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taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

Posted by blues2elmo (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 29, 08 at 16:59

Omg, I can not talk to my son at all--my grandson is 2 and they still give him a bottle because he pours out his drinks. When he is at our house he never ask for a bottle and he does fine with the sippy cups. Does he still need a bottle? He usually stays over 2 nights a week and he has to sleep in our bed because he does this at home. My question is should we try to encourage him to sleep in his bed in our bedroom or just continue to let him sleep with us? My daughter-in-law is not working now and they don't need us to keep him anymore we just enjoy him so much (they are a hour and a half away). Or should we just arrange day trips once or twice a week. I afraid all these differences are confusing our grandson. Doting mawmaw

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

Well I think if the child is in your house, its your rules. If you want to dispense with the bottle, good idea, and you want the child in his own bed, well that's fine.

Sounds like they are not letting the child grow up. Keeping him a baby.

I think your son and DIL are VERY lucky to have you take their child a couple of nights a week. What a lovely break for them, good for you.

If it works well for everyone, keep up the grandson visits, he is obviously adapting well and its good for him to cope with different sleeping situations and households.

RE: taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

"Well I think if the child is in your house, its your rules."

Adopt THAT attitude, and your grandson may not be spending many more nights with you.
Best to do what DIL and son want done.

RE: taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

By the time a child has more than 4 teeth, I've always felt that was definately time to wean them off the bed time bottle. I would give them their night time bottle with plain tap water. The child had something to drink, but nothing that could cause tooth decay.

As for sleeping with you, well, I always loved it when my children and later grandchildren would climb up in bed with us, but I also remember the bruises and occasional accidents (pre-perfect potty training) and can understand why you would want an active toddler to have their own space. Is your grandson ready to sleep in a small low bed, or does he still need a crib?

RE: taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

Well, it seem the bottle at age 2 is a little too old, but I agree this is within the realm of his parents' decision-making. As for sleeping in the bed -- I know some parents think the family bed is the only way to go, while others firmly believe a child should be sleeping in their own bed. That said, I think it becomes a delicate situation when the grandchild sleeps over at the grandparents' house. Everyone has their personal level of comfort, and having a toddler sleep with the grandparents may not be appropriate in all cases. Maybe you could get a port-a-crib or a toddler bed and put it next to your bed while holding your grandson's hand as he sleeps to comfort him while he sleeps. This gives you your space but still keeps him close, which is what he is accustomed to if he sleeps in his parents' bed.

RE: taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

I don't think it is necessarily confusing for a child to have different rules at different houses. Kids are so smart, and adaptable - I think as long as you are consistent at your house, and your son and DIL are consistent at theirs, your grandson will not have a problem learning the rules. It would definitely be a mistake to attempt to enforce your rules at their house, but it doesn't sound as if you are.

Our kids all slept with us until they were three or four, but never slept with their grandparents. My mom had a toddler bed with fun sheets (Elmo, Dora, trucks or whatever they were into) at her house, and it was a novelty for them since we didn't have one - they always enjoyed sleeping in it.

My MIL is extremely tidy, and my kids treat her furniture more gently, and will pick up after themselves constantly over there. At our house, they are messier and pick up less frequently (end of day, when we're going somewhere, etc). They don't seem to think about it - they just know it is expected of them at grandma's house.

I agree that a 2 year old should not have a bottle - if he's doing OK with the sippy cup, then definitely continue that. Especially since he doesn't even ask for one!

Keep up the good work!

RE: taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

I dont think there is anything wrong with having your own set of rules at your house. I will tell you a story. When my DD was 7 yrs old I walked into my inlaws house and found her drinking out of a sippy cup. I found this rediculous for a child of 7 to use a baby cup and I told DD that she is way to old to have one. She said grandma says I can and I said, well you surely wont be at home. and that is how it has been ever since, she has never attempted to use a sippy at home because she knows she can't get away with it!
I would set rules for your house now while baby is young. If he doesn't ask for a bottle don't give hime one..give hima big boy cup instead so he knows at grandmas that is the way it works. then you can tell mom guess what he made it two days (or whatever) without a bottle!! She may be very happy!! She is probably just frustrated with the spills etc he has made and prob wants him off that bottle too!

