Postitive Co-sleeping stories, please! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 05-22-2014, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I backed into co sleeping as it seemed to be what came naturally with my now 2 month old but I don't' know anyone IRL to glean from. I now I'm wondering if it hasn't back fired on me. My Dd has to nurse to sleep and be held for every.single.nap. Does cosleeping equal nursing all night? If she is sleeping good stretches now, will it continue to get better or go down hill as she gets more dependent on me being next to her? What do naps look like when you bed share and nurse to sleep? When is earliest natural transition for a baby being ready to sleep on it's own?

 

I know people come to forums to post for help and nobody is going to start a thread titled, "See how good my baby is" but I feel like all I see is the bad side, so to speak, of sleeping. So if you have a LO who does awesome and co sleeping is what worked for your family maybe this could be a place to brag a little and give other mama's some encouragement. :)

 

Since I just complained on my little girl I will say I am so proud of her, she went 8 hours and 8 minutes from "boob out to boob in" the other night!


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#2 of 19 Old 05-22-2014, 07:24 PM
 
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We have bed shared from birth with both our girls. We think it is *brilliant* and wouldn't change a thing. However, I do think it depends on your perspective and your goals. We do *not* have a goal of getting our children to fall asleep and stay in their own beds as early as possible. Our goals are that our children find bed time and sleeping a positive experience and that we all get as much sleep as possible.

At two months of age both girls were sleeping on/next to us for all sleeps. This was intentional though as we gave each girl a fourth trimester. From around 4mo I started feeding to sleep and sneaking away for some daytime sleeps. When they were older, can't remember when ?6mo-ish, I started feeding and sneaking away at night as well.

Both have gone through stages of being hard/impossible to leave and stages of settling easily and being leavable.

When I'm not pregnant, I don't find night feeding onerous so that is also not a particular goal. I nightweaned DD1 when I was 35 weeks pregnant so she would have been 2y4mo. She started night feeding again after DD2 was born though and I renightweaned her by moving to a different room with DD2 when she was 8mo. DD1 is now 4yo and sleeps through the night 99% of the time. She bed shares with DH.

DD2 is 18mo. She bed shares with me and still feeds 2-4 times/night. I only stay with her during the day when I want a sleep too. At night I get up for 1-3hrs before I go to bed. Sometimes I have to resettle her once in that time but often not.

As I said, we're very happy by our goals were modest and our expectations realistic.

The long-term plan is for the girls to transition to their own beds, in their own rooms when they're ready. They each have a room with a bed. Their clothes and some of their books and toys are in their rooms. Their initials are on the doors. We play in there. We talk about how they will sleep their one day, when they want to. Their rooms are positive, comfortable spaces for them.

All the best. Bed sharing is one of my greatest parenting joys :-)
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#3 of 19 Old 05-23-2014, 11:07 AM
 
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I love cosleeping with my son who is now 19 months old. There are challenging nights, or even weeks sometimes (when he's teething, sick, hitting major milestones) but overall I wouldn't change my decision. I get to hear his calm breaths and contented sighs, feel him hold my hand or arm to check in, smile when he wakes up, feel his warmth and weight when he snuggles. He still nurses frequently at night. My goal is also for him to feel safe and comfortable with sleep. He has never slept through the night, but I just think that's his nature. Best wishes on your cosleeping journey.
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#4 of 19 Old 05-23-2014, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh that is true about the 4th trimester! It feels so right having that teeny tiny little one right next to you. And I like that I can always know she is okay as I can hear every breath.


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#5 of 19 Old 05-24-2014, 04:52 AM
 
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At first, and by that I mean really for the first 5-6 months, cosleeping was a lot more challenging than it is now (at 13m). Sometimes my daughter would sleep without touching me, sometimes not; sometimes she would sleep for good stretches, mostly not; and it was more worrying I suppose and I got less sleep then because I felt the need to check on her very often. Obviously, that was much easier than having to go to a cot or a separate room to check on her, but still. I think it has worked wonderfully for us on the whole though. The hard parts when she wanted to sleep early and wouldn't sleep without me (which involved me reading a LOT of books and straining my eyes in the half-light, ha!) are a dim memory now. OP, your little girl will change her sleeping habits a LOT over the next months/year, be sure of that :) And eventually, probably in the near future, you will be able to leave her to sleep by herself for both naps and in the evening before you go to bed, if that's what you want. They do get used to you not being there -- I mean, I think actually they just become heavier sleepers and less sensitive to their environment, not hopelessly resigned to being alone, because it's not like I've ever left her when she's cried and obviously still needed me there, if you get me... she's just got to a stage now (long may it continue) where she seems not to mind that I'm not next to her. Your LO will get there too! :)

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#6 of 19 Old 05-24-2014, 09:58 AM
 
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Once my daughter started sleeping more soundly for naps, I could nurse her and have her sleep without me for entire naps and a stretch in the evening.  This started at around 4+ months.  


