First time parent who needs help dealing with advice from pediatrician - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 04-11-2011, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I have been bedsharing with our DD since the day she was born, and DD is now 6 months old. Every time we visit our pediatrician she asks us how our DD is sleeping and we tell her that she is sleeping with us in our bed, and at each appointment she has become more and more pushy about getting her out of our bed. This is okay as I can deflect these statements, but now my DH is questioning whether we should really be bedsharing.  Today the pediatrician planted these seeds: 

 

1) Bedsharing causes developmental delays because LO does not get enough sleep at night. Our LO nurses every 2-3 hrs at night, but she never completely wakes up, and she "sleeps" 10-12 hours a night right beside me. 

 

2) Nursing during the night will cause bottle rot in DD's teeth.  

 

3) The longer we wait to get DD out of our bed, the harder it will become.  

 

To what degree are these claims true? Does anyone have links to studies that support the alternative?  

 

AND, I told her that I was not interested in letting LO CIO or in any sleep training methods, and her response was that I should go to Palm Springs for the weekend and let me DH deal with it since apparently she thinks that the only reason I would not want to let DD CIO would be because I could not handle it emotionally :-/  

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 of 41 Old 04-11-2011, 06:53 PM
 
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There are materials in the breast milk that protect the teeth . babies have bed shared sense the start of time ! trust your gut most medical schools dont really spend time training  doctors on these things

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#3 of 41 Old 04-11-2011, 07:30 PM
 
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Next time ask your pediatrician to show you studies about all her points.

 

1) If your child is hitting milestones, not showing any signs of overtiredness during the day, than that already disproves her theory.

 

2). That is such an outdated idea.

 

3) How does she know that? Wouldn't it the easiest, if your child hits the point, when he or she wants to move out by herself?

 

Plus, I just would not really mention your sleeping situation any longer.

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#4 of 41 Old 04-11-2011, 07:32 PM
 
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#1 may be true for some babies (it's more often true for MOM!), but seeing as how most babies in the world co-sleep, it's usually not true at all and does not seem to be true for your dd.

 

#2 is not true unless your baby has a rare cavity-causing virus.  (Check the Mothering article archives for a great article on this topic.  Probably from about 2002 or 2003.)

 

#3 is probably true if you hope to get her out of your bed within the next couple of years.  If you don't mind co-sleeping for a number of years, then don't worry about it.  If you *do* mind, then know that you *can* transition her out earlier, but it will be harder.  But since she's been in bed with you for 6 months, it's going to be hard anyway, no matter when you do it, so I see no reason to do it before you are ready.  Besides, at least a toddler can understand *some* of your explanation about sleeping in her own bed.  A 6 month old only knows you aren't there.

 

 

It may be too late at this point with this doctor, but my main piece of advice in dealing with these kinds of questions from you child's doctor is to not offer any non-medical information you don't feel you need advice on.  Example:

 

Ped:  "How is DD sleeping?"

You:  "Fine.  I'd say she sleeps about 10 - 12 hours a night, plus __ hours in naps." STOP.  IF you want to be chatty, you might add "She has her nights, like all babies, but nothing we can't handle."

 

The medical concern is whether she is getting adequate sleep and that the sleep environment is safe.  (I assume you've assured her that you have no gaps the baby could fall into or fluffy pillows, etc.)  The rest is the ped's personal opinion about best parenting practices.  Unfortunately, you have now gotten into the conversation and your ped will probably not stop the questioning there at the next appointment.  She will likely follow up with, "Is DD still in your bed?"  You'll have to think about how you want to answer this.  You have 3 choices:

1)  You can lie outright:  "No, she sleeps in her own crib now."

2)  You can give a half-truth:  "She has her own crib and she likes it."  (Not revealing that what she likes is to crawl under it play peek-a-boo, but she never sleeps in it.)

3)  You can tell the truth and let your ped know that you have heard her advice and are rejecting it.  "No, we still have her in our bed.  We discussed your opinion and looked at some other advice as well and decided to let her stay there for now.  I feel confident that she is getting enough sleep."

 

If you feel strong enough, I highly recommend #3.  It will help to broaden your doctor's mind, or at least make other co-sleeping parents seem less odd to her. Plus, it's good practice in speaking up for your own authority as a parent.  Where your child sleeps is *your* decision, not her doctors.

