Fact is, we have always co slept with my older son and gee...I had another baby. Apparently DH and I got some adult time, right? joy.gif

post #6 of 11

I personally feel the open culture of non-bed-sharing comes from a bigger culture of separation.  We're "supposed" to separate ourselves from our children, from the moment they are born.  Put them in their own bed, in their own room, teach them to be away from us in a swing or bouncy chair instead of in our arms, teach them to sit in a removable carseat or stroller instead of our arms.  Let them "cry it out" when they want us.  Teach them to be satisfied with a frequency of diaper changes that leaves them in their own urine for much of the time and a feeding "schedule" that encourages bottle-feeding and weaning over a short period of time.  Our culture doesn't even practice breastfeeding for 6 months in more than 45% of the population, and that's looking at ANY breastfeeding for 6 months.  If you look at exclusive breastfeeding, only 33% are doing so at 3 months.

 

We're about to have baby # 3 and people keep talking about how odd it is that we're getting a house with two bedrooms because EACH kid "needs" his own space.  It's our culture that says we all need our own space away from other members of our family.  It's not a normal -human- thing for us to have huge houses with separate rooms and even more separate lives and personal space.  If you look at human history and less "civilized" cultures, you'll see all parents bed-sharing with their infants/young children and siblings bed-sharing after they've left the parents' bed, you'll see everyone sleeping in 1-2 rooms.  Look at larger families and everyone's sharing space, things, etc., and you'll see bed-sharing and room-sharing with parents and siblings.

 

My mom likes to say, "they're so far from normal, they don't recognize normal when it walks through the door!"  Bed-sharing is one of those "normal" things, in my opinion.

post #7 of 11
Thankfully my mom and sisters all have co slept and MIL co slept so I don't have to hear it from family. When people ask how I decorated the nursery they seem very weirded out when I say we don't have one because DS sleeps with us! They also can't understand that even though we live in a two bedroom apartment, we can have a spare bedroom- cuz the second bedroom HAS to belong to baby, right? ::Sigh:: Oh well, I just hope that me mentioning it to people who don't have kids yet will help them see that there is another option!
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tavamom View Post

I personally feel the open culture of non-bed-sharing comes from a bigger culture of separation.  We're "supposed" to separate ourselves from our children, from the moment they are born.  Put them in their own bed, in their own room, teach them to be away from us in a swing or bouncy chair instead of in our arms, teach them to sit in a removable carseat or stroller instead of our arms.  Let them "cry it out" when they want us.  Teach them to be satisfied with a frequency of diaper changes that leaves them in their own urine for much of the time and a feeding "schedule" that encourages bottle-feeding and weaning over a short period of time.  Our culture doesn't even practice breastfeeding for 6 months in more than 45% of the population, and that's looking at ANY breastfeeding for 6 months.  If you look at exclusive breastfeeding, only 33% are doing so at 3 months.

 

We're about to have baby # 3 and people keep talking about how odd it is that we're getting a house with two bedrooms because EACH kid "needs" his own space.  It's our culture that says we all need our own space away from other members of our family.  It's not a normal -human- thing for us to have huge houses with separate rooms and even more separate lives and personal space.  If you look at human history and less "civilized" cultures, you'll see all parents bed-sharing with their infants/young children and siblings bed-sharing after they've left the parents' bed, you'll see everyone sleeping in 1-2 rooms.  Look at larger families and everyone's sharing space, things, etc., and you'll see bed-sharing and room-sharing with parents and siblings.

 

My mom likes to say, "they're so far from normal, they don't recognize normal when it walks through the door!"  Bed-sharing is one of those "normal" things, in my opinion.



This is well put and my DH and I talk about it alot.  We love being together as a family and we always hear those comments about needing to be away from the kids.  If we didn't want to be with them we wouldn't have had them!  I didn't have my first son knowing that I would be an "APer". I fell into it because it was what felt right.  My MIL commented that I would spoil him from holding him too much!  Crazy talk.  I love that I spent  almost 5 yrs snuggling with my oldest during the night.  He is now in his own space because he is a wild sleeper...right next to the "big bed".  He still crawls into the bed in the morning when he first wakes up so I still get snuggles.  I nursed him until just before his 3rd bday when it was a mutual wean. We are so close and I love it.  I love snuggling with my 3 month old too.  Again...natural!  It is sad that this culture of making babies and children fend for themselves is considered the norm.  Well, not in my house!  Mayim Bialik just wrote an article about bedsharing and it was so spot on that those who consider it abnormal probably wouldn't get it.  Too bad and so sad for them!

 

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goinggreengirl View Post

Thankfully my mom and sisters all have co slept and MIL co slept so I don't have to hear it from family. When people ask how I decorated the nursery they seem very weirded out when I say we don't have one because DS sleeps with us! They also can't understand that even though we live in a two bedroom apartment, we can have a spare bedroom- cuz the second bedroom HAS to belong to baby, right? ::Sigh:: Oh well, I just hope that me mentioning it to people who don't have kids yet will help them see that there is another option!



