"The family bed destroys married life" - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 159 Old 06-23-2008, 12:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
I always find the cosleeping and sex argument so bizarre. I don't know who these people are who only have sex in a bed.
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#122 of 159 Old 07-01-2008, 11:01 AM
 
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This is a great thread. I think the biggest indicator of your marriage's viability is not where your babies sleep, but how flexible you and your mate are about meeting challenges (ALL challenges). If you have to have things a certain way (whether that is sleeping arrangements, mealtimes, or anything else) you are bound to be disappointed. For people who can't flex, that disappointment can break them. If you can flex with the needs of your partner, yourself and your children, you will probably have a healthy marriage. Rather than seeing problems as insurmountable obstacles, you start looking for a path around them. Sometimes you find that things are better once you figure out a different arrangement (like, Woo hoo, who knew sex on the dining room table was so great?!) Marriage is a very long proposal, and having small children is a relatively short time of life. It isn't your circumstances that determines whether your marriage stays strong or breaks, it is your willingness to communicate your needs, to respect your partner's needs, and to figure out a way to meet the most needs the most amount of the time, without leaving anyone out in the cold all the time.

On another note, I am one parent who has happily exclusively breastfed two crib sleepers. When they were teeny, they were in our bed. As they got a little older, they moved to a cosleeper next to us. When they were down to 2-3 feeds at night, they moved to a crib, slept there until they first woke up, then came into our bed. If I was energetic enough to put them back into their own beds after nursing, I did. If not, they stayed. Once they were down to one feed a night, I mostly always put them back in their cribs. And night weaning took place on it's own, and without pushing. It worked beautifully for our whole family, while cosleeping was a mess after the first few months. Both of my girls wanted to play when they were in our bed. When they did sleep, I woke up sore and achy from holding still all night long.

I have to say that I am disturbed by these edicts handed down from on high. The same people who scoff at blanket statements like "cosleeping ruins your marriage" then go on to make blanket statements of their own like "If a marriage can't survive cosleeping, it can survive at all" or "people who only have sex in their own beds probably do it missionary and must have the most boring sex lives ever." We all agree that we have to make the choices that work best for our own family, so why are we still scoffing at the ways other people find to work things out? I for one am a breastfeeding, kids in their own rooms, sex in bed, love the missionary position mama. And guess what... we are happy in our family. If you like monkey love from the chandeliers, then props to you, but how can you judge the quality of my sex life based on your own? We all have different selves, different mates, and different children. I love the constructive sharing of ideas and thoughts, but I could definitely do without the judgement.

Cheers,
Sarah
Great post

And to people thinking sex in bed must be boring .. or limited to the missionary position ... hehe it's me not believing *your* post.
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#123 of 159 Old 07-01-2008, 06:01 PM
 
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This is what I tell people.

Problem children and teenagters also destroy a marriage. So cosleeping gives children security and confidence, which makes them better children and teenagers.

In fact,I think child issues is the number two reason for divorce after money.

Not that I am implying that some people have difficult children from not co-sleeping. But I see it as an extra precaution.

I am of the personal belief that if you have children, it stops being about you.

While being in a happy marriage is extremely important, I think you can work that around co-sleeping.

It is one thing if you are super uncomfortable and or take medications or are a heavy sleeper, but it is when people say "I" need this. Or "I" need my space, etc. that is bothers me.

I believe you do what it takes for your children. Period.

If you as a parent, keep saying "I" "I" "I", then don't be surprised when your kids do also.

Considering how high the rate of divorce is in the US, and we co-sleep the least, I really don't think co-sleeping is the problem. When most countries co-sleep.

When I have spoken to friends from other countries, they think it is weird how much we isolate ourselves from friends and family, and from our own children.

Our whole society seems to be based on how much we can isolate ourselves.

To me, isolating a very young child to another room just seems so institutional.

