MIL wants to sleep with our daughter in the same bed during visit??

Nancy - posted on 11/30/2012 ( 38 moms have responded )

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I am about to give birth to our second child in a couple of weeks and my MIL is coming to stay with us for a month to help out. She has a lot of issues and is very high maintenance, and I'm not actually sure how much help she will be which is already putting me on edge. One of the things she has insisted on is having our toddler sleep in bed with her in the baby's room, despite the fact that there is also a crib in the room. We recently moved and our 18 month old has been screaming bloody murder when we try to get her to sleep in her crib these days and so we have been letting her sleep in our bed, which is on the floor so there is no risk of her falling in the middle of the night.



I said I didn't think it was a good idea because the bed in the baby's room is raised and our toddler rolls around a lot and I didn't want her falling. MIL has fallen asleep in the past while watching our daughter during the day (she was smaller and not as mobile so thankfully nothing happened) but I certainly dont trust her to keep an eye on her in this way in the middle of the night. She kept insisting, suggesting we take the bed apart and put the mattress on the floor. My husband, who does not want to make waves, told her it was a possibility in order to pacify her and further delay a conversation about it.



I've read in other forums that many people think this is a reasonable request, but it makes me uncomfortable for a number of reasons. There is the potential for falling, the pushiness about the whole thing after I initially said no and the fact that she'd rather we take our toddler's room apart to facilitate this request rather than help us to re-transition her to her crib which will be much more helpful with a new baby in the house after MIL is gone. Also, it just seems like there are other ways to bond with our toddler rather than force a new sleep situation on our child. Am I overreacting and does this seem like a normal request to others? I don't want her to have an unpleasant visit and it's a small space we'll all be living in for the next month so I want to keep the peace, but I also think this is all somewhat inappropriate for reasons stated above.

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Jodi - posted on 12/01/2012

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Actually, I can see your MIL's point, and I don't necessarily see it as rude or creepy. Maybe I am reading your post differently. But basically, you are saying that your daughter normally sleeps in a bed with you, and screams if you force her to sleep in the crib. So, if I read it right, your MIL is going to be sleeping in a bed in your daughter's room, right? With your daughter in the crib screaming? To me, her suggestion is logical. Everyone will have a much easier time of it if your daughter is happy and sleeps well at night while you are getting organised with the new baby.

Michelle - posted on 12/01/2012

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I agree with Jodi. Why are you expecting your MIL to do the exact opposite to what you do?



You should be getting your daughter out of the habit of sleeping with you before you have the new baby if you don't want your MIL to have her in bed with her.

If the bed is against a wall and the MIL is on the outer edge then there isn't a chance for your daughter to fall.

Katie - posted on 12/10/2012

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Nancy, are you sure we don't have the same MIL? Maybe your husband is my husband's long lost brother! I totally get where you're coming from. My MIL used to pull those same sort of tricks on me. For a long time I felt like the mind games were going to do me in!



It seems like the bible has really changed Janas life, good for her. There are three books in this world that have changed my life for the better, in order of importance...



7 principles for making marriage work -J. Gottman (saved my marriage)



Solve your child's sleep problems -R. Ferber (also probably saved my marriage as I'm a bear when tired!)



The China Study - T. C. Campbell (very off topic but it also changed my life)



The Gottman book is awesome as it really lays out strategies and exercises for improving your marriage, rather than just saying 'go out for a romanic dinner' or 'talk about your problems'. Our major problem used to be that my husband wasn't supportive enough of me when it came to his family, which led to me feeling insecure and blowing things out of proportion. Sounds like your husband is doing a pretty good job but I definitely recommend the Gottman book if you need a helping hand.



The Ferber book gets a bad wrap but it is so much more than a cry it out manual. There is so much helpful information in there and strategies for addressing all sorts of sleep problems. And Ferber is quite compassionate, no matter what you've heard. He does not recommend letting a child cry to sleep while they are ill, teething or during other major disruptions. He also advocates comforting a child at any hour of the night if you genuinely believe they are frightened.



Anyway, It sounds like you've won one battle in that she's realized that your husband isn't going to give in to her. I really hope that it is the turning of the tide and you will be able to relax and enjoy your first days with your new baby. It took a long time for us to turn the situation around with my MIL, but after about 3 years I've gone from not being able to face her without taking a valium first to being fine with her about 90% of the time. Actually last time she visited my husband lost patience with her long before I did! So there is hope!

