A Farewell to Arms – and Legs … and Feet …

August 1, 2011. Posted in: Nighttime parenting

excerpted with permission from:
Good Nights – The Happy Parents’ Guide to the Family Bed
(and a Peaceful Night’s Sleep!)

by Jay Gordon, M.D. and Maria Goodavage
Griffin Trade Paperback
ISBN: 0312275188

excerpt from Chapter Seven –
A Farewell to Arms – and Legs … and Feet …

You’ve stroked his downy hair as he dreamed his first baby dreams in your arms. You’ve clung to the edge of the bed while his little body somehow took up all the room. You’ve slept your sweetest sleep while he nestled so cozily in your arms. And you’ve barely caught a wink while sleep transformed him into a future World cup soccer star.

Now comes a bittersweet time. Your little one wants his own bed. Or you’d like him to start moving in that direction.

For some, the transition is quick and simple. This child says he’d rather sleep in his room by himself one night, and he’s off. (Yes, it really does happen this way with some kids.)

For others, it takes time.

On days when it seems like your child will never leave the family bed, it can help to keep this in mind: Your child really will leave! The transition out may not come as early as you’d imagined when you first brought your newborn into bed. (Trust us, your baby won’t be covetously eyeing his crib at seven months, wishing he could just sleep all alone instead of with loving parents.) But your child will be sleeping on his own soon enough. The time goes so fast, and the nights he spends snuggling next to you will be but a blink – at least in hindsight.

But just how does a child whose greatest love is sleeping next to warm and adoring parents actually end up willing and able to sleep without them? It depends on the child, on family dynamics, on parental philosophies, even on the setup of the house. Believe it or not, there are as many ways for a child to leave the family bed as there are ways for a child to enter the bed in the first place!

Some parents are purists, not wanting to influence their child’s departure from the bed at all. Others believe in gently helping a child move on when they feel the time is right for everyone.

We now bring you a plethora of ideas, much practical advice, and, we hope, something that will work for you and your family when the time comes for your child to move beyond the family bed.

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Excerpted with permission from
Good Nights: The Happy Parents’ Guide to the Family Bed (And a Peaceful Night’s Sleep)
by Jay Gordon, M.D. and Maria Goodavage, copyright 2002

Website: http://www.drjaygordon.com/

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