Bound to Cause Some Controversy

What She Wore: Gray, short-sleeve shirt with a mandarin collar and black polka dots (have I mentioned that I LOVE polka dots?); black capris; black strappy sandals that are as close to flat as I get.  I’d include a picture, but frankly, my feet are starting to look like their own fat cousins–I just don’t know if I’m willing to go there. 

Before I begin this blog I’d like to say that I very much like the colleauge that I am about to discuss.  I think he’s an amazing teacher, father, Christian,  all-around great guy.  I have no fault with him, but today he said something, and it struck me the wrong way, so I thought I’d mention it here. 
For those of you who don’t have children, lucky you, you haven’t been exposed to the controversy that is "where should baby sleep?"  Basically, there are two camps: one says that the baby should sleep in its own room as soon as it comes home from the hospital.  The other says that babies should sleep in the same room as their parents until they reach the age of two or three.  They should then be "transitioned" into their own room and their own bed. 
For the last 100 years or so, this country has leaned heavily toward the "own room" philosophy.  I, myself, was raised that way, and did not even know that there was another method until I began planning to have my own child.  My husband, however, was raised by mother earth, and slept in a room with his parents until the age of three.  When he began lobbying to have our new addition in the room with us, I thought he had lost his mind–nobody does that!  My co-worker feels strongly that babies need their own space–he and his wife are passionate about their stance on this issue.  They are the only contemporaries I have that are also parents, so I take their opinion very seriously.
Whenever I’m presented with an situation where I’m unsure, I do what most people do–I research the crap out of it.  Books, the internet, and asking people who’ve been there before.  I asked parents about their chosen technique and neither side had any regrets or doubts that their method was the way to go. 
So, I was discussing the issue with my co-worker, and I said, I think it’s just one of those things–whichever way you decide to do it, is the only way to go in your mind. 
To that, he replied, well, one method has a clear objective, and the other does not. 
What’s the objective?
To get your kid to sleep in his own room.
And you don’t think parents who do it the other way have an objective?
No, I think they just want to do it that way.  I don’t think they think about it at all.
And here’s my problem: my mother-in-law is perhaps the best-researched uber-parent of all time.  She has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood, so kids are her thing.  She raised two boys that anyone would be proud to call their children–both officers in the USAF and devoted husbands.  They both excelled in school (my brother-in-law was high school valedictorian), and participated in a wide range of extra-curriculars.   Now I know that good parenting is not a catch-all–plenty of good parents raise children who go wrong, but I know this–she sure as hell didn’t screw them up in any way. 
It just bothers me when someone suggests that a different method of parenting is, in fact, an unthinking method.  Many parents will read the same books, read the same magazines, talk to the same people, and come to different conclusions.  Every parent is trying to do right by their child–even if we don’t understand their choices.   When someone does it differently and it works, don’t suggest that this is an "exception" to the rule.   As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one hard and fast rule when it comes to parenting–try to do right by them the best way you know how.  The rest is just details.

About takedeux

In one summer I had a baby who was hospitalized for five weeks, quit my job, and moved back to my hometown. This blog is about starting over.
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26 Responses to Bound to Cause Some Controversy

