Why do you co-sleep? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I ask because I'm wondering if I would do it if I didn't have to. Ds absolutely will not sleep alone. Ever. He has to be in contact with somone to sleep. Usually only I will do. I used to get very frustrated that I could never get a minute alone durings nap or before bed, but I've mostly accepted it. I try to focus on how blessed I am to be able to snuggle with my baby.  These days won't last forever and those snuggles will be some of my most precious memories.  However, I must admit that I would prefer a side-car type arrangement for nighttime if he would let me and I would definitely prefer a few minutes to myself during naps.

 

I know there are probably exceptions to this, but it seems to me that most babies start off needing to sleep with someone but easy going babies learn to do without if that's what their parents prefer. Of course we all know about CIO methods used for the not so easy going babies. This leads me to believe that many of us must be co-sleeping because our babies need it, regardless of whether or not we love sleeping with them.

 

So, do you co-sleep because you love it even though your baby would sleep soundly alone? Do you do it because it's the only way anyone gets any sleep? A little of both?


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#2 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 07:40 AM
 
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I use to sleep with my baby and I started to never get any sleep I had to force the change.  She was in the pack and play for awhile then I moved her to the crib and it was hard at first but Im alot better now.  You just have to find something to help replace the soothing that you provide.  Try a croshay blanket binky a toy that plays soothing music.  I made the mistake with my first and she still doesnt want to sleep alone.  My second is completely broken of the habit. 

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#3 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure I could replace what he needs with a blanket or other soothing device...he needs ME and has made that very clear time and again. I've tried many things and I have concluded that he is a sensitive kid who needs physical contact to feel safe and soothed during sleep (and when awake...but that's another thread!) I honestly don't mind giving him what he needs by sleeping with him, I just wonder if that's why other people do it.

 

I should add that I don't view his dependence on me to sleep as a habit that needs breaking, but as a need to be met. 

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#4 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 07:59 AM
 
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I co sleep because it's 1. easier for me and 2. It's safer for baby.   All the major studies have shown lately that babies should be sleeping with or near momma. This cuts down the risks of SIDS dramatically. Also, if there was a fire or an earthquake, I want my helpless child WITH me, not in another room!  


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#5 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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My DD slept horribly in a crib! When we started co-sleeping it was a million times better.

 

I really started co-sleeping b/c (first and foremost) I stopped listening to all the lies form people (it's better, she needs independence, you will never get her out of your bed ect ect)

 

Also it *feels* biologically normal

 

Co-sleeping is REALLY beneficial to babies and children. Emotionally, physically, and mentally.

 

Even if she had a couple more wake-ups than if she would have in a crib, I would still do it b/c I really believe it is what's best for babies. They need that constant contact and reassurance.

 

"others link cosleeping to better behavior, greater levels of happiness, fewer tantrums, less fear and fewer psychiatric problems. In adulthood, children who once coslept have been found to have higher levels of "confidence, self-esteem and intimacy". No evidence was found that cosleeping children became clingy or dependent as a result."(4)

 
http://www.breastfeeding.com/reading_room/co_slepping.html (this one has lot's of studies done showing less stress ect
 
Stress in a baby can interfere with brain development.
 
Sometimes it can be a pain in the butt (just like any other parenting decision I have made) but just like choosing to BF over FF I believe it is what's best for my baby and wouldn't second guess it.
 

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#6 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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Also want to add DD was/is a very high-needs child, yet since 12 m/o has been very independent and assured. She behaves so well and entertains herself most of the day. (this was the baby that was worn 12hrs a day and slept with the other 12!) She is so confident and NOT clingy even though she is still high needs/spirited. I think my parenting choices have really molded her into the self assured well behaved loving and empathetic child she is today. People are always amazed at how she carries herself and how happy she is. Even when playing with other children she doesn't hit, or bite, or push--nothing! She just plays happily and will communicate to me when someone hurts her--but she doesn't even retaliate. Our communication is amazing and our bond is indescribable. Above all things we trust and respect one another. I think respecting her helps a ton as well.

