are there any co-sleepers without sleep issues? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-06-2003, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi. I'm sorry to give this subject a negative spin, I"m just really curious. I'm the mom of a 4.5 month old baby boy (my first child) who is EBF. I didn't know a thing about co-sleeping, breastfeeding or babies, for that matter before he was born. I nursed my baby from the start and when he fell asleep, I would put him in his crib. Didn't really work that well so at 8 weeks, I started co-sleeping. Things are for the most part better - most nights I get way more sleep and my baby stopped crying at night and gets much more sleep as well. My routine at night or for some naps (if he doesn't go to sleep easily) is to turn on a white noise cd, lower the lights and nurse him to sleep. The white noise cd helps calm me and soothes him and enables the rest of the household to still make some noise while the baby is sleeping. Some may say it's a bad habit, but I am a light sleeper myself so I figure it doesn't hurt to block out outside sounds.

My question is - well I look at this forum and babycenter.com's forums and see so many people with sleep issues. I guess I am naive - before I discovered these forums, I just thought I would nurse my baby and as he gradually got older, he would need less nursing and I would eventually get him into his own bed once he outgrew the need to sleep with me for nursing reasons. I guess I somehow thought it would come "naturally".

But, it seems everywhere I read people are having problems with their babies' sleeping habits. My friends whose babies are formula fed, sleep in cribs and who are using the CIO methods have no sleeping problems. Or, if they do, they just CIO until the problems subside. Yet, I know that it is natural for a breastfed baby to wake many times in the night for food and comfort. I enjoy my nights with my baby. I'm just wondering if somehow I am setting myself up for problems down the road. It just seems like co-sleeping, not using CIO, etc. - these things clash with the expectations and habits of our fast-paced Western society.

Are there any moms out there doing what I'm doing and have no sleep complaints? I hope this post makes sense! THank you for reading!
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Old 10-06-2003, 08:11 PM
 
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We've never had any sleep problems. DD has always been a great sleeper - even as an infant, she only woke at max 2xs per night to nurse. She has always co-slept at night, but naps alone in her crib during the day. She is now just over 3 years old and still loves her alone time in her crib for nap, but wouldn't dream of sleeping in her own bed at night! I have always attributed her good sleeping habits at night to the fact that she has always slept right next ro me - if she stirs at night, all she has to do is reach out in her sleep and mama is right there, so she doesn't even have to wake up. I can tell if she's having a nightmare (she tends to talk or yell things out in her sleep when she is having a nightmare) and, since I am right there, I can rub her back and softly tell her that mama is here and she is safe without her waking up fully (and without me waking up fully!). She rarely wakes during the night. We are now expecting a son in February and will do the same things with him that we did with dd - co-cleeping at night, but when he falls asleep during the day (in the sling or in my arms, just like dd), I will (try to - don't know his personality yet!) put him in the crib. If he is anything like his big sis, he'll love the "down time" to recharge (dd is an extreme extrovert with tons of energy - I think she uses her nap time to recharge her batteries emotionally as well as physically).
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Old 10-06-2003, 08:36 PM
 
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My only thought is: if they're not having sleep problems, they're not posting! Hence, it sounds as though everyone is having them!

My DD is only 4 months old, so things can change anytime, but we have no sleep issues. She cosleeps with us and saws wood all night long, excepting 1-2 sleepy nurses per night.
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Old 10-06-2003, 08:51 PM
 
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We've coslept with both our children and don't have sleep problems.

It depends how you define problems. But if you asked my CIO acquaintances, (if they knew the reality of our sleeping arrangements, that is LOL), they would say that we have enormous sleep problems in our house. They expect to put their children in a bed or crib at 7.30, say goodnight, and not have any more parenting duties until the morning.

The fact that I parent my two girls to sleep, then roll over in my sleep and nurse my toddler whenever she wakes, would, to them, be the most almighty type of sleep disorder.

But I look at them, and think that their children have terrible sleeping problems. They are disconnected from their parents. They are isolated for twelve hours a day from human contact. They suffered physiological and emotional damage from being left to CIO as newborns. They are being set up for sleep and attachment disorders throughout life.

So, my point is that 'problem' depends on how you look at it. If you want a form of convenience parenting that fits in with the TV schedule and a social life, then to co-sleep will be perceived as a problem. If you want to parent the way that nature intended, then the cio brigade and their children have a problem.