 

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#5 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 12:08 AM
 
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I'm American but currently we live in Poland for work. Is it just me, or is it strange that a ped would even ask about sleep? I guess I've been living here so long that I've gotten used to the Polish medical system (I was treated for breast cancer and gave birth to my son here).

 

Anyway, our ped checks our son for medical things. She's never once asked about his sleep (he's obviously healthy, meeting milestones, growing, etc.) or where he sleeps -- maybe she doesn't think it's her business! She's never asked how often he nurses. She did ask if I had started him on solids when we met her at 7 months. I said we had started offering but that he wasn't terribly interested. She didn't seem too concerned.

 

And she's not a doctor who doesn't care about anything, either. She's caught some potential medical problems right off the bat and referred us to specialists. She just doesn't tell us how to parent.

 

Co-sleeping and breastfeeding on demand is considered normal here, though -- sometimes up to age 3-5. That's the thing, these issues are not medical/scientific -- but cultural.

 

Most people in the world (including Asia, where my family is originally from) co-sleep. Are Japanese, Chinese and Polish children not developing properly? Have all their teeth rotted and fallen out? Are they still sleeping with their parents at age 12? NO!

 

I would be so mad if my ped questioned my parenting choices.


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#6 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 12:15 AM
 
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Sorry for the double, but I wanted to address the actual points.

 

1. The great Weissbluth himself says co-sleeping babies can breastfeed more frequently and until a later age than crib babies without disrupting sleep. (Sorry, I can't find the link right now, but he said it in a Q&A with parents, and I saw it with my own eyes.) Ferber has become tolerant of co-sleeping as well. Again, it's cultural.

 

2. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/tooth-decay.html

 

3. How long your child stays in the family bed is your choice. This issue isn't remotely medical. Some babies are more adaptable and transition easily to their own bed, other kids not. I have friends whose babies have always slept in cribs and now they're 4yo and crawl into their parents' bed at night, and they can't get them to stop. It has to do with temperament.

 

EDIT: Found it!

 

 

Quote:
 
Questions For Under 1 Year of Age(to Dr. Weissbluth from Parent Soup's Sleep Training Board)
 
Hello I'm hoping you can help me. My son is 8 months old and still wakes up 1-2x's a night. Here's his daily routine: wakes up about 5:00 (and will go back to sleep for an hour if I'm lucky); takes a morning nap from about 9:30 to 11:30; afternoon nap about 2:00-3:00; and goes down to sleep for the night about 7:15. His bedtime used to be about 8:30 and it has gotten progressively earlier and earlier because he gets so crabby. When he wakes at night I usually go in and rock him for a while and put him down. He then usually continues to scream until I nurse him. I have just finsished your book "Healthy Sleep Habits; Happy Child" and am still confused. You say 1 night waking to eat is normal but at what age should this stop? I was going to try the "cry it out" method but I don't want to do this if it in not really time yet. PLEASE HELP!!!

Answer
Nightwakings are normal for all babies up through 9 months of age who have no sleeping problems. Breast fed babies who are sleeping with their mother might get up more often and continue to awaken for feeding beyond nine months of age without any sleeping problems.

 


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#7 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 04:27 AM
 
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I've co-slept with all 3 of my kids. My ped has never known that. WHen he asks how DD is doing in the sleep department, I just tell him that she sleeps through the night and is well rested. I did the same with my boys. He has never questioned that.

My advice? Just stop telling the ped! Honestly. Sometimes it's a case of the less they know, the better off everyone is.

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#8 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 04:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger Bean View Post

I'm American but currently we live in Poland for work. Is it just me, or is it strange that a ped would even ask about sleep? I guess I've been living here so long that I've gotten used to the Polish medical system (I was treated for breast cancer and gave birth to my son here).

 

Anyway, our ped checks our son for medical things. She's never once asked about his sleep (he's obviously healthy, meeting milestones, growing, etc.) or where he sleeps -- maybe she doesn't think it's her business! She's never asked how often he nurses. She did ask if I had started him on solids when we met her at 7 months. I said we had started offering but that he wasn't terribly interested. She didn't seem too concerned.

 

And she's not a doctor who doesn't care about anything, either. She's caught some potential medical problems right off the bat and referred us to specialists. She just doesn't tell us how to parent.

 

Co-sleeping and breastfeeding on demand is considered normal here, though -- sometimes up to age 3-5. That's the thing, these issues are not medical/scientific -- but cultural.

