Posts Tagged ‘toddlers’

Parenthood Has It’s Drawbacks

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Parenthood has it’s drawbacks. This is something that you will start noticing almost immediately upon conception. For mom, it’s morning sickness and mood swings. For dad, it’s mom’s mood swings and her cravings. Everyone assures you that this will pass the moment that little bundle of joy is placed in your arms. They tell you the little one will be worth it all. You live for that moment. You live through the back aches, the Lamaze classes, the sleep deprivation caused by a kicking ball in your stomach (that incidentally, you thought was so cute the first time you felt it.) You live through the 4 a.m. dash to the hospital followed by several hours of contractions until the final moment the little one is placed in your arms. For some, this moment is pure joy. For others, it is a combination of wonder and fear – maybe even panic – as you realize that you are responsible for this little thing in your arms and you wonder what on earth you have done.

So you bring the little one home. You realize that you aren’t going to be sleeping the night for quite some time but everyone assures you that this sweet bundle will be worth every moment. Once home, you realize that people have glossed over the wet and dirty diapers and the smell in the house from the wet and dirty diapers. No one mentioned that you would spend the next six months to a year with spit-up on every outfit you have been wearing for more than 10 minutes. They’ve also failed to mention the panic you feel when the little one cries and you don’t know what’s wrong! You’re the parent. You should instinctively know, right? Not so. You don’t always know.

You stumble on through parenthood. As the toddler years approach, you dash around inserting child guards on electrical outlets, child locks on cupboard doors (which smash your fingers every third time you try to open the darn thing). The terrible twos arrive. As the little bundle of joy throws himself screaming and kicking on the floor, you feel the natural pull to join him. Most parents do manage to control themselves and maintain a mature demeanor, especially if others are around. Three-year-olds scream ‘I hate you!’ at least twice a day, four-year-olds are fairly human, five-year-olds know everything because their kindergarten teacher told them (You aren’t their teacher. You will never reach that lofty height.) Children continue through life causing all kinds of chaos as they go. You – the parent – have to maintain self-control while properly training this less-than-perfect human being you have brought into the world.

So, if parenthood has all these drawbacks, why on earth do we do this to ourselves? The answer is simple. Every now and then some magic occurs; the baby smiles at you for the first time, you watch them sleep and realize how beautiful they are, the little one laughs in pure delight at a new discovery, they sleepily crawl into your lap and say “I love you Mommy”. It’s at these points that you realize that others may have glossed over the downside of parenting but they were right about one thing. This little one is worth it all

Toddlers Sleeping in Mommy’s Bed

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Q: I have a soon to be 3yr. old daughter and ever since she was about 3mos old she has been sleeping in my bed with me. I just bought her a toddler bed and finished up her new room. Now I have no idea how to get her to want to sleep in her own bed and not mine. I need some advice on how to get my little one out of my bed and into her own!!

A: New things are always terrifying to little ones, especially after dark. What looks really nice to an adult, in the mind of a toddler could have any number of monsters hidden in it. I personally don’t object to young children sleeping with their parents. I think it provides security and increases the bonding between parents and their children. However, should a child reach school age without gaining the independence to sleep in his/her own room, problems may surface.  Your little one is only 3 so you have plenty of time to work with her. Take a gradual approach with her. Hopefully she has a bedtime considerably earlier than yours. Tell her she needs to sleep in her own new pretty bed until you come to bed. She has her bed and you have yours. You will gladly share but she must wait for you to come. She may desperately try to stay awake for a few nights until you come to bed but eventually, exhaustion will get her and she will start falling asleep in her own bed. Let her know the night light is on and your door is unlocked if she needs to come in. Once she has slept in her own bed a few nights, she’ll be fairly sure no monsters got in with the new bed. Then it’s just a matter of making new habits and helping her gain independence. Gradually let her know that tonight you want to sleep alone. Then week-nights you want to sleep alone. Until you’ve reached a point where sleeping with Mom is a special occasion for popcorn and movies and late nights on the sleeping bag in Mom’s room.