Co-Sleeping Illegal? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So when my ex told his new manipulative girlfriend that he was looking forward to when our daughter was ready for overnight visits because he misses the closeness of nightime co-sleeping and she tells him that co-sleeping is illegal. It would be mild to say I lost it. This is something that provides enormous comfort to our daughter and I beleve it would be in her best interest that her father co-sleep with her when she has overnight visits with him. It will make nights easier on both of them and likely increase the quality of there daytime visit as well. Along with helping him to maintain an attachment to our little girl which I feel the new girlfriend sees as a threat. This woman continues to meddle in our parenting and it is having disasterous effects our ability to co-parent is being challenged. I have my fingers crossed that she disappears from the scene long before our little angel weans and is ready for nighttime visits. But anyway back to the main reason for my post does anyone know of anywhere that co-sleeping is illegal?
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#2 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 01:45 PM
 
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No, I"ve never heard of it being illegal, although there are "experts" - pediatricians and whatnot - that certainly reccomend against it.

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#3 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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My midwifery prof told me that when she was a midwife in Alberta, say 10 years ago, if a public health nurse came to visit and there was not a separate bed for the baby, she was to call social services. And so, they would often improvise something (laundry basket + blankets, dresser drawer etc.) for those visits. Don't know if it's still that way now...

Here in Ontario it's not illegal, and in fact safe co-sleeping is promoted/encouraged.

 Grateful midwife and peaceful mama to three blissfully birthed, amazing children: dd (10)dd (7) and  ds (5).
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#4 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 02:04 PM
 
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that is a crock of crap....I have heard ped's recommend it but it is not illegal....it is not abuse so what grounds would they have. Your ex's gf sounds like a piece of work
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#5 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 02:07 PM
 
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that's got to be a load ~ every HCP who knows we cosleep has said "oh, good!" and it was even encouraged in the hospital, so i'm really doubting it's illegal
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#6 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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When I had ds I had a home visit from a public health nurse who encouraged me to sleep with him, she did make sure my bed wasn't too soft. She was from Ireland.

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#7 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 02:16 PM
 
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I live in Alberta too and I have never heard of it being illegal. It's not encouraged that I know, the health nurses never asked me where dd2 sleeps, but definately not illegal. DD2 starts the night in her crib, but is usually in bed with us by midnight.
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#8 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 02:36 PM
 
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That is the biggest load of bollocks I've ever heard. She sounds like a real poo poo head to me.

Well done for trying to navigate this difficult situation while being authentic to what you know is right.
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#9 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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WHOA....HOLD ON.

I'm assuming your daughter is still young; so I don't think there's any laws about it, but I do recall hearing something about co-sleeping after a certain age. I remember thinking how ridiculous it was because child abuse can happen even if the kid is in another room (which is sick, but logically speaking, why stop co-sleeping for something so ridiculous). I'll go do some Googling and see what I turn up.



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#10 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 03:13 PM
 
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#11 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 03:15 PM
 
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Ok, I did a couple searches and came up with this....

Two links: FCS Waterloo and CAS Windsor

From FCS Waterloo, it states

Quote:
  • a bed of his or her own for each foster child and adequate personal space
  • each child is to have a bed corresponding to the age and size of the child; a clean mattress and appropriate bedding for the weather and climate
  • no child is to share a bed or sleeping room of any adult couple or adult of the opposite sex unless the needs of an infant or illness of a child require this arrangement; no child over six years of age is to share a bedroom with another child of the opposite sex.

That is part of the requirements to host a foster child. My guess is that this was twisted through years of hear-say to become a 'rule' for parents of biological children. As far as I can tell, there's no law to back this up if the child is biologically yours.

To be on the safe side, you could call your local CAS office and/or local police and say that you heard that co-sleeping is illegal and you wanted to verify the information so you weren't breaking any laws.

I hope that helps. :

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#12 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sjccheerdoll View Post
...Then again, my 6mo DS invites girls back to his crib all the time..






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Originally Posted by sjccheerdoll View Post
...(the girlfriend is)...probably just trying to get in (and stay in) his bed at night, and doesn't want a child...to stay in bed with them.
Maybe that; but also maybe she's really just has genuine concern. Perhaps you should point out to your ex that he needs to be aware and figure out which it is, and that you trust his judgement. Kudos for the two of you for having a good relationship despite breaking up, and for maintaining excellent co-parenting arrangements!!

Since he's very interested in attatchment parenting, why not invite him to join this community?

.

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#13 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 03:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Blu Razzberri View Post
To be on the safe side, you could call your local CAS office and/or local police and say that you heard that co-sleeping is illegal and you wanted to verify the information so you weren't breaking any laws.