  1. Jaysey says:

    I don\’t have children.  But I have watched a lot of Nanny 911 and Supernany (great marathon the other weekend, btw), and I really think those nannies know what they\’re talking about.  I\’m saying this just to let you know that this is about the only "research" I\’ve done into this topic.  I think the only tme that it becomes a problem is when the parents continue to keep the child in the bedroom to the detriment of the relationship between the adults and/or when one of the parents is keeping the kid in the room longer than necessary for his/her own benefit.  For example, on one episode of Supernanny, this couple had their 4 year old still sleeping in their bedroom on a regular basis–the kid couldn\’t make the transition b/c the parents kept leetting her back into their bedroom, and even their bed.  As a result the hub started sleeping on the couch, and mom and baby slept in the bed.  This is not ok obviously.  Now, if you want your infant in your room with you for practical reasons (i.e. less far to walk for midnite feedings, less far to walk to check his/her breathing 53 times a night), then you should do it.   On the subject of the colleague…some people just have THEIR way, and they think it\’s THEIR way or the highway–everyone else must be nuts!  But if we look at history, we can quickly see that such close-mindedness in parenting techniques is silly: Just think, 30-40 years ago, more people were of the spare the rod, spoil the child belief system.  Today, far more people employ other methods of discipline.  Some people choose a mix of methods.  And all of this is deemed ok–or not–depending on who you talk to and in which camp they personally reside.  Each parent is an individual, each child is an individual, and you do not know what will work for the specific parents or specific children until you\’re with them and in it.  You will know what works for you and the Hub and the Babe when it\’s time to decide.  And that\’s my 99 cents. 😉

  2. barnyardmama says:

    Despite my husband\’s upbringing, I do not foresee my child sleeping in my bed at any time.  I worry too much about SIDS.  Whether being in the room is OK is something I haven\’t decided.  If one of the adults has left the room then that is an EMERGENCY situation, and needs to be dealt with immediately.  Of course, Nanny 911 is some extreme stuff. 
    I more or less resent the idea that when someone chooses a different method they must not have thought about it.  Thirty years ago breast feeding was considered taboo–now you can buy a breast pump at Target.  Hopefully, we\’ll get to a point where different parenting techniques are considered valid, and we don\’t feel the need to pass judgement on the decisions of others.

  3. K says:

    I have no real opinion on this issue since I am not a parent… but I am of the mindset that the parents will do what is best for their family… and it has nothing to do with \’not thinking\’… almost a very narrow minded way of thinking…
    I just wanted to stop in – its been a while – I can tell that going home – as nice as it is… can be stressful… I am slightly worried about having my father move in with me in the fall will bring up some of those exact same sentiments as you expressed!!!  Oye!
    Thanks for sharing those amazing pictures of the wee one!! OMG adorable!!  Isn\’t that technology just amazing!!!  How very excitting Katie!  Hope you are getting back into the swing of things .. back from Spring break and ready to face the summer months and motherhood!!!  Big hugs to you!!
    Ciao bella,

  4. KENT says:

    Hi KC,  I\’ve been here and commented a couple of times.  Most of what you do and say I totally agree with. I consider the way you teach and the compassion that you show to your students to be a great asset.  It\’s too bad that more teachers don\’t take what they\’re doing more seriously.  I can remember a few in my life who did, and although it\’s been many years, some are not forgotten.  I don\’t by any means consider myself an expert on too many things, and the subject  of where to put a newborn child came up a few times. My wife and I raised 8 children.  Our youngest is getting married in May, so that probably dates me a little bit.  On this subject I don\’t think there is a right way and a wrong way…just different ways.  I don\’t know how my wife\’s parents did it or do I remember what it was like in my own home.  I seem to remember a crib in my parents room for my younger siblings, although I don\’t know how long it remained there.  As for my wife and I,  we did some each way as the rooms in our house permitted it.  We usually started with baby in our room, but if there was room in another adjoining room,  sometime after a few weeks,  the baby was moved, but the door was left open.  Perhaps it was because one of us, (probably me) needed sleep so I could go to work.  As far as I\’m concerned, one way or the other or a combination of both  works.  I don\’t think it\’s going to emotionally scar anyone.  As for me,  I loved it when my wife was expecting.  Even with as many as we had, there was a look of awe and wonderment in her countenance that was beautiful.  Now we\’re not young anymore,  I miss that. 🙂 Kent