 

Most people in the world (including Asia, where my family is originally from) co-sleep. Are Japanese, Chinese and Polish children not developing properly? Have all their teeth rotted and fallen out? Are they still sleeping with their parents at age 12? NO!

 

I would be so mad if my ped questioned my parenting choices.


THIS!!!!

and as for the not sleeping enough to cause developmental delays ...that one was WAY OUT OF LINE!  i have never heard such trash talking of co-sleeping.  Mostly people focus on the safety of it.....which is fine...now they are telling parents  "your kids will be delayed because they arent getting enough sleep"   thats horrible....i would seek a new pediatrician - but thats me.

Also ....dont bottles cause "bottle rot"?

I agree with the other posters ...this person is a medical doctor ...not a sleep therapist, not a child psychologist, these are the sorts of things you can easliy gloss over during an appt.  It sounds like you two are enjoying co-sleeping with your LO ....so dont question it!

 

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#9 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 05:30 AM
 
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My thoughts in no particular order:

 

  • Stop talking about with it the ped.  Lie next time she asks.
  • Better yet, find a new ped.
  • Developmental delays?!  Oh, that's a good one!  How about you tell your ped. all about how both my kids sat up at 4 mos and walked at 9 mos and read by age 4yo?  :)
  • Neither of my kids has tooth issues from night nursing for the first 24 mos of their lives.  Yup, that's right, no STTN til age 2.
  • My kids are 9 and 16 and both co-slept nightly until age 4 (their choice, though ds2 needed a bit of nudging toward that choice whereas ds1 did not).  Donald Trump himself couldn't write a check large enough to get my 16yo to sleep in my bed for one single night.  And I wouldn't want to bed-share with him now anyway.  See how it works?    Mama and "baby" both outgrow that stage at some point!  :)

 

You babe is just 6 mos old.  She hasn't yet been out of the womb as long as she was in it.  I always had this instinctive feeling of letting my kids be babies for no less than 9 (well, almost 10...they were both really "late"!) months.  Of course, the baby stage goes on much longer, but I never tried to manipulate naps or nursings or anything during that transition time.  Let you rped know that you'd rather deal with some mnor inconveniences now than deal with psychological problems later due to the detachment parenting practices that she is encouraging.

 

 

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#10 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 05:44 AM
 
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Personally, I would try to find a new ped.  My son actually does not see a ped, he sees a family doctor who is a DO and we love her.  She recognizes the line between things that are parenting choices (which she may or may not agree with) and things that are actually medical issues.  We don't vax and when we first broached the subject she basically said, "It's not my job to tell you what to do."  We explained our reasoning, our research, and our plan and she hasn't uttered the v-word once.  She has never asked how often DS nurses - only (in the early days) if he was having plenty of wet & dirty diapers.  She has never asked if he STTN and she does not know that we cosleep because none of that is relevant - she sees him at WBV and sees a happy, smiling, developing little boy.  The only question about sleep I ever remember her asking is about putting him down on his back and not his tummy.

 

So if you can, I really would try to find another doctor and if that doctor asks how LO is sleeping... just say, "Like a baby" :)  It's the truth!  And maybe try a family practice doc, I think they tend to be a little more relaxed for some reason.

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#11 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 06:16 AM
 
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Personally, I go to see our ped for medical advice, not parenting advice.  Co-sleeping, to me, falls under parenting advice.  The next time you see your ped, when asked about your LO's sleeping habits, I would say, "She sleeps for 10-12 hours a night, and takes x amount of naps." Period.  No more.  If pressed, I would say, "How does this pertain to LO's 12 month WBV?" and leave it at that.

 

And I second (third?) finding a new ped.

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#12 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 07:14 AM
 
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Quote:
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Personally, I go to see our ped for medical advice, not parenting advice.



I've actually starting saying this outright to peds, albeit politely.  On two occasions, I've smiled sweetly and said, "Oh, thank you for your concern.  I'm here just for medical advice, not parenting advice."  Neither ped pressed the issue.

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#13 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 07:14 AM
 
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DH and I have been bedsharing with our DD since the day she was born, and DD is now 6 months old. Every time we visit our pediatrician she asks us how our DD is sleeping and we tell her that she is sleeping with us in our bed, and at each appointment she has become more and more pushy about getting her out of our bed. This is okay as I can deflect these statements, but now my DH is questioning whether we should really be bedsharing.  Today the pediatrician planted these seeds: 

 

1) Bedsharing causes developmental delays because LO does not get enough sleep at night. Our LO nurses every 2-3 hrs at night, but she never completely wakes up, and she "sleeps" 10-12 hours a night right beside me. 

