"So is she in her crib yet?" and other questions.... - Mothering Forums
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Co-sleeping and the Family Bed > "So is she in her crib yet?" and other questions....
LZP's Avatar LZP 01:34 PM 10-26-2010
How do I respond? MIL asks me this, or some variation of it EVERY.SINGLE.TIME we see her. Every time. Generally, I just say, "nope!" and then she proceeds to tell me how we should really get her into her own crib, she'll never learn to sleep on her own, she's getting too old, etc. (DD is only 3MO!)
I respond with, "well, it's working for us." or, "she's too little to be all alone." or, "as long as she's eating at night, she's in our room."

But, I'm sick of even dignifying this rude question with an answer anymore. I asked DH to respond with, "why do you care so much?" (bc he's the only one who could give her this attitude!) or some variation, but he won't!!!!!! I think if we just ask her why she is so concerned, maybe she can see that it's an inappropriate question, the answer to which has NO bearing on her life at all.

So, how can I respond to this without being "mean" or "rude?" I want to just say, "It's none of your business." but I dont think that would go over well.

eta: I've asked DH to stop discussing it with his parents, but just this past weekend he was telling them that she sleeps (gasp! )in our bed. She has been since the beginning, but we were telling them she was in the co-sleeper which they seemed to think was a little less objectionable. Now they are really determined to tell us all the terrible "risks" of it too....

moondiapers's Avatar moondiapers 01:44 PM 10-26-2010
Could you pull her aside and gently ask her if she'd want to discuss the sleeping arrangements in HER marital bed?
Evergreen's Avatar Evergreen 01:44 PM 10-26-2010
I used to say things like, "No, isn't' that great!!!" just to shut them up.

It sounds like you might need to go to the, "This works for us and the matter isn't up for discussion," approach.
oaktreemama's Avatar oaktreemama 01:46 PM 10-26-2010
Eh once or twice I would be polite and say what you are saying-"it is working for us" or "we are happy with how things are going."

BUT, when it is time after time after time I respond kind of the way I do to my toddler. "I have decided that this is the best way for us and I am not going to discuss it anymore."

Say it with a smile, but say it with meaning. I tend to believe if you don't nip an overbearing MIL in the bud, the "suggestions" will only get worse as your baby gets older.
CBEmomma's Avatar CBEmomma 01:55 PM 10-26-2010
I would just say "you know what, it's working for us and this is what we like. When the time comes to put her in her own room we'll let you know".

I use to get questions like that, and I didn't feel the need to say why we co-slept, especially past 1 year. But finally after the millionth time being asked I finally said, well yelled "no, he's not. He has seizures in the middle of the night and doesn't want to sleep alone. He has been in his own bed but during a seizure he fell off and got stuck inbetween the wall and bed. It was traumatic and horrible for him and he feels safer with us and so do I. When he feels it's best for him to be in his bed he'll be there". My oldest is only 3, so I don't see the rush in getting him to his own bed. He's already really independant, so that's not an issue.
P.J.'s Avatar P.J. 01:55 PM 10-26-2010
My MIL says the same thing. All.The.Time.
Otherwise she's pretty open and on board for our style pf parenting. She takes care of DS sometimes and she's really good with him. But unfortunately it means she's involved and does see when he has sleep issues. Otherwise I would avoid the topic altogether. Just the other day I was getting pretty upset about recent sleep issues we're having and we actually are considering getting him a crib...for naps only....and MIL was overjoyed. When I told her the baby will still be sleeping with us at night, she asked how long. I told her the truth: probably around 2 years or more. She was like: "TWO YEARS!!!!!!????" As if I had just told her we were going to remove his eyeballs just for fun or something.

I have also asked DH to stand up more for us since it's his mom (and his sister, who also questions some things we do), and he only does so a little bit. Honestly, I have learned in this short time of being a mother to set firmer limits with my in laws (as well as my own family, and coworkers, etc). While I get why you want and need your partner's support here, I think it's also very important that you stand up for yourself and your parenting. Yes, it could create some awkward moments, but perhaps she'll get the point and leave you alone. The only other option, as far as I can see, is to really avoid the topic of sleep altogether ~as I do with my dad's wife, who thinks we should use CIO.

