Can We Start Bed Sharing With 5 Month Old Baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 07-20-2012, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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For a while now, I have been having regrets for not bed sharing. While I was pregnant, I was misinformed and extremely afraid of SIDS and decided that our daughter would spend the first 6 months sleeping in a bassinet by our bed and then., after that, be transferred to the crib in her nursery. Upon further reading, I began to switch teams. The thing is, she's been sleeping in her bassinet for 5 months now. I figured it was too late, and that bringing her into our bed would be "backward progress" at this point, but part of me still wants to try and feels that she is still little and it's not too late, and that I might regret it if I never try. I am thinking about starting her in her bassinet at 8 pm (her bedtime), then taking her into bed with us when we go to bed a few hours later and she's already asleep. What do you guys think? We have a queen size bed. It's nothing special. Cheap mattress. She would sleep on my side-- not between us. I could put some cushions on the floor by my side in case of a fall. Or I could rearrange the room and push my side flush against the wall. It would suck to lose my night stand, though. Baby is fed breast milk, but only out of a bottle, unfortunately, due to a bad breastfeeding experience in the hospital, and I keep milk on the nightstand by my side of the bed. I do get up (for work) before my husband 5 days per week. I guess I would have to transfer her back to her bassinet upon getting up, since from what I have read it is not safe for babies to sleep alone with their fathers in bed.


Input would be greatly appreciated!

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#2 of 14 Old 07-20-2012, 09:32 PM
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I dont think it is too late. If you and dh and dd all want it. You will need a safe way to keep her in the bed though. Bed rail or pushed against the wall.

Good luck.

SAHM to Chloe«- 6/2008 (10 lbs, 5 oz), Hannah- 9/2010 (9 lbs, 12 oz), Liam- 2/2013 (9 lbs, 6 oz)

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#3 of 14 Old 07-21-2012, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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We put her crib mattress on the floor next to my side of the bed last night, but I still couldn't really rest, because I was just too paranoid she'd fall. I'm a belly sleeper normally, but I tried to sleep on my side all night, with one hand on her somewhere so I could feel if she'd move. I am a light sleeper and she moves a lot, so I was awake a lot. She also woke up and needed to be fed more. It's not that she wasn't content. She actually settled back down easier than in her bassinet. She just also woke up easier. Is this how bed sharing is, with an infant? Do you just sleep lightly all night? Or do you eventually get real rest once everyone gets used to the setup? Will baby always move and grab so much. Her grabby little hands get hold of everything they brush against! Haha

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#4 of 14 Old 07-27-2012, 07:00 PM
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I think you definitely can. I don't have any real advice on making a transition to this, because we've bed shared with our almost 1 yr old since birth. But I'll try to help you!

First, pillows anywhere near baby is DANGEROUS! Do not ever keep pillows around her. She can bury her face into them and suffocate very quickly. Please trust me on this. So don't leave anything- bedding, pillows, etc that she could fall into and suffocate on.

Second, you need to make sure you set up a truly safe sleep environment to bed share safely. There's tons of info online. If you wish to, you can easily set up a side-car crib to your bed. So that baby sleeps in crib, but one side is not attached and the crib is up against your bed attached ... Just google side-car crib. I did that at first. But my son always slept on my chest, now always in the middle.

Around this age she is probably scooting. I remember how scary that was, I was worried my son would scoot off the bed. We eventually moved our mattress to the floor and it will stay like this.

My son falls asleep around 7'ish and awakes around 6 ish or later- but nurses a few times in between and we don't wake up fully. So we aren't light sleepers, but I'm aware. If that makes sense. I think i developed the awareness from sleeping with him since birth.

You also have to remember, baby can never ever sleep in the same bed with you or your husband if either of you takes sleeping pills/sedatives, drugs, or has drank alcohol. It's serious. Almost all deaths involving bed sharing, have one thing in common- someone in bed was drunk or high. - wish I had a source, but almost a year later after all my initial research and I don't greensad.gif

Make sure there's no gap or space in between anywhere for baby to fall into, make sure no blanket can go over baby's head really have to take precautions.

