HV Says I'm Creating Problems - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 03-25-2010, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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DH and I have been cosleeping with DD since she was born. She's now 16 months old and sleeps in a toddler bed beside our bed. She doesn't quite sleep through the night yet - still wakes up once or twice a night (more if she's been sick or is teething etc) and will nurse around 3am two or three times a week.

I work part time and cosleeping has been a way to spend time with DD and feel connected. I don't see anything wrong with it and DH and I both quite enjoy being able to check on DD without getting up.

We recently asked our Health Visitor for advice to make sure there was no medical reason for DD waking so often (because she'd been ill recently) and instead, she keeps insisting we need to move DD to her own room and that we're creating problems by continuing to cosleep.

I refuse to let her CIO, and I don't think DD is quite ready to sleep in her own room just yet. Possibly in the summer or fall when she is nearer 2yo. I try to be an attached and connected mum - we still use the sling on occasion and BF (although not as much as we used to) and spend lots of time snuggling.

I'm so frustrated that cosleeping seems to be such an issue when DD is still so young! Why am I being made to feel like a failure when she is obviously a healthy, confident, well cared for LO?
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#2 of 12 Old 03-25-2010, 11:49 AM
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Cosleeping is not in fashion right now, so just accept that the HV is not going to support it and will likely consider it to be a problem. We here know it's not... so just take what she says with a grain of salt.

It's the whole 'need to force early independance' belief coming in, and research if people read it shows exactly the opposite. Well attached babies and toddlers are MORE independant later.

Keep up the great work!

I'm cosleeping too with my 3 month old (and have since birth) and LOVE it. She's so cute. I watch her for hours in the night sometimes.
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#3 of 12 Old 03-25-2010, 08:27 PM
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We got similar comments from our parents as teachers person. She told me that I was behind all DS's sleep problems and our only option was to move him out of the family bed and let him cry for at least several minutes. I just told her that cosleeping was not a decision we made at two in the morning or without much thought. I summarized some of the research we found, and offered her information. There is an impressive article if you go to www.epjournal.net and search "natural parenting". It is a scholarly article in a peer-reviewed journal that cites empirical evidence to show that AP (including cosleeping) is beneficial for parents and children. She was more respectful of our parenting choices after I showed her that we made them thoughtfully. Good luck, but just ignore the bad advice if you cannot convince your health visitor.

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#4 of 12 Old 03-25-2010, 08:46 PM
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Keep doing what you're doing! The majority of the world co-sleeps and the research shows it's a very positive thing to do for the child and parent-child relationship.

I've had some good advice on here not to discuss parenting issues (i.e. where to sleep) with medical professionals.

FWIW, two doctors we have been to both co-slept with their children.

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#5 of 12 Old 03-26-2010, 11:49 AM
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Why is her waking a problem? Is she upset? Do you have to get up? Is she awake for a long time?

Waking frequently to nurse doesn't seem unusual or problematic to me, but dd is still next to me all night so there isn't any fuss.
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#6 of 12 Old 03-26-2010, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies, and especially thank you for the article Steph!

sapphire_chan, I only asked the HV about DD's waking in the night to make sure there wasn't a developmental or medical reason why she might be waking because she'd had a few back to back stomach bugs and viruses and I just wanted to make sure she had recovered because we'd had a hard time shifting them.

To be honest, the only reason we stopped in at the Health Visitor's was because the last time we had to bring DD to the GP's office he was rather terse with us and said that he couldn't just take our word for it that she'd lost a bit of weight because we hadn't been taking her regularly to the health visitor to be weighed. I had been under the impression that if she was healthy there was no need for us to take her in, so I hadn't been in in a few months.

I weigh her regularly enough at home and we all know that when you cuddle and carry your LO all the time you'll quickly notice even a small drop in weight. Because of what he said, we brought DD in just to touch base and have her weighed and decided to mention her night waking because she'd recently been waking more often than usual.

Everything is fine now - she's gone back to waking the usual once or twice and she's over all the stomach bugs that were bothering her before and put the weight back on.