Katie - posted on 12/07/2012

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Jana, your last post doesn't sound very loving, in fact it sounds quite patronizing. In a early post you said "you're with child, you don't need this stress,", well think about how stressful it would be to be told to grow up! Just because we are online doesn't mean what you write isn't hurtful. I think a goood rule is to never write anything you wouldn't say in person.



In my experience, when my husband thinks I'm making an unreasonable request in regards to his family he is right about 50% of the time. We try to come to a compromise (this can take days of argument) and then enforce the rule together. Sometimes when I see our rule in action I realize it is not reasonable and we change it - sometimes further towards what I originally wanted and sometimes further towards what he wanted. The important thing is that I feel in control of the situation, otherwise I feel insecure and drama and fights ensue. This is just the way it is when you have demanding inlaws.



Anyway, Nancy hasn't written for a few days so lets hope the situation is under control and maybe she is off in hospital having a good birthing experience with her new baby.

Kay - posted on 12/06/2012

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After reading these posts, I am not so sure this is about the MIL. I think it has more to do with the mom, who needs desperately to learn to set boundaries, feel good about them and her self. Can anyone help her with advice in that department?



After all, growing up is hard to do. I've personally had lots of experience. I am not saying I am completely there. It's about the mom, her issues, her growth. etc



I say this lovingly

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Lori - posted on 12/22/2012

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Wow, when I read some of these replies, I wanted to scream with some of the suggestions. I had 2 kids 19 mos apart. I didn't allow my MIL to stay with us even though she wanted to for the simple reason is,,,,these are mine & my husband's kids to raise and not our MIL. Also, I had both of my children C-Section which made healing a little longer. I put our baby's crib outside our door and already had another bed set up for our 19 mos old daughter in her bedroom. She was given her bath, snack & a story before bedtime then walked into her room, given hugs & kisses and told it was bedtime. We also left a light on outside of her room so she wasn't in complete darkness either. We stayed firm with this and for everytime she came out to us, we put her back into bed & told bedtime. When you stay consistent with this (both parents) your child realizes that things aren't going to change with Mom or Dad. Yes, he is sick but that shouldn't change the living arrangements,,,it just means some extra tender love to console them during their sickness. It doesn't mean things should change or go backwards 2 steps. Children wait for that little opening that they can invade to take advantage of Mom & Dad. But when parents stick together, children realize that rules aren't made to be broken. And for any adult to sleep with a child consistently, night after night, isn't teaching the child anything except he can't sleep on his own. And don't let his illness break the rules either. If anything start earlier in the evening to give him some extra love & help him to wind down but make sure he realizes he's going to his bed only,,,,,alone! I know this post is 2 weeks later then the rest but I really hope things work out for you. You would be surprised how quickly things turn around if you both stick to your rules. God Bless you on your new little one & hope things go more smoothly for you.

Sarah - posted on 12/10/2012

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Nancy - you said that you think your MIL wants to have special bonding time with your daughter since she doesn't see her too often. When you sit down with her and your husband, why don't you stress how important it is for you (even if it's not that important, but will make MIL feel good and more willing to go along with what you want) that she and your daughter strengthen their bonds during this time together. And you would like your MIL to take her to a library class or grocery shopping or xyz activity during the day; and feed her dinner and give her a bath, etc.. This will give them special time together that doesn't involve the sleeping issue, plus will help you by having time along to bond with the new baby. Maybe you can convince MIL that her special time is during the day and then she'd be more willing to work with you at night with getting your daughter to sleep in her crib. Good luck!

Kay - posted on 12/10/2012

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WOW!!! You have your hands full. My heart goes out to you. Have you ever read Eph. 4 17-21? I am memorizing it. It is wonderful to have that scripture flowing through me. It has definitely helped me. I recommended it.

Nancy - posted on 12/10/2012

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Hi Katie, I appreciate your comments above. I'm not really interested in engaging with this other poster anymore. I don't find her comments particularly helpful, I wish her energies would be redirected to someone else's question.