Now that I've said all of that, it's pretty common sense. I love sleeping with my son, so does my husband. I have always gotten the best sleep ever, and never had a problem with it. But it has to work for your whole family!

Baby will probably wake up more at first because she's next to your breast and smells milk! Like sleeping next to a chocolate cake!!!! Lol.

Good luck. I love sleeping with my son. My husband and I have some of our best memories with our son here. And it's amazing the bond that your get, especially between my son and husband. My son misses him while he works ally day, sometimes he cuddles up to my husband all night!
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#5 of 14 Old 07-27-2012, 07:21 PM
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I am a huge family bed advocate now, but I wasn't at first.  My ds1 was about 2 or 3 mos old before I couldn't take the constant waking and just brought him into my bed.  It was the ideal solution for us, but I'm not gonna lie...I did it out of desperation and while I never resented ds for needing to sleep with me, I did miss my sleeping freedom from time to time.  So while I totally understad your wanting to be closer to your bub, I guess what I would say to you is it aint broke...yk?  If your LO sleeps fine alone, yeah, I would think it is kind of backwards progress for you to start now.  Bu I do I think it is a bad idea?  No, just something that I can look at with 18 years of retrospection and say Why?

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#6 of 14 Old 07-27-2012, 08:36 PM
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what about a co-sleeper or bedside playpen? I think bed-side sleeping is pretty darn close to bed-sharing. If you've done bed-side this long and have been comfortable with it, you can continue and feel just as secure in your attachment parenting. When my now 10 and 12 yr old kids were younger, I would switch between bed sharing and bed-side sleeping, usually preferring bed-side. Those babies could kick and hog the bed! When they got old enough, I put a crib mattress on the floor next to our bed, so they were still bed-side sleeping.
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#7 of 14 Old 07-27-2012, 08:53 PM
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Or maybe start with naps?

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#8 of 14 Old 07-30-2012, 12:21 PM
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I can't imagine it ever being too late to start.  I felt the same way about bedsharing when my daughter was itty bitty - on our mattress, she tended to roll toward me, and she was so tiny and floppy, and I just never felt like it was safe.  Also, I had a pretty bad pubic symphysis separation during the birth, and I couldn't lay on my side for months.  So even if I hadn't felt nervous about it, bedsharing and side-lying nursing were out of the question until very recently.


So, we used and loved a sidecar co-sleeper for 6 months until baby outgrew it.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, we set up her regular crib right next to the head of my bed.  She seems to like sleeping in there and she's still pretty close to me, but sometimes around 3-4am, I sure would love to nestle her in bed to nurse away until morning!  I plan to get a safe bed rail and do just that.  She can start the night out in the crib, where I don't have to worry when she goes to bed before me, and then (if I want, or if she needs), we can also bedshare.  I don't want to undo her "independent sleeping" progress, but I'm hoping we can do both.


We recently started cosleeping for naps, and I LOVE it.  With an older baby, it feels much safer - she's more substantial, and I know she can roll away from, or push away, an obstacle (not that I allow anything to come near her, but still.)  I'm blown away by the joy of snuggling and sleeping with my baby!  Babyhood is so fleeting...  I was planning to work on her napping independently in her crib, but now I look forward to any and every opportunity to nap with her.  :)

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#9 of 14 Old 08-04-2012, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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For a week or two, we had her in our bed with us. We had the bed pushed into a corner. She slept on the side against the wall, me next to her, and my husband on the other side of me. I did use a pillow, but I tried to keep it away from her as much as possible. I tried to keep her head at breast level. We sleep under a sheet and a thin army blanket, and those are tucked in on my side. They are low on the bed, so only cover the bottom halves of our bodies and cover the baby hardly or not at all. She tends to move upward and toward me during the night. She doesn't crawl yet, but she does roll.


