Co-sleeping

RheannaRheanna Posts: 2,614Registered Users
Being a parent has changed so many ideas I've had about so many things, and this may be one of them. I'm kind of struggling with it though because I did have such strong ideas about it before and so many people say it's so dangerous. But I'll confess I've been sleeping with Ava the past few nights. At first, it was out of desperation and fear. I was exhausted and needed to sleep and she had gotten strangled on spit-up and I wanted her close enough to hear if it happened again. I felt like it was dangerous, but not as dangerous as me being too far away to hear her getting choked, so I did it. The first couple nights, I felt really uncomfortable, like I was doing something wrong/dangerous and I didn't sleep well at all. I couldn't go to sleep really and when I did, I woke up nonstop. She, however, slept better and longer than ever.

By last night, I was wondering if maybe there's other reasons people do this besides convenience and sleep exhaustion. After SO got her to sleep and put her in her bassinet, I just really, really missed her and cried my eyes out. I kept feeling like it was wrong to have her there and I wanted her next to me where I could touch her and hear her breathing. I kept having this very strong feeling that it was actually safer and that something bad would happen if I left her in the bassinet. I tried to reason with myself that it was just because of the strangling thing and that she hadn't done that again and she was on her side with the sleep positioner and would be fine even if she did spit up. But then I found myself listening to her breathing and it didn't seem as regular as the nights I let her sleep with me. She made all sorts of noises she didn't make in the bed with me too. She also doesn't wail when she wakes up in the bed with me. She squirms a bit, opens her eyes, looks at me, sometimes even touches my arm, and usually dozes back off pretty quickly unless she's hungry.

She only slept in her bassinet for maybe 15-20 minutes last night before she woke up and screamed, I calmed her down and I tried for 3 hours to settle her down enough to sleep before I gave up and put her in the bed with me again, much to my happiness and relief. When I moved her, she wasn't even asleep but she went to sleep within 5 or so minutes and slept like a dream for 4 hours, got up and ate, and then slept for 4 more hours. I realized this morning that I slept great too, even though I semi woke up often enough to check on her, pat her, stroke her head, or kiss her if she was stirring and waking, and both of us would go right back to sleep without even really waking up to begin with.

The more I think about this, the more natural it seems, and the more understandable it is that she sleeps so much better sleeping next to me. I just keep having the overwhelming feeling that it's safer than having her away from me, but I don't really understand how that could be true. Just a "feeling" I have and can't shake.

No offense to all the co-sleepers, but I've always just thought people did it for their own convenience and not for their babies. Granted, now that I understand what true sleep deprivation feels like, that's also very understandable to me too, lol.

I guess my question is this... for those of you that co-sleep, what were your reasons for doing so? Did you plan to do it from the beginning or did you start doing it out of exhaustion? How long did you/will you co-sleep? And what sort of flack did you receive from family, friends, pediatricians, etc.?
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  • geminigemini Posts: 3,325Registered Users
    I co-slept with my daughter for nearly 7 months. We ended up nightweaning and moving her to her crib after that. Because I was back to work and nursing, it was just less disruptive to keep her in the bed and it seemed everyone slept better. I felt like I had a lighter, more aware type sleep when she was in the bed, but I didn't have to fully wake up to nurse her, and I still felt rested enough to get up the next morning.

    My husband got grief from the pediatrician (female) at the 4 month check up, and then when I took her to her 6 month check up, another ped (male, same office), said it was fine, and everyone had their own parenting method that works.

    Moving her out of our bed was difficult--I think because the crib mattresses are so firm and she never even napped in the crib, but after about 2-3 rough nights, she was fine.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    In the first week of each baby's life I may have slept with each of them a couple of times, out of desperation, but I.do.not.sleep.well. with a baby in my bed, so I made a huge effort to get them sleeping in their own beds. They all slept in my room for the first year though. I consider that to still be co-sleeping.

    Everyone I know who shares a bed with a baby ends up complaining about it after a few months. They may say they like it, but they also spend an awful lot of time complaining that their baby doesn't sleep all night, or they can't nightwean, or they don't have sex anymore, or their husband is mad because the baby won't sleep elsewhere, or whatever, so I don't think they truly like it. It becomes a very difficult habit to break. I chose to avoid making the habit in the first place.
  • misspammisspam Posts: 5,318Registered Users
    With my first child, we did co-sleep for the first couple of weeks. Since I was nursing, I found it to be more convenient and helped me to find a good rhythm to our nighttime feedings. We then moved her to a full-size crib right next to our bed until she was 6 months old, then we moved her into her own room. I absolutely did not get much sleep when she was in our bed. On some level I enjoyed it but I enjoy my sleep much more.