 

2) Nursing during the night will cause bottle rot in DD's teeth.  

 

3) The longer we wait to get DD out of our bed, the harder it will become.  

 

To what degree are these claims true? Does anyone have links to studies that support the alternative?  

 

AND, I told her that I was not interested in letting LO CIO or in any sleep training methods, and her response was that I should go to Palm Springs for the weekend and let me DH deal with it since apparently she thinks that the only reason I would not want to let DD CIO would be because I could not handle it emotionally :-/  

 

 

 

 

 

I can offer some answers. 

 

1)   I can only offer ancedotal evidence here.  My oldest did not co sleep.  Talked at 5 months, sat unassisted at 7 months, crawled at 10 months, and walked at 11 months.  DS2 co sleeps, sat unassisted at 4 months, talked at 5 months, crawled at 5 months, and is pulling up now at 7 months. 

 

2) Here's an article from Kelly Mom;  http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/tooth-decay.html 

 

3)  I can't speak to this as I haven't begun to try yet!
 

 

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#14 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 07:38 AM
 
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I also recommend finding a new doctor. When my son was 9 months old, we switched from a pediatrician to a family doctor. I wish we would have seen the family doctor from the beginning! I even shopped around, and my husband and I interviewed several peds and chose her. She was much different in the interview than after my son was born.

I never outright lied to her about our sleeping arrangements, but I wasn't exactly truthful, either. When she asked, I just said that we had a bassinet next to our bed. It was true- we did have one- my son just never slept in it! (This was one way she changed from interview to actual practice. Initially, it was "Oh yeah, AP is great, I breastfed my kids, blah blah. Then after he was born, she became very bossy and treated me like I was stupid for the way I was parenting. Like, because I was a first time mom, she had to tell me the right way to do things.)

My son is 26 months old now, and he has been sleeping on his own for several months now, all on his own accord. I got a lot of grief from everyone about co-sleeping, but it seemed to bother everyone else a lot more than it bothered me! I figured, as long as my husband and I are ok with it, why does it matter?

Also, keep in mind that most pediatricians are not trained in breastfeeding support. Does yours offer formula samples or have any kind of formula marketing in the office? If so, don't listen to anything she says about breastfeeding (and find a new pediatrician!).

The best advice is to trust yourself. The pediatrician sees your daughter for a few minutes every couple of months. You see her all the time. No one knows her better than you do. You are doing a great job! Don't let anyone make you feel otherwise smile.gif

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#15 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Thanks for all the overwhelming support and your own stories!! I've read them all to DH. Usually people we share our little bedsharing secret with react in the opposite way, so I'm so glad to have found this community of support!

 

Before we gave birth, DH and I researched and interviewed pediatricians to find someone who supported bedsharing, breastfeeding, attachment parenting, and an alternative vax schedule, and we found the perfect match, but it turned out that she was out-of-network for our insurance and we were paying a lot of money out-of-pocket for routine office visits, so we made the decision to switch to this ped. who is well-meaning, but uber conventional.  

 

I'm not crazy about hiding the truth from her just because I don't feel ashamed of our decision to bedshare, but that her medical opinions are influencing DH to second guess our decision to co-sleep is what really is at the root of the problem.  

 

To past-posters who use a family doctor rather than a ped. -- how did you go about finding one who was supportive of attachment parenting? 


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#16 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 04:59 PM
 
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We found our family doctor via the local pages on MDC :)


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#17 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
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AND, I told her that I was not interested in letting LO CIO or in any sleep training methods, and her response was that I should go to Palm Springs for the weekend and let me DH deal with it since apparently she thinks that the only reason I would not want to let DD CIO would be because I could not handle it emotionally :-/  

 

 

 

 

 


Wow, your pedi is very behind in research on the effects of CIO. Even Ferber no longer recommends it. Here's a link on the damage stress hormones do http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/linda_folden_palmer2.html . And here's a link to the site of an actual baby sleep expert http://nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/

 

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#18 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 09:02 PM
 
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I would pay out of pocket to see a good AP ped, unless it's really not doable. If you can't make it work, I've found that older pediatricians tend to be more relaxed about this stuff. They've been around the block a few times and don't really care where babies sleep. My experiences could be totally off, but I'd look for a 60+ year old. In the end, remember that your pediatrician is there to diagnose disease, not tell you how to parent.....that's your mom's job (just kidding).