I wanted to try bedsharing because I was afraid of missing out on a bonding experience that I would never get back. I am still torn on what to do. We just got back from vacationing for a week, and she slept in her bassinet next to the bed during the vacation, since the rooms we stayed in weren't really familiar/safe enough. Honestly, we all slept better that way. She woke up less, I woke up less, and I didn't worry about her. Also, I can't decide about committing to putting our mattress on the floor when she begins to crawl, and I miss sleeping facing my husband. We don't get much day time together. I guess my concerns are (if we go back to the bassinet):


1) Will it negatively affect her development/hurt her in any way, or cause her to be less bonded to us? Even if we love on her all day long?

2) Will I be seriously missing out?


I am someone who likes her space when she sleeps, and sleeps lightly, and I get up really early for work.


I can't decide what to do....

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#10 of 14 Old 08-07-2012, 09:21 AM
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I personally really don't think it will cause you to be less bonded to your baby to not co sleep.  It sounds like what works for your family and for her is her sleeping in the bassinet next to your bed.  You are still sleeping pretty much right next to her. I do a mix of co sleeping/ bassinet sleeping with my baby but although I love sleeping with her in our bed sometimes, I do get better sleep when she is sleeping in her bassinet.    Maybe you could try doing co sleeping naps with her on the weekends?  that way you could still get some co sleeping joy but still get your sleep and hers at night.

Shelley, married to my wonderful DH and mama to DD (11) DD (5) and  DD (2)
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#11 of 14 Old 08-07-2012, 10:16 AM
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If everyone is sleeping happily where they are, you are responding to her when she wakes, and you sleep *worse* with her there, I wouldn't change things. 


having said son was in a crib full time until he was about 10, 11 months old.  I responded to his needs and everything was fine, we were all sleeping well.  Then somewhere along the line he started waking more and wouldn't go back to sleep as easily.  And I was getting frustrated.  One particularly frustrating night my husband said, "Why don't you just bring him in here?"  and I looked at him and said, "You can do that?" (obviously not very crunchy back then LOL!)   so he coslept with us from about 1 or 11 months until 18 months full time, then went into a toddler bed to start the night and would come in with us whenever he woke (gated stairs, other room doors closed).  


Soooo, don't be surprised if things change.  Just be open to figuring out what works best for your own family and gets *EVERYONE* the most sleep in the gentlest way.

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#12 of 14 Old 08-17-2012, 06:56 AM
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NO the majority of babies who die from bed sharing are not drunk or high. You can't find a source on that info because it isn't true. The media only shows parents who were high or drunk but only a small percentage were drunk or high. My son died in my bed and I wasn't drunk, high obese, and I exclusively breastfeed. Please do not spread misinformation! Bed sharing kills babies everyday and not because parents are high or drunk it's because they are misinformed. Bed sharing is a dangerous sleep environment and putting your baby in an unnecessary risk. Bed sharing it responsible for over 50 % of SIDS deaths because is just isn't safe. You can bond with their baby in other ways. I would rather have a baby sleep in my room than next to me and never wake up because the pain and guilt of knowing your baby is dead because you choose to bed share is something you will NEVER get over!!!!

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#13 of 14 Old 08-17-2012, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Hymanroth View Post

 Almost all deaths involving bed sharing, have one thing in common- someone in bed was drunk or high. - wish I had a source, but almost a year later after all my initial research and I don't greensad.gif

I dont think this is true- those are just the ones you hear about on the news. Babies die just as often in a bed with their parents as they do in a crib. Babies can stop breathing anywhere, in a carseat, in a stroller, in a bed, in a crib, in a playpen, in a swing- the list goes on and on. Babies are at risk if they are asleep, period. There are lots of things you can do to minimize their risks, including not ever drinking or smoking or being high, but there are tons of other factors as well. While there are some babies that are smothered or rolled over on, most babies who die in their parents bed just simply stop breathing.

Holly and David partners.gif

Adaline love.gif (3/20/10), and Charlie brokenheart.gif (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical  rainbow1284.gif  twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)

SIDS happens. 

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#14 of 14 Old 08-23-2012, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I am so sorry about your son, simplyfree :-(

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