    With our second child, I absolutely wanted to sleep so we had him in a bassinet right next to our bed and having him right there made nursing very convenient. I slept better. Things were great until he was 6 weeks old and came down with a nasty case of bronchiolitis and I was absolutely terrified that he would stop breathing or choke. So, up until he was about 3 months old, most of the time he was in our bed so I could keep a really close watch over him. As soon as he fully recovered we moved him back to the bassinet and eventually into his own crib in the children's bedroom. By then our daughter had moved to a full-size bed.

    We all have a set of ideas in our head before we become parents. Sometimes those ideas stay and sometimes you begin to think differently. In the end, we all need to do what is right for us and our families.
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  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    We started cosleeping with Solomon at 12 weeks of age and Abram from day 1. Although, with Solomon, the first month of his life we pretty much took turns sleeping with him on the couch/recliner because it was the only way he would sleep (cosleeping in our bed actually would have been safer!) then he was in a PnP in our room until we started cosleeping. It definitely started out of exhaustion for us. We went to a wedding out of town and had a king sized bed in the hotel, so we just had him sleep with us. It was the best sleep all three of us had gotten since he was born, so we kept at it when we returned home.

    Initially it was out of exhaustion, but I too began to feel that it was just more natural and yes, safer. One night when he was tiny I woke and up and I swear to God he wasn't breathing - and I was able to snatch him up and get him breathing again. Had he been sleeping alone I never would have known. Supposedly babies who cosleep also regulate their breathing and body rhythms to their mothers'.

    We absolutely love cosleeping. Even my husband who was reluctant at first loves it. It certainly does have its downsides though, as RCW said. Nightweaning has been next to impossible... we ended up deciding to just not battle it out and Sol still nurses a couple times a night. I've been sleeping in the guest room with Abram and DH in our room with Sol. When Sol wakes, my husband tries to get him back to sleep (sometimes he'll just snuggle up to DH which he will NOT do if I'm in there) and if he needs to, he'll bring him to me to nurse. This usually happens once or twice a night, though there was one night a few weeks ago where he slept the whole night with DH with no nursing. We plan to move Abram and me back into our room soon, as soon as Abram stops having his days and nights confused and starts sleeping consistently at night (only waking to nurse and be changed). We're pretty much at that point so we'll make the change soon.

    I won't lie, the night-nursing does become a pain after a while. But it was much worse when we weren't cosleeping, when I had to crawl to the edge of the bed and nurse sitting up, then try to put him back down. I do acknowledge, though, that cosleeping probably encourages babies/toddlers to nurse at night longer than babies who sleep alone. Since you're FF'ing, you may not have to deal with that. Nightnursing aside, I genuinely do love cosleeping. Lately, since he's gotten used to not nursing EVERY time he wakes up, Solomon will sometimes unlatch when I'm putting him to bed at night and just let me snuggle him to sleep, which is the most amazing feeling. The sex thing doesn't really bother me because we've never been in-bed-at-night kind of people anyway, but I can see how when our kids are older and staying up later that may change.

    Lastly, I know plenty of cosleeping families who have not had as much trouble with nightweaning as we have. Some in fact who have even described it as easy. So, I don't want to completely scare you off it when it may just be my kid, and not because of the cosleeping.
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  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    I guess my question is this... for those of you that co-sleep, what were your reasons for doing so? Did you plan to do it from the beginning or did you start doing it out of exhaustion? How long did you/will you co-sleep? And what sort of flack did you receive from family, friends, pediatricians, etc.?

    i had no thoughts either way on co-sleeping before the baby arrived. once she was born i co-slept, even while we were still in the hospital. im not sure how or why it started, because her bassinet was right next to our bed. i think it just happened to fit both of our personalities--we both slept better when we were together.

    i think she was around 4 months old before she started sleeping in her crib. if we ever have another child we'll still co sleep, but we'll either get a bigger bed (california king) or buy a bedside co sleeper.

    i didnt get any flack about it from the pediatrician. like i mentioned before, i co slept with her at the hospital, and no nurse or doctor ever said anything to me about it. the only people who had anything to say about it were family members who dont understand attatchment parenting and natural family living lifestyles.
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    With both my kiddos, we co-slept for about 4 or 5 months. It was completely for convenience with breastfeeding. I never slept very soundly with a baby in the bed, and I would usually start them in the cradle next to my bed, then when they woke up, I'd bring them into bed with us for the rest of the night. Once they reached 4 to 5 months, though, they started getting awakened more by DH and me during the night and sleeping shorter stretches. I had to move them to their own crib and bedroom. Both babies adjusted pretty quickly to sleeping in a crib.