 

Disclaimer: I am not trying to judge anyone or their relationship with their child or their child's behavior I am simply stating my experience with my child and the fact I believe co-sleeping has greatly influenced this by our connection to one another.


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#7 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 10:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkvosu View Post

I'm not sure I could replace what he needs with a blanket or other soothing device...he needs ME and has made that very clear time and again. I've tried many things and I have concluded that he is a sensitive kid who needs physical contact to feel safe and soothed during sleep (and when awake...but that's another thread!) I honestly don't mind giving him what he needs by sleeping with him, I just wonder if that's why other people do it.

 

I should add that I don't view his dependence on me to sleep as a habit that needs breaking, but as a need to be met. 


I am with you 100%. I cosleep/bedshare with my toddler because that is what he needs. I will continue to do the same with this next child. If I didn't HAVE to, I probably wouldn't. well, except for when they are in that sweet wonderful newborn phase and you are still hyped up on hormones. It would be so much more convenient to just put them down and have them sleep autonomously. I have really enjoyed the precious nights when we get DS to sleep and DH puts him into his own bed (still in our room). I cosleep and bedshare because it is what my kid needs and it is the easiest way for both of us. I can't imagine going through the stress of trying to sleep train or force a different bedtime routine. That is just way too much work for me! I can see that my son is already starting to wean from the family bed and in a few years he'll be gone. Just a few short years. Not a hard price for peace in my home.


><> I'm a Christian, knitting, sewing, cooking SAHM to the fearless adventurer Jack born 11/08, and  a  USCG wife
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#8 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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My son is 8 now and sleeps in his own room. But we co-slept like you because he was high need and breast-fed and I got more sleep that way. When he was 2 and weaned, and much less high need, I tried to get him to sleep in his bed but he always came into ours and I didn't have the energy in the middle of the night to put him back over and over. At 3 he started to sleep in his own bed but then we divorced and the stress of moving and my going back to work brought him back to my bed and at that point we both needed it and I was grateful for it. Today, he sleeps in his own bed but he still likes to give his mom hugs and even sit on her lap sometimes . He is a well rounded child who has turned out quite nicely and I feel that all those tiresome attachment parenting methods paid off because he is a GREAT kid and we are very close today. It is hard for you now--I know--I didn't always want to do it that way either--I did it because my kid needed it. But trust me--when your kid is in the second grade and you're volunteering in the classroom and you see the differences between the mainstream-parented kids and the kids who were worn and breast-fed for more than a couple months and co-slept (small town here), you will feel that it was worth all the exhaustion. I resented the attachment parenting at times but today I know it was best. If I had it to do over again, I would, regardless of whether my kid demanded it. I think it turns out better people. Honestly.   

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#9 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 10:34 AM
 
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In my perfect world, DS would sleep soundly all night in the side-carred cot. But he is a person who needs the physical contact all night too. There has been some nights when I can put him down in the cot (crib) and he stays asleep until I go to bed, but not very often. He is much the same when awake too. Needs lots and lots of contact. He and your DS were born on the same day, by the way! 


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#10 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 10:45 AM
 
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We Co-Slept with dd1 until she was just 4 or so. Then she transitioned to her own bed in our room. She just moved into her room as she turned 5. Had she had a room to move into (it was just remodeled) I think we would have moved her out of our bed earlier. We co-sleep with our new baby (2days old), but dh would prefer we get her in the cosleeper by the bed as soon as we can. I am fine with that, but the main reason I cosleep is to give me more sleep with nursing. There really isn't a way to nurse a newborn to sleep then move them into a cold bed. Anyway, we have loved cosleeping, but would like to do a room share with our own beds a little earlier than we did with dd1.