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#19 of 41 Old 04-12-2011, 09:16 PM
 
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Quote:
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To past-posters who use a family doctor rather than a ped. -- how did you go about finding one who was supportive of attachment parenting? 

 

I asked around in my community for a recommendation. I decided that for a healthy kid, a pediatrician is overkill. Kind of like the difference between an OB and a midwife. I didn't look specifically for an AP doctor, just a good all-purpose doctor (another type of AP... lol). Everyone gave this practice, and one doctor in particular, glowing recommendations, so we gave it a shot. They were all right!

 


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#20 of 41 Old 04-13-2011, 12:46 PM
 
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Dr. James J. McKenna is a researcher of mother/baby sleep behavior. He can be found at University Notre Dame.

 

http://nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/

 

 

Scientific Benefits of Co-sleeping:

 

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/handout1.asp

 

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#21 of 41 Old 04-13-2011, 03:21 PM
 
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Boo, I'm the "DH" referenced by Moonstones.  It's a bit awkward posting here, I feel like I'm walking into the women's restroom or something.  Nevertheless, I wanted to make a couple points:

 

1)  I appreciate all the advice offered and I know it all comes from a place of love, so thank you.  I'm glad my wife (or whatever two initial acronym you assign.."DW"?) has a community such as this to participate in.

 

2)  Yes, the pediatricians remarks have influence over me, but only in that she is an extensively trained medical doctor (/mother) who spends every day dealing with kids.  She is a very kind, caring person, and I respect her experience regarding the health of my child.  I do not, however, take everything she says at face value, but rather I take it into consideration.  I think her experience with kids and her medical training earns the right for this consideration.  Furthermore, neither I, nor my wife, have any of this experience or medical training, so I feel it a bit ignorant to dismiss what she says as complete conspiracy-driven fallacy and drop her for a different pediatrician who tells us everything we want to hear.

 

3)  It's true, we did initially find a great pediatrician who seemed to give more weight to alternative medicine, but we were paying 8-10 times more to see her.  I will admit that the decision to change pediatricians was heavily influenced by the financial reality, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that.  If we had enough extra scratch to keep seeing the first pediatrician, I would have fully supported it.  But we didn't.  We did interview doctors from the two offices our insurance did cover at the lower rate, and I felt the doctor we currently see was a good choice.

 

4)  While the advice to lie to the pediatrician about the sleeping situation sounds the most comfortable of the options, I personally feel there is no need to lie.  I would hope that our doctor would respect our honesty, in fact.  I think (if it comes up again) if we just tell her we understand her concerns about the sleeping in the bed thing, but the baby is sleeping just fine, she will respect our decision.  I don't hold it against her (the Dr.) for telling us what she thinks about co-sleeping.  I'm sure she gets asked parenting advice from just about every parent she sees, so I don't think it's strange that she offers it up.  It doesn't mean we have to do what she says.

 

In the end, I want my child to have the best healthcare possible.  And I believe that this is achieved best by a reasonable balance of modern medicine and alternative medicine.  I believe they both have something important to offer.  So if our financial situation deems that we have to see a more affordable, albeit less-alternative doctor, then that's fine.  But we'll balance it by continuing to do our own research on vaccines and other issues as they arise.  Worst case scenario we know there is another doctor we can go to for a second opinion if there is a serious medical problem.

 

 

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#22 of 41 Old 04-14-2011, 01:19 PM
 
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4)  While the advice to lie to the pediatrician about the sleeping situation sounds the most comfortable of the options, I personally feel there is no need to lie.  I would hope that our doctor would respect our honesty, in fact.  I think (if it comes up again) if we just tell her we understand her concerns about the sleeping in the bed thing, but the baby is sleeping just fine, she will respect our decision.  I don't hold it against her (the Dr.) for telling us what she thinks about co-sleeping.  I'm sure she gets asked parenting advice from just about every parent she sees, so I don't think it's strange that she offers it up.  It doesn't mean we have to do what she says.