That said, what you shared about making compromises with your husband with regard to his family definitely resonated with me. I think this situation (as are most situations with his family that can kick up some dust) is not black and white, and requires some nuance, finesse, and some give here and there to keep the peace as she is living in such a small space with us for so long. Why this is the case is a long, complicated story that doesn't really lend itself to a short explanation on the internet. In any case, a lot of people have said that my husband needs to be on board with me here. I 100 percent agree. I haven't really talked about him much but I will say that for the most part he has been very good about telling his mother what 'we' feel is the appropriate approach to the sleeping arrangement. He has said that he knows I'm right about the safety concerns, he just thinks that my reaction is a little intense. It's fine that he thinks that, and he's probably right as he doesn't feel the same sense of discomfort around MIL because, well, it's his mother. But in the end, it's either a safe situation or it isn't and we've established the rules with MIL and we've been sticking to them.



How we've handled it so far is that MIL can be with our toddler in bed (read to her, get her to fall asleep) but as soon as she's down MIL has to put her in the crib. She cannot leave her in the bed. If she wakes up, she can pick her up to sooth her as needed, but our toddler has to go back in the crib before MIL falls asleep. If toddler can't be settled and MIL needs to sleep, she should bring her to us in our room. Of course both nights we tried this we noticed the room got very quiet very quickly and we found MIL and toddler both asleep in bed after 20 minutes. This is after my husband and I had both told her on several occasions how we wanted the sleeping situation handled. I am, I have to say, not really surprised. On the first night it happened we took the baby into our room. On the second night I was very annoyed and my husband went into the bedroom and had a talk with her about it.



Now that we've made the situation more complicated for MIL (that she will get woken up if she falls asleep with the toddler, and that she actually has to work on getting her in the crib which she initially insisted on) she has, at least for tonight, written off the process all together and prefers to just give the toddler to us to put down in our room rather than work on getting her in the crib. In some ways I don't really blame her - it's not an easy situation. Who wants to hear a toddler cry every time they put her down when they too are tired and just want to sleep? I can sense she's also a bit irked because she's not getting her way in the situation. But at this point I just don't really care. I will also say to some extent this is reflective of the 'help' we've received from her so far. She is great about playing with our toddler so my husband and I can run an errand together here and there, and she watches her when I just can't get up off the couch. But she lets her pull toys out and then doesn't help clean up so our house is a mess until I say something about it. I notice that sometimes she will do her own dishes in the sink and she will do my husband's but she will leave mine there. It's just these small things that I don't really feel comfortable saying something about (who wants to tell someone to do their dishes???) but seem weirdly passive aggressive. It's irritating, but it's temporary and as long as I feel like my kids are safe I can deal with anything that comes our way these next 5 weeks, even if it means having to postpone the transition and sleep with the newborn in the living room.



I do think that if MIL didn't have to sleep in the toddler's room (there is no where else to put her in our apt) my husband and I could have transitioned her by now. She has been feeling better and we are not entirely opposed to a modified version of CIO if she's not sick. That said, new baby is not here yet but we're going to try a few more strategies in the mean time. One has included spending some time in the room with toddler in the crib while she is awake so that she re-recognizes it as a safe place to be. My husband may also end up moving the crib to our bedroom so he can continue to work on transitioning her while I sleep in the living room with the newborn (until MIL leaves, of course).

Kay - posted on 12/08/2012

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Sometimes growing up is just what people need to do. Maybe no one has the courage to say, that growing up is what is needed. So, in light of that, lovingly, and in a encouraging way, without sounding patronizing, she does not need this stress, especially if she is with child. Her note was written to look for help. I sincerely, lovingly hope and am praying that this works out well. Hopefully, growth has taken place and our friend has grown through this. I hope the other people in this situation grow up as well. I repeat, husband needs to take a stand, mil needs to get a life, expecting mom needs to learn how to set boundaries that work for her.

Katie - posted on 12/07/2012

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Jana, your last post doesn't sound very loving, in fact it sounds quite patronizing. In a early post you said "you're with child, you don't need this stress,", well think about how stressful it would be to be told to grow up! Just because we are online doesn't mean what you write isn't hurtful. I think a goood rule is to never write anything you wouldn't say in person.



In my experience, when my husband thinks I'm making an unreasonable request in regards to his family he is right about 50% of the time. We try to come to a compromise (this can take days of argument) and then enforce the rule together. Sometimes when I see our rule in action I realize it is not reasonable and we change it - sometimes further towards what I originally wanted and sometimes further towards what he wanted. The important thing is that I feel in control of the situation, otherwise I feel insecure and drama and fights ensue. This is just the way it is when you have demanding inlaws.



