Friday Q&A with Sue Atkins – Weaning Co-Sleeping

Interview with Sue Atkins, The Parenting Expert

Parenting children with eczema does bring unique challenges, such as scratching (till bloody) when being disciplined or guilty when eczema worsens (yet again). MarcieMom has the privilege of asking The Parenting Expert, Sue Atkins, on her advice for dealing with these challenges. Sue is the author of the best-selling book ‘Parenting Made Easy – How to Raise Happy Children’ and also regularly appears on BBC Breakfast television, The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and has her own regular “Ask Sue” Parenting Q & A phone-in on BBC Radio Surrey and Sussex.

MarcieMom: Thank Sue for helping me with sleeping advice!

Many moms who have children with eczema do co-sleep part of the night with their baby or toddler. I co-sleep with Marcie but aware that there’re pros and cons; related to eczema, co-sleeping may help the parent to check on the child’s scratching at night but also possible to increase dead skin cells and overheat (both dust mites and heat can trigger eczema flares). What I commonly hear from other moms (without eczema children) is that babies should be taught independence from young and sleep in their own cots. There is of course little couple time with a toddler in our bed and we’ve tried to wean her off co-sleeping so many times, but once we’re on holiday and sleep together, or if she had chickenpox/ HFMD and her skin was really affected, we would switch back to co-sleeping. It’s impossible to get her off our bed now at 2.5 year old, is there any technique you recommend? We couldn’t do it the ‘tough’ way as she’d end up scratching!

Sue Atkins: It helps to think about the message you are sending to you child if you co sleep indefinitely – so this issue is usually around the clarity and confidence of the parent when they decide to change the co sleeping habit. Here is an article I wrote when I was coaching a mum on my ITV Parenting Power slot on “This Morning”

http://sueatkinsparentingcoach.com/oh-pleeeeeeasssee-help-me-i-am-a-walking-zombie-with-no-sleep/

The simple secret is routine and consistency and not giving in too soon! Think long term and keep the bigger picture of success in your mind at all time and don’t send out mixed messages.

MarcieMom: Thanks Sue; your point about what message co-sleeping is sending to the child does make me ponder if my toddler thinks Daddy is ‘banished’ to the other room! Next week, we’ll check back with you on another difficult issue -TV!

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