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    Old 10-16-2006, 05:45 PM   #1
    roxyfoxy
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    Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    Well ladies I haven't been posting much in 6 months or so. My father passed away over the summer so I stayed with my mom for a couple of months to help with everything. Anyway......

    I am getting so much flack from my mom these days. I know she means well, but it is making me crazy. Now, I am wondering if I am hurting my son's developing mentally. Since I breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, co-sleeping was the easiest thing for us. Now he is 11 months old and I can't get him to sleep in his crib. He knows as soon as I put him down and he wakes crying hysterically. My mom tells me to leave him CIO for a few minutes, but he sounds so frightened I can't bare to do it. She says is okay and he's not hurting himself blah, blah, blah. I don't mean to bash my mom's advice, so that is why I am posting here for some help.

    What have you ladies done to get your child to sleep alone or any suggestions? We have a 1 bedroom apartment for now and our room is huge, but we do share the room. He still won't stay in his crib, he must sleep with me. I am not sleeping at night anymore because he is always moving all over the place. He is cutting his molars now so he is nursing more (through out the night as well.)

    This leads to my next question: Instead of the nursing decreasing, it has increased. Can I blame that on the teething? Seems to me he is nursing more now than he has for 4 months.

    See, my mom thinks I am hampering his independant growth. Well, meaning, he always wants me and can't be without me for too long. I love my mom, but her youngest child is 18 next month. Quite a few years different in the development of technology. I really want to know if I am doing right for my boy.

     
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    Old 10-16-2006, 06:02 PM   #2
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    Re: Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roxyfoxy
    See, my mom thinks I am hampering his independent growth. Well, meaning, he always wants me and can't be without me for too long.
    She's wrong. 11 months is too young to be independent. Every child is different, but him being attached to you is normal, and TOTALLY Ok.

    My daughter is 7 months old and still sleeps with us, and she's still almost exclusively breastfed. She'll leave our bed when SHE is ready. Every night I put her in her crib while we watch TV and clean up, but when she wakes up (usually around the time we go to bed) she comes to bed with us. If by chance she sleeps through the night, which happens once every blue moon, that's fine, but I am by no means encouraging it or sleep training her.

    The thing with attachment is that it actually promotes and creates secure independence. If you were to force independence on him it would be a violation of the trust that you have created for the past 11 months. If you let him cry alone in bed he'll sit there wondering where mama is, and why you aren't coming, and what happened to you when he's always been able to sleep with you. Then what will happen is that he'll become unhealthily attached to you, in that he won't trust you to meet his needs, which can create a longer lasting, and more detrimental attachment.

    I know what it's like to face "peer pressure" about your parenting, but there are certain things that just don't make sense to me about "mainstream" parenting. For example, humans are the ONLY lactating mammal on the planet to give birth to their young and then make them sleep in separate beds. This, in any other species, would be absolutely detrimental to survival. The other thing is breastfeeding. Humans need full fat milk for the first 2 years of their lives. If you are healthy enough to lactate, why would you wean your human baby onto milk from another species? Cows make milk for baby cows, and humans make milk for baby humans. These are my two biggest arguments when people get on me about my decisions.

    When people ask me when I'm going to wean I simply say when she no longer needs milk as a dietary requirement. Same goes for co-sleeping, she'll sleep in her bed when breastfeeding isn't necessary to survival.

    Don't feel bad or second guess your parenting, you are doing wonderful things for your child. If you are open to letting your child self wean, both from the breast and from co-sleeping, then just keep doing what you're doing. If YOU (and not because of peer pressure) want things to change, then I'm sure others will have ideas on how to transition him from your bed. But don't do it because of what others say, follow your gut.

     
    Old 10-16-2006, 06:29 PM   #3
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    Re: Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    Wow, North, thank you so much. It makes me feel better knowing everything that you said is how I feel. Peer pressure really does play a role, but I always did tell myself I would nurse him until he said enough. But, how long is too long? It there a limit? A time when you have to draw a line? DS co-sleeping with me is just fine, my husband works night shifts, everynight, so it is just me and DS all night in bed. It works for us and I can't say I mind it, but lately I have not been getting any sleep. No REM sleep I presume since I wake up every 2 hours or so. It really is a pain. I guess I can't blame DS, but I would like to sleep a good nights sleep.