I tell people, most adults don't like sleeping by themselves, yet we insist that a newborn, who doesn't even know they are a seperate person from you, should sleep by themselves for 12 hours in a room? jmo
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#124 of 159 Old 07-01-2008, 06:02 PM
 
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No one said sex in bed is boring. They and I said only ever having sex in bed is boring. And it is the very definition of boring to only have sex in one place to me.

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#125 of 159 Old 07-01-2008, 06:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nixie_nox View Post
I tell people, most adults don't like sleeping by themselves, yet we insist that a newborn, who doesn't even know they are a seperate person from you, should sleep by themselves for 12 hours in a room? jmo


Excellent point to make. I think anti-cosleepers can dismiss a lot of your other points, because it is not something they can even relate to. But if they have even been loney without their partner in bed... or had trouble settling... well, it makes co-sleeping seem less weird. They do it to (just not with a babe).

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#126 of 159 Old 07-02-2008, 03:03 AM
 
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ok, so I haven't read this whole thing, but my mom said something to me recently about how we need to stop co sleeping soon, "for the good of our marriage," meaning getting busy...

So its pretty personal to assume things about our sex life. We've never been do it before going to sleep types anyway(DH is all freakish about sleeptime rituals as he's always had trouble sleeping). We find opportunities during the day or evening to get it on, during a nap, after bedtime, etc. And we just go somewhere else in the house, the living room, a second bedroom, whereever. Its just no biggie.

This is like the lamest argument ever in my opinion

S, mama to boy M(6/07) and baby girl R(7/10). We do all the good natural family living stuff!
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#127 of 159 Old 07-02-2008, 11:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
No one said sex in bed is boring. They and I said only ever having sex in bed is boring. And it is the very definition of boring to only have sex in one place to me.

Ok, that is true for you. But that isn't true for others. If others are saying that losing their bedroom privacy is a challenge (for them) when cosleeping, how is it helpful to judge their sex life as boring?
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#128 of 159 Old 07-02-2008, 11:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nixie_nox View Post
I am of the personal belief that if you have children, it stops being about you.

While being in a happy marriage is extremely important, I think you can work that around co-sleeping.

It is one thing if you are super uncomfortable and or take medications or are a heavy sleeper, but it is when people say "I" need this. Or "I" need my space, etc. that is bothers me.

I believe you do what it takes for your children. Period.

If you as a parent, keep saying "I" "I" "I", then don't be surprised when your kids do also.
I think you make some good points, but I think we also need to talk about balance. In my case, we coslept with a 1 yo and a 7 yo until a couple of months ago. The 1 yo still cosleeps, but the 7 yo has been moved into her own room against her wishes. She must begin the night there, although she may join us in our room if she wakes in the wee hours of the night (or in the morning).

This was definitely a matter of us, as parents, asserting what we need for our marriage. We are trying to balance dd's needs and our needs.

I guess, in the context of your post, my dd could be labeled a "problem child". I just think of her as *my child*.
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#129 of 159 Old 07-02-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nixie_nox View Post
I am of the personal belief that if you have children, it stops being about you.
I agree with that.

However I've always been taught that your marriage comes first. One day it's just going to be you and your spouse again and you don't want to wake up 20 years later to a stranger. Besides if you put your kids before your marriage, you are setting yourself up to mess up your marriage.

Yes, I understand there are times when other things have to take priority over your marriage- new baby, parent gets sick, etc.- but I believe those are seasons and it shouldn't be the rule.

I am not for or aganist co-sleeping, to each his own, but perhaps people who think it interferes with marriage have some of that "marriage first, keep your marriage bed in tact" ingrained.
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#130 of 159 Old 07-02-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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I just wanted to share our cosleeping story. . .

When I was pregnant, and began investigating breastfeeding, I decided that to make nightime parenting work for ME, we'd need to cosleep. We bought a mini cosleeper, and for the first few weeks, everything went fine.

Then, everything went down the toilet- but not because of cosleeping.

I guess I had gathered the idea that if I coslept, breastfed, and practiced attachment parenting, I'd be guaranteed a happy, sleeping, nonfussy baby, and all the sleep I would need. But DS was NOT that baby. It had everything to do with, DS's personality, mastitis, incredible gas, a sensory defensive infant (and mama), and a completely overwhelmed DH. Oh, and PPD, can't forget that little tidbit.