    I work outside the home and I don't function well on little/interrupted sleep for weeks or months or years, so I was not going to co-sleep for the long run. I think the way we did it was perfect for our family. The boys are both good and independent sleepers, and DH and I get the sleep and privacy we want too.
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  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    With Steven I would cosleep with him occationally when he would not sleep any other way. He had a feeding tube though and had just had open heart surgery, so it made me very very uneasy and DH would move him once he was asleep. Now that he is older (3) he is welcome into our bed to sleep. I find if he is having a nightmare or a hard time sleeping he is much more calm in our bed. This past week when we went to visit with family, Steven and I shared a bed the entire time, it did not bother me (except he will wake up with the baby at 6am, she goes back to sleep but he does not)

    We coslept with Callie until she was around 5 months old when we moved her into her own room.

    With Callie I moved her into our bed just for the benifits to us as a family, she slept well, probably due to the fact of being able to nurse whenever she wanted to. No one gave me slack about it, my mom would talk it was unsafe, but that was it. Now she is older and picky about the way she nurses and does not like side lying so it would not work for that anyway. She was in our room, and I knew she would end up in our bed. Also, now that she is rolling I keep her in her own bed. DH is a heavy hard sleeper (I have gotten a fat lip from his thrashing) and she can manover around pillows.

    My babies do not sleep well in my room, DH snores and they are light sleepers. I also have back problems, and when they are in my bed my back always feel worse in the morning no matter what I do. If they slept better with us as babies and I did not have back issues I would continue to cosleep
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  • BugEyeZBugEyeZ Posts: 314Registered Users Curl Novice
    I've had my son sleeping in my room since i brought him home from the hospital. a big reason for it was because he was born with a birth defect and spent 3 weeks in the hospital and i wanted to keep a close watch on him. it was never my intent to bring him into the bed because my bed is really soft and that's a big problem with SIDS. As I struggled to increase breastfeeding and lessen his need for the bottle, his sleep pattern changed and now he no longer sleeps six hours straight. He might sleep 4 hours then want to breastfeed every hour until the sun comes out! :shaking: Well, that kind of schedule can worry a person's nerves.
    When he wakes in the middle of the night, I just open the blinds so there's some light in the room, hold him close and let him have his way while I get some sleep. I make sure he is either on his back or on his side in a way where he can't roll onto his stomach. I get more rest this way. If i happen to wake up and find him dozing, I will put him back in his crib (of course he'll be up an hour later and we repeat the process).
    I read something recently that said that in cultures where people sleep on mats, most parents co-sleep just fine. The danger seemed to manifest in beds that were either too soft or had too much bedding.
    I personally think co-sleeping is a natural thing if it makes you and the baby feel good. Just take what precautions you need to take. As far as SIDS go, kids have been known to succumb to it alone in their own cribs.
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  • CurlyCarrieSCurlyCarrieS Posts: 200Registered Users
    My son slept with us for 2 to 3 months. I can't remember exactly. We would put him on a pillow and have our arms around the pillow so if we tried to move while sleeping it would wake us up.

    I would wake up and would have my head on the pillow my son was sleeping on and he would have the bottom half of his body across my stomach. I loved sleeping like that.

    I do breastfeed so it was super simple to just sit up in bed, feed him, then lay back down and go right back to sleep.

    It started to get harder and harder to get him to go to sleep with us. One night he just wouldn't stop screaming so we put him in his pack n play (We had an incident with the crib and we can't afford to get a new one so he has never slept in it. It's also a dropside one so I am not comfortable after all the recalls) and he slept with only waking up once.

    It was amazing. I guess he just decided that he was tired of sleeping with us. My family would just smile thinking 'haha that boy is going to be sleeping with you forever!' We are extremely lucky our son is very independent.

    Lately, though, at 10 months old, he wakes up to eat and doesn't want to leave my breast. Even though he is done eating and has fallen asleep. I can just lay down on my back, with a pillow on the side of me to rest my arm on to keep it elavated some. He lays his head on my arm and sleeps and basically gets what he wants so I can sleep. He doesn't do this everynight so I don't see it as a problem.

    My husband jokes and says I took his son away from him and won't let him sleep with us...even though he knows he doesn't want to sleep with us.

    I am not sure if it is his age or not but he always wants his Mommy. I am thinking this could be part of what has been happening lately.

    I could never have slept with him in the bed if I hadn't put him in the pillow so he was up higher than me. My husband tried and I didn't sleep. I just watched him and waited until he woke up to eat so I could put him next to me after his feeding.
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  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    We slept with Harry out of necessity. He would not sleep unless he was held and he wanted to nurse non-stop all night (and all day!). I was committed to night-nursing until a year, even though I work outside the home. It meant I could pump less. He night weaned at 16 months, but still sleeps with Daddy. He needs human contact at night.