Anyway, Nancy hasn't written for a few days so lets hope the situation is under control and maybe she is off in hospital having a good birthing experience with her new baby.

Katie - posted on 12/06/2012

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Oh my! Things are getting a bit confrontational in here! Nancy, I feel your pain. This isn't a sleep arrangement issue this is a MIL issue. Really it comes down to your husband standing up for you. I have had similar feelings of frustraltion and resentment towards my MIL and the only thing that can help is your husband taking your side on any and all points of contention up front. Later, in private, he can question you and ask you to do things differently but in front of the MIL he has to back you up. Talk to your husband about it otherwise it will end up tearing your marriage apart.

Nancy - posted on 12/06/2012

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Jana and Shawn I agree she should be sleeping in her crib. We are trying to transition her back into her crib after a month long bout of illness, ear infections and vomiting (you all may think it's okay for them to cry it out in a new space while sick, but we aren't willing to do that). MIL does NOT want her in her crib and is actively thwarting the transition by constantly trying to get her into bed, which is my major complaint. Sounds like your MIL is a great help, it's really good that you have her. Mine is not and her 'help' is often more stressful than helpful.

Kay - posted on 12/06/2012

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Shawnn, I agree. Separation individuation needs to happen before pre school. You want a well adjusted child, able to separate from Mom. The child sleeping with mom is for mom not the child. So you need to grow up and be the adult here.

Shawnn - posted on 12/06/2012

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Ok, first of all, the toddler is no longer "the baby", and you need to stop referring to the toddler as the baby, or you're going to have bigger issues trying to sort out why you have a toddler who is jealous of the new baby.



The toddler needs to be transitioned. Period. You should have not taken the "easy road" just because you were pregnant, and it's a new housing situation. That being said, why is it OK for you to cosleep with the toddler but it's not OK for grandma to??? I have found that, if my MIL says she's capable of doing something, she is! She actually knows better than I do what she can and can't put up with.



A toddler bed is what, about 12 inches off the floor? (don't remember, actually, since our kids are 18 & 15 now.) But...seriously...the slight chance that the toddler will injure themselves by falling a foot is slim to none, and as others have said, you do have to get the kid trained to not sleep with you. Unless, of course, you feel that you'll be able to cosleep with both the baby and the toddler, which sounds ridiculous given the toddler's current sleeping habits (thrashing around, etc).



I'd have been ecstatic had my mother in law offered the same.

Kay - posted on 12/06/2012

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Put her in her own bed, early and let her cry herself to sleep, 4 or 5 nights of that and she will get the message. It is inappropriate for a child to be that dependent on a parent. It is your job to teach her.

Nancy - posted on 12/05/2012

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Thank you all for the advice. For various reasons it's not really feasible for us to ask her to stay somewhere else at this time. That said, she just arrived 3 hours ago and in 6 different ways tried 6 different times to get our daughter into bed with her - the last and final time she even suggested GETTING INTO OUR BED with her to get her to go to sleep. I mean, seriously - what am I supposed to do 8 days before giving birth, go hang out on the couch while she tries to put my fussy kid to sleep in my own bed? The first time I was very clear and said I wasn't comfortable with it, the last 5 times I just flat out ignored her. Give me strength!!!! Ugh.

Stacey - posted on 12/05/2012

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Yeah. She is being very rude and to request taking apart the bed is ridiculous. If she wants all done her way, how about she do it all herself?

Kay - posted on 12/04/2012

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Another Angle



This woman will not be able to sleep well with a toddler. She needs her sleep as well. So out she goes to a neighbor's house or a friend that is willing to help you out. Or, call a local Christian church and see if anyone there can help you out with housing. She can still come over, however, be out of your home.



Sorry, I am getting a little rude. I just don't appreciate people that override and are not recognizing boundaries.

Kay - posted on 12/04/2012

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Awwwww

I like Christine's reply. I so agree. You do not need this stress right now. Again, talk to your husband and have him handle this for you. You are WITH CHILD. You do not need stress of a MIL.

Christine - posted on 12/04/2012

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Your toddler is going to want to sleep with you, so it would be a good idea to have the toddler sleep on the floor in your room so you can prepare for having your new baby possibly in bed with you at times. It is not recommended to to have a baby sleep in your bed with other children in the bed, too dangerous. Grandma's request seems a bit odd to me. She should accept your decision. It sounds like this is going to be a stressful situation for you once you get home with your new baby. Is there someone else who can help you out so you don't have to go through this stress? I am a postpartum doula and I think something like this would work out better for you than a stressful mother in law situation.