RE: taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

Its good for the child to have different rules at different houses with some consistency.

They need to adapt to change its part of growing up.

My mother allowed my child to do things at her house that I didn't at mine. Like cracking eggs into the cake, when she was 3. I also learnt from that, that I should let my DD do more at home.

RE: taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

You've asked several questions. As a former family living teacher, I'll toss in my 2 cents.

Does he still need a bottle? Definitely not. Children have a physical need to suck as infants. But that decreases dramatically around 8-9 months of age, which is the OPTIMUM time for getting rid of bottles and pacifiers, because if you miss that window, those things become habits that are hard to break. On a personal note--I let my dd toss her bottle into the trash truck when she was about 9 months old and we were talking about being a 'big girl' who didn't need a bottle. She was excited by that, and never used a bottle or pacifier afterwards.

As to sleeping in bed with an adult? Most medical professionals warn against it, for obvious safety reasons. I also have a problem with it for emotional ones. It teaches a lot of the wrong lessons to a child, IMO.

However, all that being said, the MOST important thing here is that his parents have the right to raise their child as they wish. As long as they're not actually abusing him, it's their right to have the final word on any questions about how their son is raised.

In your shoes, I think I'd try to take a middle of the road approach. You've already gotten past the bottle issue at your house, good. As to bed? I'd encourage him to sleep in the one you have set aside for him in your house. Let him know you're right next door/down the hall. If he wakes up during the night, I'd go to him, sit next to his bed (no playing, singing, reading, though) until he goes back to sleep--just so he feels secure. You can always use the 'this is how we do it in our house' response. Anyway, I'd give that a try. If he really gets upset about being alone, perhaps a gradual change? Maybe you could start out with a sleeping bag on the floor in your bedroom? So that he's near, but has his own space. I wouldn't make it too comfortable, because maybe sleeping on the floor--which won't really hurt him--will make that soft bed down the hall look pretty good.

Always remember how you hated older folks telling you that you were wrong when you were raising your children--let these young parents learn on the job, as you probably did. They'll be fine.

RE: taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

"As to sleeping in bed with an adult? Most medical professionals warn against it, for obvious safety reasons. I also have a problem with it for emotional ones. It teaches a lot of the wrong lessons to a child, IMO."

I'm curious what wrong lessons you think it teaches kids?

RE: taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

Well, for starters, it teaches dependence rather than independence. Teaching a child to be an independent member of society who can take care of themself isn't something you decide to do when they're 15, 16, 17. It's a process that starts with little things--like being able to sleep on their own, in their own bed. It is TOTALLY appropriate to expect a baby/toddler to be able to stay in their own bed, in their own room when Mom and Dad (or G'ma and G'pa are right down the hall.

Secondly, and probably more importantly, it teaches them that they need to be in bed with someone to feel complete. I'm probably not explaining this well, it's a more ethereal concept, not as easily defined as independence. But as a parent, it's important to remember that we need to give our children the tools to keep themselves save from predators. If we teach them it's okay for a bunch of people to pile into bed together, it's a much smaller leap for them to get into bed with the wrong person (either as children or later when they start dating). I just think it sends the wrong message. I believe in teaching our children that Mom and Dad share a bed because their married, but others have their own beds. It was part of the moral/family living education in our family.

And what happens if a family practices the 'family bed' and something happens to the parents? Death or divorce? when a new man comes into the picture, does mom allow her precious child in bed with a virtual stranger? Does anyone want their child sleeping with their ex's new boy/girlfriend? And what happens to the poor child, who has already lost one parent, if mom suddenly kicks them out of bed in favor of the new boyfriend/husband? Quite a blow to the child when they're at their most vulnerable. And then, there's the question, when DO you stop the family bed thing? I know one family who has a queen-sized bed, that now is packed with Mom and dad, a couple of teens and a few grandchildren????? That's excessive, but if your child's used to sleeping with you, how do you get up one day and say, "Today's the day you have to stay out of my bed?" Another woman (single) I know slept in bed with her son until he was out of college. They'd even take trips to B & B's and share a room/bed (Can't imagine what the proprietors thought of THAT). Look the thing is, it really does have to stop sometime--it's much easier on the child to learn from the start to sleep in their own bed, than to have the family bed yanked out from under them at some point in the future.

