Google+ Followers

Showing posts with label safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label safety. Show all posts

Saturday, 24 March 2012

A Rant

I recently came across a guest post on a parenting website, entitled "5 reasons not to let your child sleep with you". Intrigued, I clicked on it, to see what insights the author had that I was unaware of. Holy garbage! The entire post was full of inaccuracies, untruths, and outright lies. Clearly, the author is against co-sleeping, which is fine, to each their own. However, one should be able to make their point without resorting to deception and scare tactics. 

Here is a summary of the author's arguments (her exact words are in orange). 

Reason #1: Co-sleeping is bad for yours (and baby's) sleep

"Having your baby sleep with you could severely interrupt your sleep pattern and needs. Most parents find themselves constantly waking up to check on the child lying next to them. Not only could it affect your sleep but your child’s sleep. Babies complete a sleep cycle every 50-60 minutes and slight movement or noise coming from you could disturb that. It is best for both you and your child’s sleep habits that you sleep separately."

Seriously? Don't babies spend 9 months surrounded by movement and sound? Do they not routinely fall asleep in cars and swings, precisely because of the movement? Surely both mom's and baby's sleep is less disrupted when neither one has to wake fully for feedings. And if baby does wake more often because of "slight movement or noise", then she gets to top up on milk before drifting back to sleep. Mommy is less engorged, and baby has a full belly. Win-win.

Reason #2: Co-sleeping hurts your relationship with your partner

"Most new parents don’t realize how much change between you and your partner once you have your first child. Everything changes. A way to keep constant with your partner is to keep the bedroom your private sanctuary. Inviting your child in to your bed will slowly push you and your partner further from each other. Pillow talk and intimacy disappear when you have a child sleeping between you." 

The bedroom is not supposed to be a "private sanctuary" The baby is supposed to sleep in the parents' bedroom for at least the first 6 months. Whether she's in the bed or in a bassinet, baby's going to witness whatever goes down between her parents. Furthermore, the baby should not be between you, as the authors suggests. Safe co-sleeping involves the baby sleeping beside mom, leaving plenty of room for snuggles and pillow talk between the adults. Problem solved. 

Reason #3: Co-sleeping leads to wimpy, dependent kids

"Parents want their children to grow up to be independent and self-sufficient; allowing your child sleep with you, makes that difficult for the child to attain. A child gets accustomed to the fact they only way to fall asleep is to be next to Mom and Dad. Your child should be able to fall asleep without any aid. These issues will carry into other parts of your child’s life, school, team sports and friends." 

Again, utter nonsense. This same argument could be used against children sleeping with a mobile, with a favourite blanket, or with music. I love how she refers to a sleep routine as an "issue", as though it were something that needed to be remedied, and that might carry into "other parts of your child's life". I really don't see how having a routine of any kind can be  automatically considered to be dysfunctional. I have yet to meet an adult who still sleeps with mommy and daddy. In fact, I have yet to meet an 8-year-old who still sleeps with their parents. Or maybe everyone I know was just fortunate enough to overcome their "issues"...  

Reason #4: There might come a time when baby isn't able to co-sleep, and they will become anxious

"Just like any daily routine your child becomes accustomed to a certain way and when that routine is interrupted they don’t respond well. Sleeping in Mom and Dad’s bed every night will make vacations, visiting grandmother’s and sleepovers miserable for your child and you. Not to mention school naps." 

This point doesn't even warrant a discussion, but here goes...What if baby stays at Grammie and Grampie's house and they don't have Count Chocula like at home? Or they use blue towels instead of yellow? Apparently any small deviation in the child's daily routine will be devastating to them. Maybe we should give our kids a little more credit. 

Reason #5: Co-sleeping is unsafe. Why would you want to hurt your child?

"the chances of something happening to your child increase when they are in bed with you. There have been reports of deaths caused by suffocation and strangulation. Scary but it is a fact. Parents can accidently roll over their child during their sleep, or the child can fall and get stuck between the headboard and mattress. Just be careful and aware of the possible harm that can happen."

Yep, bad things can and do happen. Unfortunately they also happen when baby sleeps in a crib. When the proper precautions are taken, co-sleeping is very safe.

Aargh! What a frustrating article! Is it so hard to do a little research before writing on a topic that you're obviously grossly unfamiliar with!?

You can read the full post here.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Babies and Pets

McKenna (@ 6 weeks) and Reese 
Recently, there was a tragic story of a 2-day-old infant who was killed by the family dog in Airdrie, Alberta. As the story goes, the little boy was crying in his crib when the dog bit him in the head. I can't even imagine what the parents have gone through since that terrible day.

It seems that every year there are one or more publicized cases where a very young child is killed by the family pet. In the majority of cases the dog is described as loyal, loving, and gentle, and the parents never anticipated their pet harming anyone's child, let alone theirs. But unfortunately, no matter how sweet, gentle, and good-natured a dog may be, they should never be trusted to be alone around young children, and certainly not around an infant.

When we brought McKenna home from the hospital, part of me was concerned about how my minpin would react to her. Minpins as a breed tend to attach themselves to one person, and can often be possessive of "their" human. While we also have a big, goofy German Shepherd, his intentions towards the baby were never a concern for my partner or I. Reese, on the other hand, would require constant (and close) supervision, until we could be sure that she was not jealous enough of the new baby to take a bite out of her. Fortunately, Reese took to her right away. From the moment we brought her home, Reese wanted to smell, lick, and explore this tiny little creature that she had been smelling on Greg's clothes for the past few days while we were in the hospital. She couldn't seem to get enough of her. Was she jealous? Of course she was. Reese would try to force her way in between the baby and I during feedings, would quickly jump onto the nursing pillow as I was laying the baby down to nurse, and would otherwise try to come between the baby and I. Up until McKenna arrived, Reese had been the center of my universe, and now she was relegated to sleeping on the couch (instead of in bed with us) and having to wait to be petted, fed, and let outdoors. The world wasn't revolving around Reese anymore!

 As time has passed, Reese has come to accept the baby. While she is still a little jealous of the baby, her jealousy has largely been replaced by curiosity. She is so gentle around the baby, and many a time I have woken up and found that Reese has crawled into bed with us, and is lying curled up against the baby. More than likely, she is just stealing her body heat, but it sure looks cute.

Getting back to the point of this post, dogs, no matter how old, how smart, how loyal, or what their past history with children is, should never be trusted to be unsupervised around small children. It only takes one bite. As much as I don't want to believe that my dogs are capable of hurting my child, the fact is that they are. As a parent, it is my responsibility to protect my child from dangers, particularly those that can easily be prevented. The dogs can be kenneled while I am taking a shower or doing laundry. They can sleep on the floor or at the foot of the bed instead of next to us on the pillows. While I don't think that either one of them would ever intentionally hurt McKenna, when a child is fatally bitten, the dog's intentions really don't matter.