 

In the end, I want my child to have the best healthcare possible.  And I believe that this is achieved best by a reasonable balance of modern medicine and alternative medicine.  I believe they both have something important to offer.  So if our financial situation deems that we have to see a more affordable, albeit less-alternative doctor, then that's fine.  But we'll balance it by continuing to do our own research on vaccines and other issues as they arise.  Worst case scenario we know there is another doctor we can go to for a second opinion if there is a serious medical problem.

 

 

 

Hey there, I don't think anything you have said is wrong.  Your #4 is pretty much what I was recommending.  It's true that your doctor is highly knowledgeable about many things and deserves to be heard on those subjects.  I think what many of us were trying to communicate is that sleep issues are one area where doctors (with the exception of sleep specialists) actually have little to no formal training.  Her advice is probably not based in much more than her own experience and that of her friends and patients and things she's read, etc.  In other words, worth about as much as the opinions here at MDC!   There are other subjects on which doctors routinely repeat what they've read something or maybe had a couple of hours on in a class, but about which they have minimal actual education.  (Nutrition comes to mind as an immediate example.)  So you can indeed be selective about which of your doctors opinions deserve more weight than others.  If my doctor says a skin infection needs antibiotics NOW, I listen.  If she says my child needs to drink more milk to get enough calcium, I think about making sure she has enough calcium, but take the milk comment as merely "conventional wisdom".  I hope that makes sense. 

 

As for switching doctors, I don't believe it's necessary to see a doctor that agrees with you about everything.  We see a family practitioner with whom I have good rapport, but don't see eye-to-eye on everything.  I believe the rapport is key.  You *should* feel like you can be honest about things like co-sleeping and have that decision respected without getting a lecture.  My own doctor will hand me a prescription for something and tell me at what point i *must* have it filled.  She knows me well, and knows that I might be inclined to give nature a little more time than she would.  She respects that about me, and I respect her judgement about how long is too long to wait. 

 

We see a family practitioner, and I could not be happier.  She knows our whole family -- me and my husband, in addition to our kids.  It helps her understand when to be concerned about something and when not to, for example, and the fact that we interact with her and the office staff frequently between the 5 of us really adds to the comfort level we all feel with each other.  I don't know what your insurance provide for, but there probably are some family doctors who you could see if you or your wife are not completely comfortable with the pediatrition options.

 

In the end, what matters is that you, your wife, and your child's doctor all get along and are on more or less the same page in your approach to caring for your children.  What anyone else says -- doctor or opinionated moms alike -- is much less important.
 

 

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#23 of 41 Old 04-14-2011, 01:55 PM
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Boo, I'm the "DH" referenced by Moonstones.  It's a bit awkward posting here, I feel like I'm walking into the women's restroom or something.  Nevertheless, I wanted to make a couple points:

 

1)  I appreciate all the advice offered and I know it all comes from a place of love, so thank you.  I'm glad my wife (or whatever two initial acronym you assign.."DW"?) has a community such as this to participate in.

 

2)  Yes, the pediatricians remarks have influence over me, but only in that she is an extensively trained medical doctor (/mother) who spends every day dealing with kids.  She is a very kind, caring person, and I respect her experience regarding the health of my child.  I do not, however, take everything she says at face value, but rather I take it into consideration.  I think her experience with kids and her medical training earns the right for this consideration.  Furthermore, neither I, nor my wife, have any of this experience or medical training, so I feel it a bit ignorant to dismiss what she says as complete conspiracy-driven fallacy and drop her for a different pediatrician who tells us everything we want to hear.

 

3)  It's true, we did initially find a great pediatrician who seemed to give more weight to alternative medicine, but we were paying 8-10 times more to see her.  I will admit that the decision to change pediatricians was heavily influenced by the financial reality, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that.  If we had enough extra scratch to keep seeing the first pediatrician, I would have fully supported it.  But we didn't.  We did interview doctors from the two offices our insurance did cover at the lower rate, and I felt the doctor we currently see was a good choice.

 

4)  While the advice to lie to the pediatrician about the sleeping situation sounds the most comfortable of the options, I personally feel there is no need to lie.  I would hope that our doctor would respect our honesty, in fact.  I think (if it comes up again) if we just tell her we understand her concerns about the sleeping in the bed thing, but the baby is sleeping just fine, she will respect our decision.  I don't hold it against her (the Dr.) for telling us what she thinks about co-sleeping.  I'm sure she gets asked parenting advice from just about every parent she sees, so I don't think it's strange that she offers it up.  It doesn't mean we have to do what she says.

