Background: I have two DD's who I co-slept with and who, as babies, would typically latch on easily, fall asleep easily and fall back asleep relatively easily. It got to the point where I'd barely be aware they were nursing at night...
Fast forward 7 years to when DS was born. He started off being a little particular about sleeping at night. He would sometimes cry out suddenly in the night, or fuss when he'd choke on my overactive let-down, and sometimes it would take him a while to settle back down. After about a month he started sleeping for longer stretches and being less fussy at night. He would sometimes go (to me) an alarming 5 hours at a time without waking! But typically 3-4 hours was pretty normal, and a little bit of restlessness trying to get him settled back in as we struggled to find just the right position that made him happy (he'd arch his back if he was uncomfortable in a certain position). Some nights were better than others but I felt we were getting adequate rest.
Then when he was almost 3 months we decided to get him a couple vaxes. This was a tough decision for me, since I'd quit vaxing my kids altogether in Jan 2003, but had revisited the issue and decided on selective vaxing. He only got Pc and Hib and that night slept pretty soundly but then we were in for a week of hell. He started waking every hour at night, often refusing to latch on, and arching his back a lot. He'd gotten congested and I think struggling to breathe was a factor, til we got a vaporizer going which helped a little.
After about a week, it seemed his runny nose was subsiding and he started sleeping longer stretches again; however, I'm learning it's very inconsistent, and it seems there's been some permanent regressive changes. Last night he woke up every 2 hours and didn't seem to be happy in any position. It took me 15-30 min each time to get him back to sleep. Every little thing seems to bother him now: wet diaper, laying in a position he doesn't like, choking on milk, DH rolling over, and I even discovered once all that was bothering him seemed to be one *tiny* little burp, after which he went immediately back to sleep. And even when he has "good" nights, they are still not nearly as refreshing sleep-wise as they had been prior to his shots and not nearly as refreshing as they had been with my DD's.
The point is, I always touted the family bed as the way to get a good night's sleep with a baby. It had always been so easy for me. But now I've been feeling like a zombie and thinking, if it's taking me up to a half hour to get DS back to sleep, how is this any better than having him in a crib?? And in fact I sometimes wonder if DH and me are inadvertently disrupting him and maybe he'd actually sleep longer in our arms reach (which we got just to appease DH's parents, even though currently it's just full of cloth diapers LOL). But I don't even know how to use a crib--LOL! I've never been able to set babies down and have them stay asleep, so that doesn't even seem like a practical option. Plus I love snuggling my babies at night. But this is starting to wear on me, and I'm at a loss for why or what to do. Anyone else have a LO that seemed restless even in the family bed? How did you handle it? Does it get better with time? Is it possible I'm having selective memory after all these years and that it isn't til babies are a bit older that you can count on an easy night with the family bed?