I don't mind waking up with DD - I don't even have to budge because her bed is right against ours and if she needs a cuddle she'll usually scoot over and snuggle up. Sometimes she just wants to make sure we're still there and rubbing her back for a minute will quickly soothe her back to sleep. I totally don't mind the midnight snuggles, they're lovely. It infuriates me to hear the HV describe DD as 'manipulative' when she's trying to communicate her needs.

Today at breastfeeding group I met another mama who is cosleeping with her 27 month old son and we had a good moan about health visitors and the like. That, combined with all your replies has made me feel a lot better, so thank you
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#7 of 12 Old 03-26-2010, 05:38 PM
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Aw, that sounds totally normal to me. I wish my ds was sleeping that well at that age, lol! Now he's 2.5 and finally either sleeping through the night or waking once (unless he's sick or something). It'll happen eventually - every kid's on a different timeline. And FWIW it doesn't (necessarily) have anything to do with parenting. My dd started STTN at 10 wks old (!!!), and also slept in a crib in the same room as us, because she would get woken up if she was in the bed with us. Our son is still co-sleeping (but sometimes spends part of the night in his own bed), and didn't STTN until after he was 2. Same parents, same parenting... but totally different kids!

Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#8 of 12 Old 03-26-2010, 06:13 PM
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I would try to ignore the advice of your doctors as much as possible and keep doing what feels right to you. Also maybe you could try to seek out another doctor. I went through about five different doctors when my DS was born; it took about four months but I finally found one that was ok with cosleeping and not vaccinating. You could just ignore the doctor but for me it was important to find a doctor that I trust, one that is understanding and supportive of my parenting style

Mama to Cameron 6/03/09
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#9 of 12 Old 03-27-2010, 06:32 PM
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Honestly I wouldn't worry about what a health visitor says in terms of parenting advice. Their main purpose and abilities as far as I can tell is to weigh babies and signpost people to specialists/GPs/breastfeeding advisers etc. Most of the advice I've received from HVs has been from quite a regimented approach to babies and when DD was younger and I had to see HVs more often I avoided asking them questions unless I was really desperate. .

I wonder how often your doctor thinks you should be getting your DD weighed? I've take DD once in the past six months (she's 18 months) but that was only to check accurately if she was big enough to move into a Stage 1 carseat, I don't see the point of keeping on going if they're healthy and happy.
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#10 of 12 Old 03-28-2010, 01:34 AM
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It's not easy when your parenting style is different from what the norm is. After a hospital stint at a very young age, we have taken DS for his vaccinations and that's it. We don't go to our doctor/health unit for check-ups. Personally, they just stress me out. We have also learned not to volunteer information that is counter the norm.

In regards to co-sleeping, we do! It makes sense. Just today, I was thinking back on what an acquaintance said about her daughter, as she was trying to convince us that DS should sleep alone. She said that her daughter would cry herself to sleep every night and that that was the way she soothed herself. I didn't say anything much at the time, but thought that I could never do that. To us, co-sleeping is a healthy thing to do.
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#11 of 12 Old 03-28-2010, 07:03 PM
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My 19 month old doesn't sleep through the night either and his toddler bed is now in my bedroom. If he's in bed with me, I can get him to sleep longer but for the most part, nope. I say if it's comfortable and works for you then so what to what others say. You know what works in your home best.

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#12 of 12 Old 03-28-2010, 10:58 PM
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I agree to keep doing what you are doing. Humans were made to sleep together! My 21m still wakes several times a night to nurse and I feel that is normal.

I agree to keep your parenting choice to yourself I feel like Drs. try to tell you how to do everything when in reality they should only be giving medical advise. I have a friend with a 2m and her Dr told her the baby shouldn't nurse to sleep, she called me in a panic and I told her to tell that to my DD2 who can almost only fall asleep nursing.

It sounds like you are doing a great job, I say keep up the great work and try and not let the HV get to you.

~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.


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