I hope that helps. :
I wonder if that's such a good idea: wouldn't the OP be calling unnecessary attention to herself and her lifestyle choices by making such a call (I think police and CAS have caller id)?

I doubt that co-sleeping is "illegal" anywhere -- but here in the U.S., parents don't have to be breaking any laws for a child protective services worker to decide they're in need of intervention. I suspect that's also the case in Canada. So I simply wouldn't invite anyone to scrutinize my parenting choices.

I'd be wary of this girlfriend -- and since she seems rather interfering, I might do like the midwife mentioned by blissful_maia, and fashion some sort of bed and call it my child's bed, even though she wouldn't be using it. Just in case of a visit from CPS.

Of course, since I live in America, I wouldn't let the social worker in without a warrant anyway -- but I've heard that in Canada you have to let them in regardless of whether they have a warrant. Is this true? If it's true, I'd just have some kind of a child-bed for show, but keep on doing what's best for my child.

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#14 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sjccheerdoll View Post
I apologize for my bluntness, but aside from being jealous of your x's relationship with your daughter, she's probably just trying to get in (and stay in) his bed at night, and doesn't want a child (Idk how old your DD is) to stay in bed with them.

Although I would HOPE that your x isn't as ignorant as to let the gf hop in bed with him AND the DD at the same time, although that's just IMO that it might be traumatizing.

Then again, my 6mo DS invites girls back to his crib all the time

Oh she quickly hopped into his bed and when I pointed out how quickly (not one on my finest moments) she fired back that I was wrong and that they had known each other for X amount of months first to which I had the great glee of replying that "if thats true he was cheating on me" Oh ouch I'm gonna put that evil woman back down inside now. Sorry she occasionally slips out when I let my guard down. Our daughter is currently 13 months old and a frequent nurser. Also her father respects our nursing relationship in large part because I dragged him off to a LLL meeting when I was pregnant and he got involved there. So he is not asking for overnights until she is finished nursing and then we will begin to ready her for overnights. But in the meantime daddy's new "friend" is trying to damage the relationship we have left. I guess she must see me as a threat. To bad she doesnt realize that if he and I wanted to be together she wouldnt be in the picture
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#15 of 28 Old 07-11-2007, 08:40 PM
 
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You know, she may not be all that worried that you two want to be together. I'm not trying to scare you -- but it seems like many women (myself included) have this primal desire for ALL our man's economic resources to be focused on us, our home, and our children.

For women who aren't very mature or willing to examine themselves -- it can be hard for them to admit they have this primal desire, and just deal with it. They'd rather work hard to persuade themselves, and their man, that it's really in his children's best interests for him to get custody.

Their real purpose is to stop the flow of money (in the form of child-support checks) from their home to the ex-wife's, and maybe even to make the ex-wife pay them instead. But they don't admit that, not even to themselves.

If you feel absolutely sure your ex is a real man, and not some wimp who's easily swayed by the nagging of whoever he happens to be sleeping with, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about. SHE can't get custody of your dd, just so long as your ex isn't willing to go along with her schemes.

But I've just heard of too many cases where the man's perfectly agreeable to Mom having custody until some new woman starts working on him, and trying to manipulate the situation into one where she has more control, to assume that all men are immune to these tactics.

I've also heard that many dads who used to be supportive of AP practices, have been all too willing to use these practices against their ex's in a custody battle. And judges have sometimes awarded custody to the father, simply because of concern that "a mentally healthy mother wouldn't still be nursing a 4yo."