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#11 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 11:27 AM
 
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At first, my husband and I made the decision that co-sleeping was for us. But at 5 months I decided that since I had not received a good night's sleep in months, something had to change. We got a crib and tried to make the transition, but nothing worked. I co-sleep now, just like you, because my 6 1/2 month old will not sleep without me for naps or bedtime. She won't even let me leave the bed to potty without taking her with me. She sidecar slept maybe 10 times total in the first 3 months and then wouldn't go back in there again. I got frustrated for a while as well, probably because I felt like a zombie, I was getting nothing done, and my nipples were raw from her pacifying all night. Then, one day during our nap I had an epiphany, kind of like you, that this must be what she needs right now. How could I deny her of this and force her into a space she is not happy in? I also realized how much I enjoy that cuddle time as well, even if my mind is racing the whole time with all the things I could or should be doing. I bring a book in with me, let her nurse if she wants and tell myself that this is a phase and that if I give her what she needs now, she'll be better off later.

 

I would love if we got the point where either naps or bedtime were by herself, so at least I could get a little done, but we  could still have the bonding time we both love. 

 

Lately, though, she doesn't want to sleep at all, even if I'm there with her. She wants to flip over on her tummy and play. She fights naps and bedtime so much. Sometimes it takes 2 hours to get her to sleep. Any advice?

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#12 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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It sounds like co-sleeping is not really your thing & that's OK.  I wanted to co-sleep before my son was born, but never mentioned it to hubby for fear he wouldn't be receptive.  He actually brought up the subject (I have no idea where he learned about it) and thought it would be nice.  My hubby works a lot of hours & it gives him more time to spend with our son.  Also on the weekends we could relax in bed with him & there was no rush to get up.  As he got older he would play on the floor & we would lie in bed relaxing & watch him play.  Even at 4.5 yrs old he mostly goes to sleep by himself (this was his choice he says the bed it too sqishy & he complains about my snoring) if he wakes up durring the night or early morning he will crawl into be with us or just me if hubby is alread up.  We love it.  Now that I'm pregnant he keeps telling me he wants the baby to sleep in his bed.  I get pleny of sleep co-sleeping & I would have gotten less without it.  I plan to co-sleep with this little one too.

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#13 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 07:24 PM
 
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We cosleep because it's what's best for us and our daughter. The moment it stops working for all of us, we will move her to the crib. When she was first born, we had her in a bassinet right by my side of the bed. When she was 4wks old, she started crying when I'd put her in the bassinet after a middle-of-the-night nursing session. I'd get her out & try to nurse her some more but she would fall asleep. After a few more [failed] attempts to transfer her to the bassinet, I decided to leave her in the bed with us. She slept the rest of the night! Shortly after that she began sleeping all through the night and she's now 6.5 months old and still sleeping soundly. She sleeps in a co-sleeper bed that lays directly on top of our mattress. Right now she doesn't like to take naps in her crib and we haven't tried tried to put her in at night yet - just not ready for that. I am so scared that something will happen with her in another room and I won't know about it. Besides, she takes naps by herself other places (the couch is a fav.) and doesn't need us to be right there, physically touching her. I guess it's not something we have to do but we certainly enjoy it!

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#14 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 07:59 PM
 