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#7 of 19 Old 05-25-2014, 09:04 AM
 
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My first two  slept through the night (nursed to sleep at 10ish, and then again at 4ish/5ish)  before they were 12mths. My third baby, took longer, she is 2 1/4 and only recently started sleeping  through till 5 without nursing. I co slept with them all, and nursed them on demand. The co sleeping didnt seem to have any connection whatsoever with whether or not they slept through  the night. It certainly helped me sleep better, i cant imagine having to get up in the middle of the night, or to worry about the baby first thing in the morning because i wasnt close enough to deal with his/her needs. We also did EC, and all babies were dry at night early on. This could only be achieved with co sleeping.

 

My children have all been good  night sleepers. We all go to bed at the same time, and everyone sleeps  easily after our yoghurt/story routine. My kids seem very confident and happy go lucky, independent,  compared to many others, and to be honest, i attribute that to co sleeping.  My little girl falls over, and gets up again happily. Other kids her age dont. They start crying  because it seems like they crave the closeness they didnt get the night before, or they are crying about some other trauma other than the mild fall.   All my kids love bedtime, and frankly so do i. Zero drama, just family connection and relaxation.  I dont get how other people do it differently.  I feel like ive hit the jackpot, but  couldnt tell anyone else, because they would choose not to believe me.

 

Co sleeping is one of the best things you could do for your child. Its the norm in most  societies and since the beginning of time.

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#8 of 19 Old 05-25-2014, 09:43 AM
 
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My children have all been good  night sleepers. We all go to bed at the same time, and everyone sleeps  easily after our yoghurt/story routine. My kids seem very confident and happy go lucky, independent,  compared to many others, and to be honest, i attribute that to co sleeping.  My little girl falls over, and gets up again happily. Other kids her age dont. They start crying  because it seems like they crave the closeness they didnt get the night before, or they are crying about some other trauma other than the mild fall.   All my kids love bedtime, and frankly so do i. Zero drama, just family connection and relaxation.  I dont get how other people do it differently.  I feel like ive hit the jackpot, but  couldnt tell anyone else, because they would choose not to believe me.

 

Co sleeping is one of the best things you could do for your child. Its the norm in most  societies and since the beginning of time.

Interesting connection.  My girls are also good sleepers and don't fuss over minor traumas either.  My oldest is borderline high-needs as a 9yo, was high-needs as an infant.  The fact that our day runs fairly smoothly I feel is due to cosleeping.  I happen to still be in bed with my girls, but part of that is due to the fact that I need a lot of sleep and they need less, so our sleep patterns work out to go to bed together most nights (though last night I stayed up to midnight to watch a good movie that turns out I'd seen before).  Lately I've been having the wee morning hours to myself instead of the evening hours as the girls sleep in (we homeschool so no need to get up before we are ready to).

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#9 of 19 Old 05-27-2014, 08:03 AM
 
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My twins were only part timers in my bed-- they always had another bed to sleep in and spent some of each night in different places. My daughter also had a separate spot, but rarely used it. She was co-slept from the start until sometime before two. As for the constant nursing, I remember it being very difficult to slip away from the baby and actually sleep soundly. It takes practice and figuring out what works for you. There are a couple of tricks, like very gently (with one finger) holding her jaw as you remove your nipple. It works if baby is fairly asleep.

 

As for success stories, as I said, our babies always had another place to sleep, so the transition was always gentle and gradual. Start in adult bed, get moved while asleep later in the night. Or, start baby in her own bed after nursing to sleep, then move to yours upon waking in the middle of the night. For us, I think having a flexible arrangement worked well. 

 

For a long time I would have one or another child come into my bed (long after weaning) at some point in the night. We never let it be a big deal. I still get an occasional visitor, but the kids have all slept in their own beds for many years now. 


