Hi! I just joined because my husband and I bedshare with our daughter, who has her first birthday in a few days, and I need to vent/have a few questions about how things are going for us.
So, my daughter, has been, and relatively speaking still is, a good sleeper and has been since birth. We bedshare by choice; I'm breastfeeding and she still likes to night nurse, and it's just easier that way. Also, as a full time working mom I like the extra closeness that it gives us. I've also been against CIO as a philosophy since reading about the debate long ago. A couple months ago, however, I started questioning my choices for a couple reasons. Well, first of all, since we never did any sleep training, she does need to be put to sleep; sometimes nursing on its own does the trick, other times she'll need to be rocked for awhile, but almost never for very long (max would be an hour, but it's usually nowhere near that long). Still, she has little to no ability to go to sleep on her own. It's the same for night wakings; never in her life has she woken up in the night and then not gone back to sleep after nursing (yes, I know I'm lucky), but she is still waking fairly often. When she was younger I could give her her pacifier and she'd go back to sleep, but now she wants the boob. I'm fairly certain she is not hungry and just wants it for comfort reasons.
Also, we used to be able to get her to take naps and start the night in her crib once we had her asleep, but, because we weren't consistent about it, she won't do that anymore. Even if we think she's soundly asleep (including if she's been asleep for a couple hours and we try to transfer her from our bed to the crib), she pulls to standing and starts screaming hysterically as soon as we put her down. I do love bedsharing, but I would like for my husband and me to have the bed to ourselves at least sometimes, and I wonder what I've gotten us into.
So, I guess I just have a couple questions.
1. I know the experts who advocate co sleeping say bedsharing kids will eventually leave their parents' beds on their own, but has this been your experience? Was the transition out hard? WILL she ever learn to go to sleep without nursing and/or rocking?
2. What about putting a mattress on the floor of her room, and co-sleeping with her there for part of the night?
3. Just tell me I'm not doing something wrong by not doing any sleep training with her! Sometimes I feel like I messed up a good sleeper by choosing to bedshare when she didn't really "need" it.
Welcome to MDC. We have shared a bed with our 20mo since birth. I can offer you my perspective on your questions but we have not tried to move our LO out of the family bed so take what I say with that in mind
So, I guess I just have a couple questions.
1. I know the experts who advocate co sleeping say bedsharing kids will eventually leave their parents' beds on their own, but has this been your experience? Was the transition out hard? WILL she ever learn to go to sleep without nursing and/or rocking? Yes, she will. Whether that is within the timeframe *you* have in mind is another matter entirely I don't think there is any harm in continuing to bed share as long as it is still agreeable to everyone involved. If it is no longer working for one of you then it is also reasonable to change it but, if your LO is not the one to initiate the change then it may be difficult for her for during the transition.
2. What about putting a mattress on the floor of her room, and co-sleeping with her there for part of the night? It's definitely worth a try. If I was going to do that then I would probably start the night in my bed and then move to hers as my LO needs more feeding in the early hours of the morning than when she first goes to bed.
3. Just tell me I'm not doing something wrong by not doing any sleep training with her! Sometimes I feel like I messed up a good sleeper by choosing to bedshare when she didn't really "need" it. You're not doing anything wrong. Bed sharing is healthy and beneficial to babies and their parents. And when you say she didn't "need" it, she may have been able to sleep in her cot but sleeping with you and having your presence and comfort has been very good for her. I guess it may not strictly be a need in the true sense of the word but it's still very important IMO.
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
Soon after weaning, getting him to sleep was easy. I'd tell him its bed time and he would fight for a bit wanting to stay up, but eventually give up and fall asleep on me, either bouncing or rocking. Soon after his 2nd birthday, I wanted to make sure that he wasn't becoming dependent on rocking or bouncing so I started laying him beside me in bed, which was hard at first, he's very active and never wants to just sit or lay anywhere! It would take longer, but after singing some lullaby's to him and rubbing his back or his head, he would fall asleep just laying there. Now he's 26 months and to the point where we can just lay in bed with all the lights off and he will just go to sleep with us. I do have to remind him that its bedtime when he starts talking to himself once in a while. But that's expected.
Anyways, sry this is long, but I just wanted you to know my experience with it. My child is an excellent sleeper, and I feel that is because we've bedshared with him.
Be confident in your decisions, I've questioned myself many times, but in the long run this has all been worth it. You are a wonderful Mommy, and your child will be a better sleeper in the future because of your instincts. So do what feels right to you!
Of course we haven't transitioned our boy to his own bed. Not even tried. So no experience there. My plan is to wait until he can understand a little bit more, and wait til he really wants to. I feel if its his decision, it will be easier.
Hope this will help you in some way.
Mama to 1 handsome boy born Nov 29/2009 and 1 beautiful girl born May 21/2013 and wife to 1 handsome man, married since Jun 9/2007.
I second the idea that you are not doing anything wrong.
I am a big believer in slow and steady practice. I want my babies with me. My goal with my newborns is to answer their needs immediately but as they get older I want to steadily guide them into greater independence. I think that *eventually* your children will want to stop cosleeping completely of their own accord, but without any encouragement that could easily be 7 or older. Still that doesn't mean you need to boot your kiddo out of bed in one horribly traumatic week as your only possibility. From 8 months on I have made slow small adjustments to how and where my kids slept, respecting their needs and edging them in the direction I want us to head. My oldest (almost 4) still sneaks into our bed around 5am, but he goes to sleep on his own in his bed, in his own room now and we have never had bed time trauma with him. I actually love that he comes back into our bed but he will have to stop before #3 arrives. I don't expect any issue. My younger child goes to bed in her crib (put down awake) and sleeps half the night there and then we cosleep from the middle of the night on.
For your question #2 - Some people do that. Usually kids go to bed earlier than adults though and it always made more sense to me to practice having them go to sleep alone in their own spot while you have your adult evening time, and then bringing them into your bed later.
And #3 - You are not doing anything wrong as long as it works for you and your kids. One thing I do think is important is that you start working to solve any problems before they become so severe you need to make big changes in a short time. It is more respectful to your kids to avoid pulling the rug out from under them so to speak.
XM,: mama to ds (5/08), dd (9/10) and ds (6/12) ! :C.H.S & M.