     
    Old 10-16-2006, 07:56 PM   #4
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    Re: Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    I feel for you I just lost my dad this summer and I was very close to him and Im staying with my mom now to help her threw it but it seems like I never have time for myself, and it hurts to watch my baby making all these new developments when my dad loved her so much,. but She is still in my bed and shes 6mos as soon as I put her in her bed she wakes up crying it gets so tiring to fight with her that I just found it easier to leave her in the bed with me so when she needs something I just roll over and get her.. Maybe its wrong but I think its whatever is working best for you.. good luck.

     
    Old 10-16-2006, 08:07 PM   #5
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    Re: Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    Hi Roxy

    What ever you feel is best for you is the right thing to do. If that means going against what your mother prescribes, so be it. You may need to set aside a quiet time to explain to your mother why you aren't following her suggestions in order for her to stop hounding you.

    I think we all have some issues with our mother trying to influence our technique and at the end of the day, you do what you feel is best.

    Go with your heart, if it feels right, do it... Good luck, let us know how it goes.



     
    Old 10-16-2006, 08:56 PM   #6
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    Re: Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roxyfoxy
    But, how long is too long? It there a limit? A time when you have to draw a line?
    That depends on you. Can you imagine yourself nursing a 3 or 4 year old? I can. I honestly can't find one thing wrong with it. North America is pretty much the only culture who views extended breastfeeding as weird or gross. In MANY other parts of the world nursing toddlers is normal and natural. I don't plan to conform to this society just because I live here, I plan to do what our species as a whole has done through out the history of man kind in general - feed my child a 100% natural, organic, completely digestible, and FREE food source.

    There are many reasons to continue breastfeeding, but to me it just seems like the natural thing to do. I don't think it will ever be wrong or inappropriate. When people ask me if this means I'll breastfeed a 7 year old I'm alway perplexed by the nature of their question. Are they wanting to catch me saying that I wouldn't really let her self wean? Or are they looking for another weird and disgusting thing to judge me on? Quite honestly it's a question I'm not prepared to answer, for many reasons. A.) It's no one's business but ours, and B) I'm not going to tempt fate by attempting to predict the future. You know what the say - "We'll cross that bridge when we get there".

    Quote:
    but lately I have not been getting any sleep. No REM sleep I presume since I wake up every 2 hours or so. It really is a pain. I guess I can't blame DS, but I would like to sleep a good nights sleep.
    I can SO relate! She's only 7 months, but from what I gather (from friends and from other online communities on the subject) it seems to be an age thing. They're just wiggly. I've taken to swaddling DD at night to get her to settle, but I won't be able to do it forever. Can you side-car a crib? Using ratchet straps to tether your crib to your bed frame makes a great toddler-sized side car. That way he has his own space, but you're still next to each other for easy night feedings. Plus, it's a way for him to slowly get used to his crib, making the transition to his own room, should you want to go that route, easier. You just take one of the rails off and push it against your bed.

    Or, you could put a twin mattress on your floor and nurse him to sleep there, then quietly roll out away and sleep in your bed. This is a gentle way of transitioning him to sleeping on his own. I've seen people put one side of the mattress against the wall and putting a play yard fence around the mattress to prevent them from wandering. Or just baby proof your room.

    Those are about the only things I can think of to keep co-sleeping but to also try and get some better sleep.

    And if all else fails, keep chanting this mantra - "this too shall pass, this too shall pass, this too shall pass". LOL.

    As for your mother, you need to nicely, politely, and assertively tell her that you are comfortable in your decisions, and that her support in what YOU decide is best for you child is the best way she can help you. I had that talk with my mom a long time ago, and it was the best thing I ever did.

    Edited to add: Yes, comfort nursing is totally normal during teething. It's also possible he's going through a growth spurt. Both will increase your supply to meet his demands, but I'm sure it will even itself out. Have you tried using a few homeopathic remedies at night to see if that will help the teething? Like Hyland's teething tablets or Bach's Rescue Remedy? I find these really helpful for night time when she's teething (she already has two bottom teeth!).

    Last edited by debating; 10-16-2006 at 09:12 PM.

     
    Old 10-16-2006, 08:58 PM   #7
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    Re: Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    My mom is 600 miles away, so she can't do anything but tell me over the phone. Its not that I am complaining as to what she says, but to make sure I am doing a good thing. Sometimes I hear ppl saying its not good to sleep with your child, and I said that too, but once I had him, and was nursing, I found it was so much better for both of us. I think I am questioning it lately because he is almost a year old now and the fact that the nursing has increased. This happens during teething sometimes, doesn't it?