Just another perspective. But the cio people don't post saying "Oh, I'm really worried about the harm that cio might have done my child. Can anyone reassure me?" Instead, they sit down with their newspaper or for their adult time, without a second thought. An acquaintance recently told me very assertively that crying it out 'does no harm'. He knows, because three of his kids have been through it, and they 'learned' after a few nights. In fact, research shows that it does do physiological harm, and I was about to point this out, but then thought, what's the point? The culture is such that the fact that something 'works' and is convenient makes it 'right' and harmless. No need for any depth of thought or consideration. Sad, imo.
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Old 10-06-2003, 09:25 PM
 
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i really liked britishmum's post.

i'm not a mother yet, but i hope to be soon and dh and i plan to cosleep.

i just thought i would add a different perspective to this thread. i coslept until i was about 12. i sincerely believe this helped lay the ground work for the close relationship i have with my mother. she was there for me at night (in bed, not in the next room) when i was small and needed reassurance and she is still there for me (several states away now) if i ever need her. it's as if the closeness and protection she offered me at night gave me what i needed to be confident and independent when she was not with me.

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Old 10-06-2003, 09:34 PM
 
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co sleeping and loving it!!

we are having no problems with sleeping. most of the time she sleeps in my sling for naps(or in my arms while i am at the keyboard) and she sleeps with us at night
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Old 10-06-2003, 09:37 PM
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Yes, we've co-slept from day one and have had no sleep issues (dd is now 15 months).
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Old 10-06-2003, 09:41 PM
 
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Quote:
It just seems like co-sleeping, not using CIO, etc. - these things clash with the expectations and habits of our fast-paced Western society.
You are absolutely right. I think it's sad though.
I have co-slept with my daughter from day one, she is 4 yrs old, and now goes to sleep in her own bed, but I have yet to wake up without her in my bed or on her "safe bed" at the foot of our bed!
I now have a boy, almost 2mts, and he also sleeps with us. I only have a cradle for the odd day nap, usually though, he's in the sling to sleep.
I have had NO problems with this. Except my own fear that dd had to be in her own bed before the birth of ds, but when I realized there was no need, I stopped stressing.
My sister laughs at me, cause we have a 4 bedroom house, but are all shacked up in one room!!!
WEll, we are happy, and, well rested!!!!

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Old 10-06-2003, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What a relief. I'm so glad I have found this forum. You have all made some wonderful points - thanks so much for answering. I agree with you!!! I'm sure my CIO friend would think it awful that I nurse my son throughout the night (3 x average, sometimes a lot more though). For crying out loud, he is a little baby, he needs his mommy! Anyway, I think you're right too - if there are no issues, why would you see a post? Well, thanks for the food for thought. Now I am off to bed with my little one!
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Old 10-06-2003, 11:08 PM
 
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We also co-sleep and have no sleep issues at all. we are all well rested and ds wakes only twice a night to eat, he is three months old and takes after his daddy in that he is a deep, heavy, long sleeper!
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Old 10-06-2003, 11:25 PM
 
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we co-slept with my son until he was around 22 months... and am currently co-sleeping with my newborn. i agree with the other posters, that "problems" are only problems if you precieve them to be. most people i know would say that *any* night waking/night parenting would be a huge problem.. when really it's normal for anyone, of any age, to wake in the night. and children need parenting as much in the night as the do during the day. just because it clashes with western culture doesn't make it wrong or a problem... in fact, i have major concerns with western culture that would formula feed/CIO/etc little babies!!

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Old 10-07-2003, 12:03 AM
 
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at almost 15 months, dd has slept by my side every night of her life. she is a great sleeper, we both barely wake to nurse (i keep saying one of these days i'll count how often she nurses, but i can't be bothered to wake up enough when she actually does, lol!). we don't have any sleep problems, and are a happy family!

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Old 10-07-2003, 12:23 AM
 
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I co-slept with my DS every night until he was two, and then most nights until he was four. We had no issues...unless you count waking with a big toe up your nose an issue!
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Old 10-07-2003, 02:11 AM
 
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We didn't mean to be co-sleepers, but it's no much easier to nurse when she's right there! In fact, Grace has slept right through the night since day one. Now it's just completely normal to have her with us. I love seeing her sweet face in the morning. We just have the $300 laundry basket (aka her crib) right next to our bed!

Like someone else mentioned, the only sleep 'problems' we have is a little foot in my ribs or a little arm flung across me.
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Old 10-08-2003, 02:30 AM
 
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I don't have anything new to add, but had to jump on this thread cause I was so happy to see it.

Tuesday, I'm so glad you're taking your little one to bed and you know that you are needed.

We co-sleep, and although we've gone through not only nights where dd has nursed to sleep quickly and only woken a couple of times to nurse as well as nights where she took a good 45 minutes to fall asleep, and then woke every half hour for a few hours, then everly hour or two the rest of the night, and sometimes nights where she woke up and fussed on and off awake between nursings for up to two hours in the wee hours of the morning, I wouldn't say we've had "problems". Problems are defined by your expectations.

I am not pleased when we have a rough night, but I willingly accept my parenting responsibilities 24 hours a day, and try to meet her needs when she wakes at night beside me. I figure it's teeth hurting, an upset tummy, a too wet diaper, feeling hot, feeling cold, on the brink of a developmental milestone, etc. and I respond.