I don't mean this as cause for alarm -- you very likely have nothing to be concerned about -- but I think you should be alert to the possibility. And ready to get a good lawyer if you need one. I think LLL is a good place to go for referrals, if you think it's possible this woman might try to stir up any trouble.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#16 of 28 Old 07-15-2007, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well she has started posting photos of her daughter and him on the internet trying to portray him in a fathering role. : Oh well I know he will have to wake up to it all eventually I just hope that he and the other womans little girl dont get gurt by her tactics. I am already doing everything I can to keep my daughter from getting caught it this womans trap and shield our precious baby from this womans inluence as much as possible. As long as he stays active with our daughter and in our LLL group I have confidence that he will continue to support our daughters nursing until she self weans but I am concerned that someone who formula fed as a matter of choice not necessity has no understanding about why we fell that breastfeeding is so important for our daughter. However as long as he remembers why her understanding doesnt matter at all. Also our little girl is great about letting me know what she wants/needs and hopefully her father will respond appropriatly. The ex and I did have a conversation this week about crying it out because during one of his bedtime/keeping daddy informed calls to our daughter I could hear the womans little girl crying the whole call uncomforted. I let him know hearing the little girl crying uncomforted upset me but that her mother makes decisions for her child. However I found this completely inappropriate for our daughter and asked how he felt about crying it out. He said he is still against it but his additude to the girls crying will still worry me as now I have a few nagging doubts in the back of my mind. I am trying to forget those doubts and trust that he knows what is best for our daughter and will respect that and her.
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#17 of 28 Old 07-15-2007, 02:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I wonder if that's such a good idea: wouldn't the OP be calling unnecessary attention to herself and her lifestyle choices by making such a call (I think police and CAS have caller id)?...here in the U.S., parents don't have to be breaking any laws for a child protective services worker to decide they're in need of intervention. I suspect that's also the case in Canada....
I've come to learn that CPS (Child Protective Services) in the US is far more scary than CAS (Children's Aid Society) here in Canada. Once, when my DS was about a year and a bit old, I was going through a very stressful time, and I called CAS for resources because I needed them. They came out and talked to me and helped me get set up with visits from the public health nurses here (whom are also wonderful). In my experience, if you ask for help here, you get it. On the other hand, they seem to be very lenient in giving children back to families that don't deserve their kids back, and occasionally that's a disaster.

If the OP is worried, she could call from a payphone (OT rant: though, that call is going to cost $0.50 now, thankyou Bell Canada...end rant)



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....I've just heard of too many cases where the man's perfectly agreeable to Mom having custody until some new woman starts working on him, and trying to manipulate the situation into one where she has more control, to assume that all men are immune to these tactics....They'd rather work hard to persuade themselves, and their man, that it's really in his children's best interests for him to get custody....
In my situation (and I think alot of women will be able to relate to this one); it's my ex who pretends like I'm doing something wrong and persuedes people to be on 'his side'. Then those people give suggestions to help 'fix' the negatives my ex has presented to them (in my case, the negatives didn't even exist). Also in my case, I think a new girlfriend could be an asset to my son's proper upbringing, well being and care; since my ex is a UA violation.

I hope that made sense.

.

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#18 of 28 Old 07-15-2007, 02:56 PM
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I wonder if that's such a good idea: wouldn't the OP be calling unnecessary attention to herself and her lifestyle choices by making such a call (I think police and CAS have caller id)?
So use a pay phone.
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#19 of 28 Old 07-15-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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Against the law...? What law would that be? Next you'll be hearing that breastfeeding is against the law. Next time some know-it-all tells you something "is against the law," I would call some legal aid society, or some such, find out the truth, and then tell the know-it-all to mind their own dang business.
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#20 of 28 Old 07-15-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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I think Pierre Trudeau said something like "the gov't has no business in people's bedrooms". I can't believe any Canadian gov't, including the current administration, would pass a law like that.
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#21 of 28 Old 07-15-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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Maybe the woman was familiar with the rules quoted above for foster care and mistakenly thought it applied to all families. So she's mistaken, that's not a biggy in my book. In any event, since your daughter will not be ready for overnight visits for quite some time yet, it is really not worth getting worked up about now.

As time goes by, your ex and his partner will develop a parenting style that works for both girls. It is in your daughter's best interests to accept that you will have limited or no input as to how your ex and his partner want to structure their family life. The important thing is that your daughter will be loved wherever she is.

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Although I would HOPE that your x isn't as ignorant as to let the gf hop in bed with him AND the DD at the same time, although that's just IMO that it might be traumatizing.
I don't follow this line of reasoning at all. I don't see how if would be traumatic if the child already has a close and trusted relationship with the ex's partner. We are not talking about a random stranger or one night stand here. Many a mother co-sleeps with her child and also shares the bed with her partner who is not the biological father of the child. The situation will not be any different when the father co-sleeps with his child and also shares the bed with his partner who is not the biological mother of the child. It's also the normal situation for gay couples and adoptive parents that one or both of the co-sleeping parents are not the biological parent of the child. Those children are not traumatized.
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#22 of 28 Old 07-16-2007, 05:48 AM
 
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I don't follow this line of reasoning at all. I don't see how if would be traumatic if the child already has a close and trusted relationship with the ex's partner. We are not talking about a random stranger or one night stand here. Many a mother co-sleeps with her child and also shares the bed with her partner who is not the biological father of the child. The situation will not be any different when the father co-sleeps with his child and also shares the bed with his partner who is not the biological mother of the child. It's also the normal situation for gay couples and adoptive parents that one or both of the co-sleeping parents are not the biological parent of the child. Those children are not traumatized.
I believe this may have been a ref. to...ehem...baby dancing with the child in the bed with them. At least that's how I saw it.
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#23 of 28 Old 07-16-2007, 06:26 AM
 
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Acknowledging that there are differences in provincial law, I can tell you that co-sleeping is not illegal in Manitoba.