But yeah, I totally know this story, and it sure is annoying.
Kelly1101's Avatar Kelly1101 02:02 PM 10-26-2010
Originally Posted by LZP View Post
How do I respond? MIL asks me this, or some variation of it EVERY.SINGLE.TIME we see her. Every time. Generally, I just say, "nope!" and then she proceeds to tell me how we should really get her into her own crib, she'll never learn to sleep on her own, she's getting too old, etc.
Smile and gush about how much you love having her in the bed and how great she sleeps and how fantastic it is. Be REALLY enthusiastic. If she says "she'll never learn to sleep on her own" just respond with "I hear they used to say that, but it turns out that's just a myth! Thank god, because we LOVE having her in the bed, it's working out so great!"

Also mention that it decreases the risk of SIDS to have her next to you while she's sleeping, helping to regulate her breathing.

Over-enthusiasm is the only thing that works for me if I'm not willing to be very blunt with someone (as in, "don't worry mom, I've got this under control. But next time you have a baby, you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT with it.").
LZP's Avatar LZP 02:18 PM 10-26-2010
Originally Posted by moondiapers View Post
Could you pull her aside and gently ask her if she'd want to discuss the sleeping arrangements in HER marital bed?
this is funny. especially since when DH was growing up, he and his brothers weren't even allowed to go into their parents' ROOM most of the time! Very very conservative in some ways.

they are also already asking when we're going to start giving her solids and "joking" about giving her chinese food when they babysit. HILARIOUS. I guess this swill I call breastmilk is just not adequate nutrition after a few months. (but that's another thread....!)

the suggestions about over-enthusiasm are great. We really do all sleep so much better, and even when we tell them that, it's as though it doesnt matter.

My problem is wanting them to understand and maybe even get them to come around to agreeing; trying to defend my choices as a parent instead of just letting the ILs know that their opinions arent a necessary contribution to my parenting. I feel this need to get them to appreciate that what we do is based on our intuition AND historical data instead of just being comfortable with their disagreement.

the thing is, they constantly comment on how content she is, how confident and secure she seems,how happy she is all the time. I want to say, "it's bc she sleeps with us; she knows her place in the world!" but dont want to go into the whole theory behind it in order to remove the "our DIL has turned into an alien in front of our very eyes" look off of their faces.

SIDS risk reduction- i will definitely mention this!!!
SilverFish's Avatar SilverFish 02:23 PM 10-26-2010
tell your DH to knock it off, and start lying. "yep" works well.

if she was interested in hearing about what you do, or respectful of your choices, it would be one thing, but she's clearly not, so just tell her what she wants to hear and move on. and seriously, tell your DH that sharing those details with his mom is currently off limits since she's driving you crazy. i know it's tempting to share information about their grand-daughter with your parents , but i learned my lesson the hard way when i accidently told mine that we had delayed vaxing. i thought perhaps we could have a civil convo and move on, but no, i had to hear about it every time we saw them for the next few weeks until i wised up and lied to them about it... told them we'd taken her in and were following the schedule at our ped's.
Asiago's Avatar Asiago 02:46 PM 10-26-2010
One of my family members repeatedly asks the same question (along with 'are you STILL breastfeeding him', 'carrying him so much'......).
She raised her children in the Dr. Luther Emmett Holt era, which advised parents to force babies and children to be 'independent' and to separate mother from child as much as possible.
Catubodua's Avatar Catubodua 02:46 PM 10-26-2010
"isn't it interesting on how the norms for parenting have changed since you raised your family?"

"you raised your family the way you thought was best, we're raising our children the way we think is best"
marinak1977's Avatar marinak1977 03:07 PM 10-26-2010
I'd just say - "Nope, and I love all the extra sleep and the snuggles I get. Please pass the bean dip."
akind1's Avatar akind1 03:12 PM 10-26-2010
At 3 months, DS was still in his co-sleeper most of the time - especially at that age, why rush moving him to his own space? (or in your case, her to hers)

When people bring this up, especially the, "you know, everyone has to suck it up and just let them cry it out at some point" I just say that IF there is a way that is gentler and doesn't involve pain/tears, and achieves the same results, that is the way I want to go. This is for sleep, for discipline, everything.

I get wanting to convince them, some are not easily convinced. It is worth a shot though?

OT: I dread every fall now, I get asked about whether/when we are getting flu shots. of all the shots! short answer: NO!

But as to what to say to the IL's more of what you are saying. This works for us. If you wonder why it works, or what we are doing, I will joyfully discuss it. But we aren't open to discuss changing what we are doing. It works.
GoBecGo's Avatar GoBecGo 03:21 PM 10-26-2010
It depends how nice you want to be.