I'm sure almost every parent who "trained" his/her infant to sleep (by sending the message that needs are only attended when the sun is out?) has nights where he/she doesn't sleep that well, waking every couple of hours, tossing and turning, thinking about some deadline, can't get comfortable, maybe coming down with something. I know I do, and dh does as well. But we're all independent adultls and can manage to get a drink, read a book, watch some TV, take an antacid, use the toilet, drink some cold syrup, whatever, until we can get comfortable and back to sleep. Why do we expect our little ones to take care of themselves at night, but we'll do it during the day?
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Old 10-08-2003, 02:43 AM
 
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ITA that it's all in how you define the term "problems". Ds went through a period between 5 and 10 months where he was waking numerous times a night. It was really rough for dh and I, but I could never see the nightwaking as being "sleep issues". I really felt that ds's behavior was completely normal, and that any "problem" had more to do with my learning to cope with it--like someone said, nightime parenting is part of being a parent. I felt that when he was ready, he would outgrow the nightwaking and begin sleeping all night long, and sure enough, at about 10 months, he did, without any intervention from us. Now, the most he wakes at night is to groggily climb from his side-car crib over me to sleep between dh and me.
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Old 10-08-2003, 04:46 AM
 
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Once he's actually asleep, life is grand.... it's *getting* to sleep that is a major issue with DS. We co-sleep ...and nurse, rock, cuddle, read, walk, drive, sing, dance, massage, mambo, juggle to get there...you get the picture. I do wish it were easier for DS to fall asleep, but it's not a co-sleeping issue, just more a personality issue, I think.

I kinda love those middle of the night nursings....that sweet alone time, just cuddles and his hand on my cheek, the contented little sigh when he's done. It's as close to a perfect moment as I can think.
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Old 10-08-2003, 05:05 AM
 
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My only advice is when your baby is older 1-2 years you may be able to comfort them in other ways and not nurse so much at night. I tandem nursed and don't think I slept for 2 years I wish I had tried other ways of soothing my girls when they did not need the nurishment to sleep through the night. I would have been a happier mom.

My ds is a very business like eater. I know when he needs to eat and when he just wants to suck so I feel comfortable using a pacifier which he likes a lot. He almost always sucks on a nipple, a knuckle or his paci. My dd's would have nothing to do with anything but the nipples so some of it is also personality.

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Old 10-08-2003, 06:06 AM
 
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my first was not a sleeper....late going to bed - nursing all night - up at the crack of dawn...I thought all kids were like that and could not believe there were kids that slept - oh wait...those are in their cribs - in other rooms - and most used the CIO method....ok...not for me.

so now I have this new little baby...he's been sleeping thru the night since he was 1 week old. Sometimes he will wake for cumfort and turn away from my breast right away and continue sleeping.....

did the same with both - guess it depends on the baby.

when we were night weaning -after over 1 yr (15 months to be exact) of NO sleep - I wanted to cut out the midnight and 2am nursing session (which were also "playing" sessions) we used Dr Gordon's method and it worked great for us......a bit frustrated for my nursling and myself- but we survived. He would wake up again at 3 and 4am and our day sarted once again.....

hope this helped
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Old 10-08-2003, 06:23 AM
 
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We don't have any real sleep issues. The 3.5 yo has slept in her own bed since she was just over 2 - no training, she just felt crowded when DS joined the family, I guess. The 22 month old still sleeps in our bed - we'll see when he leaves. I honestly don't know how many times we nurse at night because I don't fully wake, but I'll be it is around 2-3. We all get plenty of sleep. I rarely post on this board, but I do check in because it is nice to hear from other families who do things the way we do (or at least, pretty much do).

Like someone else said, we do exist, we just don't post often.

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Old 10-09-2003, 02:02 AM
 
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We co sleep and had our issues but they were more like our learning curve of parenthood. We learned that our ds needed an earlier bed time and routine naps as well. AS soon as we got ourselves ina comferatable routine all was well. It just takes time and patience and no one really tells you that. Right now we are on the learning curve of what works best for our 7 month old. Wish us luck! I love co sleeping, and would recomend it to everyone but I also know that it is not for everyone.
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Old 10-10-2003, 03:17 AM
 
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And I know I have posted this before, but.....when a baby is left to cry it out, they eventually stop crying because they learn that no one will come for them. This not only breaks their will, but later on in life, do you think that these children have truely close relationships with their parent, when at an early age they already learned that they can not count on their parent at any hour. So when this teenager has questions of drugs or sex, do you really think mom and dad are thier first choice to come to?

Just another point of view, on why being attached to your baby is the best way to go.

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Old 10-10-2003, 04:48 AM
 
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Britishmum said it for me and other posts, too ...