  5. Sarah says:

    I don\’t know anything about this subject. I\’ll say that right out. Up until about a week ago I didn\’t know that people made a habit of having their babies sleeping in their room, let along their bed. That\’s when my friend told me about her sister-in-law and how she has her baby sleep in bed with her. The baby is three months old. Apparently she\’s slept with the baby in bed the whole time he\’s been alive. I also learned that she used the same method when her last kid was born and now, at four years old, the older child is still sleeping in bed with her. Also, apparently neither child will go to bed unless they\’re sleeping with someone. So in their bed is two adults, a four-year-old and a baby. That just seems dangerous to me! If a person needs to have their baby closeby, I just think the safer way to have the child near would be putting a crib or something in the room, not putting a tiny baby in the bed with them. I was shocked by this, but apparently it happens a lot and a lot of people do it. I think I would just be too scared to do that.
    Like I said, I don\’t know anything from personal experience and I haven\’t done any research at all on this. You blog just reminded me of this thing I learned last week, so I decided to talk it out for ya. 🙂

  6. Christi says:

    Ugh, Katy, I hate that people have to make mean remarks because they were comfortable with their decision so they pass judgment on yours!  I think there are no two ways about it ~ you have to do what makes you feel good.  But I AM very glad you are not planning on co-sleeping, that is just not safe.  Kudos to you on that.  We kept our son in our room for several months.  One thing that was difficult was that we didn\’t really have "rights" to our bedroom during that time ~ I like to read in bed and I could never do that, because it would wake up B.  But it was a comfort having him in there while I got to know his sleep patterns, and if you are planning on breastfeeding, you will be happy he is close by so that you can stay in a semi-sleep state while you nurse your kiddo.  You do what makes you feel good, sister.  More power to you and your hub for thinking all of these things through.  Again, I am just sorry that people have to be so pushy with their opinions.  Have faith in your instincts and goals. 

  7. Tracy says:

    I think that, just like everything else in life, it\’s whatever works for YOU.  Different things work for different people, be it where a kid sleeps or whatever the subject is.  Personally, if i ever have kids, they will not sleep in my bed.  I think the parents need that space to themselves and it is very important to keep that couple space.  And it can be hard to get a kid out of the room at 2 or 3 years old and I\’d rather just have them sleeping on their own all along.  My sister has an almost 2 yr old, a 4 yr old, and a new one coming in May.  They ALL sleep in the one bed – my sister, her husband, and the two kids, soon to be three.  They have just now finally gotten the 4 yr old to sleep in a bunk bed – but guess what – they sleep on the lower bunk instead of in their own room/bed!!  To me that\’s the problem with co-sleeping is it can get out of control.  But again, I\’ve not been there and done that, so I should probably just shut up on the subject 🙂

  8. Unknown says:

    Well, I\’m one of those who you mentioned who does not have kids yet.  But I\’ve heard enough of both sides from my friends, relatives, etc.  Some of which who have already started saying to me "When you have kids….you should do it this way."  That\’s all fine, I don\’t have a problem with them giving me advice.  And most of them understand that everyone has their own way of raising their kids.  But there are some women who thing their way is the only right way, and everyone else who does something differently is a moron.  I hate that!!!!  Like you said, as long as they turn out to be a good, upstanding, person, who cares?Hope you\’re having a great day!God bless 🙂

  9. Aimee says:

    hey do what you think is right…i think your maternal instincts will guide you the best way…
    :o) hugs are free and contagious…they make great Easter presents….so pass one right now to who every is next to you….the people you love and those you don\’t…soon everyone will be smiling… :o)

  10. Toni says:

    You could have one million expert opinions and you still have to make the best decision for your family; it might be different for different children too. I\’m not one to pass judgement; we\’ve struggled with Mia since the day she was born, trying once to get her to sleep in her own bed in her own room (she\’s miserable=we\’re miserable), and trying to just let her sleep with us all night every night.(we\’re miserable and she\’s completely happy)
    we\’ve now settled into a comfortable routine; she falls asleep in her own bed, in her own room. If she wakes up screaming and coming to our room in the middle of the night, we let her stay. But we don\’t bother her if she doesn\’t. My objective with this "method"? Getting a good night\’s sleep however possible. It\’s not harming anybody, and it\’s not like she\’s going to sleep with us until she\’s in high school.
    I say do you and your husband do your own thing and to hell with what everyone else says.