    I sleep with Nathan purely for breastfeeding reasons, though he is a much different baby. He only wakes 1-2 times and has gone through periods of fewer wake-ups (and more wake-ups). He would probably be fine in a crib, but I'm not ready to night-wean him. We sleep fine together.

    Harry has been sick, as well as going through some nightmares, so he's wanted to come sleep with me and Nathan (who is also sick). Now THAT interrupts my sleep, having to play referee all night. They both want to be all over me and hog the bed.

    The sex part is not a product of co-sleeping, we don't co-sleep in our bed, but in theirs. The problem we have is getting a stint of independent sleep from them so DH and I can cuddle in our own bed for a while. We've had some luck letting them sleep together for an hour or two in Nathan's bed (full mattress on the floor). It is very sweet to see them together. Harry will ask for Nathan at bedtime. I can foresee a time when then share a room/bed and DH and I will be off the hook.
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  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    We co-sleep with both babies and wouldn't have it any other way. The decision was made purely by choice. Babies are supposed to sleep with their mothers. The same reasons that make it healthy for babies to be worn make it good to co-sleep. Newborns often have irregular breathing, and having the mom's breathing.heartbeat next to them helps them regulate themselves. And there is evidence that babies that are in the bed by the parent's choice (not necessity, like not being able to afford a crib) actually have a lower risk of SIDS. I first heard of co-sleeping when I was PG with #1. The thought made me a little uncomfortable, but now i know it was only bc of all the propaganda. I bought a co-sleeper for Dylan, and he slept in it for a total of one night. After that, he just slept in the bed with me. With Ethan, we got a crib bc I was worried about having enough room in our bed, and I wanted to at least try having him sleep separately. Well, I couldn't do it. Even though the crib was at the foot of our bed, I felt like a terrible mother putting my poor new baby all alone in a cage, while the rest of us were all snuggled together. I ended up bringing him in the bed with me and side-carred the crib to give us some extra room. This is how we sleep now--E in the crib (actually he likes the crack where the crib and bed join, little weirdo :lol:), then me, then D, then DH on the end. People did comment when it came up when I was still working, but now that I'm a SAHM, most of my friends are just as crunchy as I am. Family will sometimes mention it or ask if we think Dylan should be in his own bed. We just say that if we thought he'd be better off in his own bed, we'd put him in one. Duh. They never push it.
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  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    My husband and I cosleep with our 2 1/2 yr old and 13 month old. He enjoys being close to his sons at night. I don't want to get up and do feedings at night. We both have adjusted to requiring little sleep. It would be nice to have both boys in their own room now that we have a room for them, but I'm in no rush. We never bought a crib or beds for them. For a little while my oldest slept on a makeshift bed next to ours but we don't enforce it. There are some ups and downs as we learn how to care for our sons, but nothing that has lead to major grief. My youngest still breastfeeds mostly at night.

    I can't be concerned about others opinions on what we do in our own bed. One of the benefits of being an independent grown up.
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  • cosmicflycosmicfly Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    I coslept with my oldest out of necessity- I went back to work full time wwhen he was 12 weeks old and I physically could not keep getting out of bed to nurse him. When my younger 2 were new, I would put them down in the crib/ basinette if they were going to bed before me and then we would cosleep after their first waking. My younger 2 slept better from birth (although my middle child night weaned and sttn long before her little brother) and I attribute that to the cosleeping.
    Aidan (the baby) currently sleeps in his own room (which adjoins mine and the older kids') in a crib and he seems to like it that way. Sometimes he wants to cuddle in our bed for a while but he always gets wiggly and asks for his 'cribby'. He's been more comfortable in his own space since he was about 6 months old- I would wake after he nursed because he would be so wiggly and restless and he would settle down after I put him in his crib. I got less sleep doing that, though.
  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I just wanted to add that while I know many babies have more wakings when co-sleeping, that isn't always the case. Both of mine started sleeping through the night most of the time at an early age (about 2 months for D and a month for E).
    *Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

    Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
  • PhDCowPhDCow Posts: 1,621Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Looking back now, I kind of wish I'd been more relaxed and allowed us to cosleep. I was SO against it.

    In the past year or so, the kids (now 7 and 5) have been coming up to our bedroom to sleep either in our bed or on the futon. Not every night, but when they're sick or they have a bad dream or sometimes for no reason at all. At first, I freaked out that they would never sleep in their own rooms again and what was I doing to them...

    Then a good friend told me her thoughts on the matter. She said, "As adults, we find warmth and comfort by sleeping next to our partners. Yet we make our most precious and fragile members of our family sleep in cold beds on their own."

    And then I relaxed.
    God doesn't give special kids to special parents. He takes ordinary, imperfect people, and gifts them with his greatest treasures. And therein, he creates special parents.