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#10 of 19 Old 06-04-2014, 11:11 AM
 
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I've been sleeping with my twins since they were born. Honestly, it's a little hard to know how well it has gone, because these are my only babies and I'm alone with them at night while my husband is working. They've had a lot of restless nights, but they've had a lot of good nights, too. They are 14 months old now. I've definitely had the thoughts you're having now. Does sleeping with them actually make them worse sleepers? I still think that, no, it doesn't. It just doesn't make them perfect sleepers.

At 2 months, constant nursing is totally normal, so if you can, try to wait a few more months before analyzing the situation. Your baby will want to nurse all the time anyway, in my opinion, and having her next to you just makes your life easier. Does co-sleeping create a baby who needs to nurse more? It's tough to say. When nursing is the main source of comfort, then it's definitely normal for a baby to want to nurse as often as she can. It's just more convenient when she's with you all night.

BUT, this doesn't mean that you just have to settle for years of all-night nursing. When your baby is old enough, you can look into night weaning. Some moms don't night-wean and some do. Really, it's about you. Can you nurse all night and still get your sleep? Great! I, personally, couldn't do it. And I wasn't sleeping at all. So we night-weaned around 8 months and that helped my twins sleep better. They're not perfect sleepers, but I do believe that co-sleeping has played a big part in their happiness. They are extremely well-behaved and engaged. They are also very independent for their age. In my opinion, being attentive encourages that. And I feel that co-sleeping, for me, is part of being attentive. AND, frankly, I feel they'd be similar types of sleepers alone in cribs. They'd still wake up sometimes. They cry all night when they are sick or in pain. They'd get scared. Even though I doubt it sometimes, I don't think that being attached makes them more dependent. It just makes it easier for them to depend on you, if that makes sense.

Oh, and to address naps, my babies nap fine. They've been sleeping on our mattress (which is on the floor) for naps at home and they've napped in swings, now cribs that they are bigger, at day care. We've just recently put a floor mattress in their room (we never bought cribs) to use for naps and to transition them there. And we're hoping to have them start out in there in the evenings when we want our bed to ourselves, too.
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#11 of 19 Old 06-04-2014, 11:16 AM
 
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Oh that is true about the 4th trimester! It feels so right having that teeny tiny little one right next to you. And I like that I can always know she is okay as I can hear every breath.
I so agree. My babies had infections a month ago and one of them spiked a fever of 105! I was sleeping next to her and heard her labored breathing and was able to jump up and take her temperature and give her fever reducer and take her clothes off. I believe she even had a few seizures. She didn't seem able to cry. So if I hadn't been sleeping with her, I don't know if I would have known she was so sick.
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#12 of 19 Old 06-06-2014, 02:54 PM
 
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I have been co-sleeping since we brought our LOs home from the hospital. Started with a co-sleeper at the side of the bed, then a king sized mattress on the floor. Even when mine got mobile, they never really got out of bed..we just kept the bedroom door shut in case they snuck out of the bed. No big deal. I cant imagine not co-sleeping, especially while ebf, Although I know people do it. It was a lifesaver! My boys are now 6 and 5, I let them decide when to leave the family bed. Why change a good thing? My 6yr old now prefers his own space in his room but still comes into my bed from time to time. I say space becouse often he just pulls pillows and blankets onto the floor instead of sleeping on the bed. My 5yr old just recently requested his own bed, but still in our room lol. I loved absolutely everything about it - even the feet in my back !!
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#13 of 19 Old 06-06-2014, 05:13 PM
 
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We have very few problems with cosleeping. Husband and I work different schedules, so pushing the sleeping baby over to the other is most doable.

We talked about getting her to sleep her own bed, but so far it has happened and we just don't care enough.
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#14 of 19 Old 07-03-2014, 08:21 PM
 
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We have a side-car arrangement that I absolutely love. It's so easy to take care of her at night, and I like that she has her own sleeping space. I didn't co-sleep with my first two and now I regret it, because it makes nights so much easier. With them, I spent a lot of nights falling asleep sitting up with my hands through the bars of the crib or sleeping on the floor next to the crib. DD3 had high touch needs and I just wasn't willing to put myself through that. This has been a perfect way to meet both of our needs. I also love how I can nurse her and slip away without having to reposition her.