  11. Stacy says:

    First of all, even though I have 3 boys, I am by far not an expert.  But since you asked, I will give you a little feedback of my own personal opinion.  You can do with it what you like.  Ultimately the decision will have to be between you and hubby.
    Oldest was in our bedroom.  We had a one bedroom apartment when he was born. He was a little over a year before we moved to a 2 bedroom mobile home.  He was a premie so I was glad he was in our room at first.  However, it did pose some problems for us.  It is hard to do anything but sleep in your bedroom with a little person in there.  The TV would wake him up, if I tried to read the lamp would wake him, not to mention other things that I didn\’t care to do with someone else in the room (even if it was an infant!).
    Middle child was in a bassinet next to the bed for the first couple weeks.  He was born with a soft esophogus (sp?) and his breathing at night scared me so much that I had to move him in with his brother after a few weeks.  I still had the monitor, but the sound wasn\’t as bad.  (FYI – he had been to Children\’s and there was nothing that they could do and it was not disturbing his breathing, just making a sound a little like snoring, but in his throat almost like he was choking).
    Youngest had his own Nursery from the get go.  We went all out on him because we had the room with this one.  I enjoyed every minute of choosing, and decorating the nursery.  I had a rocker in it so I could nurse him at night.  We were in the room right next to him and I had a monitor on my night stand so I could hear every little sound.  I enjoyed hearing his little squeaks and sounds and breathing through the night, but I also got to enjoy my own bed.
    If I had to start all over again, I would have had a seperate room for the babies from day one.  But that is just my opinion

  12. Tiffany says:

    I completely agree with you.  Every set of parents have their own way of doing things.  I am the type of Mother that did not want my child sleeping with me.  Baylee slept in a bassinett next to our bed when she was really little.  There was a time of about a month (when she was about 5-6 months old) that I did let her sleep with us.  Personally, I couldn\’t sleep good when she was in the bed with us.  Plus, Britt and I didn\’t have the "alone/adult" time that we needed to have.  When our house/cars got broken in to in Dec. of 2005 we moved her crib to our room and she slept there.  And, when we moved to the new house a year ago she went to her own room in her own crib.  She has been very easy to transition.
    My Sister did things completely opposite.  Her oldest turned 5 when her youngest was born.  That\’s when he stopped sleeping with them so the new baby could sleep with them.  The youngest is now 3 1/2 and still sleeps with them. 
    I know that you find time to have "alone/adult" time, but if you and your husband do not fully agree one way or the other there will be somewhat of a strain.  It\’s totally up to you girl!  Don\’t listen to anyone else… take their advice, but do what you want to do!   
    Hugs – Tiffany

  13. Jennine says:

    I\’m not a parent, but I took a sociology and social anthropology class last year called "Childhood in Cross-Cultural Perspectives".  A LOT of our course material was about co-sleeping. 
    The "own room" method of thinking is a very "Western" notion.  In fact, most parents in the rest of the world consider it akin to child abuse to have kids sleep in a room all by themselves – some have their kids sleep with them until a sibling comes along and they can share a room, etc. 
    We also learned that SIDS rates are much lower in instances where an infant shares a room with his/her parents, however, when they share a bed there are instances of parents squishing their infants. 
    I personally don\’t think there\’s a right or wrong answer, that\’s what I learned lol.  I think it\’s more of a cultural thing and a bonding thing.  For my first child, I\’m sure that he/she will be in the room with me and my husband, if purely for the sake that I would be saving myself from checking on him/her 86 million times a night.
    Go with what makes you comfortable!  There\’s pros and cons for both sides, as with most parenting issues.  I\’ve heard that this topic is as hot as breastfeeding 😛