When DH and I started marriage counselling, we had to find a babysitter for DS. No matter who took care of him, he screamed the entire time we were gone, until he fell asleep. He had just begun to be happy playing on the floor for a while by himself, and suddenly, complete hysterics anytime I left the room. DH and I made the decision to pull DS back into our bed (he'd been fine in the crib for a month or two before this) and get our sleep any way we could. We were so exhausted, we did sleep, and much better than before. We also decided that if DS was going to have such a huge anxious response to an evening's separation, it wasn't worth it to keep counselling.

Here we are today, DS is two, sleeps in a big boy bed (well, a mattress on the floor) and we're expecting our second in October. The cosleeper is going back up again, and the crib is staying in the attic until I'm good and ready to see what happens.

The only thing that's different this time is that We have zero expectations. THis baby will be what this baby will be. We surmounted the challenge, and we can do so again. If this baby wants to sleep with us, wonderful, if not, wonderful too. We have the luxury of extra space, which many do not have, and we are greatful for it.

It's funny, I was just telling the coffee guy at GIANT that when you have children, you learn who you really are. The same is true for your marriage, you find out just what your relationship can take. Making babies together is I think, the acid test for a stable relationship.

Thanks for listening!



BTW- this has been a great thread, kudos to everyone for keeping it going in a real life but respectful way.


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#131 of 159 Old 07-02-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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My favorites can't even be done in our bedroom, forget about the bed

My SO was adamant that the baby sleep with us because he felt like the little guy needed me. It didn't seem natural to him that a baby sleep away from his mother. As he put it "That is NOT how other mammals do it, and I'd like to think we're at least as smart as animals" I think him being so into co-sleeping because of the benefit to the baby has made our relationship even better. I can't imagine wanting to be intimate with a person who ignored the needs of his children.

I think sex is even more spontaneous/fun now because we grab it when we can, where we can.

I have always hated the assumption that having children takes away from a marriage/relationship. I'm sure for some couples it may, but maybe they weren't so fantastic at communicating and showing affection for each other to begin with, and having a child just made it more obvious?
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#132 of 159 Old 07-02-2008, 02:09 PM
 
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I nodded my head while reading the posts that speak on flexibility.

Being flexible has worked for our family.

We started out co-sleeping with the first, moved him to his own room , then pretty much rearranged our entire house make-up so that now I co sleep with DS and DD while DH has his own room (which used to be DS' room). DH really benefits from his Man Cave (or Mantuary), DS benefits from being in the room with me and DD (he's such an extrovert always craving ppl, unlike DH), DD benefits from nightime nursing, and I benefit from a good nights sleep! : And sneak into the ManCave every once in a while

We will move into a new living space in a year, and will probably have totally different living arrangements.

For me it's all about Maximizing the Collective Happiness. Which for us involves alot of flex.

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#133 of 159 Old 07-02-2008, 03:45 PM
 
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I have always hated the assumption that having children takes away from a marriage/relationship. I'm sure for some couples it may, but maybe they weren't so fantastic at communicating and showing affection for each other to begin with, and having a child just made it more obvious?
Right .... if having children puts stress on your relationship, it must be your fault for having a crappy relationship in the first place.

Kids are hard work. They take a lot of time and energy and leave you sleep deprived for years. Why is it so hard to accept that it's perfectly normal for that to be a stressor on even the most stable of relationships?
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#134 of 159 Old 07-02-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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#135 of 159 Old 07-15-2008, 02:47 AM
 
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have to say that I am disturbed by these edicts handed down from on high. The same people who scoff at blanket statements like "cosleeping ruins your marriage" then go on to make blanket statements of their own like "If a marriage can't survive cosleeping, it can survive at all"
(You meant "can't survive at all", right?) That's not exactly what the OP said, but regardless, if your marriage is going to be brought down by sleeping with your baby, that's a pretty weak marriage to my mind. If my husband said, "it's me or the baby," I'd be like, "okay, bye." Because if my marriage surviving was dependent on me forcing my kids to be apart from me at night, I wouldn't feel like that was a kind of marriage worth saving.

