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Reassure me the 'rod for your own back' idea is outdated

(37 Posts)
MrsBonkers Sat 11-Dec-10 00:37:45

First time mume to DD 24wks.

I cuddle her lots. She doesn't seem to like being anywhere else for long e.g. cot or bouncy chair.
So if I'm using my laptop or watching tv, she's just snuggled up with me.

I'm sleeping in her room. I often let her fall to sleep next to me and either transfer her to the cot or let her stay there all night. (Its a double bed and she lies on top of the duvet in her sleeping bag.)

We don't have any kind of routine. She naps on me when she gets tired. She comes up to bed with me when I go or we go up at about 9pm for a bath, massage, feed then she goes to sleep.
I feed her if she cries.

We haven't bought a pram/buggy. I just put her in a baby carrier when I want to go out and about.

I guess that makes me quite lazy, but she seems happy. She's a very smiley baby.

She's recently got really clingy and I'm starting to panic that I've really cocked up.
Sat up here in bed feeling quite teary. She's fast asleep next to me.
Maybe I should go and get some baby books from the library and pull myself together...

JJ17 Sat 11-Dec-10 00:56:01

Oh - it's lovely to be snuggly with your baby but she will be a monster!

I did this with DS1 - I say this lovingly - set boundaries and do it early.

I did it differently with DS2 and he is a much happier boy.

MrsRhettButler Sat 11-Dec-10 00:58:32

agree with jj, it is nice but will be harder later on when she is 5 and refusing to go anywhere without you...

but.... you also have to do things your way and as long as you and she are happy then don't worry too much

BertieBottlesOfMulledWine Sat 11-Dec-10 01:02:23

No, no, she will be fine! All babies get clingy around 7-9 months ish - just sounds like she's doing it slightly early. It might be that she takes longer to slee through etc than other babies but if you are hay to kee doing this for as long as she needs, you'll be fine. She honestly won't be clingy or want to slee in your bed when she's 18

(Aologies for useless keyboard)

If you want to get some books you should read:
Three in a Bed
Why Love Matters
Letting Go as children Grow
The Sears Baby Book

PotPourri Sat 11-Dec-10 01:04:04

Go with your own instinct. First children are normally hard anyhow. Necessity will mean she will have to adapt - or you will just reach a point where you are not willing to do it any more.

So long as you are not the evangelical (oh you shoudl not be putting your child in a buggy) type to other parents, or the martyr (poor me, can't put this baby down without her crying), then just carry on doing what you do.

Think about sleeping in her room though. Maybe bring her into your bed, so that she is not used to you being in there with her.

There will come a point eventually where you need to break away from her, and it will be hard.

Joolyjoolyjoo Sat 11-Dec-10 01:04:17

I disagree with the "rod for your own back" thing.

With dd1, I was determined to do it right- no rods for my back, no siree! As such she would sleep in her cot, every night, Except that she thought differently, and I ended up spending most of the night in her room, holding her hand. She was in her cot- and I was crying from exhaustion at her cotside.

Had dd2 17 mths later. realised I needed to do whatever it took to get some sleep/ stay sane, so often coslept with dd2, carried her about. the result was that dd2 seemed a far "easier" baby than dd1. Everything was easier. And when she was moved to her own bed, she was fine- far easier than dd1! To this day dd2 is more independant and laid back.

Now, I look back and wish I had gone more with my gut with dd1, and not be so worried about getting it wrong or making mythical rods etc, because all that trying to do it "right" was bloody exhausting, and frankly pointless!

Do not read baby books!

PotPourri Sat 11-Dec-10 01:08:12

I second the motion not to read baby books. Or at least, if you do, do so with a big pinch of salt. Take what feels right from it, and if doesn't sound like it would suit you, then ignore. Same applies to well meaning advice from friends, family and interfering neighbours/health visitors/MILs etc

MrsBonkers Sat 11-Dec-10 01:08:52

I've just moved her over to her cot and she'll probably stay there until 8 or 9 in the morning. Might wake up once for a feed - depends how late DH and I go to bed.

Maybe I'll feel more confident with my choices after I've had some sleep.

SantarissaCripslock Sat 11-Dec-10 01:14:43

OP, I did things similarly with my DS's when they were babies and they are confident unclingy happy little boys of 3 and 6 now.