    Denise:
    Sounds like we are in the same boat. My father and I used to argue like crazy all of the time. We are (were) both virgos and our hot tempers and "I'm always right!" attitudes always clashed. I am happy to say that when I found out he was sick we talked so much and learned so much from each other. We were always close, probably because we were one in the same, but very far apart. We thought along the same lines and agreed if another party was involved. If it was between me and him, disagreement. LOL

    He too loved my son so much and was so, so grateful to have met him. I didn't start the grieving process until I returned home (2 months after my father's death). I was too busy with the chores and such around the house and baby to think about it, I guess. I still go through my crying fits and when I call my mom I am so used to talking to dad and about how he was doing and him asking about the baby, that it gets hard to talk to her, or even pick up the phone to call. (What a sentence runon.) Anyway, its hard, especially with the little ones who need us more than ever.

    North Of 60:
    I am trying to remember back to other posts from a year or longer, didn't you say you absolutely were not going to breastfeed? Just curious what changed your mind? If I am wrong, my apologies.

     
    Old 10-16-2006, 09:06 PM   #8
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    Re: Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roxyfoxy

    North Of 60:
    I am trying to remember back to other posts from a year or longer, didn't you say you absolutely were not going to breastfeed? Just curious what changed your mind? If I am wrong, my apologies.
    Oh gosh no. I posted on the pregnancy board asking something to the effect of "why wouldn't you breastfeed". I was surprised to find so many responses stating that people weren't even going to try breastfeeding.. for various reasons. I knew it was something I was going to do, though back then I don't think I realized how passionate I'd become about it.

     
    Old 10-17-2006, 06:26 AM   #9
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    Re: Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    I wouldn't go as far as North and say adamantly that your mom is WRONG...because she isn't, in her own mind anyway and we need to respect that everyone has their opinions, especially our families and they need to lend that support, even when it isn't what we want to hear.
    For me it comes in trying to force feed my 3 year old and when he finally eats things at her house like lasagna that he's never had before she tells him he can't have a treat (later) because he didn't eat ALL of his supper. I wanted to scream "He's finally trying something new, leave him alone!!!"
    But they do mean well and they do want to support us and try and help us when they know we are stressed out about some aspect of parenting.
    As for co-sleeping...it's sooooo not for me (I'd never reach REM sleep this way) but if it is what works for you (which it sounds like now it isn't) then fine. For me, I could never nurse in bed (I'm a bigger girl with DD cups before a baby!!!) so I always got up anyway and it was easier to move ds#2 into his own room. I love North's idea of a mattress on the floor and that is what we did (sort of) with ds#1 only it was a double bed in his room. You don't have a lot of room to play with but I think that would be a good idea to try.
    As for extended nursing...again should be our decision. My mom will support mr whole heartedly as she nursed my youngest brother past his 2nd birthday...which of course his cruel sibling tease him about but hey, it's a sibling thing I guess!!!
    For me, I don't think I could do it that long but we'll see. I don't plan to wean until I have too...perhaps before we expect our next one if we decide to have more. I will return to work full time in Feb when ds is 8 months so will be weaning somewhat then...but only to expressed milk in a bottle and my trusty pump. I hate formula...it stinks, makes them stink and is way too expensive. I have a ton in the freezer now so he should be good for awhile when I go back. I hope to nurse him at night for as long as he'll let me. Mornings too as long as I can swing it while trying to get the boys and myself out the door to work. I am not lucky enough to be a stay at home mom right now but might be able to swing it, atleast part time come next Sept so if he's still nursing then then I'll be able to do it more often again.
    And North, society need not know what your plans are or what goes on in your own home....I hate nosey people and yet I find I ask people those kind of questions....mostly looking for support for myself I guess. But really, whatever goes on in your home is your business. I don't do well nursing in public now so even if I do extend my nursing it will only be at home and then it's my business.
    Good luck Roxy, hope all goes well for you!!!

    Last edited by Jordyn; 10-17-2006 at 06:29 AM.

     
    Old 10-17-2006, 06:45 AM   #10
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    Question Re: Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    Wow! I like North's advice because it always makes sense to me and I was going to ask about co-sleeping, but I am glad you asked because now I got my question answered!

    My daughter is going on 7 months and I still sleep with her on the couch usually, sometimes on bed. I slept with her for the first few months and then the next couple she slept in her own and then she suddenly started getting up many times to eat during the night and ever since I have been sleeping with her.....it is much easier. I am always thinking in the back of my head about when it will stop and worried she will be a few years old and screaming to sleep with me. (I have an 8 year old nephew that refuses to sleep in his own room.)
    I know it is natural to sleep with them and everything North said makes sense. My question is to North....when do you think it is appropriate for a child to sleep in their own room, or in their own bed?