Anyway, as someone way up there said, yeah, it's bizarre to me that people really believe that co-sleeping and sexual intimacy can't co-exist. You just, you know, have sex somewhere else. It's not rocket science. In our case, we have two bedrooms, one for the family bed(s) and one for me and my husband. I've heard people say, "Oh, we can't do that, we don't have enough room." But you have enough room to isolate your baby from you? I don't get it. It's the same number of rooms, right?
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#136 of 159 Old 07-15-2008, 06:18 PM
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In our case, we have two bedrooms, one for the family bed(s) and one for me and my husband. I've heard people say, "Oh, we can't do that, we don't have enough room." But you have enough room to isolate your baby from you? I don't get it. It's the same number of rooms, right?
Not necessarily. A crib is a LOT smaller than a queen or king sized mattress.

When I was born my parents had a California King waterbed and a 1-bedroom apartment, so they put my crib in the closet. (It was a rather large closet, by closet standards - about the same size as a full bathroom) Crib at the back, dresser/changing table to one side, and that was the nursery.
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#137 of 159 Old 07-15-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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I just finished reading this whole thread and WOW. As a mom-to-be who is taking a "let's just see what feels right at the time" approach to co-sleeping, this is my take.

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Hello I am a new mom - my dd is 3 months and I am in love with her and love our family bed, however I am having a little trouble figuring out the intimacy thing. Currently we share a house with my younger sister, and in a month and a half we will be moving in with my parents, who already share a house with my aunt, uncle, and cousin. [*snip*]
I am hoping to get some support and understanding here. Is there anyone else who cosleeps but does not have the luxury of a guest bedroom, or kitchen/livingroom of their own?
I too live in a multi-generational home. Sometimes I wouldn't have in any other way, and other times it's frustrating. Right now we have one bedroom of our own, and that's it. I almost decked my teen sister for making comments about "noise" at night (truuuust me, she has never even HEARD "noise", okEE?). And she's in another room. Thankfully we are finishing a small suite of rooms downstairs so we will have the option of another room for DTD. So it sounds like we are a little more fortunate than you in that respect. I agree with pp who said "don't borrow trouble". A solution that is right for you and your situation WILL come when you're ready for it.

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This is a great thread. I think the biggest indicator of your marriage's viability is not where your babies sleep, but how flexible you and your mate are about meeting challenges (ALL challenges). If you have to have things a certain way (whether that is sleeping arrangements, mealtimes, or anything else) you are bound to be disappointed.
:

DH and I haven't made any decisions about nighttime parenting yet, and we don't plan to until we have our LO. But let me just say one thing more.

BED SEX ROCKS. I've had sex anywhere and everywhere. Outside, in public, too many different cars, in a hotel room with four other couples in it, bathrooms, kitchens, washing machines and dryers, on couches, behind couches, in the woods of a national park, whatever, wherever, I've done it. (yes Nerds can have adventurous, awesome sex lives). But there is no where I'd rather be than in the comfort of my own bed. That's right, in bed, missionary style, with my husband. Vanilla? maybe. The most satisfying, fulfilling sexual relationship of my life-definitely. And when it's over, nothing but snuggles all night long.

