Stop here every day for a new question and answer, practical help for busy parents.
My 2-year-old son usually sleeps through the night in his bed. Sometimes he comes to our room, and if it’s 4 a.m. or 5 a.m., we let him get in bed with us. But if it’s earlier, I take him back to his room. We have a new baby due in about six weeks. Will the baby wake his brother? Hubby thinks for a few weeks we may have different sleeping arrangements. Is it bad for our marriage if I’m tending to one child and he’s tending to another and we end up sleeping separately?
This question is more complicated than it sounds. Yes, your baby will wake the older child. But that’s part of having a baby in the house. He’ll probably wake everyone. Your son will have to get used to going back to sleep after the baby cries. Realize that the nocturnal awakening could go on for months, as babies require a lot of feedings. While the frequency of feeding declines over time, there’s no guarantee your baby will sleep on a reasonable schedule for quite awhile.
Many parents address this issue by keeping the baby in their room for the first few months. Have you considered this option? If it makes sense, put the baby’s crib or bassinet in the master bedroom until the tyke develops at least a somewhat-regular sleeping schedule.
Of course, that arrangement isn’t for everyone. If you instead put the baby in your son’s room, everybody will adjust to the change. While letting your older son sleep in your bed occasionally is not a problem, you need to guard against making it a habit. With a baby in the mix, your 2-year-old will wake up more often. It would be easy to default to letting him sleep his last “shift” with you. Resist that temptation, as such habits often prove hard to break.
You’ll notice I didn’t suggest an option that has you and your husband sleeping separately. You are right to be concerned. Occasional business trips or family visits are OK. However, long-term separation could have repercussions. Regardless of how you plan it, separate sleeping arrangements will have a negative effect on your sex life, which in turn could affect your marriage. But it goes beyond sex.
The time you spend with your spouse in the evenings or mornings – the hours surrounding your sleep schedule – are key to preserving the communication and closeness of your marriage. A week or even three probably wouldn’t be a problem. But the issues that would separate you could easily drag on for months, and you don’t want to give either party time to get used to being without the other.
We live in Florida and squeeze our own orange juice when the fruit is in season. My grandmother used to tell us that if we didn’t drink it right away, it would lose some of its nutrients. Is this true, or is fresh-squeezed orange juice just as good for you on day three of refrigeration?
There is little hard information on this topic, although it is widely believed that all fruits and vegetables lose nutritional value over time. Keeping the juice in an airtight container probably helps. A study published in the Journal of Oil Palm Research in June 2004 suggests that the fibrous remnants left over after fruit picking will lose their mineral nutrients quickly if left exposed to the elements.
Your grandmother’s claim is one of those old wives’ tales that probably has some basis in truth. But unless you commission your own study, you probably won’t be able to prove it one way or the other. If you’re concerned about nutrient loss, just squeeze your juice every day. However, if you’d rather not go to that much trouble, take comfort in the fact that the juice in your refrigerator is still quite tasty and nutritious.
If you’d like to submit an Ask The Dad question, send it to [email protected]