We had the nursery for DS #1 and we used it for diaper changes and playtime!!  He never slept in the crib except for a 30 minute nap one day!  We have a 3 bedroom townhouse.  One room is where I sleep with the kiddos with "adult" dressers, etc.  One is my son's room (decorations and dresser with the baby's changing table") but DH sleeps there bc he snores like a lumberjack and I can't sleep through it!  The 3rd room is the schoolroom!  When we move again we hope to find a master bedroom with enough space to make it the family bedroom and put two beds/mattresses.  One for DH and DS #1 and the other for me and DS #2.  That is providing that we can get a handle on that snoring!

 

post #10 of 11

I agree with the "culture of separation" idea.  But to put the most generous spin possible on it, it's not separation for the sake of separation -- it's separation to encourage independence.  We here on this forum know that a child who is securely attached will have no problem separating when the right time comes (or if they do, it's part of their personality and they would be "clingy" no matter how you parented them), but this is counter-intuitive to many people.  American culture worships independence and individuality to a very high degree.  There are advantages to this -- we who choose to parent differently than our culture dictates (and who, aside from grumpy comments from some family members, are able to do so without impediment) are prime examples of what is good and freeing about our culture.  But there are downsides too.  Children are pushed too soon in many cases, and support from extended family and community is not as easy to come by, just to name a couple.  No culture is perfect.   Many go too far in the opposite direction of dependence and obligation.  You have to deal with the one you have.  Maybe if you focus on calming your MIL's fears for her grandchild, you'll have more luck.  You don't really need her to see it as "normal", or even to approve.  You just need her to be assured that he's not going to grow up a fearful "homebody" with no friends.  Talk up the "normal" stuff he does -- his friends, his success at school, whatever -- and stop sharing much info about the "alternative" stuff you do and she'll probably back off eventually.  She may still think you're odd, but as long as you don't screw up her grandson (or suggest that *she* was not a good enough mother to your dh), then she'll likely forgive you a lot.  Meet people where they are...  :o)

 

ETA:  OP, I do understand that you were mostly just venting.  I don't mean to come across as giving advice you don't need!  This was just my line of thinking as I read the OP and the responses, that's all.   Just "talking"! ;o)

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv my 2 sweeties View Post

I agree with the "culture of separation" idea.  But to put the most generous spin possible on it, it's not separation for the sake of separation -- it's separation to encourage independence.  We here on this forum know that a child who is securely attached will have no problem separating when the right time comes (or if they do, it's part of their personality and they would be "clingy" no matter how you parented them), but this is counter-intuitive to many people.  American culture worships independence and individuality to a very high degree.  There are advantages to this -- we who choose to parent differently than our culture dictates (and who, aside from grumpy comments from some family members, are able to do so without impediment) are prime examples of what is good and freeing about our culture.  But there are downsides too.  Children are pushed too soon in many cases, and support from extended family and community is not as easy to come by, just to name a couple.  No culture is perfect.   Many go too far in the opposite direction of dependence and obligation.  You have to deal with the one you have.  Maybe if you focus on calming your MIL's fears for her grandchild, you'll have more luck.  You don't really need her to see it as "normal", or even to approve.  You just need her to be assured that he's not going to grow up a fearful "homebody" with no friends.  Talk up the "normal" stuff he does -- his friends, his success at school, whatever -- and stop sharing much info about the "alternative" stuff you do and she'll probably back off eventually.  She may still think you're odd, but as long as you don't screw up her grandson (or suggest that *she* was not a good enough mother to your dh), then she'll likely forgive you a lot.  Meet people where they are...  :o)

 

ETA:  OP, I do understand that you were mostly just venting.  I don't mean to come across as giving advice you don't need!  This was just my line of thinking as I read the OP and the responses, that's all.   Just "talking"! ;o)



Thanks for reading my vent!  Your response makes perfect sense.  Unfortunately, I have a MIL that focuses on the negative no matter what!  She also "traps" DH when I am not around by engaging him in these conversations.  She never actually says any of this stuff to me directly.  I almost think she feel like she can get him to see her point and change his mind.  I have told him that the best thing to do is tell her that it is a family decision and is not open for discussion.  But, she waits until I'm not around..."When is he going to stop nursing?" (This was before my oldest weaned just before his 3rd birthday) "When he is going to move to his own room?"  "Is the baby sleeping in the co-sleeper?"  "She holds the baby too much. He is going to be spoiled."  I used to get really upset but then I realized that I gave birth to these children so it is no one's business but mine and DH's.  We are doing things different from my parents as well but they realize that they are our decisions and they leave it alone.  That's all I'm asking.  She doesn't have to like it but at least be respectful enough to realize that these are decisions that do not require her input!!  This has gone on for 5 years and I'm just tired of the "watchful eyes" when she comes to visiting...which she is visiting right now.  Can't you tell?  LOL

PS: You didn't come across as giving advice I didn't need!! :)

 

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