 

In the end, I want my child to have the best healthcare possible.  And I believe that this is achieved best by a reasonable balance of modern medicine and alternative medicine.  I believe they both have something important to offer.  So if our financial situation deems that we have to see a more affordable, albeit less-alternative doctor, then that's fine.  But we'll balance it by continuing to do our own research on vaccines and other issues as they arise.  Worst case scenario we know there is another doctor we can go to for a second opinion if there is a serious medical problem.

 

 


She can't be up to date in her knowledge if she is recommending CIO. There are years of hard research that chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol in babies causes neurological damage, that in turn make a person prone to several stress related adult diseases. The APP now recommends responding to your babies right away and feeding on demand based on this research.  The father of CIO Ferber no longer recommends CIO because of this research. There's even a Harvard study, http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/1998/04.09/ChildrenNeedTou.html , from 1998  that says "Parents should recognize that having their babies cry unnecessarily harms the baby permanently," Commons said. "It changes the nervous system so they're overly sensitive to future trauma." . 

 

Maybe it's my math/science background, but it doesn't matter what a persons degree is in or how long they've had their job, if he or she is giving me inaccurate information that isn't backed by data, or worse is contradicted by data, I have trouble trusting that's persons professional  judgement. My DD's doctor when she was small was very supportive of natural parenting, but was not a pediatrician. She works out of a clinic and is so busy it's hard to get in to see her, so we changed.

 

My DD's current pediatrician see's my 5 year old once a year, unless she has an injury or some other issue at some point. So I don't really care if she agrees with my parenting style or if she knows that James Mckenna's research has shown how co-sleeping can prevent SIDS. I haven't discussed many natural parenting topics with her. We have talked about nutrition abit and I disagreed with her on one issue, veggie juice is not the same nutritionally as fruit juice, but that's ok. I still feel she'll be able to handle any injuries or illnesses if they occur.  And my DD is comfortable around her and likes her.

 

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#24 of 41 Old 04-14-2011, 06:59 PM
 
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When my husband and I adopted our first daughter from China we faced a serious sleep "crisis" where we just could not get her to go to sleep comfortably.  We were using a crib because we assumed she would not feel comfortable sleeping in our bed because she had slept in a crib for a year in China.  It was the worst feeling - she actually would scream bloody murder and would not want me to leave her room.  It was like she was in panic mode.  When I spoke to our pediatrician, she emphatically told me "At all costs, you must just let her scream.  It won't last long and she will learn to sleep without your help."  For the first time in my parenting life I had to decide whether or not to follow the doctor's advice.  My husband and I decided to bring her into our bed during naptime.  From then on, I would sleep with her during her naps every afternoon and it was like a miracle. She relaxed, we bonded, she slept wonderfully, and I never discussed the issue again with my pediatrician.  Now, three kids later, we co-sleep with our son at night and have been doing so for 2 years.  I only wish we would have co-slept with our daughters right away.  The bottom line for me is to listen carefully to our doctor for medical advice, but to trust our own decisions about what's right for issues like sleeping, and breastfeeding, etc. and not to worry if it's not aligned with our pediatrician's advice.

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#25 of 41 Old 04-14-2011, 09:31 PM
 
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She may have medical knowledge that we lack, but we can read as well as anyone else, and honestly -- I have not heard ONCE from ANYWHERE that co-sleeping causes developmental delays due to sleep disruption.

 

Not Dr. Weissbluth (I quoted him earlier in this thread saying the opposite), not Dr. Ferber, not Dr. Sears, and not Dr. James McKenna.

 

These people are in opposite parenting camps. Weissbluth and Ferber are sleep-training/CIO. Dr. Sears and Dr. McKenna are attachment parenting/co-sleeping. But NOT ONE of them have said co-sleeping causes delays.

 

They are frankly more qualified than your ped. Weissbluth and Ferber are renowned peds who run research sleep clinics. Weissbluth in particular is fanatical about babies getting enough sleep. Sears is a renowned ped with 8 children of his own, most of whom co-slept with him and his wife. McKenna is an anthropologist, not a medical doctor, but he runs a mom-baby sleep research lab.

 

Obviously I don't know her, so I can't really judge in entirety, but I would consider switching peds based on this alone. Maybe she could cite some evidence for this claim, so you could evaluate it yourself?

