The basic principles that babies, to a certain extent, need to learn to deal with a bit of crying and frustration are still things I believe. So tell me why, six-and-a-half-months past birth, Ava has never been left to cry?
This precise question was raised yesterday while on the phone with my grandma* on the drive home. Since I live so far away, I tend to phone a rotation of relatives on a regular basis - my mom, my grandma, and my aunt - so as to not feel left out or have them feel like they're missing out. It works quite well for us. Or it did, until my grandma and I found ourselves at a stand-off with regards to parenting styles.
Don't get me wrong - there are no hard feelings or grudges being carried or any melodramatic nonsense. But it was made quite clear to me that she feels that us allowing (and dare I say enjoying??) Ava in our beds is a big fat no-no. She made it clear that she feels that babies should be in their own rooms by four months at the latest, and that we're doing ourselves and Ava both a disservice by continuing to keep her in our rooms, let alone bed. I do not agree.
While yes, being a parent has opened my heart and mind in ways that blow my mind on a regular basis, and I now embrace co-sleeping, it is out of necessity, not a shifting view in what my ideal parenting approach and/or sleep situation is. Basically, people, we're just trying to get by. If co-sleeping is the best way for us to all get some much needed rest, to keep Ava feeling secure and learning that sleep is a peaceful, enjoyable state (as well as keeping her from ever having a little baby brother or sister - LOL), then so be it. Would I love for her to sleep 12+ hours a night straight in her crib? Uh, duh. Does she? No. So for the time being are we in a place where I get enough sleep to function, and she gets enough to stay healthy, grow and develop on target, in an environment that fosters a secure attachment? Yes, and isn't that what parenting is really all about?
So, fellow co-sleepers, past and present - I ask you this: When the time came for you to move baby to their own crib, how did you ease the transition? At what age did you make the change? Would you recommend doing it at/by a certain point? Is (*gasp*) my grandma onto something?
*If you read grandma and automatically think frail little old lady, generation upon generation apart from me, let me stop you right there. My family is all pretty young - I'm actually the one in the family who was the oldest when I had my first baby! - and there is only a mere 37 years between my grandma and myself. We definitely don't have your typical grandma-granddaughter relationship...