Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Attachment parenting/sleeping with baby

My views on parenting could definitely be classified as "attachment parenting". I believe quite strongly in breastfeeding, sleeping with your baby, not putting your little ones in day care, etc, etc. But right now I'd like to talk about sleeping with your baby. This is perhaps the most unacceptable form of attachment parenting in modern society, but a lot more people practice it then admit to it.

I read a book about SIDS that said that sleeping with baby decreases the risk of SIDS. It was very fascinating. It described how a mother senses her baby's breathing pattern even in her sleep. It sounds hard to believe but then I noticed myself doing it. Occassionally I'd startle myself and the baby awake to the sound of him gasping for air. Interesting. (And a little scary, but since I was asleep I wasn't really thinking). It may seem unbeleivable, but if you do sleep with your baby then you may know that you breastfeed him in your sleep too. My husband got a video of me doing it. It's funny.

Not that motherhood is easy. I've gotten rotator cuff injuries from breastfeeding (shoulder injury from lifting my arms over my head). I've also got a sore spot on my spine which I think could be from rotating toward the baby in an awkward way. (Or my hypochondriac self would like to think that I have spinal cancer- Ha Ha). But breastfeeding in bed is SOOOO much easier then getting up to make a bottle. I don't know why women do that.

Perhaps you've seen the reality TV show "Super Nanny" or "Nanny 911". I am offended by how sleeping with your kids is treated on these shows. They lump this behavior with other negative parenting behaviors. It' s very irritating.

My in-laws are Cambodian immigrants so I get an inside view on how people in third world countries raise their children. One thing they did very naturally was to sleep with their babies and then when they are older transition them into siblings beds, (because they don't want to sleep alone). I thought this was pretty genious so I'm doing it with my kids. My five and eight year olds sleep together and when my 10 month old learns to walk I'll put him with one or both of them too. This way he can walk back into my bed when he needs to for a smooth transition.

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