She napped almost exclusively while being worn until at 6-9 months I started transitioning her to a Moses basket on the floor, and then just on a blanket on the floor of her room with a gate and monitor. I feel like her napping has progressed similarly to her sisters who didn't co-sleep and weren't nearly exclusively worn. At 10 months, it's a bit erratic (as the transition form 2 to 1 normally is), but she is usually going 1.5 -2+ hours at a time now. This is despite months of napping only while being worn and nearly always being nursed to sleep.

I'm coming to believe that sleep is largely based on development and temperament. I don't feel like I've made her more dependent on me by sleeping with her. Night waking and the need of a parent to sleep is developmentally appropriate for babies. All three of my girls have gone through phases at about the same times where they can't be moved without waking up, or sleep only 30 minutes or less when put down, or have night-regressions. The lengthening of naps from 30 minutes on the dot to hours happened at about the same time as well. Just so you're aware, the 4 month sleep regression is a doozy, and sleep really evened out for us after a year, when just 1 nap was well established. I haven't been this well rested in years, and my baby still gets up at least once a night. I just wish I would have done it sooner.
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#15 of 19 Old 07-04-2014, 09:59 AM
 
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Your story sounds a lot like mine! My daughter is 12months now, and we started cosleeping around 5 months because its the only way she would sleep. Our bed is on the floor and a king, so she has adequate safe space between us. Once in our bed, she slept through the night for the first month or so probably because she was exausted from not sleeping in her crib. Once she caught up on her sleep, she looked healthier, no purple color under her eyes, she went from napping every 2 hours to once or twice a day and I just cant believe I let the Dr. make me feel guilty for wanting to try cosleeping. Needless to say, it feels the most natural, I have seen the change in her health and ours for that matter! All of us are so rested! Some nights she will sleep in her crib for half the night, others she will wake up after an hour and we just put her in our bed. It doesnt really bother us, we get out quality time in the guest bedroom as soon as she goes to sleep at night, so the setup doesn't interfere with that (which was one reason the Dr. told us we needed to avoid cosleeping). All I can say is, trust your gut. You know what works for your family. I wish I wouldnt have listened to the Dr for the first 5months,but shes super healthy and just such a well rounded baby. Rarely ever cries, and is just such a joy.
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#16 of 19 Old 07-10-2014, 07:38 AM
 
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My baby girl is 4 months old and she sleeps pretty good at night , i cant complain she has her days here and there but i am afraid to let her sleep with me in the bed ive just heard to many horror stories and i dont trust it but i use this and it has been a life saver for me i use it for sleep , shower, and everything else if i have to garden ect ect .... everyone is different ... wish everyone luck im sure as my baby girl gets older it will get harder for me as i am a first time mom ! I really enjoy being able to share my thought and opinions on this site , i find answers to all my questions here and i know im not alone THANKS EVERYONE !!!!
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#17 of 19 Old 07-10-2014, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My first two slept through the night (nursed to sleep at 10ish, and then again at 4ish/5ish) before they were 12mths. My third baby, took longer, she is 2 1/4 and only recently started sleeping through till 5 without nursing. I co slept with them all, and nursed them on demand. The co sleeping didnt seem to have any connection whatsoever with whether or not they slept through the night. It certainly helped me sleep better, i cant imagine having to get up in the middle of the night, or to worry about the baby first thing in the morning because i wasnt close enough to deal with his/her needs. We also did EC, and all babies were dry at night early on. This could only be achieved with co sleeping.

My children have all been good night sleepers. We all go to bed at the same time, and everyone sleeps easily after our yoghurt/story routine. My kids seem very confident and happy go lucky, independent, compared to many others, and to be honest, i attribute that to co sleeping. My little girl falls over, and gets up again happily. Other kids her age dont. They start crying because it seems like they crave the closeness they didnt get the night before, or they are crying about some other trauma other than the mild fall. All my kids love bedtime, and frankly so do i. Zero drama, just family connection and relaxation. I dont get how other people do it differently. I feel like ive hit the jackpot, but couldnt tell anyone else, because they would choose not to believe me.

Co sleeping is one of the best things you could do for your child. Its the norm in most societies and since the beginning of time.
This sounds like how things are suppose to be, but it is just not the reality for us. What is your yoghurt routine, I'm curious. How did you do naps for a 4 month old? Did you let your babies suck all night long if they wanted? When did they stop needing to nurse at night?

