John C Kim and International Adoption Video

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Parenting, Children and Parents - Motherlode Blog -

May 13, 2009, 10:01 am — Updated: 12:16 pm -->

When Dad Doesn’t Want to Co-Sleep

By Lisa Belkin
(Illustration by Barry Falls)

Duane, a Motherlode reader, asked a question in the comments that I would like to pose to all of you. It came up during our latest conversation about co-sleeping, and Duane wrote that he is about to become a Dad, and is finding that he and his wife don’t have the same views on the subject. Or, perhaps more accurately, he has doubts that she doesn’t share. He says:

As a father-to-be with a wife who really wants to co-sleep with our coming baby, I’m struggling with the idea. I have been though 100s of web sites and 98% are written by women saying how great it is and how happy it makes them. So far no one is really taking the father into consideration. From what I see, the father is left to deal with whatever the mother wants and is left to the wayside. I feel that our bed is just that — our bed, for me and my wife. How do you not lose intimacy with each other when you have a baby/toddler between you? Does the father’s opinion and feelings matter, or should I just shut up and do what my wife wants? Some fathers advice would be nice!!!

In addition to the specific questions Duane raises — How do men feel about co-sleeping? What about the loss of intimacy? Where are the website’s with a Dad’s point of view — there is the more over-arching one that he raises: What do couples do when they disagree on something fundamental about parenting?

I know will be tempting for some of you to paint Duane as merely a guy concerned he won’t get enough sex with a baby in the room. But let’s look at him as a nervous Dad instead — one who needs some reassurance (either that he has a good point, or that it will be okay), and some pros and cons of co-sleeping, and some advice on how to navigate sensitive subjects with your spouse.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is a hard question to answer. Not because I don't know, but because there are people who get really upset at hearing what I have to say. So I say it anonymously.

I slept with all 4 of my kids when there wasn't any such word as "co-sleep". I had to read the article to find out what they were talking about.

It was the best way for all of us to get the most sleep. It also didn't stop sex, it just made it a little more covert. And yes, we had sex with kids in the same bed.

As for me, I wish I could go back to those days of sleeping with babies and small children. There is nothing in the world that compares to that sense of comfort and well being. It will change your life and give you something that you will treasure when you're an old man like me, and remembering it when one of my granddaughters falls asleep in my lap.

Personal Web site for John C Kim: KIDDOC.ORG

I am a pediatrician specializing in General Pediatrics, International Adoption Medicine, and in the diagnosis and coaching of families pursuing joy.