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Old 09-11-2002, 03:08 AM
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Family bed and attachment parenting

I have been doing a lot of reasurch on attachment parenting and I am planning on using this approach with my next child. I feel guilty about not using it with my first, but I was very young when he was born and did not know how to tell people to back off like you have to if you plan to do ANYTHING that is not mainstream. So I was easily pressured out of my convictions. BUT NOT THIS TIME!!!

Anyway, one idea in AP (attachment parenting) is shared sleep or "the family bed". I always felt so horrible inside banishing my child to sleep all alone at night. I don't bloody care what "experts" say if something feels wrong it usually is! So last night I broght my darling 2 year old son to bed with me. It was such a beautiful experiance! As we were getting ready to sleep he had this happy/shocked face like "I really get to sleep with YOU tonight?" He wasn't used to sleeping with someone else there so I softly sang to him till his eyes were all droopy. I just got up to pull the covers over him and he threw his little arms around my neck like "don't you dare, I'm here so love me!" I pulled the covers up around us and he never let go of my neck, such a sweet baby hug. His precious face was only 6" from mine all night. Sometimes I'd wake up and almost jump out of my skin seeing 2 big blue eyes looking straite into mine. He'd just grin and say "Mommy!" in the sweetest voice I've ever heard him use! Like he was saying "You're here! I'm so happy!" It was just such a wonderful cuddly night. I was woken up a little earlier than I like (5am) but I've never been woken in such a sweet way. My little guy had climed up to lay on my tummy and was covering my face with soft little baby kisses! Suddenly I have no idea how we ever slept apart.

There seems to be no middle ground with AP. Either you're all for it or you seem to hate it and attack anyone who practices it. Well I'm all for it. I do not plan to argue with anyone who hates it. This is how I plan to raise my children. But I will answer any honest nonmean questions. And here's a few links for anyone who cares to read more about AP.http://www.wearsthebaby.com/ , and another http://www.nurturing.ca/

Amanda
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Old 09-21-2002, 08:43 AM
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We let our boys sleep with us. When we lived overseas, we were all a little nervous, so we had one bedroom that was all beds. We all slept in there. It was great. They loved the comfort of having us there. My 14yo will sometimes come in a sleep with us when he has had a bad day or feeling sad. I'm glad we are close and able to share things with one another. Good luck and enjoy that time with your children. They grow up way too fast. When they are ready to sleep in there own beds, they'll let you know.
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Old 09-24-2002, 02:45 PM
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The Family BEd

Amanda,

You are so right about the experience of sharing your bed with your children. They are only young for such a short time and i truly believe that you need the closeness as much as they do. Go with your instincts! As you say if something feels wrong, it usually is! It's only modern, so called "civilized" cultures that expect a newborn baby and young children to sleep in separate rooms. Now don't feel guilty about your first child not sharing your bed! You say you were young and pressured by others so it isn't your fault. Don't blame yourself. Anyway, you are making up for it with your son now. Your story is so lovely . I just had to reply.

I have two wonderful sons and my hubby and I agreed that we would have a family bed right from the beginning. It felt like the perfect way to be a family and I'm convinced it's the right way. I know some people think a baby will be crushed in the bed but this just doesn't happen! The baby just snuggles with you and sleeps. It's heaven!!

Our sons are 13 and 10 now and perfectly happy, contented, normal boys.

As Jettsmom so wisely says: "Enjoy that time with your children. They grow up way too fast."

Good for you, Amanda, to have done your research and made a decision. Well done!!

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Old 09-24-2002, 06:46 PM
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Amanda,

For lots of other cultures, sleeping together as a family is the norm. Sometimes I think we think too much about what we're supposed to do, or what other people expect, instead of just what feels right. Don't worry about feeling embarrassed having to explain it. Those people aren't part of your family...what you and your family need are most important - whatever it may be.

My husband and I had our daughter sleeping with us since she was a little one. She cried so hard one night that I thought she'd die - she was choking until she couldn't breathe! Crazy kid - she's 11 now and laughs about it today but then it was like, oh my gosh what am I doing!? So we let her sleep with us all the time. It was so cuddly and so wonderful, so peaceful and dreamy and so family-like.

Then we had my son. It was still ok with the four of us...although tight - coz the kids were small. We told stories, talked in bed...and the kids put their arms around us or each other and it was the sweetest thing.

Today, they're big. But sometimes when my husband works late, I let my kids sleep with me in our bed and we read books or comic books to each other.

Our family is close-knit and my kids got their heads on straight. It's a comfort for them and also for us to be able to sleep close together once in awhile.
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Old 09-24-2002, 09:10 PM
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I just have to ask this for my own knowledge, Im not putting anyones opinion down.....Dont you ever just want to sleep alone with your husband? Not just for sex but for the quality time of being wrapped around each other and just sleeping?

