We’ve all been there – cruising along, well into yet another well-check appointment for your child when your ped asks about “it”.
That child-rearing topic (sleep, discipline, vitamins, etc.) that you know you’ve either been slacking on a little or you just don’t completely see eye-to-eye with doc on.
So what do you do? Proudly come clean with a “you wanna tussle?” glint in your eye , fudge the truth a bit knowing you’ve got the situation fully under control, or hang your head, mumble the truth, and wait for your lecture?
I’d LOVE to hear your honest answers in the comments, here’s our parenting contributor, Jessica, with her story…
Co-sleeping, the family bed, call it what you want, but we do it.
I just wrote about it, but here’s the gist: our ten-month old has been snoozing in “the big bed,” as it’s called around here, since the day she came home from the hospital.
Our three-year-old makes a nightly trek to join us in the wee hours of the night, so that’s four of us sharing a Cal King. It’s getting a little tight, I won’t lie, and while the three-year-old’s dreamland acrobatics can be disruptive, for the most part, we’re all getting decent sleep.
And that’s our measuring stick. It has been for four kids now.
It’s no secret among our friends, some of whom think we’re crazy (and back at you, you sleep training maniacs) and the others who just give us that slow “uh huh” head nod and a look of utter been-there-doing-that commiseration.
But we took E to the pediatrician the other day for her ten-month check-up. And when the doc ran through his little checklist – Breast or bottle? Soft poops, not a constipated baby? Sleeping through the night, and she’s in her own crib now? – I didn’t hesitate.
Breast, with lots of mashed/pureed/pre-chewed food. Oh, and water in a sippy cup. Nope, no constipation issues.
And then I looked him straight in the eye, smiled and lied.
So maybe I’m not as upfront about it as I like to think.
Our pediatrician has five or six kids of his own. He’s a laid-back, affable guy, and we’ve known him now for eight years. I doubt he would have done more than laugh and shake his head, maybe jokingly scold us that we should know better by now and then, more seriously, remind us of the risks.
But here’s the thing – I’m not asking for advice. I may piss and moan about our cramped bed, but save the sleep training speech because it’s completely wasted on me.
Call me a softie, tell me I spoil my babies, but I’m not on board with the cry-it-out stuff. Neither is my husband. Our goal right now is getting some sleep with the least amount of stress possible, and we figure, eventually, everyone will end up sleeping in their own beds.
We’re two for two right now – it could be worse.
So in the doctor’s office that day, I just didn’t want to get into it – our decision to handle sleeping the way we do, his reasoning about why she’s old enough to be on her own.
Plus, you know, we sat in the waiting room for like twenty minutes, and another ten or so in the actual exam room. This was a well-baby visit with no vaccinations – I wanted to move things along.
So I lied. And I don’t regret it, either.
I value our pediatrician’s opinion on lots of issues – suspicious rashes, whether or not a course of antibiotics is really necessary, how to deal with a picky eater, the whole vaccination debate.
But sleep training – or, in our case, its complete absence – isn’t one of them. We’ve heard his speech before, and we just do things differently.
So while I’m happy to discuss/complain about it with almost anyone who asks – and it’s a hot topic when you get a group of parents together, don’t you know – I do make one exception.