Thank you everyone who has replied! Coming back to read all your stories has encouraged me not to try sleep training and move her to her own bed yet.Its just she is not getting rested. And while would she become more needy and clingy the older she gets? At 12 weeks she'd sleep 8 hours whether I was on the other side of the bed or not. Now I can't manage to lay her down for a nap without her waking up. And she is not hungry when she wakes every few hours at night because she hardly nibbles.

I am sorry to go on and on. I just want to do whats right but I don't know what I'm doing! I think there is a huge generational gap. Us new moms don't know what to do even though I've read tons of books and posts. Why is everything so contradictory when it comes to sleep. lol I will admit that CIO has babies sleeping much better than cosleeping does.

Thank you again for all the sharing. I just feel in my gut that something is off. I shouldn't have to sit around all day and night with my boob in this childs mouth so she can get some fitful sleep. Surely the cave woman never did.

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#18 of 19 Old 07-11-2014, 02:39 AM
 
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Edit - oops, I was thinking of another post when I replied and thought your LO was more like 8mo. I'll leave what I wrote because it might still be relevant. At 4mo, it might also be a growth spurt. Are you familiar with wonder weeks?

She wants you more now because she is gaining awareness of herself as a separate entity, not a part of you. As such she is beginning to realise that you can go away. She doesn't have the ability to reassure herself that the chances are good you will come back, you've always come back before etc.

She's also developing more of an awareness of her surroundings but doesn't yet have the knowledge and experience to interpret all she sees and hears. So strange noises, sights etc can also be frightening.

I really like the book 'The Science of Parenting' by Margot Sunderland for good explanations of brain development from birth to about 5yo IIRCC

Also, and I mean this gently because I know you're probably just venting here, but you may want to try to retrain yourself to use more positive vocabulary. If you think of your LO in terms like "needy" and "clingy" it might be harder for you to deal with what is a normal level of care than if you use more positive terms like "normal stage" "wants to be close to her mama (the most important person in her world)", "natural part of her development" etc. I found if much easier to cope with the stages and demands I understood and recognised as normal, healthy development than the ones I was less able to grasp and empathise with. Also the mantra "this too shall pass" has been a great comfort on many an occasion ;-)
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#19 of 19 Old 07-12-2014, 07:40 AM
 
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This sounds like how things are suppose to be, but it is just not the reality for us. What is your yoghurt routine, I'm curious. How did you do naps for a 4 month old? Did you let your babies suck all night long if they wanted? When did they stop needing to nurse at night?

Thank you everyone who has replied! Coming back to read all your stories has encouraged me not to try sleep training and move her to her own bed yet.Its just she is not getting rested. And while would she become more needy and clingy the older she gets? At 12 weeks she'd sleep 8 hours whether I was on the other side of the bed or not. Now I can't manage to lay her down for a nap without her waking up. And she is not hungry when she wakes every few hours at night because she hardly nibbles.

I am sorry to go on and on. I just want to do whats right but I don't know what I'm doing! I think there is a huge generational gap. Us new moms don't know what to do even though I've read tons of books and posts. Why is everything so contradictory when it comes to sleep. lol I will admit that CIO has babies sleeping much better than cosleeping does.

Thank you again for all the sharing. I just feel in my gut that something is off. I shouldn't have to sit around all day and night with my boob in this childs mouth so she can get some fitful sleep. Surely the cave woman never did.

Our yoghurt routine, is that we eat yoghurt before bedtime every night, so its yoghurt, brush teeth, get into bed, read stories, go to sleep-my 2yo nurses.

None of my babies wanted to suckle all night long, except in the first few days of birth. I seem to recall my 2yo nursing from the moment she was born, and all night that night. I didnt mind, because i was so glad she was healthy and nursing!

The most she ever woke up in the night, and this is true of all 3, is 3-4 times a night. My first two slept through till 4/5am (from 10ish at night) within the first few months ( cant remember specifics)I think they slept through because we went to bed later, ie 10pm. whereas my 2yo had to go to bed early at 8pm so woke earlier (ie 2am/3am) which is more tiring from my perspective. She took longer to sleep through, but she never suckled all night long continually. It was only in the last 6mths that she has been sleeping all the way till 5ish....
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