While I believe that it is the "norm" in other places for children to sleep with their parents, I find it hard to believe that it is ok for older children to share a bed with their parents.


Sad but true........ A few months back in Pittsburgh, Pa., a mother rolled over on her newborn and smothered her to death.


While I wouldnt personally use this method, Im really happy to see other points of view on this subject.
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Old 09-25-2002, 03:31 AM
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ajrsmom, you're right about sleeping with a young infant; it can be dangerous, and someone did roll on and smother their child. I guess you'd have to be such a heavy sleeper. My daughter actually didn't start sleeping with us until she was able to pull herself up in the crib.

Yes my husband and I sleep together mostly now. I love that too. He's so warm and the kids are too big they kick and punch during sleep and are all over the bed, so usually I can't sleep well with them anymore. Before when the kids were young, we just all slept together. It was quite enjoyable and we were just there together. But as they got older, yeah sometimes my hubby and I just wanted to sleep alone together. We'd just made the kids go sleep in my daughter's room together so my husband and I could be alone together. And that's what we'd tell them - sometimes Mommy and Papa just want to be together by ourselves. They understood.

Maybe some other parents can comment on this too?
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Old 10-08-2002, 02:38 AM
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When my daughter was very young I used to let her sleep with us. But then came a time that my husband got sick and she had to go to her own room. Well, let me tell you it was the hardest 6 month of my life trying to get her to sleep alone. Now thankfully that is all she wants to do.

I would never put anyones opinions down on how they raise their children. But I think that they need that indepencence and should sleep alone. The drawback of sleeping with your children is that they may never want to sleep alone.

Of course if my child is sick I will sleep with her and she is fine going back alone when better.

Again these are only my viewpoints and you should raise your children they way you all feel you should no matter what anyones opinions are

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Old 11-04-2002, 01:42 PM
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I'm so glad to see a discussion here on the topic of the family bed. Its been quite a hotpoint for my friends/family since my dd was born. We co-sleep with her, and can't imagine any better way of parenting. I don't know how I would have survived those first few "wake every hour" months without the ease of merely rolling over and nursing her back to sleep.
I'm not sure why our culture is so obsessed with forcing "independence" upon children, and why separation and isolation are the accepted methods to achieve this goal. Thousands of years of human history and many published scientific studies have proven that children who co-sleep actually have less issues with clingy-ness and attachment, and are more confident and independent. Mothering magazine just recently published a special issue entirely devoted to the topic of the family bed. It is a terrific look at the cultural, emotional, psychological and physical aspects of sharing sleep. You could check it out at www.mothering.com.
Also, Dr. William Sears, MD has written several great books on attachment parenting and the family bed in particular. "Nighttime Parenting" is one that comes to mind. "The Baby Book" and "Attachment Parenting" are two others that are excellent resources for info and support for AP families.
Glad to see an open and frank discussion on this topic. Looking forward to hearing what others think.
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Old 06-22-2003, 11:53 AM
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There are a few reasons why you should not co-sleep(I got this from our local news after a mother was charged with manslughter after she rolled over onto her newborn and the baby died)

You should NOT cosleep if
You are overly tired
You are drunk or taking any drugs/medication making you sleep
You are overweight/obese
You have large breasts

We are at this time sleeping with our newborn, but I believe there comes a time when they need their own bed. When my first son was born, I made what I believe to be a mistake by letting him sleep in my bed, and he was 3 before I finally was able to get him to sleep in his own bed.(I started trying when he was 2) My other 2 kids are now 3 and 4 and the only time either of them is allowed in my bed is if they have a bad dream or they are sick.

As far as any of the other "AP" things, I don't think I fit that category of parenting at all. I refuse to carry my child around in a sling, I spank my kids and I truly believe in vaccinating them. So as far as being all for it or against it, that isn't really true. I know a lot of people who do certain AP things like co-sleeping and baby wearing, but they don't BF or vaccinate.

Kim
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Old 06-23-2003, 03:47 AM
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I have 3 children and they have all slept in our bed, not so much when they were newborns, but they all started sleeping with us around the age of 1 or 2. I had so many misgivings about it with my oldest, thinking we'd never get him out of our bed.... he's now 10 and while he may lay down and watch tv with us at night, he is more than happy to go into his own bed to sleep.
It's a little more difficult with my 2 youngest who are 5 and 3 b/c they both want to sleep with us and even though we have a king size bed, it never seems big enough. Most nights they start out in their own bed which is when my husband and I have time to ourselves, but I usually wake up next to at least one little blondie
I say, do what comes natural for you. If having your children in bed with you makes them a little more secure, then why not? They're only young for a short time and I can guarantee that they're not going to come home from prom and crawl in bed with mom and dad!
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Last edited by MomsZoo; 06-23-2003 at 03:49 AM.
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