  14. Leighann says:

    I have to agree with everyone who\’s responded that you\’ll have to figure it out when the baby is born.   My husband was adamant about not cosleeping.  He is a deep sleeper and a flopper, so it would have been dangerous.  I didn\’t really have an opinion, so we kept him in the pack and play bassinet in our room.  I would do the last nursing in bed and I\’d put Sam in his crib.  Then during the night feeding, I\’d bring him downstairs to "our chair."  Sam was and continues to be a really good sleeper.  However, he is a really loud snorer and so is my husband.  By five weeks, they\’d been waking each other up a lot in the middle of the night.  I decided to put Sam in his own room to sleep.  Six hours and breastfed and the doctor said, he\’s a big boy…as long as he eats well when he\’s awake…you\’re okay.  He was a good cluster feeder…Thank God…as I love my sleep.  I\’m sure it will probably be different, if I\’m lucky enough to have a second child.  Toodles! 

  15. Christine says:

    All of my children spent somw time "co-sleeping" with me.  I worked a very early shift when my oldest was a baby and my husband worked second shift.  If I was ever going to get any sleep. I needed to co-sleep as my dear son would not go to sleep and would holler for hours if I didn\’t.  He was in his own bed completely by 18 months old.  My older daughter was still occasionally climbing into my bed at age 6, my younger daughter would climb into bed with her bg sister from the ages of around 3 to six, and my "baby" who is nearly 7 will climb into my bed in the middle of the night if he needs to "snuggle."  This is usually if my husband has been working more than usual or if there has been any kind of turmoil going on.  I nursed all of my children, and by co-sleeping with them, I was not as exhausted as I would have been had I neede to get up and go down the hall or up the stairs every time they woke up.  Everyone has their preference ans what works for THEIR family.  Indeed, every CHILD is different.  Some children thrive on the closeness of co- sleeping, and others prefer to have "space."  I am sure you and DH will find what works for you.  On the bright side, your DH is open to co-sleeping.  Some men aren\’t.
    May God guide you in the decisions you are making for this wonderful baby He is sending you!

  16. Nadine says:

     I don\’t think you need my 2cents on this one….you have it figured out. Good kids can get into trouble….poor kids can make it big…it\’s a crap shoot no matter what! Just do the best you can. I have friends that have let their children sleep in the room and it was a huge mistake…..the oldest in the 3rd grade! Very tough transition to his own room…..every family dynamics are different.
    Have a Happy Easter!

  17. Becca says:

    You\’ll figure out what is best for you. It will work out as it should. Don\’t sweat the small details of life, KM, really, you are going to do just great! Honest!Take care!

  18. Becca says:

    Oops, meant KC, but you knew that, right? 🙂

  19. Sheryl-Ann says:

    Hey, I don\’t have any children, but I don\’t think there is a right way or a wrong way here.  In fact, what is seemingly the norm here in the USA (kids in their own rooms very early on) is viewed upon as being CRAZY in many many other countries of the world.  This is just a matter of choice so I don\’t agree with your friend.  However, I think it becomes a problem when the parents allow the arrangement to interfere in their relationship time.  Happy Easter!

  20. Dawn says:

    amen….there is no right or wrong….Nadine is right it\’s a crap shoot…what might have been right for me could be disastorous for you….you\’re a smart chick and you\’ll muddle through just like the rest of us….oh and not that it matters….but I kept mine in a bassinet in my room until they were 3 months and then switched them over….oh and here\’s another one that will come at you….do they get a soother or not….mine both had soothers until six months and then mean mother that I am took them away cold turkey….it worked for me…it doesn\’t for some….you\’re gonna be awesome.