  • marielle448marielle448 Posts: 1,823Registered Users
    I will say that it is definitely a family choice but for our family it's been nothing but a blessing. We've been cosleeping with our kids since our first was born more than six years ago. Arrangments change as the children reach different stages but it's always been family cosleeping with my husband and me in the bed. We began with our oldest in a queen sized bed. Definitely not the most comfortable arrangment when my husband is 6'4" but about a year later we purchased a king sized bed.

    I didn't really want to cosleep, in fact I remember giving my younger sister quite a lot of flack for sleeping with my nephew, with a "perfectly good crib in the other room". Boy have I eaten crow, but it's the most delicious crow I've tasted. ;)

    Once my second was born I sidecarred the crib with three sides next to my bed by making sure the mattress of the crib was level with ours and using bungy cords to secure the crib legs to our bed's legs. My oldest slept in the middle while baby slept mostly on the opposite side of me in the crook of my arm. In fact, all of my babies sleep in the crook of my arm until they become mobile enough to want to move around a little.

    Once younger brother was about a year old we removed the crib and added a twin right next to our bed. My oldest moved into the twin, younger brother slept in the middle between my husband and me. By the time my third arrived baby again slept in the crook of my arm and then by the time she was about 4-5 months old both older brothers transitioned to their bedroom on a set of bunk beds. It was the most seamless transition ever and I'm very glad we waited to move them in together. I agree with PhDcow's friend that young or old, we seek the comfort of a loved one in our sleep.

    Both boys have done so well in their room. My biggest concern was them being ill but even during sickness they've done well. We typically bump the oldest's mattress off the top bunk when he's sick and usually if it's a fit of puking we're on bucket and towel duty so better that he not sleep over his brother LOL.

    Baby is still sleeping with us and pretty soon I'm going to transition her to the twin sized bed that is still next to ours.

    Regarding the pros and cons. All of my children have had some sort of motion sensor that had them waking from a dead sleep the minute their backs hit the crib or pack and play mattress. They do much better sleeping on their own in our beds. All of my kids have gone through periods of waking more but I've seen that in crib sleeping babies too. A particularly difficult stage is the 7-12 month stage. It seems around that time I would just head to bed with baby since he would wake up about every 20 minutes. However, that was only a stage.

    Our intimacy as a couple has not suffered at all. We snuggle/cuddle, in fact much more so than we used to before children. I find myself no less rested than other moms with kids sleeping in cribs. Parenthood requires just a bit less sleep but I am definitely more well rested by cosleeping. I allow my children to feed on demand, get a reasonable amount of child spacing due to this and haven't had issues with supply. Our children have transitioned to sleeping in their own room seamlessly and we did not experience any of the negatives people warned us about when it comes to cosleeping. Funny thing is the other day my husband was talking to a new mom that works at his office. Somehow they stumbled across the sleeping topic and my husband mentioned we coslept. She looked elated and almost guiltily admitted she was cosleeping with her baby despite the detractors. My husband told her to go ahead and do it, that it was the best arrangement for our family and we've not suffered in the least.

    A bit of info re: the health benefits of cosleeping. I remember reading that newborns go through periods of apnea like breathing for the first several months of life and that sleeping with mom is more likely to spark breathing again to mimic mom's breathing patterns. If you want to read some amazing research on the benefits of cosleeping look up Dr. James McKenna. He's dedicated his career to this.
  • mayimmayim Posts: 2,301Registered Users
    i wanted to share our co-sleeping experience with you. lydia had similar issues with reflux when she was tiny, and had a similar scary breathing scenario, and we took her to the er (it turned out she was fine, but i was being over-cautious).

    we had already planned to co-sleep, but after that, i definitely would not have been able to have her far away from me. it was a mixed blessing, because i was very hyper-vigilant and did not sleep well, but likely i would not have slept well after that scare anyway.

    for me it just felt right, and natural. i think it did definitely make breastfeeding easier, and that was part of what made it feel natural. i think, though, that it has a lot to do with the fact that is just natural for baby mammals to fall asleep with their mamas, and mamas with their young!

    after a while, it became hard for me to sleep next to her, though, because she's a very rambunctious sleeper and i am a light sleeper. we had already moved the mattress to the floor by then because she was getting ready be able to roll over. so we just side-carred her in a little moses basket. that was pretty good.

    when i was going through the worst of my ppd, and was really desperate for sleep, s.o. co-slept with her on the living room floor so he could get up and give her the night feedings (pumped bottles) without disturbing me.