Now, that's my opinion--you certainly don't have to agree with me, but looking at families I know who practice the 'family bed' also tend to be the ones who try to keep their children immature and babyish--rather than teaching them life skills needed to become independent, responsible, self-sufficient adults. In short, the 'family bed' parents tend to be much more clingy to their children. I'm not talking about healthy love here--but the unhealthy kind that keeps children from reaching their full potential as adults.

Again, I'm speaking from personal experience--and from the point of view that a parent's job is to prepare their child to make their say successfully in the real world. Not everyone agrees with me--I know a lot of people who have children and always want them to be somewhat dependent, so the parent can 'save' them repeatedly as a show of their love. I take it as a show of love that my dd has learned the lessons I've taught, and is able to make her own way, without Mommy and Daddy running interference or bailing her out every other week.

We can't all be the same, we each have a right to our own opinion. If you're comfortable with a family bed, then fine--stand up for your convictions, don't let my opinions sway you (and I only posted a fraction of the problems I'm aware of with the FB). Do what is right for YOUR family, while I do what's right for MINE.

RE: taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

I saw this on one of the documentary shows many years ago. It took them a week of being consistent with "no" and the child gave up. With the problem of sleeping in their own bed, the parents were told to reassure the child by going in, talking to him, saying good night and leaving him again. They were not suppose to put him to bed then let him cry for hours all alone. You can train a puppy, why not a child?

RE: taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

It is a personal decision that probably doesn't work for everyone ...we practiced the family bed and our experience has been the opposite of all the fears that parents who did not suppose might happen....our kids are independent, have good boundaries, have a healthy sense of themselves and their bodies, and now happily sleep alone in their own beds and they never had to cry themselves to sleep not one night. The benefits we have found are that the kids are very close to one another and us (but not clingy), affectionate, supportive, are compassionate with younger children, and put family first (of course some of this comes from other areas too).

It is also a cultural issue- my oldest was born when we were in Asia and the norm regardless of class and house size is for children to sleep in the family bed.

RE: taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

We also (kind of) practice a family bed. Right now we have more of a "family bedroom" with 2 queen beds. We bed-hop between the two (I have a 3yo son and am expecting a baby girl this Sept).

My parents made it very clear that I was not to get in their bed at night. I used to go in their bedroom and sleep in the covers that fell on the floor at the end of their bed. To this day I am not that comfortable being physically close with my parents. Hugs are fine the same way you might hug a friend goodbye, but that's been it for a long time.

My husband and I both enjoy sleeping with our son. We have a guest bedroom for times we need to be alone.

By the way, my husband grew up sleeping with his parents (in Asia also) and eventually migrated to his own room with his brother in the same bed later on. He's an extremely independent person (migrated to America on his own and made his life a success) while still retaining a strong connection to his family in Asia.

I think the family bed is right for children if parents are okay with it. Their emotional needs are still developing and IT IS NOT ABOUT SEX. Sex and sleep are 2 different things!

Having your needs met when you are young means you feel "satisfied" and might be less likely to seek out a boyfriend/girlfriend to meet those needs later on (like in high school) and get yourself into trouble (early sex, etc.)

RE: taking away the bottle/sleeping in their own bed

First of all, I would question why a 2 year old is sleeping at his grandparents two nights a week instead of at home where he belongs?

Second, family bed or none, I would tell his parents that you don't sleep well with him in the bed with you and he'll have to sleep on the floor or another bed in the house.

I for one, do not ever sleep with my kids. They are WILD sleepers and I would not get any rest. Also, our marital bed is my haven -- I am with my kids ALL DAY LONG -- I need a place where I can read, watch TV, talk with my husband, etc... without the kids. I think it is important to remember that sleeping is not "quality time" and people may use to make up for time away from their kids while they are at work.

Anyhow, the point is, if you let your kid sleep with you, you should not impose that on someone else who you are asking to babysit your kid.

Lastly, as for the bottle, if he doesn't ask for it just give him the sippy. If his mother asks -- just say he didn't ask for it.

I will add that I still give my six year old a sippy cup when she wants to drink in the living room. I don't think it is a big deal. It is not like she doesn't know how to drink from a cup or use a straw. It is just protecting my furniture and carpet. I don't see how it is any different that a "sports bottle."

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