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co-sleeping mamas are not sleep deprived

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine is working on becoming an LC and went to a conference recently. She did CIO with her first child and was a BIG proponent of that. However, with her second child she has found herself co-sleeping part-time and she just doesn't mind the night waking so much. Anyway, at this conference she went to a session on co-sleeping and breastfeeding, and she told me about a bunch of studies that showed that moms who co-sleep are actually not usually sleep-deprived, even when their children are waking multiple times a night. I was like, really? I'm not sleep deprived? Even though my two year old wakes more often than anybody else's newborn that I know? Even though I haven't slept more than four hours straight in the past two years? Nice. I don't feel that tired. But I thought that was just the coffee.

But seriously...I don't feel that sleep deprived any more. Once I got used to it and gave up on night weaning, I stopped minding the night waking. Mostly.

Just had to share!
post #2 of 23
We coslept for two years and I never felt sleep deprived when she nursed through the night - I did not sleep while she nursed but I concentrated on relaxing my body so that my phsical body, if not my mind, was getting maximum rest all night.
post #3 of 23
We started co sleeping with our twins at 5 mos old. I immediately found myself more rested, even at 11 mos old now with babies kicking me all night!
post #4 of 23
i think i am a rarity but i can sleep through anything. i have even fallen asleep during nap time, while tandem nursing my two. i have never slept better than when my kids are in the same bed. the few times i tried to be "good" and put my dd in the bassinet i was a wreck. (i think twice i nursed her to sleep and she slept for 2-3 hours in it, but i was still hovering )
post #5 of 23
Originally Posted by lookatreestar View Post
i have even fallen asleep during nap time, while tandem nursing my two.
I used to do this, when my two were still tandem nursing. Once they fell asleep I would be out cold. It was my only chance to nap most days.
post #6 of 23
I know for me I am a LOT less sleep deprived then my friend who doesn't co-sleep, I also complain a whole heck of a lot less about being a mom.
post #7 of 23
I was and still am certainly sleep deprived Our youngest left our bed a few months ago when we moved. BUT if I didn't cosleep, I would just not sleep at all, so for us, it is hands down the default arrangement.

I should be fair too; I have disorderly sleep and so do all of my children. We've been working on it for 6 years and have managed to accomplish semi-consistent 9-10 hours of broken sleep with 2-3 hrs of falling asleep time. It's so much better than when none of our dc could sleep more then two hrs at a time and only for eight hrs at night and no daytime naps.

Cosleeping is the only way over here, and sleep deprivation is as good as it gets.

That and sleeping next to a snuggly bundle of sweet baby/child has to be the best thing in the world. I sneak into their room in the early mornings and sleep the last couple of hrs with them when dp has to leave at 5:30 am. It's wonderful.
post #8 of 23
Well, I'm cosleeping with #2 and I'm definitely sleep-deprived. Maybe those of you who aren't are just better sleepers, or your children are. My first woke up every 45 minutes for a couple of months, my second is now 2 y/o and wakes up every 2 hrs. I had health issues w/ DS1 that were definitely related to my ongoing lack of sleep. DS2 went through a month or two where he'd willingly sleep in his crib and I slept (and felt) MUCH better.

I agree that in the early newborn months cosleeping helps, but once they're able to go longer stretches w/o nursing, IMHO sleeping w/ them just encourages them to wake frequently, or at least that's been our experience.

I read an article in the NYT that a study had been done that found causation between having children and not getting restful sleep. The depressing thing was that it was ongoing--for the rest of their lives, mothers didn't get the quality of sleep they had pre-children.

Sheesh, I'm being a downer, off to get more coffee. Why not, I've been up since 4:30a.
post #9 of 23
I can agree with that nyt study; I know my sleep has not been the same since pregnancy and having to wake up all the time to switch positions and go pee! I get much better sleep now that he's born. I think some of it may depend on what sort of sleeper you were pre-children. I have always been able to do well with about 6 hours of sleep or so. I haven't felt sleep deprived since DS was born, tbh - though he has slept 4 hour stretches since very early on, so with one waking we got 8 hours of sleep. he has slept a 5-6 hour stretch since about 8 weeks I think. It make make a difference that he starts out the night in the co-sleeper, as he goes to bed often before I do. He only comes in the bed with us for or after that midway feeding.

ok, I did feel sleep deprived after valentines day when he was up all night screaming with gas and coughing on the Post nasal drip he had because he was crying so much and so hard. Thank goodness it was only that one night. and this is just baby stuff; had nothing to do with co-sleeping.

my friend that doesn't co-sleep or even room-share with her LO's when they are small (their noises keep her awake) has to get up out of bed, walk down the hall, and sit to nurse. that would drive me crazy. Now her youngest - 6 months - basically sttn, but needs to a dream feed around 10 pm. personally I find all ds's little noises and grunts and sighs very reassuring! I don't know if I'd sleep as well without it.
post #10 of 23
I've gotten a lot of comments about how well-rested I look and no one can believe that my 14mo DS wakes 5-10 times a night!!

