Am i doing more harm then good? — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

Am i doing more harm then good?

Guilt is taking over me. I have a 3 mo old daughter (our first baby) and was off on mat leave for 3 months and just returned to work this week. The guilt of having to put her in daycare for 11 hrs a day is murder on my sanity. We hardly get 3 hours with her when we get home. I feel horrible about this. We were bedsharing and still are at this point although we are trying to begin to make the transition to the crib soon. I also feel guilty about this too because I feel like when she sleeps with me, we snuggle and bond and thats more time we spend together even though we are sleeping. I feel guilty for putting her in her crib in another room away from me and we only spend a few hours a night together in the first place. Now that she is starting daycare and going to have to get used to that, wouldnt it be too much on her to also start trying to transition her to her crib too? I dont want to push all of this (daycare transition and crib transition) off on her at the same time if it will be too much for her to handle right now. What are your thoughts?

Re: Am i doing more harm then good?

  • I still struggle with the same guilt about working full-time. I delayed the crib transition for those reasons and I honestly think it was a mistake. It just gets harder as they get older and you need some time for yourself as well. I would try to get LO to sleep in the crib at least for the first part of the evening. GL!
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  • As for returning to work/daycare: Know that you are doing what you need to do for your family. If you have to work, you have to work and you are doing the best thing for her by providing for her. 11 hours a day is a lot though-is there any way you could cut back your hours to a more normal full-time schedule?

    Transitioning to a crib: I can't fully relate because we've never bedshared, but if you don't want to transition her then don't! Plenty of ladies on here bedshare with their LOs who are much older than yours. If you feel that you need that time to bond, then I'd keep her in your bed. 

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  • image lkstor:
    I would try to get LO to sleep in the crib at least for the first part of the evening. GL!

    This is what we did.  DS started the night in his crib, and I moved him to our bed when he woke up for his feeding.  It was sort of the best of both worlds - more sleep for me early, snuggle time with DS after that.

    Good luck with your transition back to work.  It can be really hard at first, but it will get easier.

  • I think the most important thing is that you love your LO and show her that as much as possible.  Everyone is different and so you need to do what feels right to you.  I am Asian and in my culture, it's normal to bedshare until you are older and to be carried.  

    I think at this age, the most important thing is for LO to establish a good bond and trust.  So I wear my son a few hours a day, have him sleep in the co-sleeper next to me.  I don't bedshare because I am such a heavy sleeper and my DH doesn't feel comfortable either.  

    I give him breaks during the day where he sleeps in his swing or basinette and just give him independent time.  He is happy and healthy and he rarely cries.  When he wakes up from sleep, he will make noises so that I know he is awake.  He used to wake up crying all the time, but I feel that me being so responsive to him and of course him maturing, that he knows that he doesn't have to cry and that I will be there for him.  

    I know that he will have plenty of opportunity to be independent as he gets older.  When we transition him to his crib, I am hoping he will be better able to deal with it when he is older.  I don't know when we will do this, but just look for signs of independence and of course when he sleeps longer periods.  

    Sorry for the long response, but if it doesn't feel right to you to transition DD to crib, maybe it's not time.   

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  • image lkstor:
    I still struggle with the same guilt about working full-time. I delayed the crib transition for those reasons and I honestly think it was a mistake. It just gets harder as they get older and you need some time for yourself as well. I would try to get LO to sleep in the crib at least for the first part of the evening. GL!

    We had the opposite situation.  We co-slept until DS was 7 months-ish.  I really enjoyed the extra snuggle time.  We finally moved him to his crib and he transitioned very well from the first day.  I will say that now I enjoy my alone time after DS goes to bed and I sleep somewhat better, although I woudn't change the time when we co-slept.

    I can understand your struggle with working full-time.  I have gone around in circles with this since DS was born.  Somedays I wish I was home with him more, somedays I know I am a better parent because I work....just because we have a lot more quality time when we are together.  DH and I put forth 110% when we are home with DS. 

    Good luck.  Just do what you think is best for you and your family.