    (Having a going on 9 year old nephew sleeping with his parents does not look or sound healthy to me!)


     
    Old 10-17-2006, 07:06 AM   #11
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    Re: Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jordyn
    And North, society need not know what your plans are or what goes on in your own home....I hate nosey people and yet I find I ask people those kind of questions....mostly looking for support for myself I guess.
    I know, but you would be SURPRISED at some of the nosey and antagonistic questions people have asked me. I'm getting better at telling people to stick it, because frankly, I'm done trying to educate those people. We'll do what we're gunna do, and that's that!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OrangeCouture
    My question is to North....when do you think it is appropriate for a child to sleep in their own room, or in their own bed?

    (Having a going on 9 year old nephew sleeping with his parents does not look or sound healthy to me!)
    It's hard for me to say, because when I was pregnant with DD and I stayed with my mom for the holidays I jumped into bed her some mornings and I'm 25. LOL

    I think there *might* be some reasons why a 9 year old won't sleep alone, but I don't think a 9 year old crawling into bed with his/her parents at times is inherently bad. In many cultures the family bed lasts until the child moves out and gets married.

    Our society is a "me" society. We (the parents) need time to sleep on our own. We (the parents) need time with our husbands. We (the parents) need time to pamper ourselves. If you slow down and think about it, 9 years of sleeping with your parents, out of a 78 year life expectancy, is really only a drop in the bucket.

    Someone put it in persecutive for me when I was having a crummy few nights co-sleeping. She told me about her grand parents and how they were retired and had WAY too much time on their hands, so much so that they took to meticulously organizing every square inch of their home. That's going to be me one day! I'm going to be alone, retired, with nothing to do.. why am I worrying about "me" right now? When I'm old and grey I won't think back and say "boy, I wish I spent more time alone without my kids". Quite the contrary, I'll be glad, and reminiscent, of all this time I'm spending with her now. And some of my fondest memories are of my sisters and I piled in bed with my parents (even at 25 when my mom was playing with my hair!! *blush*.. lol).

    Quite honestly, if my 9 year old wants to sleep with me and we have the room, why not? I don't exactly understand what is "unhealthy" about it, except that in our society it is not normal. Abnormal does not necessarily equate to unhealthy. Know what I mean?

    Last edited by debating; 10-17-2006 at 07:23 AM.

     
    Old 10-17-2006, 07:08 AM   #12
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    Re: Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    Roxy,

    I first want to start off by saying that I am sorry for your loss. It must have been very hard for your family.

    I was in the same boat as you for a long time. I exclusively BF ds till he was 14 months old ( other than meals) and aslo co-slept. It was great and awful at the same time. He never slept, and neither did we. He nursed through the night till he was 1, and def. nursed more when he was teething. I did choolse to night wean because I thought it might let him sleep better if he was not waking to feed, because it had definitely had become a habit to wake for that. Night weaning was actually very easy, and went ver well. When he woke, I just held him, and let him be upset( which was only the first night) and gave him his pacifier. After that night, he was okay with it, and did sleep a tiny bit better.

    At 14 months I weaned him completely, he was ready. He was fussing around too much, and not concentrating on nursing, so it went very easy. I just held him and hugged him to sleep.

    Then at 17 months old, I had had it! He was not sleeping( waking up to 10 times in a night) and taking over the bed. He moved too much, and noone was happy. At this point, I knew he needed to learn to self soothe. So, I played with him in his crib for about a week straight before it was time to nap. Then after a week, I put him in his crib at his nap time. He cried for a few minutes, maybe on and off for an hour. If he was full fledge crying I wouldn't have left him. I would go up there a few times, and hug him and would tell him what he had to do in his crib. I must have said " go to sleep honey, it's okay" over 1000 times. But after thathe did sleep. He woke up mad, but not upset.
    After a few days of this, and very little crying, he slept throught the night. I could not believe it. Fast foward, 2 weeks, and he goes down without a hitch.

    I did not have to let him CIO. He did it on his own. He was ready! I let him dictate when he was ready, and he did it. I realize now that he may have been better in the crib for the last few months, but he may hvae cried more, and if that would have been that case, I wouldn't have been able to do it. Do I think that you are keeping him from developing normally? NO! Babies do all things when they are ready. I do however believe now that you also have to guide then a little. I think that a baby in your bed is very different form a 2 or 3 year old. Maybe at that point, they could become too dependant, but in most cases it is the opposite.