Amy - posted on 12/04/2012

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I wouldn't let the toddler sleep with me. Ours cried bloody murder too. for a few days. now she sleeps in her crib with less and less whining every time.



mil sleeping in the room wouldn't be a big deal but I don't understand how co sleeping is okay for you, but not for her? doesn't seem like too much of a leap in sleep situation. My daughter is the same age. my bed isn't on the floor. she can climb up and climb down with zero problems. I used to think my mil was just being difficult. but really she was trying to help. if you don't want her help, that's between you and your husband and his place to say "These are hte rules". if she wants to help, say the BEST way you can help us is by..... and lay out what would be helpful for you.

Kay - posted on 12/04/2012

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I just read the entire post.



TELL YOUR HUSBAND, I SAID, HE NEEDS TO STEP UP TO THE PLATTER AND GET A LIFE. HE IS THE SON OF THIS WOMAN. THIS SHOULD NOT BE ON YOU AT THIS TIME. HE NEEDS TO MANAGE HIS OWN MOTHER AND DO IT FOR YOU AND HIS CHILDREN.



LET'S GET OLD FASHIONED FOR A SECOND. HE IS THE MAN IN THE HOUSE, HE NEEDS TO ACT LIKE ONE,

Kay - posted on 12/04/2012

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I did not read past the first paragraph. I already got red flags.



FIND A NEIGHBOR OR FRIEND FOR HER TO STAY WITH. BETTER YET, YOUR HUSBAND NEEDS TO HANDLE THIS ONE, NOT YOU.



With a new baby, you don't need tension at all.



or Have your husband tell her to come another time.



This time of your life is not about her. It is about bringing a new baby home. Don't allow her to dominate anything. This is your family. however, do it all lovingly. Tough stuff.

Krystal - posted on 12/03/2012

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A few days maybe, but allowing her to sleep with your toddler for a whole month is going to cause a new issue for you when she leaves. Besides that, it is your home and she needs to respect your wishes. My MIL is the same way and she stresses me out more than helping me. I couldn't handle her "help" for a whole month and the last thing you need is stress at this point. If I were you, I would have my husband talk to her and explain that if she is going to stay with you for such an extended period than she needs to be respectful of your wishes.

Amanda - posted on 12/03/2012

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Well its not really her job to help you. if she does then its cause shes nice and wants to, not cause she has to. Her job is to spoil the kids, While respecting your rules. ... If you say no to her sleeping in the bed with your son. She should respect that and not. plus her just taking your son and playing with him is helping you. You wont have to deal with a jealous toddler for parts of the day.

Sarah - posted on 12/03/2012

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I like Lisa's idea of thinking outside the box. What about moving your 18 mo old from the crib which she clearly doesn't like, to a toddler bed or just the crib mattress on the floor. Maybe it can be right next to your MIL's bed like a trundle style bed. She won't be far off the floor, but your MIL is right there and can rub her back if she's having problems falling asleep. My best friend had to move her son at 18 months from a crib to toddler bed because he was climbing out and fussing, so I know it's possible at that age! Just make sure the room is toddler proof (incl furniture tethered to the walls so the dresser or bookcase won't fall over if she climbs on it) and a child proof thing on the door handle so she can't open it. I would also stress to your MIL that her job is to make your job easier when you're on your own with two kids. You need her to get your 18 month old to a place where she can sleep after the month is over! Good luck and congrats on the new arrival!

Ariana - posted on 12/03/2012

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It's pretty simple just tell her NO. Actually have your husband tell her no we aren't doing that we're doing this. It's his mother so he's the one who should handle the situation.



Whatever it is that you're planning on doing tell her what it is. So say, oh thanks, but we're planning on doing ______ . Whatever that may be (so transitioning her into her crib and this is how we're doing it).



The main point of this is to be extremely friendly while explaining it. It should be very simple and straightforward, something you can say in a sentence, not a long explanation. That way if she asks about it, or why can't we do this, you can just go oh well we're doing this, but thanks! It's like telling her, thank you so much for the offer but we're going to do this. Every time she happens to bring it up just repeat basically the same thing and be pleasant (like you aren't irritated that she's not listening to you etc.).