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  • I don't feel the guilt about working as I love my job and was really unhappy when I was at home. Happy mom = Happy baby.

    That does seem like a lot all at once for her though. I don't co-sleep, but if it's working for you, why not go a little longer? It took Kate about 3 weeks to really adjust to daycare (and she's still not napping well there) so we tried to keep everything else the same at home for a while.

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  • image Meg&Jesse:
    .

    I can understand your struggle with working full-time.  I have gone around in circles with this since DS was born.  Somedays I wish I was home with him more, somedays I know I am a better parent because I work....just because we have a lot more quality time when we are together.  DH and I put forth 110% when we are home with DS. 

    Good luck.  Just do what you think is best for you and your family.

    Pretty much this! I work 12 hour shifts 3 days a week. At first (about the first 3 weeks) I had a TERRIBLE time wanting to go to work because it meant being away from DD from 6am-8pm. Now it's much better! I feel like I am a human again and love the adult interaction. I try to nurse her right before I go to work and even if she's sleeping when I get home, I scoop her up and try to nurse her again. It's my reconnect time. 

    On my 4 days I'm off a week, I cuddle her, wear her, play with her, etc. I give her 110% of me when I'm there! She's a happy, healthy baby and she's doing just fabulous. I think because I have time away (even though I'm working so it's not "fun" time), it makes me a better mother. It makes me appreciate every little thing that happens when I'm with her.  

    She's in her crib for the first sleep of the night now (or at least that's what we keep trying for). She sleeps better in her crib and I sleep better without her. WHen we co-sleep she wants to nurse ALL night and then she's crabby in the morning.

     

  • I too share your pain, I only get 2 hrs a day with DS during the work week :(  We still co-sleep part time partially because I miss him and because I'm a little lazy when it comes to walking back and forth in the middle of the night.  I think it would be easier to transition to crib earlier though.  Maybe you can wait a month or so since you just started going back to work.  I think it might be a little much to throw at her all at once, but just my opinion. 
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  • image erbear:

    Happy mom = Happy baby.

    This sums it up very well. 

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  • image 14years:

    image lkstor:
    I would try to get LO to sleep in the crib at least for the first part of the evening. GL!

    This is what we did.  DS started the night in his crib, and I moved him to our bed when he woke up for his feeding.  It was sort of the best of both worlds - more sleep for me early, snuggle time with DS after that.

    Good luck with your transition back to work.  It can be really hard at first, but it will get easier.

    This is what we did for a very long time. Somehow we ended up with a preschooler that now sleeps with us every night. She says her bed is for her baby dolls. ;)

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  • I think bedsharing (ETA - if you like it!!) is a wonderful way for working moms to reconnect with and bond with their babies - and get some of that time back - even if you're both asleep.  So if you like bedsharing - I would say forget the crib for now and go with the flow - and enjoy having her close at night. 
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    "When it comes to sleeping, whatever your baby does is normal. If one thing has damaged parents enjoyment of their babies, it's rigid expectations about how and when the baby should sleep." ~ James McKenna, Ph.D., Mother Baby Behavioral Sleep Center, University of Notre Dame

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  • 1/2 the reason we bedshared was because I got to spend so little time with DD during her awake hours.  It was the perfect solution, for us.

    That being said - you have to make the right decision for you guys.  If you guys are all happier transitioning now - go for it!  If not - enjoy your sleep together! :)

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  • same as some PPs, we put DD down in her crib until her first significant waking then bedshare. it's the best of both for me. i often have a bit of work to wrap up at home in the evenings, and it gives me a block of time that i know is mine. BUT i still get snuggle time and night nursing with her. i may sleep better when we sleep apart, but i get more sleep when we bedshare if that makes sense.

    i think i might help your LO if there were fewer changes at home for the first couple of weeks at daycare, but you need to do what works for you guys.

    starting DD in daycare was maybe the hardest thing we've ever done, but it's what we need to do for our family. that's the part i focus on. even though it is still terribly hard sometimes, it does get better.

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