We still co-sleep with our 12 month old, but I'm starting to feel as if I'm creating bad habits. My baby would sleep in my arms and nurse all night if I let her! She had always been a good sleeper until now. She never once cried when waking up, she'd just reach over for me, but now if she wakes up and I'm not there she'll go into a panic. It all started because we were traveling a lot over the holidays (internationally) where she experienced a whole new culture, language and people. We slept in different beds in different rooms and she started to develop a little bit of anxiety before going to bed. Because of this I started staying with her so if she did wake she wouldn't get scared. Now we're back home but I can't leave the bed! Also, I'm now worried she'll wake up and fall off the bed! I'm wondering if she's sensing my stress to leave her alone? She often times wakes up within 20 minutes or so when I leave. I put her to sleep and stay awake for hours holding her until I get tired and then I lay her beside me and drift off to sleep. I love our cuddles, but it has separated me and my husband. He complains we no longer have "us" time, we always had alone time at night when she had gone to sleep. I'm not sure what I can do???? She's also cried a few times in her sleep and it breaks my heart. Am I doing it all wrong? Have I broken the trust and security we once had? I keep thinking if I give her more security then she'll start to feel secure in bed again. Also, my husband thinks it's time to move her to her crib but I don't think she's ready (or me since she still nurses 1-2 times throughout the night). How do other co-sleeper families do it?!?! Thanks!!!
My co-sleeping ds also went through a period of night terrors when he was a toddler, and although I was holding and nursing him, he would have a hard time calming down.
You can't feel guilty for every whimper they make when they are asleep; sometimes a trip, starting daycare or preschool, the neighbors' scary dog stresses them out, and they release this stress through dreams. We can't control their environment all the time to make it stress-free.
It sounds like you are a very responsive parent. I would keep doing what you're doing and worry less.
Oh, and about her falling off the bed: around 12 mo, I was able to teach my babies to scoot backwards and get off the bed by themselves. If your bed is too high (mine is low) you cn try a mattress on the floor.
Best mama, you'll figure it out and I am sure some more experience mama will pop in.
I totally understand how important nursing and cosleeping is to you. Your 12 month old has reached a new cognitive developmental level where she understands that she has needs that can really be met via demand. If you desire to continue to cosleep, then you will likely have to continue to manage the night waking for nursing and disruption in your marital relationship. Choosing to move her to her own room will allow for more flexibility, if you are ready. I didn't sleep through the night until I moved my loud, little, 7 month old sleeper to his own room and he is fine. Most of all, I'm happy to see him (even early) in the AM because I left room to miss him. As recently as yesterday, if we nap together, I know neither of us sleep as well. But I wouldn't change a minute of the time I spend nursing him. It's our time together and I cherish it because it will soon be gone.
I hope I don't sound to flippant about it, but I wouldn't get yourself stressed out about creating "bad" habits with co-sleeping. It's comes so naturally to us, so don't let society or pressure from those around you deter you from keeping, and maintaining, your healthy relationship with your child. Babies/toddlers go through phases and like the other moms said, it's probably a developmental stage and she just requires a bit extra closeness for reassurance right now. It will end and then you and your husband can get back to having alone time again.
My son is 11 now and slept with us until he was 2, then transitioned on his own to a twin mattress on the floor in our room and that worked out awesome. My daughter is now almost 3 and still sleeps with us most nights, but is choosing to transition to her own mattress on the floor like my son did, but obviously with her it's taken a bit longer for her to feel secure enough to do it. We are also expecting baby #3 next month and I intend to do the same thing with this sweet child also. As far as the baby falling off of the bed....we either used body pillows/pillows/down comforter piled high around the bed, and/or the bed rails that attach to the bed, and/or have the mattress on the floor. The option I always liked the best was having the mattress on the floor and then using pillows and blankets piled around the outside of the bed.
My son never had the night terrors, but my daughter does at times. I think it's just different personalities expressing themselves in different ways, and also some peoples dreams are more vivid than others. My daughter will sound like she's crying in her sleep but then she starts talking like she's mothering her older brother telling him "no" he can't do this or that. It is disturbing at first, but now it's even amusing at times when she talks about the strangest things, like donuts. :-)
Hang in there and go with YOUR natural instincts. You are the person who knows your child the best and knows what's best for her, so don't let anyone tell you any different. It can seem like these phases last forever, but they end sooner or later and it's all SO worth it in the end. :-)
i understand your concerns because I felt the same way when my daughter was younger. I would worry that I was setting s up for disaster and my husband would comment sometimes that she would never sleep on her own, etc. well when my DD was 2 1/2 she transitioned to a bed in her own room and falling asleep on her own all by herself! sometimes I miss her being in our bed but she decided she was ready. I know some kids need more of a transition period but she didn't for whatever reason. I am glad I followed my gut and co-slept until she decided she wanted her own bed to reaffirm that security for her. I honestly think if we had tried to make her transition just a couple months prior it would have gone horribly. she too went through phases where she didn't sleep well and was a bit more clingy and I wasn't sleeping well. but they passed. they were usually associated with teething (she was a late/slow teether) or a developmental leap. Don't worry now Mama and do what you feel is right for both you and baby!
I wouldn't worry about it unless it is causing problems in your house. Your child will be fine and grow out of it naturally if the issue isn't pushed. I grew up with a single mother who had no problem with bed sharing. I only did it occasionally , my younger sister did it much more frequently, and we both grew up to be healthy and well-adjusted. Both of us are able to sleep on our own (and were able to as adolescents) without problems. My oldest child is four and my middle is two, they share a mattress in our room, and they still occasionally need mommy or daddy there. However, every now and then one or the other makes a little jump in maturity that shows me they will end up in their own beds and in their own rooms eventually. Since my husband and I both have no problem with them being near right now there is no problem.
Wow you are so in tune with your baby! Security isues can be one of the biggest reasons for disturbed sleep. This applies to children and adults. If you feel safe , you will have a more restful sleep. To help with your little one's sleep it is firstly important to understand what you feel comfortable doing or what you and your partner want to do as a joint decision.You have many options which can help you all to have a better sleep and all have your needs met. You could sleep on another bed beside your baby, she can go into a crib right next to you but in a separate bed which means that you and your partner are next to each other.
I can help with the transition. Please let me know if you would like to speak with me one to one.