    It's hard when your mom is saying one thing, and you are doing another. Believe me, I had the same conversations with my mom. Do what you think is right. Do you think that your baby needs to sleep with you? Do you think your baby needs to nurse throught the night? Trust yourself, not others. I think that being consistent is key too. How does your dh or partner feel, this is important too.

     
    Old 10-17-2006, 06:18 PM   #13
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    Re: Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    DS still sleeps with me, he is 16 months. DH works third so he isnt' here most nights, and DS wasn't sleeping well in his bed, and he does in bed with me, most nights, so I figured, it was either him stay in his bed and noone sleep or him get in bed with me and we sleep. I would like him to sleep in his own bed, but I would rather just sleep, lol. DS problem is that he moves so much, he runs into the side of his bed and wakes himself up. It isn't even so much that he wants to sleep with me, he will cuddle right before he goes to bed, and when he frist wakes up (his sweet little wake up kisses are enough arguemnet for co-sleeping!) but mainly he just wants the room!
    I think that most children won't want to sleep with their parents forever, and when they are ready, they will get out of bed. We have tried to let DS cry it out, but when he crys hard he throws up, so we quit that quickly!
    SIL has never slept by herself in her whole life. Until she got married last year, she slept with her Mom, everynight!

     
    Old 10-17-2006, 07:41 PM   #14
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    Re: Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    I think North has the best advice!!!

    My son is 3 and we still co sleep and we will until he is ready.

    We nursed until he was 22 months when he quit because he was ready.

    Pushing to change something because of outside pressure will only complicate the family dynamic. I see nothing wrong with following a child's cues.

    My son has moved on from any "habit" he has gotten into. I just worry about how he is doing right now and worry about the future when it happens.

    I think you are doing a great job still nursing and co-sleeping.

    I did not read all of the other posts so if this is now off topic I am sorry.

     
    Old 10-18-2006, 06:27 AM   #15
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    Re: Nearly a year, still nursing, co-sleeping, am I wrong?

    I think there's some really good advice here. I have never co-slept (unless you count having her crib next to my side of the bed in my room) and only nursed for 7 months until I returned to work, but I thought I'd share my experiences, in case they help anyone.

    If it's any reassurance, my daughter, who has slept in her own room since she was 7 months old is now at 13 months old having difficulty settling down at night time. We still follow the same bedtime routine as we always have, but as soon as I put her in her cot, even if she is exhausted or half asleep, she springs up and wants to play. When I walk away she whinges or rolls around so much she bashes herself against the sides of the cot, partly because she's so tired she can't get her balance. Nevertheless, I have persevered and although she takes longer to put down at night, she will eventually go to sleep. As a previous poster said, you just have to keep repeating whatever mantra works for you - my frequently used ones are 'Night, night, it's sleepytime', 'it's not playtime, it's bedtime' and 'lie down, love you' - until they give in. Some people say you shouldn't pick them up, but it's hard to resist when they are stretching their arms up to you and puckering up for a nice big sloppy kiss. When she does this I either get down to her eye level and give her a kiss and cuddle over the bars of the cot or pick her up, give her a cuddle and then lie her down in the cot. I have never let her CIO as I think it's cruel, but I do leave her if she has a little whinge - you can tell the difference between an 'I have been abandoned, where's my mummy?' cry and 'It's not fair, I don't want to go to sleep' cry.

    Sorry if the above paragraph this isn't really related to co-sleeping, but I just wanted to make the point that if your baby has started having difficulty going to sleep at night it may be an age/development thing rather than an issue with where s/he sleeps.

    My sister co-sleeps with her 17 month old son and nurses at night time. She told me recently that she lies down with him on her bed at bedtime, then turns her back on him when he has finished nursing and is ready to go to sleep. She can then creep away when he has gone to sleep.

    As others have said, do whatever is right for you. There is no right and wrong (as long as what you're doing is not dangerous or harmful) when it comes to baby rearing.

    Rebbie

    PS - It was a real wrench for me to move my 7 month old daughter from our room to her room, but she immediately started sleeping better when we moved her. She didn't have any problems at all, it was me that lay awake at night listening to her on the baby monitor!

    Last edited by RebbieO; 10-18-2006 at 06:31 AM.

     
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