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I started when it got cold in winter.  I am a first time mom and did not want to wake up to a cold, lifeless baby.  Morbid, I know.  She was 35 weeks when she was born and I wanted to make sure she was ok when she came home and was warm enough.  It was cold for months.  so cold.  Then I started nursing laying down-and haven't stopped since.  It allowed me more sleep time and took no prepping i.e. nursing pillow, sitting up, holding baby up, etc.  I continue to nurse exclusively and she is 5 mos.  We sleep with her and I feel safer than having her in another room (too many horror stories of getting there too late). If something is wrong, I will immediately know and it will take small noises or rustling rather than a scream loud enough to be heard that may not even be possible depending on the situation.  For this reason we had a co-sleeper but I could never figure out how to breastfeed in that.  Maybe our bed was never able to align with it properly.  But I feel much safer knowing if she fusses I can heck her right away.  I sleep with one eye open ever since she was born but I know I sleep better rather than being too scared to fall too deep asleep if she was in another room or even in the co-sleeper and I know I therefore would not sleep a wink.  I am aware of the dangers and understand that they are very real.  I must always keep DH who is a heavy sleeper from rolling over her arms or hands or body and covering her with the sheets or putting her arm on her.  I catch it right away if he ever rolls on her even a little and when she is deep asleep she doesn't feel it, but I catch him anyway if he is on her hand or arm and I push him off kinda hard since I do it quickly.  He moves and may end up sleeping right on the edge.  I cannot turn my back towards her. ever.  I switch positions all night long (right side for right breast, left side for left breast) but she only breast feeds twice a night.  We keep her warm and well fed while getting the best sleep possible.  One BIG reason:  she ONLY sleeps at the breast.  Otherwise she does not sleep.  No pacifiers, no bottles, no blankies or toys; she only takes my breat and falls asleep with it.  If I move her she wakes up and cries.  Maybe if she is deeply asleep she won't.  Hmm I may try that.  But I'd only move her to the co-sleeper.  And if she fusses for boob, I'd have to put her back in bed.

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#15 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 09:07 PM
 
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I LOVE co-sleeping. I cosleep for all the reasons posted above (safety, feeling of closeness, natural bonding, ease of BF and extra sleep) but I LOVE when I see DS's face light up when he sees both his parents around him in bed, I love the snuggles and the kicking and squirming (DS is now 14 months) doesn't bother me much.
DS lets me sneak away in the evening and during naps and I believe I could teach him to sleep in a crib, but I like (and feel a lot less anxious) having him right next to me.

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#16 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 09:25 PM
 
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I coslept because it felt right. Strongly right to have DD next to us. She's 8 now and sleeps in her own room, but comes to ours every morning at about 3:00. We cherish the time with her.
She is also very empathic, loving, cuddly, and creative. She wakes up singing just about everyday.

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#17 of 22 Old 03-16-2011, 10:17 PM
 
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I do a little of both, starting in packn play in our room, then with us.  My hubby also brought it up and was game. Now I love it simply because the three of us wake up together and DS is always a gem first thing in the morning which is a good way to erase any suffering from lack of sleep through the night.  It's best when we can hang out for a few minutes or even an hour and just be a family.  Having said that I enjoy the time when DS is asleep somewhere else too. 


 Happy sleeping everyone!


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#18 of 22 Old 03-17-2011, 03:24 AM
 
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We made the decision to co-sleep before J was born because we felt that the closeness would be beneficial to her. It's also really nice not to have to get out of bed for feeds. I don't know how she would sleep overnight without us because we've never tried. She usually sleeps fine by herself for naps and for the first part of the night before we go to bed so I certainly have more freedom than some of the mamas here.

 

We also absolutely love co-sleeping. It feels so good to all be snuggled in there together. And, like Marinak's LO she is so *delighted* when she wakes up and sees us. It is one of the highlights of our day, every day. Best decision we ever made.


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#19 of 22 Old 03-17-2011, 08:09 AM
 
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Because for now, it's what he needs.  If he didn't need it, I probably wouldn't do it.  But I don't resent it.  The tradeoff for me is that if he slept in a crib he'd probably still need 1 or 2 night feedings at this age, and that requires me to get up out of bed, become fully awake, feed him, get him settled back in the crib, and then fall back asleep myself.  Yes, he nurses every hour or two in bed with me but I get to just lay there and let the prolactin put me back to sleep.  He did sleep in a crib for awhile (maybe 10 weeks to about 4 months?) and I would find that I would wake up at his usual feeding time, even if he didn't.  But I would be convinced that he'd be waking up any minute, so I'd lay awake for an hour and then just be falling back asleep when he would start to cry.  That's another thing I don't have to deal with when cosleeping!