    after she was night weaned (sooner than i had wanted to, but again for sleep deprivation reasons, around 10 months) we transitioned her to a toddler bed in our room. when we moved (she was close to 1.5), we put her toddler bed in her room, and put her to bed in there, but let her come in and snuggle in with us if she woke up in the night.

    i'm only now doing the sleep lady shuffle, because i really need to start sleeping again, and we both actually sleep more soundly separately.

    so, for us it felt natural and right and worked well when she was tiny, and then we eventually transitioned to more night time independence as she got older.

    if you plan to make co-sleeping a part of your family's life, just make sure to check out the suggestions for doing it safely. there is likely some good info on mothering.com's site.

    we slept with our blankets below armpit level, she slept on my side in the crook of my arm (mom is more aware of baby's presence than dad, it tends to be, though my s.o. was very aware with her), make sure you do not co-sleep if you're intoxicated or otherwise likely to sleep too deeply, etc., never co-sleep on a sofa, etc.

    i enjoyed the closeness co-sleeping afforded us, and i think it helped lydia to be very secure and confident.

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  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    I forgot to mention before that we don't get any flack from our doctor - she cosleeps with her daughter too.

    Also, when people would say things about Solomon still sleeping with us, I'd say that we have a twin next to our queen. I never mentioned that he usually wasn't the one sleeping on the twin though... before Abram was born I'd usually put Sol to sleep on the queen, then DH and I would snuggle on the twin when we went to bed, until Sol's first waking when I'd move over to the queen with him.

    And marielle, my husband has been the same way lately. He used to not mention some of our crunchy family choices among mixed company (sort of don't ask don't tell) but has started being more outspoken about things. At his company holiday party this year, a coworker and his wife who have a son Solly's age said their son still drank formula from a bottle and they've been getting flak for it, and asked if Solly still took a bottle. My husband just unapologetically said that he still nurses and apparently everyone at the table's jaws dropped. But we both believe that if we're confident in our choices, there's no reason to be secretive about them.
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  • DelmaDelma Posts: 1,121Registered Users
    We cosleep with izzy and we coslept with our oldest as well, I always thought they would both end up in a crib at some point or so I would say, but honestly I just feel safer when my babies are near me. It definitely was much easier as far as nightnursing goes as well.
    Family members have made little comments here and there but I have never been concerned with what people think of anything I do so it doesn't bother me.
  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    PixieCurl wrote: »
    And marielle, my husband has been the same way lately. He used to not mention some of our crunchy family choices among mixed company (sort of don't ask don't tell) but has started being more outspoken about things. At his company holiday party this year, a coworker and his wife who have a son Solly's age said their son still drank formula from a bottle and they've been getting flak for it, and asked if Solly still took a bottle. My husband just unapologetically said that he still nurses and apparently everyone at the table's jaws dropped. But we both believe that if we're confident in our choices, there's no reason to be secretive about them.

    That's awesome, F! Totally made me smile! My DH will come out with something like that every once in a while, and I don't think he even has any idea how nice that makes me feel. :)
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  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    I never coslept with Ben much because I was too hyperaware of him but he slept in a cosleeper a foot away from the bed for 6 months. My husband was sleeping in another room (he is a light sleeper and had to get up at 5 to go to work). When Ben was 6 months he was only nursing once at night, so he moved into the other room, my husband came back to our bed, with very little issues (because we kept a monitor and I came right to him when he woke up). We nightweaned him at 9 months by having my husband respond to him at night instead of me, and it only took 2 nights.

    I started cosleeping with Nadia in the hospital because I was much more relaxed about things and because it just seemed crazy for her to sleep in that stupid plastic isolette. At home we kept cosleeping. We slept on the futon in her room (with bed rail) and my husband slept in our bedroom. After a few weeks I started working on putting her down in the cosleeper and gently rubbing and patting her so she learned to fall asleep there and I would have a few hours in the evening, and then taking her into bed with me when I came to bed.
    At around 6 months she started waking up much more frequently and not going back to sleep after nursing but wanting to play, and at that point I was back at work so I could not deal. So I moved her into the crib in her room and I stayed on the futon for a while in there. I was still getting up a few times a night to nurse her but I was getting more sleep. I did miss sleeping with her, but I was a zombie and it was just not working for us anymore. Soon after I moved back into our bedroom because I missed sleeping with my husband. Nadia was pretty un-night-weanable until about 15 months, then she started sleeping through most of the night.

    The way I see it sleeping with our babies is absolutely natural and it is what we are meant to do. Kids having separate rooms, even separate beds is a very recent development, and one limited to only certain cultures. In lots of places and everywhere for thousands and thousands of years babies slept next to their moms. It's only the demands of modern society that make it impractical in some cases.
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  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    LOL Its funny to me that people get flack for cosleeping. I'm Indian, and co-sleeping is the norm. So I get horrified looks when I tell people that Sandhya has been in her own room since she was 6 months old. The fact that Karan is 4 years old and still co-sleeping doesn't phase anyone.

