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January 6, 2005 / allyo

Parenting under a microscope

I had lots of preconceived notions about parenthood. We all do. Some have borne themselves out, others, like my feelings about working, haven’t. I knew I didn’t want to cosleep, and although sometimes the Boy and I will fall asleep during a late night/early morning feeding, at some point I wake up, stiff and sore, and happily return him to his crib. (I like to pull the covers up to my chin and partially bury myself under my pillow – doesn’t really work with an infant in your bed.) BUT, one thing that has thrown me for a loop is that I really don’t like him being in his own room yet. In fact, MD and I were talking about it last night, and we’ve decided to move his crib into our room. Better yet, it was his idea. I gotta say, one of the reasons I stuck with this relationship for several not-so-fun years was because I knew we’d be a great parenting team. Fortunately, another instance where my instincts were dead on.

The thing is, this is one of those super-charged parenting issues. Everyone has an opinion, usually a strong one, about what sort of sleeping arrangement is the “right” one. And I have to admit, I don’t think the Boy is bothered at all by being in his own room. But it bugs us. My original plan was to have him in his bassinette for at least three months, then move him to his crib and his own room, but he grew out of the bassinette at two months. He made the move pretty easily, but we’ve never been quite so sure about it. And when we stayed at my dad’s over Christmas he was in a pack n play in our room, which I think solidified our feelings – at this age, for our family, we’re most comfortable having him in his own crib, but in the room with us.

So where does the title of this post come in? I couldn’t just make the decision. I thought about it all morning, polled several parents and interested “lay” people, and then finally called MD to say, “Yes, yes, let’s move the crib already.” Since this is such a hot issue, I couldn’t just trust my instincts and agree to it immediately and worry about the details later. And while I think it’s absolutely necessary to make informed parenting decisions, we ain’t parenting by committee here. I’ve already read a ton about sleep issues, sleep training, cosleeping, etc., ad nauseum. I had plenty of information to make the decision without calling a summit meeting, I just felt nervous about what “they’d” say. And in this day and age, “they” isn’t just a vague group of people, it’s the whole damn Internet. But here’s the thing. I think we’re really good parents. I think we make really good decisions together. So screw “them.” Our kid isn’t going to grow up emotionally stunted because we don’t let him sleep in our bed, or because we don’t put him in another room. Yes, he’ll go to his room eventually. MD’s limit is one year in age, mine is probably around 7 or 8 months. We’ll just play it by ear, because in the end, that’s what you do.

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