To avoid discussion lie and say "yes she's in there now" and change the subject.

To avoid future discussion roll your eyes and stay "are you STILL harping on about that!? NO we're NOT using the crib, we will NOT be using it soon, we are NOT YOU" that might also drive a big wedge where you don't want one though.

To make your point clear print out some good articles on it and say "oh yes, i knew you'd ask, i brought you these. Maybe we can talk next time when we're on the same page."

My MIL recommended jam on the dummy last time i saw her. I smiled sweetly and thought of the GA for dental surgery DH had twice before his 4th birthday and didn't say a word.
heathenmom's Avatar heathenmom 04:04 PM 10-26-2010
My DAD used to ask me this all. the. time. I finally snapped and asked when it became ANYBODY else's business where anybody in my family slept. He quit asking after that.

Oh, and I'm SUPER non-confrontational, too. I was just fed up.
Kelly1101's Avatar Kelly1101 06:04 PM 10-26-2010
Originally Posted by LZP View Post
My problem is wanting them to understand and maybe even get them to come around to agreeing; trying to defend my choices as a parent instead of just letting the ILs know that their opinions arent a necessary contribution to my parenting. I feel this need to get them to appreciate that what we do is based on our intuition AND historical data instead of just being comfortable with their disagreement.
I see what you mean.

Print this out for her:



and be willing to sit down and talk to her calmly about it. But be sure, when talking, to gently remind her that you are the mother of your baby, and you will decide what is best for the baby (in softer terms than that, if needed).
Dandelionkid's Avatar Dandelionkid 06:13 PM 10-26-2010
Answer her questions with a question, to the death of the questions.

"when does she get her own bed?"

"You think she needs her own bed?"

"Yes, she really needs to be in her own bed"

"Why do you think that?"

"She'll never learn to sleep on her own"

"What makes you say that?"

Let her do all the work of explaining and reasoning- that way you don't have to defend your choices.
St. Margaret 06:18 PM 10-26-2010
I'd give up on trying to convince them, unless the really seem like they'd come around. I might toss out the research and all that once, but mostly it's time to set limits. I tend to go with, "We don't believe in that" because it's tied to our values and our research, and tends to shut people down (how can they argue with that?) without being snarky.
southernmommie's Avatar southernmommie 06:37 PM 10-26-2010
Sounds like you've told her already that you don't do the crib. Just keep reiterating that you don't use the crib this young or that she's not old enough to sleep on her own yet and that is what is done in your house. Then when she keeps asking you keep telling her the same exact thing. Eventually she'll get tired of hearing the same exact response like a broken record. I also agree with giving her the printout on those links above. Or just come right out and ask her to stop asking you about the crib.
foodymama's Avatar foodymama 07:49 PM 10-26-2010
LZP I can totally relate. Sleeping in the crib was the biggie and is she still breastfeeding a close second. I got that from friends as well as family members. Some of those so called friends are no longer friends because I couldn't deal with there judgmental attitude anymore. As for family, we have a very close large family and I have repeated myself many times saying she likes sleeping with us and she will bf until she doesn't want to anymore. And after two years I still get disapproving looks about nursing at family get togethers but mostly the constant questions have stopped.

And I'm not sure why peple can't make the behavior connection between an attached child and their actions but it doesn't seem to happen. Create a canned response and just use it with no emotion toward your MIL and it will eventually stop when they realize you're not going to change your parenting style. Even if it takes two years. Hang in there!
lizzylou's Avatar lizzylou 08:00 PM 10-26-2010
My MIL was the same way. I do like my MIL very much but this question was getting soooo old. She mostly would ask my husband.

About 6 months ago, after not asking for awhile, she casually asked my husband how DS was sleeping. My husband nonchalantly said "oh he sleeps great, still sleeps with Liz." At the time I actually would have preferred that he just not discuss it, but I think the shock of that revelation (co-sleeping at 18 months) was so great that after that, she just stopped asking.

She's always so impressed with the way he goes down for naps at her house, so hopefully realizes that the co-sleeping has not messed him up in the least.