><> I'm a Christian, knitting, sewing, cooking SAHM to the fearless adventurer Jack born 11/08, and  a  USCG wife
And we are joyfully awaiting a new addition in April 2011! <><
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#138 of 159 Old 07-21-2008, 07:24 PM
 
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Ok guys! Here is my question. I just found out that I am pregnant with our 2nd. What do I do with the 1st? Throw him out? He is not planning on leaving right now but I hear it is not safe for a toddler and newborn to cosleep. So What is the solution????
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#139 of 159 Old 07-21-2008, 07:44 PM
 
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Ok guys! Here is my question. I just found out that I am pregnant with our 2nd. What do I do with the 1st? Throw him out? He is not planning on leaving right now but I hear it is not safe for a toddler and newborn to cosleep. So What is the solution????
I guess DH would have to sleep in one bed with toddler and me with new baby (beds in same room?). We use a co-sleeper attached to the bed when they are brand new so you could still have toddler in between you and DH. And I suppose you could always keep new LO on the outside after the co sleeper...
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#140 of 159 Old 07-24-2008, 06:29 PM
 
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Ok guys! Here is my question. I just found out that I am pregnant with our 2nd. What do I do with the 1st? Throw him out? He is not planning on leaving right now but I hear it is not safe for a toddler and newborn to cosleep. So What is the solution????
its just not safe for the toddler and the baby to sleep next to each other. You can still have them in the same bed.

put toddler on dads side and baby with you.

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#141 of 159 Old 07-25-2008, 12:49 PM
 
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i never thought of that! that excites me so much. my little boy is just not ready to leave our bed. he could deal with sleeping on the other side of the bed though. i just don't know how people do it with kids in their own beds. i know that early on neither one of us would have ever gotten any sleep if he was in his bed!
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#142 of 159 Old 07-25-2008, 12:50 PM
 
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This thread is so long but I wanted to chim in and say that my husband and I both have decided that the more the merrier in our bed. As long as they are sleeping in their own beds before college, we will be happy. That being said, we only have a 9 month old but he is more than welcome to stay as long as he'd like. Creativity is the best part of marriage and without it, isn't the marriage bed already ruined? I think of it this way...
they say:"babies in bed ruin your marriage"
I say: "Marriage in your bed ruins babies"

Relations can happen in any room of the house...why does it have to just be the bed? Although, it can happen there too! Having children is a season of life and when they are gone, you can't go back and wish you'd kept them closer longer. I am excited about having many many more children..maybe 15, to share bed with! We just decided we'd keep adding mattresses until our floor is full of them!
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#143 of 159 Old 07-25-2008, 01:25 PM
 
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Relations can happen in any room of the house...why does it have to just be the bed?
It can be a little more complicated than that, depending on your family. DH and I have a teenager in the house, and we don't feel okay having sex anywhere but our room, unless he's out of the house. OTOH, our 3-year-old (tomorrow - wow) and 5-year-old are out of our room. They're okay with it, and they both know they can come in any time.

I hate this "kids in the bed ruins marriages" crap. I'm sure it can cause some extra stresses, but sex can happen in other places, and snuggling and such can happen even with a child in the bed...I love big family snuggles with dh on one side, me on the other, and the child(ren) in the middle.

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#144 of 159 Old 07-30-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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We've been co-sleeping for 2 months and our marriage couldn't be better. People always have little comments like "oh you better get rid of that bad habit while you can" but people don't parent their children as I do who have these sort of comments. DS sleeps in between DH and I and we both love the cuddles. I'm a happier mommy because I don't even have to move to nurse DS and our other DS sleeps on a toddler bed mattress on the floor. He's a little too wiggly to be in bed with us with a newborn.

With that said, our sex life is better than ever! Theirs a lot more creativity than before. By the end of this pregnancy I was annoyed with the bed and ready for some spice in our lives!
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#145 of 159 Old 08-09-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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I couldn't imagine not sleeping with my baby! My whole life I have always had to sleep with something in the crook of my arm, a stuffed animal, pillow, a corner of the blanket, my husband, etc... it only makes sence to me that a baby was designed to fill that space. Cuddling with her at night is one of the most rewarding aspects of motherhood (and of course adds to my sleep & her night time nursing!) As far as sex is concerned, the post partum period is difficult anyways, and it take getting to know eachother in a whole new way regardless, so you might as well make the best of it and realize, then release such limitations as the bed.