  21. Unknown says:

    Hey there!  Thanks for stopping by, I\’m glad you like my new blog home 🙂  If you\’re thinking of switching, I say go for it.  I\’m very happy over there.  Hope you\’re having a good day!God bless 🙂

  22. Della says:

    Everyone else has said it really well.  Trust your own feelings, and do what you feel is right for you family and baby.  But just to add the stories of what everyone did with their own kid, here\’s what worked for us–
    Kaia slept with us until she was about 6 months old.  She took naps in her crib in her nursery though.  At 6 months or so, we moved her into her crib at night.  She wasn\’t happy with it for 2-3 nights, then she was fine.  As she got older (she\’s almost 6) we played it as it came.  Sometimes if she\’s feeling sick, or especially lonely, we let her sleep with us.  This happens maybe once every 2-3 months. I usually try to make it clear that it\’s "for tonight only, tomorrow you are back in your own bed".  She would like to sleep with us more, but she doesn\’t argue too much if we say "no, not tonight."  The only hard part is deciding at the beginning if this is a night she seems to need company.  If we tell her no, we don\’t give in if she argues.
    I\’m pregnant with my second baby, and our plan is to see what happens.  Probably for the first few months we\’ll do it the same way, but who knows?  Whatever works then is what we\’ll go with!
    People are going to give you advice about every aspect of your parenting.  I learned to smile and say thanks for the advice, then do whatever I wanted.  You\’ll do wonderfully, I know.

  23. KEL says:

    I am not a parenting expert, I don\’t claim to know everything (or too much of anything) when it come to raising children but I do have one that I try very hard at raising to be a bright, happy, loving child.  I, like you, tend to research the topics I don\’t know much about as well as any other subject/issue I have encountered in the last 5 years with my daughter.  I have spoken to my family and friends and the only conclusion is that it doesn\’t all work the same for everyone.  People have different methods when dealing with their children because each child is different.  I am a firm believer that children are born with their personality, we as parents, help to shape and mold it into what they become.  Whether or not a child should sleep in the same room as the parent is dependent upon the parent.  I think the ultimate goal of any parent is to get their child into their own room, some start early and some wait.  Some children take to their own room, bed, space and some don\’t want to be away from their parents.  In the end I think what matters most is what do you feel most comfortable with.  Me personally, my daughter slept in a bassenett in my room until she was about 3-4 months old then in her bed/own room until she was two.  Shortly there after she stopped staying in her room and slept on the floor in my room.  About a year later she was back in her room and things have been this way since.~K

  24. CJ says:

    The rest IS just details and other people should learn to stay out of our bedrooms!  LOL.  You\’re so right in finding the way that works best for YOU.  I imagine historically, it was easier to have the child in the same room, same bed, because room was scarce and it was easier than tiptoeing over the other 8 or 10 members of the household in the middle of the night to retrieve the baby.  Who knows?  I started mine either in my room or the room right next to me with a monitor.  They\’ve both turned out fine….as far as I know! 

  25. Unknown says:

    After having three children of my own and have four step children here is my two cents worth.  I agree with do what is best for you.  However, that being said let me first explain how having a child in your bedroom affects your sexual life.  It puts it at zero.  Myself I ended up somewhere in between.  I kept my babies in a bassinet in my bedroom until about 3 months at which time they moved into their rooms.  Early mornings would be a time where I might snuggle my child in bed with us to sleep a little but I always insisted they go to bed on their own.  I have listened to countless parents who have done the whole "the baby sleeps with us" thing and let me tell you I have heard more adults complain about no sex life.  As new parents you are both tired, overwhelmed and stressed which cuts down on intimacy.  But lets now throw in the fact that the two of you NEVER have any "together" time because the baby is between you or in the room.  It can put a strain on even the strongest marriage.  I am not sure if there is any right or wrong way – just make sure you realize every part of what you decide.

  26. Wahzat says:

    Personally it comes down to what you are comfortable with.
    I kept my two in my room for their first year and then moved them into their big beds after their first birthday (with bedrails of course.) By keeping them in my room, it means I kept their crib in our room. They however never shared our bed other than for breast feeding. I was always afraid that I would squash one of them so they always ended up in their cribs. As to lack of sex… our couch enjoyed alot of tv-free entertainment. We were very creative in that department, so that was never lacking.
    Your colleague was really being too dogmatic on this issue and a little rude at that.
    Oh I however seen my cousin successfully use the own room technique and his daughter who just recently turned 1 is doing great. You would know what to do when the baby is born.
    So are you going to breast feed?

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