(Closed) Can someone explain co-sleeping choice?

posted 8 years ago in Babies
Post # 47
Member
651 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I haven’t read all the posts, but I thought I would add my story. In my culture it is completely normal to co-sleep for the first year. It is great for the mother too because she doesn’t need to wake up to breastfeed at night; the breast is right there and the baby just latches on when they are hungry. So more sleep for everyone. 

It is important to note that the mother does not just sleep in the bed next to the baby willynilly. They prop themselves on their sides with a pillow at the knees so it stops them from rolling on their stomach towards the baby. Try it and you will see you won’t roll with a pillow between the legs. Their arm is up under the head and the breast is falling out onto the bed toward the baby. The sheets are removed and there are no blankets or extra pillows for safety. 

Anyway, I didn’t know it was weird until I had friends from other cultures who did not do this (I was the only non-white in my group of friends, so maybe that played a role?). 

Well, when I was a few months old I stopped breathing in my sleep. No reason, just stopped. My mother felt me stop breathing, and she woke up to find me blue and almost dead. She was able to revive me and to this day I am so thankful she decided to co-sleep. If I was in a crib in the room or in another room I would have died. Seriously, SIDS almost got me and it is terrifying to think about. So suffice-it to say I plan on co-sleeping as well but probably with a bed extender thing. 

Post # 48
Member
940 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

Mrs. Spring:  Thanks for your post on your experience co-sleeping. I have a question for you about the transition to her own bed.

My daughter is 7 months old. Until 2 weeks ago, her crib was in our bedroom. First, the crib was at the foot of our bed, and I slept with my head closest to it so that I could reach out and comfort her and talk to her if needed. At about 4 months, we moved the crib to the other side of the room. And two weeks ago, we moved the crib into her own room.

From month 2 to month 5, she slept through the night without nursing and without fussing.  She was swaddled and had a pacifier, and usually she woke up still in her swaddle.

Beginning at about 5 months, she started waking up to nurse in the early morning, and then earlier and earlier, and so at that point, since I was so tired, I usually let her stay in bed with us after the first time she nursed.  I spoke with our pediatrician about this and she suggested that since my daughter has always been in the high 90th percentile for weight, she really didn’t need to nurse at night for nutrition, especially since she went for three months without doing so.  I realized that I may have simply developed a comfort habit for her, so I stopped nursing her and let her stay in her crib.  (Of course, now and then she’ll seem to have an occasional bad night, and she’ll sleep with us then.)  From that point forward, she went back to her old sleeping habits — through the night with little to no fuss.

Around the same time, I realized that we probably also wanted to break the habit of my husband rocking her to sleep every night.  At 4 months, I started utilizing some no-cry sleep practices and eventually got her to the point where she no longer needs to be rocked or even picked up.  My husband or I can comfort her to sleep with our hand and our voice, or comfort her back to sleep the same way if she wakes up.  (OF course, there is the rare time when she is inconsolable, and of course we pick her up at that point.)

Which brings me to today.  We moved her crib to her own room the first night back from a week spent at our family’s home. That was about two weeks ago.  Going to sleep is not a problem.  We have a regular bedtime routine and she falls asleep easily with one of us in the room — usually me.  Sometimes during the night she’ll cry out, so I’ll offer her the pacifier and re-swaddle her if need be.  But sometimes this happens several times in a row and several times during the night. For example, last night she went to sleep at 7pm. She woke up fussing several times around 11pm, then again at 2, 2:30, and 4, and she finally woke up to nurse and begin the day at 5:30am.

We’re a little concerned, since she slept like a champ from very early on, and now all of a sudden things are different.  But she’s had some big changes since then, like the introduction of solid food, sleeping in her own room, and new physical abilities.  And, of course, at 7+ months, chances are good she’s probably teething.  But we, too, loosely follow the Attachment Parenting model, and we want her to have every opportunity and be as comfortable as possible.

I’d love your thoughts!  Apologies for the novel but I figured others might benefit from your wisdom. πŸ™‚

Post # 49
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@eurekaanchovies:  Wow, I’m really flattered!  I’m no sleep expert, lol; I can offer some thoughts, but I appologize in advance if I don’t help much.  πŸ™‚

My first thought is that she is trading her own self-soothing skills for reliance on you/your Darling Husband.  Definitely you want her to know that you’re there to comfort her if she needs it and that she can trust/rely on you, but you also want to encourage her independence (in healthy and age-appropriate ways).  You might start weaning her of you/your husband physically comforting in the middle of the night and just switch to verbal comfort.  You could also try introducing some other sleep cues that will encourage her to self-soothe in the middle of the night and eventually take over for you/your husband.