 

She sounds like someone with strong opinions (biases?). That's fine if she were just some random parent you knew. But using her position as a medical doctor to scaremonger... that's another thing. If it were evidence-based, then she would be doing her job. If it's based on her biases, then it's interfering with her job.

 

She didn't say, "I don't think co-sleeping is best." She said co-sleeping causes delays. But where is the evidence?

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#26 of 41 Old 04-15-2011, 06:03 AM
 
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"With all due respect, Dr. X, I pay through the nose to buy health insurance, which in turn pays an exorbitant amount so that I can buy your expertise. In the 25 minutes that my $150 buys, I want the best benefit from your expertise on medical issues concerning my infant. I assume I could get the freebie of your opinion on your own time if I wanted it."

OK, I probably wouldn't say it quite like that, but I really, really object to doctors who are arrogant enough to take their position in society, which accords them huge sway because of the importance of their trade and the extensive training that they undergo, to assume that rigorous continued education is superfluous, or that opinion, however informed, is a substitute for said education. I would have serious problems with a pedi who was not aware of the studies quoted above. I would have serious issues with a pedi who saw herself as anything other than one voice of (educated) advice in support of parental decision-making, medical or otherwise.

I think that the benefit of coming here to MDC as a new parent is that you don't have to reinvent the wheel for yourself. Most of us have learned how to set boundaries around our families through trial and error. It can be very intimidating to stand in a room with a person in a white coat surrounded by framed bits of paper testifying to her medical qualifications. Especially when you are holding your newly-minted little person in your arms. Just remember that you are the boss! If you feel that some of her advice doesn't ring true for you, ask her to back it up with studies and ask her to use her expertise to look into your point of view, too.

ETA: Read your post about breastfeeding and your pedi, too, Moonstones. Really sounds like she may not be a good match for you....although keep in mind that you can take on the responsibility of researching the things that are important to you and she may be able to fill in blanks with her particular areas of expertise, whatever those are.

(Just because I am a carseat safety junky, make sure she gives you the correct advice here too. Does she know that the AAP just made the recommendation that 2 is now the minimum age to turn forward-facing? And staying rear-facing as long as humanly possible is the gold standard. Anyway, do your own research there, too. Most pedis are not up to scratch on info in this regard)

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#27 of 41 Old 04-15-2011, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your responses -- you are all so smart!  Whereas initially my decision to co-sleep was emotional and intuitive (as most of my decisions are when it comes to mothering, I'm finding) you've made me feel more empowered and armed with good information to talk about with our ped. And your responses have helped my husband and I see more eye-to-eye on bedsharing, so thank you too for that!

 

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#28 of 41 Old 04-15-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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I've actually starting saying this outright to peds, albeit politely.  On two occasions, I've smiled sweetly and said, "Oh, thank you for your concern.  I'm here just for medical advice, not parenting advice."  Neither ped pressed the issue.


This.

 


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#29 of 41 Old 04-15-2011, 12:36 PM
 
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I got a lot of grief from everyone about co-sleeping, but it seemed to bother everyone else a lot more than it bothered me! I figured, as long as my husband and I are ok with it, why does it matter?

This!

If you really like this ped for other reasons, I'd find a polite way to say that you're not really interested in parenting advice.

If you haven't introduced solids, no way is breastfeeding at night contributing to cavities, and if you have introduced solids, I just wouldn't feed solids right before bedtime. Since starting solids at 6 months, we've given DD a swig (or more if she wants) of water from a sippy cup to rinse any food particles out.

Edit: I promise you that all of the intricacies of infant sleep and breastfeeding were not covered extensively (or at all, more like it) in medical school.

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#30 of 41 Old 04-19-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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Basically I think everything your ped said is a load of crap.  As far as addressing them in the appointment though...

 

I just got home from our 9 mo check-up, and the ped in training asked all the questions and relayed the answers to our ped who came in later, and I loved her tone of voice when she said "she sleeps with them"  He then began to do his usual badgering about her nighttime wakings/feedings, and this time I stopped him and as nicely as I could I simply said, "Why don't you let me worry about where she sleeps and how much I have to wake up at night, and you just tell me if my child is healthy"

 

I think he totally got the message and stopped dead in his tracks and said, "ok, let's move on then" and in our wrap up in his office he just sort of glossed over it and said it was my choice.  I don't think you need to lie in the future, but just saying something as I did sort of puts them in their place.  My ped seemed totally cool with it and seemed to get it.

 

good luck!

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