If your DD is happy and you are happy doing what you're doing then keep doing it. [overuse of the word doing emoticon]grin I totally don't agree with the whole 'rod for your own back' thing.

seeker Sat 11-Dec-10 01:19:26

She will be fine. Happy secure babies detach themselves when tey are ready to - iit's how nature works. Don't worry about it- she'll be finre. And so will you. If you think that the average adult woman lives for 75 - or is it 80 years you will raalize that you can spare a year or two to look afte a tiny helpless baby.

MsMarple Sat 11-Dec-10 01:25:25

Hmmm maybe being clingy and wanting comfort more just means that is what she needs at the moment.

None of these phases last forever (fingers crossed wink) and how much nicer that you are both getting some sleep, rather than spending hours wailing every night/sitting up next to a cot listening to wailing. That're more of a horrible back rod if you ask me!

togarama Sat 11-Dec-10 02:24:04

The "rod for your own back" thing seems to be nonsense. There is no guaranteed formula for bringing up a perfect or perfectly happy child. If anyone says this kind of thing to me, I ask them nicely to back up their statements with evidence. I've heard and read nothing of any real weight so far. Lots of the "expert advice" from popular baby books is over-reaching tosh.

TBH, I think that most kids will be far more influenced by their genes and the example set unconsciously by their parents' own behaviours than any conscious mode of "parenting".

Some kids are also just naturally more "difficult" than others. If you've got an easy-going baby, make the most of it and just don't join in the mummy conversations about how hard it all is, lack of sleep etc.. The next child may not be so easy.

Feed your baby when they're hungry, let them sleep when they're tired and cuddle them when they're upset. It's a lot less stressful and time-consuming than scheduling, forcing and confronting over trivialities.

If your parenting-style ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

EauRudolph Sat 11-Dec-10 02:33:02

You've been given some good ideas here.

Yes, the "rod for your own back" thing is a massive load of old bollocks, ignore anyone that says it.

Baby books are fine for inspiration but raise your child how you want to, not how someone else thinks you should.

There is NO evidence that lots of cuddles and bed-sharing/baby-wearing etc leads to a clingy child.

It sounds to me like you're doing a great job, try to have the confidence to do it your way

hels71 Sat 11-Dec-10 09:14:17

I held my DD when ever she wanted..used my wrap and carried her, she fed to sleep until 34 months, almost always only napped on me, I used to even end up going to the loo with her on my front. We co-slept and I BF on demand. Until she was 3 weeks off being 3 she was only ever with me or DH apart fom two 2 hour outings with my sis when she came to stay.

She is now 3 and 3 months. Sleeps all night happily in her own bed,only waking if she is cold, needs a wee or has a bad dream, went to preschool without a tear....She is confident, happy certainly not clingy (Unless she is ill)..........and she is more independant than either of her two main friends who were rountined, left with others etc much much earler....

In our case ignoring all the rod for your own back people and doing what felt right and what our daughter needed has been just perfect..

BelovedCunt Sat 11-Dec-10 09:19:58

god cuddle that baby as much as you can! everyone goes through a horrific sleepless 'wtf is going on' patch.

Porcelain Sat 11-Dec-10 11:02:23

Independence is something a child chooses, not something you can force on them, of course she will go her own way confidently when she is ready. Clingyness usually happens because the child is frightened you are going to abandon them, you are showing her that you won't.

onimolap Sat 11-Dec-10 11:15:48

Even some of the very hearty/trad baby books (I'm thinking of Toddler Taming), point out it is impossible and therefore pointless to "train" a baby before the child is one-ish. Up until then, they are cuddly creatures to be enjoyed.

Once they are self-propelling, it all changes! You can work that one out when you get there and you have some idea of your own child's temperament.

wannabeglam Sat 11-Dec-10 12:14:42

Keep doing what you're happy with. Babies get clingy whatever you do, and if you're sensitive and go with it they stop being clingy. My 2 were very clingy for long periods, loads of people gave advice which I ignored. I let them stay near me and soon enough they lost the clinginess and became the most confident toddlers/children. I have a friend who kept pushing hers away 'to get him out of it'. He's still clingy/tearful aged 8 and going to school is a nightmare.

jewelsforxmasplease Sat 11-Dec-10 12:32:11

I was the same with my first dd, co slept and bf till she was over 3, with second dc I was a bit tougher and did try to have more routine but he is now much closer to his dad as he often did the bedtime stuff, he only wants daddy at bed time or if he is hurt. Dd2 is 9 months and I am back to the original way, she has no pram, slings and wrapped everyday and sleeps with us and bf most of the night too! I know what we prefer now. Enjoy her, it goes soooo quickly.....before long you will be waiting in new look while she try on horrid clothes and wants you to pay for them (my morning today!)