    My kids are so different in their sleeping styles. Karan sleeps best with others around. He's also very flexible when it comes to sleeping as a result. Sandhya can not sleep with anyone around. She is a fantastic sleeper at home but a complete PITA to travel with because she just can't get to sleep without her quiet dark crib to herself.
  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    PixieCurl wrote: »
    And marielle, my husband has been the same way lately. He used to not mention some of our crunchy family choices among mixed company (sort of don't ask don't tell) but has started being more outspoken about things. At his company holiday party this year, a coworker and his wife who have a son Solly's age said their son still drank formula from a bottle and they've been getting flak for it, and asked if Solly still took a bottle. My husband just unapologetically said that he still nurses and apparently everyone at the table's jaws dropped. But we both believe that if we're confident in our choices, there's no reason to be secretive about them.

    I think this is important, and it is hard for first time parents. Now that we have Callie and are 3 years into parenting, I found we are much more upfront about our choices.

    This past week some family asked when I was going to ween Callie (after all she is about to cut some teeth, so I should obviously wean her :sad3: ), I said I would like to BF until she is 2 or weens herself. I think with the confidence I showed with my answer (not hesitating) no one questioned my decision.
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  • goldygoldy Posts: 5,463Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    We've co-slept since day 1, and just recently started a little bit of bed-sharing. He sleeps in a mini arms reach co-sleeper that is right next to me in bed. When he was teeny I could easily just reach my arm out to him and hold his hand or rub his belly at night if that's what he needed.
    He sleeps great at night, but just recently (in the past 3 weeks) he has woken up 3 times at off hours (twice at 3:30 am and once at 5:30 am). So I bring him into bed and nurse him and twice now I've let him stay in bed next to me until we wake up in the morning.
    We planned to co-sleep (with the co-sleeper) while I was pregnant, and said we would move him at 6 months. He turned 4 months yesterday, and right now I can't imagine moving him out in 2 months... but we'll see.
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  • MunchyMunchy Posts: 5,206Registered Users Curl Novice
    I did not cosleep with BK until I left my husband last January. It wasn't for me, it was because this child went from being the world's best sleeper to not being able to be detached from me. I can understand that the environment was a 100% turnaround from what she had known her whole life.

    We finally have switched her to a big girl bed. She actually slept on her own, without mommy and I gave her so many kudos. She was more than ready. I told her, BK sleeps in BK's bed and mommy sleeps in mommy's bed. She said, "ok mommy, night night" and we had no problem. :)
  • RheannaRheanna Posts: 2,614Registered Users
    Thank you to everyone who responded. It gave me a lot to think about and a lot of new perspectives. I'm glad there is some science behind my random "feeling" that it was safer to have her in the bed with me. That's amazing if it's true that the mother regulates the baby's breathing patterns.

    I've tried a couple other nights to put Ava in her bassinet unsuccessfully. Like marielle said, since a week or two after birth, it has seemed like she's had some sort of sensor that wakes her when she's put down, no matter how soundly she was sleeping in my arms beforehand. The first week or two, she slept so much allll the time that it wasn't a huge issue MOST nights. After that though, it was an hours long fight every. single. night to get her to go to sleep and stay asleep.

    Before I put her in bed with me, I had spent a couple exhausted nights dozing on the couch with her on my chest on her belly. That's definitely not as safe as having her in the bed with me. Like someone mentioned, I really wanted her to be able to sleep independently without ever having to deal with an issue of kicking her out of my bed and letting her "cry it out." I tried and I did all the "right things" from the get-go, but it hasn't worked for her/us and I can't spend hours every night putting her down, her waking and crying, picking her up, calming her down, and doing it over and over and over again. I have to sleep at some point and so does she.

    So I told my bf the other night that I was going to just plan to do it and stop fighting it. We moved the bed against the wall and took the headboard off the bed so there was no gap between the mattress and the wall. I really expected flak from him because it was something we were "never, ever going to do, no matter WHAT!" Surprisingly he said it was not a problem to him, it allowed us all to get more sleep, and what we had been doing definitely wasn't working for anyone. This coming from the man who told me I was spoiling her by picking her up every time she cried. He's came a long way. :lol:

    I've actually really enjoyed snuggling with her when she first wakes up. It's nice that she doesn't wake up totally foul every time, and sometimes even smiles at me while she's stretching and waking. Granted, I still just have a 2 minute window before the I'm-going-to-starve-to-death-NOW crying begins, but it's better than waking up to it from a dead sleep. :)

