What to do when your partner doesn't want to co-sleep? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-15-2013, 04:30 AM - Thread Starter
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How do you handle it when you have a disagreement between parents on this issue? Do you still co-sleep? Does your partner put up with it, or move to another room to sleep? Has anyone ever had to negotiate this issue?
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#2 of 9 Old 08-15-2013, 05:12 AM
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I think this depends on the concerns and problem-solving ways to address those concerns. I always try to have the "big talks" when the time is right, like during a walk or over dinner when we're both relaxed. I personally would want to be on the same page with this one because it requires a commitment from both of you (as do all major parenting choices).
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#3 of 9 Old 08-15-2013, 05:30 AM
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One compromise (depending on who is objecting, and how the baby's eating) is that the parent who doesn't want to co-sleep is in charge of transferring the baby from the baby's bed to the boob and back again in the night.  In my very limited experience, getting out of bed multiple times per night sometimes changes a person's perspective.

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#4 of 9 Old 08-15-2013, 08:27 AM
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When we discussed it before the baby was born DH felt very strongly that he wanted the baby to have it's own sleeping space and not be in our bed. We both wanted the baby in our room and didn't mind baby in our bed occasionally but it was important to DH that we had a cot and ideally baby would sleep in it.


We did look at the bedside cots or side caring as a compromise but there was not enough room next to our bed to make it work.In the end we had a cot at the foot of our bed, we put the kids down there in the evening. . Sometimes they would get put back after a night feed, other times not.


Once the baby was actually here DH became much more comfortable about the safety aspects of bed sharing, seeing how it worked in practice. However it worked well for us to have a bit of time alone in our bed before being joined by a very wriggly baby.

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#5 of 9 Old 08-15-2013, 01:43 PM
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Before our child was born, we decided to have the family bed in his room and keep the master bedroom as our couple space. My partner already felt his sleep was sometimes disrupted by having me in the bed, and he wasn’t sure he could handle having a baby there, too.  He read about the advantages of co-sleeping and agreed that it sounded great for the baby and convenient for the nursing mom but not so great for a sensitive dad.  So really it was that my partner didn't want to co-sleep but was supportive of my co-sleeping.


Here are some of the advantages to having the family bed in the kid's room:

  • no feelings of having lost our couple space; no dilemmas about where to be intimate. Our bed was still our bed and not all full of toys.
  • no worries about how to get him to sleep in his own room–he was already there! The transition to sleeping alone was just that, not also a transition to a new room and new bed.
  • crawling into bed with my partner became an exciting novelty for me!
  • comfortable extra bed is all ready when one parent is sick and needs to sleep alone.  (The other parent can sleep all night with the kid, away from the germs.  However, when he was still breastfeeding, I stayed in his bed while I was sick.  He never caught any of my illnesses, probably because he was getting antibodies from my milk!)
  • parents can do awake stuff–talk, play a game, put away laundry, work on projects–in our room while the kid is sleeping.
  • I was able to do the full attachment-parenting all-night nursing thing without worrying about disruptions to my partner. It was nice to be able to focus on only two people’s needs, not three!
  • co-sleeping was easy to phase out gradually.  After he stopped nursing during the night, I began sleeping in the master bedroom again.  As long as he had a parent lying next to him until he fell asleep, he didn't seem to mind being alone while sleeping, and only summoned us into his room once in a while.  When he was 6 and 7 years old, we tried a couple of different approaches that eventually got him consistently falling asleep alone, so now I can get up after reading his bedtime story.


It seems like almost everything about co-sleeping is written with the assumption that parents will add the baby to their bed with both of them.  For us, it worked a lot better for me to sleep with the baby and have the option of spending some of the night in another room with my partner.

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#6 of 9 Old 08-15-2013, 03:24 PM
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With my first my husband was afraid he would hurt the baby in his sleep. So I co slept with the baby in her room. I agree what was mentioned above it wasnt a huge deal, if I wanted to visit my hubby I could and the transition was smooth because she was already sleeping in the room and bed she belonged in. If my second wasnt such a loud sleep I would love to co sleep with him, co sleeping makes nursing so much easier!
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#7 of 9 Old 08-15-2013, 04:10 PM
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We started out with a baby hammock right by our bed and a bed in the "sitting room" part of our room for me and the baby to share if I/she wanted, and then transitioned to a bed for the baby right by our bed, so that I could roll over to her bed if needed. 


Now she is in her own room and I usually start the night in our room and bed and finish it in hers because she standardly still (at 4) wakes up once a night and needs an adult to go back to sleep (I always intend to go back to our bed, but I fall back asleep before she does). The main reason for all of this was that my husband cannot share a bed with me without spending all night cuddled up arms wrapped around me, which made the moving around for nursing extremely difficult -- I would need to actively wake him up to let go of me. But I would think it would work in a case where only one parent wanted to co-sleep as well.


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#8 of 9 Old 08-15-2013, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rachelsmama View Post

One compromise (depending on who is objecting, and how the baby's eating) is that the parent who doesn't want to co-sleep is in charge of transferring the baby from the baby's bed to the boob and back again in the night.  In my very limited experience, getting out of bed multiple times per night sometimes changes a person's perspective.

We did end up with our arrangement because I was the one doing the nighttime parenting, so I was the one to determine whether we were co-sleeping or not.  DD1 was in a side-car bassinet for 3 months before coming into our bed.  DD2 lasted 2 nights before we pulled her into bed with us, and dh was most appreciative because it was easier on both of us.  DH still got up every now and again if she just wouldn't settle down after nursing, but that was maybe once a week at first and that quickly dwindled down to nothing.  Of course, we had a room big enough for 2 queen-size futons.  


If not, I would have had dh sleep in another room.  In fact, on those bad nights when one dc would be sick and fussy, I would send him out of the room to get some sleep.  I actually slept better, not worrying about keeping him awake with all our bustling and fussing and cooing and calming.


If he hadn't gone along, if he put up his own fuss to me, put up a battle, you can bet I would have summoned all the fires of hell af.giffor him suggesting that the nighttime parent make their job infinitely harder just for some idea that kids are better off in another room.  Kids are better off when their parents get some sleep-- and if that means sleeping together, well then, there ya go.  DH was wise enough not get into an argument with a sleep-deprived mama with 2 kids attached to her breasts.  Grawrrrr!!!  I will fight until I win, no matter how long that takes!!! hopmad.gif


Funny, after all these years how little sympathy I have for dp's about this??  Thankfully, my dh never gave me a hard time, and would even let me sleep in if he could.  And we never, ever got into a fight about this.  I never had to summon hell fire to win my battle.  I still curl up with my girls most nights, even at 6 and 8, and dh is just fine with that.

"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
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#9 of 9 Old 08-15-2013, 08:44 PM
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My husband didn't want to co-sleep, so we didn't. Our bed is probably too small anyway. But when he started objecting to me falling asleep with her nursing, I told him he could be in charge of picking her up and putting her back in her (sidecarred) crib. Somehow that never happened all that much (although in hindsight I think nursing all night was a bad habit that we shouldn't have started). And once he wanted her in her own room, he was responsible for going and fetching her for a nursing then putting her back. It actually worked out pretty well. 

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