Plus although she probably does want to sleep with the baby, and she is being irritating by not listening to you, she also probably sees it as she's trying to be helpful to you. From her perspective she's helping you by sleeping with the toddler so you don't have to deal with the toddler while you're having to be awake with the baby all the time (plus the bonus of her getting to cosleep with a child). She's even taken your fear of the baby falling into consideration and is offering to sleep on the floor. Is this the best way to go about it? Maybe not. But to her she is probably seeing this as a very reasonable request and is trying to be helpful to you. So just keep that in mind when you're talking to her (maybe it will help you stay calm).



Oh and good luck during the next month! I say take her help and just leave the rest of it behind you. Even though she's probably going to irritate the hell out of you she has offered to give up a month of her life to help you out. It's probably better to realize she's going to say and do things you don't like and that you're just going to have to ignore it and be thankful for the help she can give. Or be ok with asking her to do stuff for you, like make food or let you nap/shower etc. Good luck!

Maxine - posted on 12/03/2012

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You should stick to your guns with hubby support because after she leaves it will be more difficult to get your baby to sleep in the crib and also she should respect the laws of your home.

Danielle - posted on 12/02/2012

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You won't be able to transition your daughter in time for the baby's arrival and even if you did, she is likely going to have a hard time and be jealous once the baby comes and will want to sleep with you even more. Then I think it will be much harder to try to get her to sleep in her own bed and will cause even more stress for everyone especially with a new baby in the picture.



Do you think your daughter would even sleep with your MIL anyway? Also, I can totally see where your MIL might begrudgingly agree to your rules but then "Oops! she must have crawled into bed with me in the middle of the night and I was just too tired to realize...."



So if you're going to have a problem with that then I would try to avoid that situation altogether. Keep the MIL and daughter in different rooms at night. It will be better to prevent it than to have everyone uncomfortable and upset when that happens, also easier than having to tell your MIL to leave early! Sounds like she just wants to come enjoy the kids anyway so who knows how much help you'll actually get from her anyway. You might want to shorten the visit before she even gets there. That might send the message to her not to argue with you.



Also sounds like the MIL used to co-sleep and misses it and maybe that's why she wants to do it again. If the husband doesn't back you up then tell him that his mom can cuddle with him while you sleep with the kids lol!



Overall, this is your new baby and your daughter, not hers. If you and your husband don't feel comfortable with your MIL staying there because you think it will be too stressful, then just cancel on her. Tell her with the new baby and trying to transition your daughter that you think it will be too stressful to have another person in the house. Tell her she's welcome to come for a weekend instead.



I don't know if any of that would work for your particular situation, but good luck! keep us updated!

Lisa - posted on 12/01/2012

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After reading all this I realize how hard it would have been for us if we had another baby when my son was 18 months. He is now 2 and has been given his own room and he sleeps in a crib but he still wakes up at 5 every morning and wants to come up so I have an extra bed in his room where I put him and then he falls asleep again. I realize now that he likes a bed better. It is not even me he wants. But the bed is to high for him so I am thinking of building one that is high enough for mother in law (when she visits and we put up a travelcot in our room) but low enough if he falls out and wide enough to role around in. What if your daughter might be better in a low bed in her room or a mattress in a baby safe room? And with a door she can't open and with a baby monitor unless you can hear her from your room? Even though she is only 18 months maybe you need a new creative solution? Put mother in-law in the other corner of the room with her own matress.

Dove - posted on 12/01/2012

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Jodi does have a point as well (sorry, didn't read far enough earlier), but... personally speaking, I'd either be keeping the toddler in my bed still when MIL is there... or YOU make the transition back to the crib now.

Dove - posted on 12/01/2012

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She is insisting?! Hell no! Quite frankly... just based on your op... I wouldn't have the woman in my house if I could help it and there's no way I'd leave my kid alone with a woman making demands like that.

Michele - posted on 12/01/2012

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Have you tried putting a vaporizing in the room to help with the congestion? Or putting a gate up so your daughter can't get out of the room? If your daughter doesn't want to sleep in the crib don't go backwards ( sleeping with you crib then sleeping with you or alone) they do sell sides that go up on the bed so your daughter doesn't fall out. Also did you think that the MIL is wanting to sleep with your toddler to help her adjust to sleeping alone in a big bed?