ThisIsYourSong Sat 11-Dec-10 13:00:22

There is never going to be any 'one' way to do things. Every child and every parent is going to be different, you just need to find what suits you. Sounds like you are doing what is right for you and her.

Clinginess is just something that lots of children go through, no matter what type of parenting - its great that she knows you are there for her and will continue to be.

You might find she falls into more of a routine now anyway, my twins did at six months. Before that we just let them sleep whenever they wanted then all of a sudden they were sleepy at the same time every day! Odd but just one of those things and I was glad I waited until they were ready for it.

spidookly Sat 11-Dec-10 13:18:56

There's no right way to do this, so there aren't mistakes.

If you'd done things differently, maybe she wouldn't be clingy now, maybe she'd be even more clingy. Who knows?

Every decision you make isn't of major importance. Babies are pretty robust and have their own way of dealing with the world. Don't agonise over stuff and worry that you child will be fucked up for life if you make the wrong choice.

Ultimately I think as parents we like to overestimate our own significance. Co-sleep, don't co-sleep, use a buggy or a carrier, wooden toys or plastic, routine or no routine, spoons or blw - just do what you think. In the end it will make fuck all difference.

Just love her and enjoy her and fo what you think is best.

SpudtheScarecrow Sat 11-Dec-10 13:26:09

I've done this with all of mine tho I do use a buggy some of the time. DD (25 weeks and DC3) is on my lap as I type grin DS1 (5) started school in September without a backward glance. Think as long as you set boundaries over the important things as they get older it doesn't matter

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 11-Dec-10 13:27:03

I think the research says the opposite - that children who get lots of physical affection and contact from an early age are more confident and independent adults.

Typically I cannot find any quick n easy research links to support this at the moment. (It's hardly a quick and easy area of research though smile

thumbplumpuddingwitch Sat 11-Dec-10 13:33:41

Agree, ignore "rod for your own back" nonsense.

The only "baby" book I would recommend is Libby Purves' one, how not to be a perfect mother. I like this book, it tells you that routines with a first baby aren't necesary for ages, and that your instinct is generally right. Plus, she's quite funny, which helps.

I co-slept with DS fully until he was 5 1/2 mo; then he went into his cot but I would bring him back into bed with me to feed if there was any danger of me falling asleep while feeding; he slept through some nights, not others. Stayed in his own cot until he was 18mo; then in a travel cot until he was 20mo (reason = emigrating) then it all went to shit completely when we got here, because we stayed at MIL's and were all in one room, where he couldn't be left after going to bed because of non-ease of access to the room. So there was no way he was staying in the travel cot when I was there in the bed! He's still sleeping with one of the other of us but can be left alone in bed for significant periods; just he screams the place down or comes searching for us if he wakes alone.

But he's only just 3 - he'll grow out of it soon. And he's a very happy boy - people always comment on that when we're out an about.

woolymindy Sat 11-Dec-10 13:39:57

I agree with the 'rod for your own back' thing being a load of bollocks

I have four children, I have breastfed all of them for a long time, they have co-slept each for over a year (hmmm natural contraception) or so and then in a cot besides the bed, they have all been carted around everywhere and not put down much as little ones.

I have a 9,7,2 and 15 week old so I reckon I know what I am doing now. Interestingly people always say 'oooooh rod for you back' about demand breastfeeding and co-sleeping but they always remark too on how relaxed and chilled my babies have been and honestly I have never even really had sleepless nights with any of them unless they are poorly. I have also never heard of baby led weaning until too late with my thrid and naturally did a mix between that and spoonfeeding - actually they are all alright, eat well and widely and used their knives and forks well - so no rods there either.

Do as you wish and mostly being so loving and present with them can only be good for your child.

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