Elisha; happy, working, mountain/river/music, single mamma to Charlotte hearts.gif 03/16/08.      http://rivermamma.blogspot.com/

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#146 of 159 Old 08-09-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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I couldn't imagine not sleeping with my baby! My whole life I have always had to sleep with something in the crook of my arm, a stuffed animal, pillow, a corner of the blanket, my husband, etc... it only makes sence to me that a baby was designed to fill that space. Cuddling with her at night is one of the most rewarding aspects of motherhood (and of course adds to my sleep & her night time nursing!) As far as sex is concerned, the post partum period is difficult anyways, and it take getting to know eachother in a whole new way regardless, so you might as well make the best of it and realize, then release such limitations as the bed.
: 100%
I couldn't NOT sleep with my babes
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#147 of 159 Old 08-10-2008, 04:52 PM
 
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I think that the biggest challenge with post baby sex is simply hormonal changes. When a woman has a baby & is breastfeeding, her body is physiologicly aware that she has a baby, and so does not think it needs to make one, resulting in a lack of sex drive. Men on the other hand are hardwired to plant seeds, and don't experience a dramatic chemical/hormonal shift after the birth of their baby. It is these oposite physiological states that pose the real challenge. As far as I'm concerned, bedsharing with your baby really has very little to do with it, it is a simple challenge that can be easily worked arround, beeing far easier to deal with than having no sex drive & a frustrated husband with plenty of sex drive!

Elisha; happy, working, mountain/river/music, single mamma to Charlotte hearts.gif 03/16/08.      http://rivermamma.blogspot.com/

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#148 of 159 Old 08-10-2008, 05:05 PM
 
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I think that the biggest challenge with post baby sex is simply hormonal changes. When a woman has a baby & is breastfeeding, her body is physiologicly aware that she has a baby, and so does not think it needs to make one, resulting in a lack of sex drive. Men on the other hand are hardwired to plant seeds, and don't experience a dramatic chemical/hormonal shift after the birth of their baby. It is these oposite physiological states that pose the real challenge. As far as I'm concerned, bedsharing with your baby really has very little to do with it, it is a simple challenge that can be easily worked arround, beeing far easier to deal with than having no sex drive & a frustrated husband with plenty of sex drive!
Yes. i agree. i think co-sleeping isnt really the issue in the lack of sex problems in my relationship.

i also think it can go the other way round...while my sex drive isnt as high as it was before the birth, i am still up for it, and my partner couldn't be bothered to make an effort. He is so un-adaptable he cant get his head around any other possibility xcept DTD in our bed at night with no baby in the room...which makes me think he isn't really bothered about it. bit hurtful :

today i have moved into the other room, two mattresses on the floor, me and DS. DP refused to take our bed off its base to make it safer, and DS is getting more mobile by the day, so i feel he's left me with no choice. As far as I can see, if you really want to have sex with your partner, you will make the effort. He seems to use it as an excuse (the cosleeping) and is bitter about it...the baby's taken over our lives, etc.

i read some of the posts on here, where mom and dad still have a happy sex life and are happy cosleeping, and i wish it were me. oh well. Its hard to withstand the pressure from DP to sleep train DS and 'move him on' from cosleeping, but i'm confident i'm doing the right thing(most of the time!)
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#149 of 159 Old 08-10-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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to you Devaya. I hope that you and DH can work it out somehow.

Kim mama to DS 12/2005, Pepper kitty , and 10/03, 1/05;
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#150 of 159 Old 08-11-2008, 05:09 AM
 
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"the baby's taken over our lives" - Yeees, this is exactly what I expected to happen when we had one - for the first couple of years anyway.
"sleep train" - you can sleep train someone? Gosh - I wish I'd known that when I suffered with insomnia. Perhaps if someone could tell everyone how to do that, then all insomnia sufferers could dispense with their sleep medication!
We had our lil'one beside us, in a bedside-bed - am way too wriggly to have someone that tiny right beside me and I know I wouldn't sleep - which is not good for anyone in our household and yes it means 'relations' didn't happen in the room - at night, but this as more to do with our hangups than our lil-ones presence. Besides we could always re-invet the lounge Maybe that might work for you Devaya as well.
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