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#20 of 22 Old 03-17-2011, 09:48 AM
 
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When my son was born, nearly 3 years ago, I had to have an emergency c-section, which meant that I couldn't feed him lying down in bed (I was too uncomfortable)  - I fed him sitting up and put him straight back into his Moses basket by the bed. 

As he got older (and now), if he woke at night, we'd bring him in with us.

 

I now have a daughter who is just a year old. She was born naturally, and I was very excited that I could feed her lying down at night - it was so much easier than the wakeful nights I had with my son, and we all slept better because of it. 

I still breastfeed her, which I am proud of (I feel more and more as though I am venturing into unknown realms as so few people are feeding for this long - those who don't (including family members), keep telling me I've done enough and give me advice on how to stop.....

It has made her more attached to me, and about two months ago I brought the No Cry Sleep Solution book, by Elizabeth Pantly – my daughter started waking more frequently, and although she didn’t need to feed for hunger, she fed for comfort. I actually decided that I couldn’t do the half-hearted approach to co-sleeping (putting her back in her own room, because I thought she ‘ought’ to be there) and she now sleeps beside the bed in her cot. She’s not a ‘perfect’ sleeper…and nor is my son, but what child really is?!

They grow up so fast, and for us, at this moment, it works. 

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#21 of 22 Old 03-19-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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DS is 2 years 10 months and was a crib sleeper when born (in our room).  He was an easy going baby and simply had no problem with it.  He has co-slept on and off since 7 months old but more or less every night since 2 years.  I think it's because once he had to go in a proper bed (due to climbing out of crib) he likes to sneak in with us.  Having said that, he starts off the night in his own bed, but comes into ours between 2 and 4am.  He doesn't bother me in there at all, though I am 21 weeks pregnant so am a bit worried that when I have the baby (planning on the baby sleeping in a crib in our room) DS will wake when I am feeding him or her.  Hopefully it will all work out!!  DS says lovely things when he wakes up, like "Ah, I give you a cuddle mommy, I love you so much" or he starts talking about strange things like asking when Santa is coming again, something he has not mentioned since December!

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#22 of 22 Old 03-21-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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I have two boys, now 11 and 9.  My husband and I co-slept with our oldest in the middle until the second came along.  The oldest loved to hold noses as a comfort strategy--especially going to sleep and sometimes during the night randomly.  I still can hear my husband saying, "ah, Kiran...." then there'd be some shifting.  Luckily, my nose was never required.  We chatted about this at the dry cleaners once and a Korean man told my husband to switch the hand from now to ear and he'll go to that.  Well, 11 years later and my oldest still loves cuddling intimate family members' ears and occassionally his old best friends.

 

When my second son came along, I believe we just extended the floor mat we slept on so that our older son was still next to us.  My husband would have the oldest while I nursed or cuddled the youngest.  I nursed my oldest for 13 months (but had to stop because I wanted to get pregnant and I wasn't menstrating yet).  I nursed the youngest until he was five (mostly a quick one at home towards those last years and mutually agreed when we ended).

 

After we bought our condo and moved (boys were maybe 4 & 6), we had a two bedroom.  The little one would arrive in our bed occassionally those first couple years til there was really no room.  The boys co-slept until they got new bunk beds when they were 7 & 9 years old.  They still occassionally cuddle (but the younger one complains about the ear cuddling and the older complains about too active sleeping for the younger).

 

We all were really comfortable and happy with the arrangements.  I think it helped build the boys' own close relationship.  It also helped keep all of us together longer (now it seems my husband may have asperger's which means emotional connectedness is almost impossible for him).  We built up a family feeling that really helped.  It's still a personal decision.  I now have such bad joints that I can barely share the same bed with my husband because I need full freedom to move around to relieve all the pain.  I'm glad we did it though. 

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