Thoughts on letting your baby/toddler/young child spend the night away from you??

Cristina - posted on 05/07/2013 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I have had a lot of pressure to let my son spend the night at his grandparents' house (my in-laws). My husband doesn't seem to care one way or another, but I have always been against it. First of all, my son is not even sleeping through the night and wakes up crying for me at least once. So I don't see the point in sending him away to cry himself to sleep in an unknown place with people that really just aren't who he wants. Second, I just feel like unless he can fully communicate his needs then he doesn't need to be separated from me. He still sees his grandparents during the week because they live 10 minutes away.

He will be two in October so I know the heat is going to be turned up. I feel like my husband and in-laws think I'm crazy sometimes, but I've tried to share with my husband that I'm not the only momma out there that thinks this way. I would just like to be respected as a mom and have my feelings understood and not criticized.

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Amrit - posted on 05/15/2013

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I respect those whose in-laws are involved in baby rearing, but nature stuck babies and mothers together for a reason. I don't think a child should spend the night away from mama until he/she has the desire to do so. Just think of it from your baby's perspective.

Cristina - posted on 05/14/2013

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I too am more into attachment parenting. Sometimes the culture where I live seems to call for the child to independent as soon as possible. I say my children have 18 years to learn independence, there is no need to rush it when they are barely becoming toddlers.

I think when he is ready to tell me "Mom, I want to spend the night at grandma and grandpa's" then there is more room to think about it.

Kelsey - posted on 05/14/2013

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My son spend the night away from me at 1 year; not by my choice. It was court ordered visitation. Anyways, I had a lot of pressure from my ex's mother and family to let my son go on overnights when he was a newborn. I stood up for myself and then they started to call me crazy.

Each family is different though. My family is all about attachment and keeping the babies close until they are old enough to fully grasp the concept. My ex's family seemed fine on playing 'baby hopping.'

Ultimately, it's your call and what you're comfortable with.

Amy Nicole - posted on 05/12/2013

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I respect that.I honestly think it depends on how old they are. If there older then they probly can't take all the screaming and crying.If there in between then they probly can.My kid was 7 months old and got too spend the night because she could handel it.

Amy Nicole - posted on 05/09/2013

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Well,I am not against it because your parent's raised you and his parent's raised him so they know how too handel sitiouations if they get hurt or if there crying for a parent that isn't there then the grandparent's know what too do.I say it's perfectly okay.

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It is ultimately your and your husband's choice.

Personally, I didn't mind letting my son spend the night with his grandparents. He's been sleeping over with my parents since he was only a few months old. In my family and culture, that is very common. The grandparents are very involved in raising the baby. In my husband's family, it is more a "special treat" to stay over with grandma, so he didn't start sleeping over with my in-laws until he was closer to 2 years old.

That said, you have to be sure the grandparents are up for the sleepless night--my son didn't sleep through the night until he was nearly 5, and even then it was hit or miss. J wasn't a cryer though--if he woke up, he'd just come and get the grown up to snuggle for a few minutes until he went back to sleep. If your son cries a lot, that could be stressful for the grandparent, but on the plus side, he's only 10 minutes away, so you could go get him if he turned out to be too much for them.

I feel that these experiences have helped him learn to cope with changes in routine, and that ability will be an important life skill when he is older and on his own. Routine is very important, but for some people who have never had a deviation in their routine, a bump in the road can become catastrophic.

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