It was in the news here a couple of months ago b/c a University of Manitoba study was released, suggesting that it is dangerous. (From the media accounts I read, though, it seemed to be a survey of parents who thought it was dangerous. You know, like all the new parents checking baby's breath with a mirror during a nap, b/c they thought he/she might not be breathing anymore. The study seemed to be a little thin on evidence).

There certainly wouldn't have been outspoken proponents of co-sleeping interviewed in our newspapers if it was illegal. Nevermind that the study likely wouldn't have been conducted.

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#24 of 28 Old 07-16-2007, 06:37 AM
 
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It sounds like you and your ex have a good coparenting relationship. Maybe her pushy attitude will make her an ex soon and this will blow over. (I hope)



This has got to be really frustrating.

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#25 of 28 Old 07-16-2007, 11:52 AM
 
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I've come to learn that CPS (Child Protective Services) in the US is far more scary than CAS (Children's Aid Society) here in Canada. Once, when my DS was about a year and a bit old, I was going through a very stressful time, and I called CAS for resources because I needed them. They came out and talked to me and helped me get set up with visits from the public health nurses here (whom are also wonderful). In my experience, if you ask for help here, you get it..[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
I'm glad to hear that. But is it true that in Canada, if a CAS worker shows up at your house, you have to let them in?

Here in the U.S., you don't have to let anyone into your home without a search warrant, and it's also your right to obtain a lawyer and have the lawyer present for all interactions (also, once you have a lawyer CPS can't contact you directly, it all has to go through the lawyer).

Of course, maybe we wouldn't feel a need for these protections if our CPS was more like your CAS. Still, I have to say that it would bug me that they had a right to come into my home, without even having to go before a judge to get a search warrant.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#26 of 28 Old 07-23-2007, 09:26 PM
 
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I'm not sure if they need a warrant or not. I've never had a visit from someone else calling to report me. But I do get the feeling that you have much more to fear from the CPS there than you do of CAS here. CAS seems to be more geared towards helping families, where as CPS seems to be taking kids for profit.

Maybe I'm wrong, but if I lived in the US, based on what I know about CPS; I'd be scared all the time. Here, I'm more scared for the kids that they give back to neglectful abusive parents. It seems to be polar opposites. I wish there was just a happy medium. The concept is so simple yet so complicated: protect kids.

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#27 of 28 Old 07-24-2007, 09:52 AM
 
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Here in Ontario it's not illegal, and in fact safe co-sleeping is promoted/encouraged.
Yes, when I had DS I was too scared to put him in the hospital bed with me but the nurses actively encouraged it.

Though I know it's not like that at all hospitals, I don't think these nurses would have encouraged something illegal
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#28 of 28 Old 07-24-2007, 12:06 PM
 
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I'm not sure if they need a warrant or not. I've never had a visit from someone else calling to report me.(
I've never had a visit either. But according to my friends who've had visits, the social workers don't inform parents of their rights, and will often really pressure parents to let them in.

It's something the parent has to know and speak up about: they don't have to let anyone in without a warrant, they don't have to answer questions without a lawyer, they don't have to sign anything, and they don't have to allow anyone access to their children (without a court order -- again, not likely to happen without strong indication that a child's in danger).

So, I don't know, I wouldn't just wait and see what a social worker tells me about my rights if I get called in and there's a knock on my door. I'm glad CAS in Canada is more helpful to families, and less intrusive than our CPS. But wherever I'm living, it makes sense to obtain the knowledge beforehand, just as we gain knowledge about how to deal with a fire.

We don't feel we've wasted time if we prepared for fire, but never had one. I see knowing my rights as a similar thing.

I actually don't think Americans need to live in fear, though. A lot of the horror stories (where parents aren't guilty of anything but end up with ongoing intervention) happen because parents don't know their rights, let the social worker in without a warrant, and sign papers, such as care plans, that open the door for the workers to keep coming back.

Knowledge and assertiveness are often the only weapons we need to protect our freedom. Especially for Attachment Parents who do some things outside the "norm." Knowing we don't have to subject ourselves to an investigation without a warrant, means we don't have to lay out our lifestyle choices and sleeping arrangements to just anyone who happens to knock on the door.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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