Nancy - posted on 12/01/2012

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Thank you all for the replies. Just to clarify, our toddler is all over the place when she sleeps. My husband and I sleep on either side of her these days and I often find her standing on the bed half asleep, or sometimes she's managed to wiggle her way off the foot of the bed and we find her sleeping on the floor. Even against the wall I just don't feel it's a safe situation for her given she's never slept in an elevated bed. We co-slept with her until she was about a year and then transitioned her to a crib, but since we moved a month ago it's been the perfect storm: a bit of sleep regression, her not wanting to sleep in a room alone or in a new place, she's also been sick 50 percent of the time we've been here because the baby next door is in day care and they interact a lot (she sleeps with a binkie so she wakes up because she can't breathe), and now she has an ear ache which has her up crying constantly and us needing to walk her back to sleep upright to alleviate the pressure build up. To top it off, at 39 weeks I cant really carry her anymore without feeling like I am pulling or tearing something.



This is all to say that I totally agree it makes sense to have transitioned her back before MIL gets here and as parents we have back-slided with the transition because it's been easier for us and our toddler in this last month of pregnancy. That said, part of the help I was hoping to get from MIL while she is here is to get baby back in her crib as the colds, ear aches, etc subside enough to get her comfortable in the crib again, to have an extra set of hands that can walk her at night when she is upset, to have someone in the room with her in the crib to hopefully settle her, etc.



I really wanted MIL on board to try various tactics so that she wouldn't be in the room with a screaming toddler - obviously that's not tenable. But she just seems totally uninterested in helping us to find a solution to the crib issue, and instead it seems the solutions she's proposing are centered on keeping her in the bed with her - not on getting her in the crib, which is ultimately what we need before she leaves. This is what bothers me. Couldn't MIL, for instance, offer to get her to fall asleep in the bed with her if she were inconsolable, and then move her to the crib? Or ask me or my husband how we want to go about it or suggest alternatives?



The problem for me is that while it's not outright stated, MIL is less worried about all of the above and just wants to "sleep with the baby" and so rather than trying to work with us to get our oldest back into her crib she would rather we take the room apart and leave a dismantled futon in the living room in an already cramped apartment. She doesn't get to see her often and for her she feels like this is her opportunity to bond with our toddler while she's here. I don't know, I just feel like this is sort of weird and her incessantness about the whole thing makes it worse - like someone I am not entirely close to and who has not spent a substantial amount of time with my daughter is trying to keep her in bed with her as part of a personal agenda and not because it's better for our family as a whole.



So, my issue with it is two-fold: 1, there is the practical issue of getting the baby to sleep in her crib again while we have an extra person to help, and 2, there is MIL's insistence on our toddler sleeping in bed with her, which gives me an overall sense of discomfort that is less easy to articulate.



Anyway, again thanks for the feedback. After reading all of this and getting to type out how I'm feeling about it I think I'm just going to have a talk with her and my husband together and explain that getting our daughter into her crib is the most helpful thing for us in the long run that she can assist with while she is here and tell her that I'd really appreciate her suggestions on how to make that possible.

Jodi - posted on 12/01/2012

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Michelle, I was thinking the same thing, just push the bed against the wall, and then it can work out. I am actually not sure what the issue is here. Is it that the MIL is suggesting sleeping with the 18 month old, or is it that the 18 month old could fall out of bed? I can't see that they are necessarily the same issue, and I can see ways of resolving/explaining each of them.

Denikka - posted on 11/30/2012

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Agreed with Nikki. Rude..and more than a little creepy. Makes me question why she's so insistent on sleeping with your child. It's one thing when it's mom or dad, or if there's a reason for it. But with parents against it and a bed for the toddler, especially in a temporary situation, no way!! And that's coming from a mom who chooses to co sleep.



I wouldn't budge on this issue. Hell, if it were me, I wouldn't have someone like that coming to stay for a month at all. You're the momma. Your rules are the ones to follow. Lay down the law and don't budge. It's YOUR home and YOUR children. She has no right to barge in, inconvenience your household (by moving furniture, changing routines, whatever) intrude on your hospitality, and expect you to take it with a smile, especially when you have a new born baby. Law out the household rules now. If she doesn't like them, she can stay elsewhere.

Nikki - posted on 11/30/2012

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I would say a big no! She is a little rude. I don't think you need a reason, your house and your kids. I would want my husband to back me up in this situation though.

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