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Findings suggest baby spending overnights away from mum CAN be harmful...

(191 Posts)
fabergeegg Mon 22-Jul-13 21:19:14

Not strictly an AIBU but relevant to many threads on this board. What a relief for so many of us to have evidence that we're not being selfish when resisting overnight custody arrangements for our tiny offspring - or even overnights with grandparents on their own for that matter.

CoteDAzur Mon 22-Jul-13 21:20:28

What does it say?

CoolaSchmoola Mon 22-Jul-13 21:23:20

In a very small nutshell that babies who regularly spend one night a week or more away from their primary care giver are more insecure and it can affect development.

KobayashiMaru Mon 22-Jul-13 21:23:47

One study, with a very dodgy outcome, and obvious confounding effects. Wouldn't be taking too much notice, to be honest.

HeffalumpTheFlump Mon 22-Jul-13 21:23:57

Clicky link please? That one doesn't work on my phone.

WorraLiberty Mon 22-Jul-13 21:29:27

Babies up to what age?

If spending just one night a week away from its Mum can be harmful, how do so many survive unharmed when they're spending up to 12hrs a day in Nursery?

katykuns Mon 22-Jul-13 21:41:39

It kinda seems like common sense that a young baby being away from their primary caregiver for a week or more could be damaging to their development. I don't know anyone that has spent that long away. But I'm thinking babies under 2 yrs...

fabergeegg Mon 22-Jul-13 21:43:08

Worra - because nursery isn't at night, I suppose. Wouldn't you affected in different ways by the same thing happening, depending on at what time of the day it was happening? And it depends what you mean by 'survive unharmed' - of course they're still breathing but we don't actually know if very young babies are affected by spending long days at we? This is not something about which I'm pretending to be an expert.

It seems that the findings were most marked in babies under a year but still noticeable in 1-3 year olds.

fabergeegg Mon 22-Jul-13 21:43:52

katy - It's not being away for a week at a time. It's being away for one night once a week.

misterioso Mon 22-Jul-13 21:47:37


I know your intentions are good, but this won't end well. I am interested and will read though, thank you for posting.

fabergeegg Mon 22-Jul-13 21:53:09

Misterioso I'm not naïve enough to think this isn't a contentious issue but awareness of these findings can only be beneficial for children.

Salmotrutta Mon 22-Jul-13 21:55:56

You really need to read the journal article itself - which cannot be accessed from the link.

That link is just a report about the research paper - and The Journal of Marriage and Family? Seriously? I wonder how high that scores on the citation index hmm

ElizabethHornswoggle Mon 22-Jul-13 21:56:02

Yet another study to make mums doubt themselves or feel like crap as they have no choice but to use care.
Oh joy. hmm

hobnobsaremyfave Mon 22-Jul-13 21:56:21

I went back to work when ds1 was 4 months old working night shifts.....have I ruined his life????

edam Mon 22-Jul-13 21:56:34

It's interesting to see research on this topic. It fits with what many people would instinctively feel - that infants need their mothers (or primary caregivers when the mother is not available).

Human infants are born neonate, extremely vulnerable and undeveloped compared to other primates. Because we walk upright, the pelvis has shifted, meaning babies have to be born before their skulls have fused, in order to fit through the birth canal. By comparison with our nearest relatives, adjusting for body size and brain size, humans should be pregnant for a year - it's called the missing fourth trimester.

This extreme vulnerability means babies really do need their mothers - and preferably it is the mother, as it's her voice, her body and her scent that even a newborn recognises. Sometimes the mother is not available but where she is, no-one should be artificially separating her from her baby, especially not overnight, which is the peak of vulnerability.

Sleeping in the same room as your baby reduces the risk of cot death - and yet some people mistakenly think it's OK for the baby to be handed over to someone else one night a week. That's adult-centred thinking, not baby-centred thinking.

Salmotrutta Mon 22-Jul-13 21:56:55

I bet if we could read the actual paper we could pick holes in it a mile wide.

edam Mon 22-Jul-13 21:57:01

It's about overnight, nothing to do with working!

spotscotch Mon 22-Jul-13 21:57:08

Where are the 'many threads' on mumsnet with mothers saying that their new born spends at least one night a week away from their primary care giver? The only ones I have seen are full of parents saying how they have never spent more than a couple of hours away from their 23 year old.

hobnobsaremyfave Mon 22-Jul-13 21:58:08

erm I was away from OVERNIGHT twice a week I worked night shifts.

hobnobsaremyfave Mon 22-Jul-13 21:58:38

from him even

Salmotrutta Mon 22-Jul-13 21:59:03

hobnobs was working nightshifts or did you not read that bit edam?

edam Mon 22-Jul-13 21:59:12

link to abstract

Salmotrutta Mon 22-Jul-13 21:59:37

Haha -X post!

hobnobsaremyfave Mon 22-Jul-13 22:00:03

And I wasn't alone most of my coworkers had small children and a mortgage to pay.

Sheshelob Mon 22-Jul-13 22:00:20

My son is going to become a serial killer, obviously.


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