If she is still being swaddled at night, you might be more limited in what you can use, but it still might be worth a try.  You could try starting be weaning her to only verbally comforting her at night; you can try other audio cues, too, like white noise, or very soft music playing so when she wakes up in the middle of the night it’s the same environment she falls asleep to at the beginning of the night.  Once she weans from the swaddle at night (in a few months or so) you could also introduce a lovey of some kind for her to use when she wakes up at night so she isn’t so reliant on you/your husband.

Also, you can try delaying responding in the middle of the night.  If you go in immediately, as soon as she starts making noise, you might interrupt her self-soothing effort and force her reliance on you to soothe her.  It’s really whatever you feel comfortable with, but giving her 1-5 minutes upon waking before responding may stop her from getting into the habit of relying on you for soothing in the middle of the night.  Right now, we give Addie 5 minutes if she wakes up in the middle of the night (unless she’s really crying, at which point we go in immediately);she’s almost 2, but at 7 months it was like 2 minutes.  Henri is only 7 weeks, but I give him a couple minutes, too, since he’ll sometimes cry in his sleep without actually waking up; I have to wait to respond to him until he’s really awake, which sometimes takes up to 10 minutes of fussing.

Finally, as always, this will eventually end and it will get better.  Babies goes through phases, and sometimes the best response is just waiting it out.  If her sleep is being interrupted by something short term (a new development or teething), she might go back to normal on her own without much intervention; if she is forming a new habit of forgetting her self-soothing skills, it might take a little longer to wean her of it and get her back on the right track.  Whichever it is, it will eventually end and she will sleep better, though I hope that’s sooner rather than later, lol!  Good luck! 

Post # 50
Member
1090 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Has anyone tried a side-car arrangement like this?  My FH and I are no where near ready to have kids, but we have sort of already talked about doing something like this.  I plan on breastfeeding and think it would be soooo much easier to hear baby a foot away and pull him/her right on over rather than wait to hear him/her SCREAMING, wake up, walk down the hall, take him/her out of their crib and rock them, get them back to sleep, then try to get myself back to sleep.  I am such a light sleeper as it is, I know I would have no problems whatsoever waking up to little peeps, and I have a really tough time falling back asleep if I actually get up and move around a lot.  I have never really thought about co-sleeping until recently, and it seems to make a lot of sense if you take the proper safety precautions and if you are “qualified” to do it (like not a super heavy sleeper, don’t sleep walk or something hahaha).  I have heard, unfortunately, that a lot of times when babies get rolled onto or smooshed is when mom or dad is under the influence of something πŸ™ so sad!  

Another question–for people who have co-slept, how did you handle the “intimacy” factor?  Forgive me for saying this, but is it really that wrong to “do it” with baby sleeping in the room in a different location from where you “do it”?  I mean, it’s not like anyone remembers a single thing from when they were a few months old.  Gah, I hope that doesn’t sound as weird as I think it could, I am not trying to be nasty or anything, but I just don’t see the point of making a huge deal out of “sexy time” if you have a co-sleeping baby.  Obviously, once they get a little older, it’s a little different story, but just wondering. Haha. πŸ™‚ 

Post # 51
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@cowgirlace:  We used a co-sleeper that is very similar to the side-carring picture you showed.  It works great!  My only precaution is that you do need to attach the crib securely to the bed so it cannot spearate or create a gap the baby become entrapped in.  There are a few different products on the market to ensure a tight fit, though, so you can do it safely.

As far intimacy goes, we always just put our kids in their crib in the nursery, but it’s also a good reminder that the bed is not the only place you can be intimate.  And babies have no concept of sex, so if you don’t care that they’re in the room, they won’t either.  πŸ™‚

Post # 52
Member
2863 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Wooo boy. I hate this subject. When my son was a baby this would always blow up into a heated debate, but I am glad to see it’s going well here. I did not, would not and don’t like co-sleeping. It is not for me, studies have proven that it increases the risk of SIDs and the latter is plenty good enough of a reason not to. I have never met anyone who co-sleeps whose child is in their own bed at a reasonable age. Their kids are still in their parents beds, no one is getting sleep and often the husband sleeps in another room. 

My son was in his crib from Day One and yes I breastfed. I was tired, but still walked across the house to feed and take care of him at 2 am. He has always been an amazing sleeper and that isn’t luck.It is that way because we allowed it to be. Was it more work at first? Yes it absolutely was, but in the end I have a child who has always slept great and always in his own room. The reward of that is so well worth the initial work of not being lazy and getting up however many times a night I had to. I know that is flame worthy on message boards aka the land of the child rules the roost, we must be as new age/holistic/ attachment parents or else but that’s my view and my story. 