    It's funny that some of you say co-sleeping causes more nighttime waking. Maybe if I was BFing, that would be an issue, but instead of waking every 2-3 hours (on good nights!), she's been sleeping at least 4 hours straight in the bed with me. Most nights it's been 5 hours, and one night was over 6 hours straight without waking.
    mayim wrote: »

    so, for us it felt natural and right and worked well when she was tiny, and then we eventually transitioned to more night time independence as she got older.

    if you plan to make co-sleeping a part of your family's life, just make sure to check out the suggestions for doing it safely. there is likely some good info on mothering.com's site.

    we slept with our blankets below armpit level, she slept on my side in the crook of my arm (mom is more aware of baby's presence than dad, it tends to be, though my s.o. was very aware with her), make sure you do not co-sleep if you're intoxicated or otherwise likely to sleep too deeply, etc., never co-sleep on a sofa, etc.

    i enjoyed the closeness co-sleeping afforded us, and i think it helped lydia to be very secure and confident.

    m
    That's what I'm hoping to do too, if it works when that time comes.

    And thank you! I did look up the "rules" so I could be sure we were being safe about it.
    PhDCow wrote: »
    Then a good friend told me her thoughts on the matter. She said, "As adults, we find warmth and comfort by sleeping next to our partners. Yet we make our most precious and fragile members of our family sleep in cold beds on their own."

    And then I relaxed.
    That's a great way of looking at it!

    And like many have mentioned, it used to be the norm, and still is in most cultures around the world.

    I guess like anything else, it's just a personal choice. You do what works for you. It seems to be what works for us. I didn't think I would ever co-sleep and like marielle, had given a couple family members flak about them doing it. I've now apologized though.:lol:
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  • marielle448marielle448 Posts: 1,823Registered Users
    That is one awesome update.

    You know, as a first time mom when it feels like everything is in a tailspin and you're just trying to hold on, there is NOTHING as affirming as making a decision based on your mothering instinct and seeing it work out. That's how you build your confidence and then begin to see that it really all comes down to you and her dad.
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Congratulations, Rheanna. That is wonderful for you both. I wish I had come to this realization sooner with my first. It took me 6 months before I took all the sleeping "props" (side car, bassinett, etc.) down and just admitted that we co-slept. I was very hung up on what babies were "supposed" to do. I even went so far with #2 to set up a crib (first a mini and then a full size) but I just feel better having him with me. There is nothing wrong with giving our children what they need while they need it. Someday, she may not need to have Mama right there, but enjoy it while it lasts. Baby snuggles are the best!
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  • buckeyebuckeye Posts: 129Registered Users
    We co-sleep with our 9 1/2 month old...he slept in our bed next to me for the first 8 weeks, then moved to the PnP next to our bed, then a co-sleeper attached to the side...since he outgrew those, we moved the crib into our room, and that is where he will sleep until he's at least a year! DH is very against it, but I told him if he wants him in his own room, then he will have to be the one to get him and bring him to me when he wakes to eat - that shut him up really quickly :lol:

    I would have continued bed-sharing past 8 weeks, but we both started sleeping poorly...it was getting really hot out, and we both started sleeping better in our own separate spaces...I loved having him close in the PnP/co-sleeper (I could reach out and touch him whenever I wanted), and I was kind of sad when we moved him to his crib in our room (due to space issues, we don't have room for it to be side-carred to our bed)...if it were up to me and I thought it would help us sleep better, he'd still be in bed with me...but DH is even more against bed-sharing than he is co-sleeping, so I caved :/

    With my older son, we only co-slept for about 6 weeks with him in a bassinett in our room...he was FF after the first few weeks, though, so we could take turns getting up with him at night...my younger son is breastfed (even though he's on a boob strike right now :( ), so I have been the one doing 100% of the nighttime parenting with him...
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  • Brown_Eyed_GirlBrown_Eyed_Girl Posts: 1,353Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I'm glad you're finding what works for you all, Rheanna!

    I started out wanting to have Lydia in our bed and found I didn't sleep well with her next to me as a newborn. So I had her sleep next to me in a Moses basket and would pull her up into bed to nurse her laying down.

    When she outgrew the Moses basket, I tried a crib someone gave me, but I couldn't lay her down in it w/o her waking. We coslept for a while until DH came home from deployment. I found that I just feel really claustrophobic sleeping between them.

    Our next arrangement was a pallet on the floor next to our bed. Now she sleeps on a twin mattress on the floor in her own room. I've really liked both of these arrangements b/c I can nurse and/or snuggle her to sleep and then leave w/o disturbing her. I don't think I'll ever try a crib again even though I'm not a huge cosleeping fan myself.

    All of that is to say, just do whatever gets you all the most sleep, and don't be surprised if that changes over time.
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