I never took any parenting classes. I never read any books that would prepare me to be a father, let alone the primary-caregiver-type. Much like an apprenticeship, this is one of those "on-the-job" training situations.
At this point in my life as a parent (8.5 years!), I don't really think about my parenting choices, at least not in the way I used to when my first child was a baby. It basically works, and if it doesn't, I'm too tired to question it.
Dr. James J. McKenna is a professor of anthropology and the director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame. He is a world-renowned expert on infant sleep -- particularly the practice of bed sharing in relation to breastfeeding. In our conversations, he shared his insights on co-sleeping and bi-phasic sleep patterns and offered tips for new parents.
My girl will not want to be with me forever. Our children will not want to be with us forever. My daughter will spread her little sassy wings and fly away without looking back once, and that's the truth.
In the throes of my years of IVF, I never really spent time thinking of actually parenting these kids. I was so focused on growing them and keeping them in there and then birthing them and then having them not die in their sleep. And I did it. Three times.
Neither my husband, nor I, was raised in co-sleeping homes and it just didn't seem to fit our lifestyle. I was never against it; I just knew it wasn't for us. My daughter slept in our room in a bassinet for the first few weeks, but after that, sleeping was reserved for our separate rooms. And it worked. Until it didn't.
My husband and I deserve to lounge in our room alone. We are a happier family when my husband and I do not have to sneak around for sex (thank god for our bathrooms and closets!)
Maybe it's a mistake to co-sleep for so long. Time will tell. All I know is that no one knows any better, really, how to deal with a child who struggles to control his extreme emotions. We're all just feeling our way in the dark, trying, like my son, not to be scared, and seeking some comfort.
Despite 20 years of public education about SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths, the practice of sleeping with infants and babies has become more common -- especially in the Hispanic and African-American communities.
Butchering a whole chicken is easy with a well-placed knife and proper tension.
There are several reasons that the thought of slipping into slumber avec l'amoureux makes me fidget. The first (and most overwhelming) is that when I wake up in the morning, honeychild, I am butt-ass ugly. Really. I don't even look at myself till I've been upright for an hour.
So many of our favorite chefs are releasing cookbooks this fall. Here's a taste.
I can't really honestly tell you that I've had a decent night of sleep since Charlie was born. I think that my wife and I are in agreement about one thing: We want our bedroom back.
To scoot in the middle of our bed, after Donna died, was to inhabit sacred space. I can still feel her there sometimes, and certainly think of her there if I migrate too close to the middle.
As a community of parents, let's agree on one thing: we do not need to reinvent the child-caring wheel with each new baby. We are all doing the best we can for our children and our families.
A recent study suggests that young children who share a bed with their parents may be at lower risk for obesity.