The ironic part is I have severe chronic fatigue syndrome (or possibly something else, currently being re-evaluated) and I'm always weak/fatigued... but not sleepy (if that makes any sense). I don't even get to nap since I WAH while DS sleeps (& go to bed late & wake early), so I cannot IMAGINE how sleepy I would be if I wasn't co-sleeping. In the beginning I really fought the whole co-sleeping thing (bought into the mainstream fears etc.) and once I stopped fighting it (i.e. stopped moving him to the co-sleeper constantly) & just cuddled up next to him I felt less sleep-deprived. But that doesn't stop me from using the "I wake up with the baby every hour all night long" excuse with my DH!!
post #11 of 23
Well I have never not co-slept, at least with my babies and so I guess I can't compare to how I would feel if I didn't. But I feel sleep deprived.
With ds 1 he woke about every hour and by 18 months I did nightwean because I couldn't take it anymore. Ds 2 gives me much more longer stretches of sleep, usually 1.5 -3 hours. I can tell I am much more rested and patient after the nights he sleeps longer. I also don't work out of the home when my babes are little, so I can usually stay in bed for 9-10 hours with interrupted sleep. I could not imagine feeling well rested if I were up and getting ready for work with dh at 6:00 am!

But then as I said I have never NOT coslept. I think sleep deprivation on some level is just a part of parenting.
post #12 of 23
It seems reasonable to say that co-sleeping mamas may be less sleep-deprived, but I also doubt that I am not sleep-deprived at all. That would be nice, though!
post #13 of 23
Originally Posted by To-Fu View Post
It seems reasonable to say that co-sleeping mamas may be less sleep-deprived, but I also doubt that I am not sleep-deprived at all. That would be nice, though!
There you go. That's what I was trying to say in my pp but I guess I was too sleep-deprived to get the words out right!
post #14 of 23
I agree with to-fu as well. I would have been DESTROYED if I hadn't coslept but I certainly was still very sleep deprived. Although I really am not a great sleeper to start with.
post #15 of 23
Definitely still sleep deprived even though we co-sleep. I think it just comes with the territory of having a baby. I'm sure it would be much worse if we didn't co-sleep though so I muddle through.

Not looking forward to returning to work next week and having to be up and ready to leave the house at 6:30 AM!!
post #16 of 23
Usually, I feel pretty good and wouldn't consider myself sleep deprived. In fact, the go at your own pace schedule of motherhood has left me much more rested than the stay out all night hanging out with friends or studying life of high school and college. There are always those nights (like last night) when she doesn't go to sleep well, doesn't stay asleep well, and gets up at 5:30 in the morning. Following the advice to sleep when the baby sleeps, I'm able to catch back up pretty easily.
post #17 of 23
I would not be able to sit here and type if my son and I did not sleep snuggled up together. It has saved us. I too get the remarks from people on how great I look for being up 5-10 times a night. The thing is that (aside from last week with a new tooth coming in) the night nursing is brief, and far LESS disturbing than getting up, going down the hall to another room, nursing baby in a chair, getting him back in the crib, settling myself back etc. For the most part I'm ok, totally functioning and happy. (the teething weeks are hard though with 1-2 hour nursing sessions twice a night! that disturbs me).
post #18 of 23
Definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY sleep deprived, but would be more so than if we weren't co-sleeping. Would be even less if I were one of the lucky mamas that could fall asleep on her side while nursing, but that just doesn't happen!
post #19 of 23
I started sleeping much better when my son turned 2...that's when we started co-sleeping.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I meant the title to be ironic, because most of the time I either feel sleep deprived or else think I MUST be when I think about how little sleep I get! But I thought it was cool that my formerly CIO friend told me that. And I really don't feel tired a lot of the time.

It's weird. When I try to night wean (I've had four unsuccessful bouts of that so far), THEN I feel sleep deprived. When I THINK about how often I wake at night, then I feel sleep deprived. When I give up, tell myself that a two year old waking every two hours is perfectly normal, and just go with the flow, I feel fine.

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