Post # 53
Member
1090 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@mixtapehearts:  I wasn’t saying I didn’t want to do this because I am lazy, I am going to be a doctor and have worked night call in the nights before.  I have no problem getting up at night, I am great at it, in fact!  I just have a problem going back to sleep, and I just see it as a way to get more sleep at night so that way I don’t end up being lazy during the day because I am so tired!  I will probably still be in school by the time I have my first kid, so I am just looking for a way to get as much sleep as possible at night, I think its safe to say that everyone wouldn’t want their doctor to be sleep-deprived, because this is when healthcare workers tend to make the most medical errors! I don’t know though, I can’t really say because I do not have kids, will not have them for a while, my and FH have just been talking about it.  You are very very very lucky that your kid slept well at night, though, because about 1/2 of my nieces and nephews have, and about 1/2 of them have not. I think it all depends on the kid a lot too, people tend to throw babies into a big lumped category when each one of them can be extremely different, starting when they pop out into the world! (Probably even before they pop out).  It is nice to hear both sides of the story though πŸ™‚ 

Post # 54
Member
940 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

@Mrs. Spring:  Thanks for your thoughtful response! I really appreciate it.

My husband and I have both been practicing letting our daughter fuss for a little while before we’ll attend to her needs, and I did what you suggested overnight. I didn’t have to get up once!  She did fuss a little but I put the monitor under my pillow (that way, I could still hear her but my husband couldn’t) and within a minute or two, she was quiet again.  It was an awesome feeling to stay in bed all night again.  Fingers crossed it continues.

Thanks again!

Post # 56
Member
2863 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@cowgirlace:  I didn’t say you wanted to do it because you are lazy. Do I feel a lot of people do it out of laziness? Yep because I have real life proof of it all around me. I am not a Dr., but I have an important and busy job as well. I don’t feel I should use that as an excuse to build a bad habit with my child. Being a parent I know that yes some of how your child is is luck of the draw, but a large part of it is how you raise them. Don’t say I am lucky I have a good sleeper, luck had nothing to do with it. How I raise my son does. Like I said I know this doesn’t go over well with lots of people, but I have a well behaved child who sleeps through the night because I put the effort into making that happen. It worked for my family and I am happy with my choices. Each family has to decide what is right for them and there is no wrong way as long as everyone is happy and healthy. 

Post # 57
Member
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

The AAP (American Association of Pediatrics) recommends that babies sleep in the same room as parents for thefirst year, mostly to help with SIDS (although there’s no secret formula to prevent it). But eachpediatrician has his/her take on it. It will depend on YOUR pediatrician. DS sleeps in our room in his own space; we started out this way to follow the AAP recommendation, especially b/c DS is a preemie. He’s now a healthy 14 month old, & sleeps in our room in part for the convenience of Darling Husband (He’s the PCG since he works at home), and partly b/c we’re waiting for the end of my school year (I’m a teacher) to start the transition so I can take at least half the nights if DS gets up in the middle ofthe night. Occasionally, DS will get up in the middle of the night (maybe once a week or less) or 2 hours earlier than his normal wake up time, & Darling Husband will bring him into bed with us to put him back to sleep faster & without milk (a habit we don’t want to revert back to). He lets me know he’s doing it so I’m aware & it hasn’t been a problem for us, especially since we follow the guidelines for co-sleeping during the times DS is in bed with us. 

It’s really about what works for your family, which you won’t know until your LO makes his/her opinion known. I’ve got friends who still co-sleep with their 20 month old, friends who put their baby in a crib & practiced CIO as soon as their Dear Daughter hit the right weight. If your LO is healthy & happy, whatever you’re doing is what’s right. 

Post # 58
Member
3756 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

My daughter slept with me for the majority of her first three months because I ebf and I just loved having her there. She was in my room until around 10 11 months when she started having issues going to sleep with me in the room. And my husband works nights so I will probably have this lo with me until she sleeps through the night.

Post # 59
Member
921 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@Mrs. Spring:  agreed! A lot of parents will co sleep for naps but not for the night, too.

The biggest thing is keeping blankets away from LO. πŸ™‚

I’m going to say… I know another doctor posted here already, but the risk of SIDS and cosleeping is multifacets. NO doctor will recommend it, because to make it safe there are so many ifs ands and buts. Co-sleeping can be safe, you just have to follow all the rules, and with insurance the way it is  (changing the face of healthcare–doctors have to see more patients to make any money, patients get less time with doctors)–there is no time for a doctor to properly go through any benefits of cosleeping.

 

I also think that many many many people hope they won’t “have to” cosleep–like many of the pps, it is often done because it’s just what the family needs for mom to be rested enough, for baby to eat/sleep/stop screaming.

I think, until you’re there, you really just don’t know. At least–that’s what I’ve been told.

Post # 60
Member
305 posts
Helper bee

Co-sleeping with an infant in dangerous. An infant cannot wake you up in the middle of the night and say “HEY you rolled over on me and you’re suffocating me!” Once a child is old enough to move out of the way or alert their parent, co-sleeping is safer. However, I don’t plan to even co-sleep with my child. Fiance works in the ER and sees way too many accidents that involove co-sleeping. 

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