Are we spoiling our baby by letting her sleep with us?
Our two-week-old daughter seems to be spoiled already. She won't sleep in her crib at night -- only in our bed. I don't want to have her get used to this, but it's the only way anyone can get any sleep. What can we do? Can a two-week-old be spoiled?Question:
A two-week-old banana can be spoiled. A two-week-old infant cannot.
With your daughter's help, you have figured out a way to get some sleep. Great! Look at it this way: Is your baby better off being cared for by a sleep-starved zombie or a rested adult?
There is a terrible fear that whatever we do with a newborn we will be doomed to do for life. Not true. Do what is age-appropriate. At this stage of the game your goal is to get through the next day. Sleep helps you achieve that goal. Snuggling your newborn between you, admiring the wonder you have created and drifting off into satisfied sleep are a few of the joys of new parenthood. Give yourself permission to savor them.
The time will come when you are all ready for her to sleep in her own space. When it does, you will make the switch in a way that works for you.
There are some "tricks" for putting newborns into cribs:
- Place her head in the corner of the bumper pads, so she feels more snuggled.
- Rub your hand across the sheet before you put her down. It warms the bed and leaves your familiar smell.
- Turn on a metronome or "heartbeat" tape or toy to imitate soothing womb sounds.
You may want to try these techniques when she naps during the day.
Relax. There are no Sleep Police. Use common sense (don't put babies to sleep on soft, squishy surfaces; don't sleep with a baby if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol) and grab what sleep you can get, however you can get it.
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