If your MIL is not rude about it, I think I would just say "oh yeah, the baby sleeps well. Isn't this nice weather? Did you hear about that news story?" Etc.
LZP's Avatar LZP 10:56 AM 10-27-2010
Wow! thank you so much for the support and great ideas to deal with this respectfully. Since we're asked so often, I'm sure we'll get a chance to try out all of the responses!!
I'm printing those Dr Sears things...
As an aside, I read in an older copy of The Baby Book (Sears, Sears, Sears, and Sears- Ha!) and it actually discourages night nursing sessions after 6months, because the "greedy child" will get used to it and grow to expect it! wwwwhhhhaaaaatttt????!!?!?! Isnt that one of the great benefits of co-sleeping? anywho, a little tangent, but I found it funny and a little contradictory to the other principles in their collection, especially the phrasing.

I'm actually looking forward to them asking again, now!
lizzylou's Avatar lizzylou 05:50 PM 10-27-2010
I am really, really surprised that the Sears wrote anything like that! Definitely not consistent with their usual message IMO.
Purple Sage's Avatar Purple Sage 06:28 PM 10-27-2010
All I can say is that this too shall pass. My MIL used to say the same thing, but then she saw that it is possible for a toddler to learn to sleep alone after cosleeping for two years. She also learned that CIO isn't a necessity, and neither is formula. My advice is to tell the truth, over and over again if you have to. The best education is experience, and she'll be able to witness the experience you have with your child and hopefully that will make an impact on her opinions.
onyxravnos's Avatar onyxravnos 06:40 PM 10-27-2010
I would go with something along the lines of

" SIDS can happen at any time during the first year, it's important that she is right next to me so i can hear her breathing at night, make sure nothing is covering her face, and help her if she needs it"

that would probably solve her 'concern'
JudiAU's Avatar JudiAU 08:40 PM 10-27-2010
After many many many many questions and lots of rude/nasty suggestions I had enough one time and finally said, Yes, it is wonderful whenever someone asked me about co-sleeping. If they continued, I just said the matter was open to discussion anymore.

And about CIO (after the 1700th suggestion that was starting to even sway DH) I just started being honest. I think children should always have their needs responded to, that CIO is mean, and I don't want my kids to think they are growing up in Romanian orphanage. Alright, the last one I only said once but I never, ever got another CIO comment and I took at least 200 peacefully. (MIL was all about CIO because the "staff" could do it)
luckymamaoftwo's Avatar luckymamaoftwo 01:14 AM 10-28-2010
Ha! I have to laugh only because the SAME question comes up every time I talk to my Mom. She means well, but it's annoying nonetheless. I just tell her..."as long as he keeps waking all night long, he'll be in our bed." Of course she insists that he'll sleep better in "his crib" but I seriously doubt that. Gotta love well meaning mothers and MIL.
Asiago's Avatar Asiago 02:39 PM 10-30-2010
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
To make your point clear print out some good articles on it and say "oh yes, i knew you'd ask, i brought you these. Maybe we can talk next time when we're on the same page."
Oh, I like this idea!
Shaki's Avatar Shaki 08:17 PM 10-30-2010
Another thing that may help you keep your sanity is knowing that in a couple of years these questions will stop (new ones may come up, but the sleep stuff will stop--I promise ). The more confident you are in your choices and the less you need other people to agree with you or confirm them the easier it'll be.
peaceful_mama's Avatar peaceful_mama 10:29 PM 10-30-2010
I finally quit discussing my "alternative parenting choices" with people who don't understand. Took me till after child #2 pregnant with 3 to get to that point. So only select people know exactly how long I BF, that we bedshare up to somewhere between 12-18ish months, that 2 of my children are entirely unvaccinated and the oldest is only partially, that we don't buy jars of baby food (yes, even THAT has been found 'strange' on occasion), that NOBODY else feeds my infants. People find out I use cloth if they see it, but I only rave the good. (not that I've found bad at all! ) Oh and there are people who do not know to this day that my 3rd child was born out of hospital with a CPM--because I am 35 weeks pregnant and don't want to hear the negative on my planning to do the same with this one! (DS2 will be 2 years old next week.)

Just plain out not discussing it at all has saved me from a lot of negative comments from people who just don't get it and aren't GOING to 'get it.'

There's also "well, *we* are happy with what we are doing." Or "That just depends on how you look at it"--the line I used when my child's school secretary said it was just too bad for my children that they're unvaccinated.
There are some people who are not going to 'get it' and it's just not worth the time to try to convince them. They've got their reasons for their choices, I have mine for my choices. I don't have time/energy to debate.
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