There is no point in motherhood when someone isn’t telling you what you’re doing wrong. Moms don’t even get a break during pregnancy. The opinions start as soon as you’re showing! Sleep is a particularly divisive issue, because everyone thinks they know the best way to teach a baby to miraculously sleep through the night. For new parents, it’s hard to resist advice when you haven’t been able to close your eyes for longer than 40 minutes at a time, if that. But one piece of advice seems completely counter-intuitive: don’t cuddle your baby.
Apparently, lots of moms and dads get warned against cuddling their baby as they fall asleep because the baby will get too “attached” to the affection and care right at bed time. Then they’ll want to sleep in your bed as kids, and young adults, and before you know it they’re a 30-year-old who won’t leave your master bedroom. A woman named Ashley Rose Fouts shared a story from another Facebook group on her own page about the cuddling phenomenon:
“I’ve been rocking and cuddling my baby to sleep since the day he was born. I mentioned this to a nurse at my clinic recently. She said that she did the same thing with her son, and everyone warned her that she would still have a teenager sleeping in her bed. And then she told me that, a few weeks ago, her teenage son came home from school very upset. He didn’t want to talk, and just went to his room and listened to his music, typed on his phone and cried.
The mother gave her son space, and night time came and she went to bed. Just as she was about to turn off her side light, the door opened, and her 15 year old son padded into the room. He climbed into the bed with her, laid his head on her shoulder and cried. He told her all about the girl that broke his heart, all about the friends who laughed, all about the stresses of being him. She told him about her first broken heart, about friends who’d been cruel, and told him she understands.
They talked in the dark for hours, until he fell asleep in her bed, still sad but relieved after their talk. She fell asleep in her bed, still sad for him but relieved after their talk. ‘So you see,’ she said to me, when she finished the story, ‘I was so scared that I would wind up with a teenager who would ‘need me’ at night, that I never stopped to consider how beautiful that would really be.’ “
That’s a very sweet story and it shows how affection can help kids open up to their parents. There are also lots of people in the comments confirming that they’ve had similar experiences with their kids:
My mom let me sleep next to her when I was a kid, probably through middle school. And I don’t live at home, so it all worked out. Cuddle your kids, because before you know it, they’re all grown up.