We're 5 in the bed (5yo, 3yo, 1yo & grownups), wall2wall futons, and the only issue seems to be who sleeps next to me ... though that's changing, as 3yoDD now insists on sleeping next to 1yoDS#2 now, gets mad if I'm between them, "I don't want to cuddle with you, Ima, I want to cuddle with the baby" ... :LOL ...

Night-weaning is different for each child, and I think the OP is reading a lot of threads with issues about that. We found actually that the problems we had with night-weaning were actually caused by our thinking that we had to night-wean.

Now that we've figured out that we don't, we're looking forward to entirely smooth sailing ... :LOL

But seriously, have yet to find a logical reason to banish my children to lonely nights alone. Grown-ups don't like to sleep alone, why should children like it? And why should they have to?

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Old 10-10-2003, 05:05 AM
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MAGNESIUM helps moms to get more sleep at night.

take it at bedtime with full glass of water and more in the middle of the night if you get up to pee and tend to lay awake.

magnesium helps calm and soothe and making breastmilk uses quite a bit of yours up, which can lead to nursing jitters. especially when your nursling is having a growth spurt.

i don't always sleep well every night with my 7 and 3 year old. but i wouldn't have it any other way. there is such a sweetness in it. we are all cozy together, especially the 2 of them.

listen to your deepest convictions. ignore society.

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Old 10-10-2003, 05:52 AM
 
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No sleep issues here. Actually, I am about to fall asleep...

Goodnight, I will post some more tomorrow while awake!
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Old 10-11-2003, 04:21 PM
 
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I have and 8 yr old, and three year old and, even sometimes a 17 year old, and yes, the dog, in bed with me. We sleep like rocks. My sister flew in a few hours early and not wanting to wake us, took a cab, got the secret hidden key and let herself in. She said the dog barked, the realized it was her and went back to bed. The rest of us were very surprised to find her in the bottom bunk in the morning. My alarm goes off about 0430 every morning and sometime I lie there and listen to Bob Edwards for awhile before I get up. No one else budges. Sometimes I have to peel someones legs or arm or head off of me to get up . And if I get up in the middle of the night to pee, by the time I get back to bed they have drifted close together and instead of being in the middle, so I can cuddle with both the younger ones, I get to be on the outside. I love sleeping with my kids and always have.
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Old 10-23-2003, 04:31 PM
 
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As above, I think that those without issues obviously aren't writing about them.
The only real issue I've had was in the early months ( I think up to 5 or 6 months) I used to go to bed at the same time as baby, like 7 pm. BUT - I was one really well rested mama, and never was sleep deprived (well except in the first month or two). Eventually dd went to sleep and I'd read in bed. Later still I'd get out of bed a short while to spend time with dh. This time got longer and longer and now (one year) dd sleeps like a log for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs when she goes down. I go in for a few minutes to nurse her when she wakes, then she sleeps a couple more hours. I have 3 hours to myself at night now and more time with dh. Eventually I anticipate she won't wake at all. I go to bed at ll pm now and get a good 8 or 9 hours til dd wakes at 730 or 8 am. So I think everything I did was well worth it. She has never cried going to sleep and sleeps really well. She cosleeps with me on a futon on the floor in a baby-safe room. She is one happy little baby.
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Old 10-23-2003, 05:30 PM
 
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the only real problems we had were when dd was first born and we were trying to put her in the cradle by the bed. she would have none of it, so though we were scared new parents we let her sleep in bed with us and have been pretty well rested ever since. there's been the occasional cranky night, but for the most part she's been a great sleeper as long as we're with her. now that she's 2.5 i can go in the other room and hang out during naps or at night, but if she starts to rouse and we're not there she'll fuss. i think it would be awful if she didn't sleep with us 'cause it's obvious that she needs us so much. it's so nice to wake up in the morning to a happy smiling talking laughing little girl instead of a fussing and crying one and, of course, it's nicer for her, too. wouldn't have it any other way right now. we'll see how it goes when number 2 gets here in a month or so.

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Old 10-23-2003, 05:48 PM
 
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We are a co-sleeping family with no sleep issues. My DD slept with us since she was born. It just felt right. She night weaned at about 22 months with a little help and nursed until she was about 2.5 yrs. She is sleeping in her own bed most nights now, right next to mine and comes over every morning for a snuggle and in the night if she wants to. She also puts herself to sleep after a couple of stories in our bed, then she climbs into her bed, looks at a book for a couple of minutes and is out.

I feel she is very secure and knows that she can count on mom and dad to be there for her.

Robin
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Old 10-23-2003, 07:45 PM
 
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My little boy is almost 6 months old, and DH and I were talking about how long he will let us sleep with him. When I said maybe at 2 or 3, DH looked so sad. We can't imagine sleeping without our best snuggler!

DS wakes 2 or 3 times to nurse, but he doesn't wake fully.

I just love hearing him slurp and gulp himself back to sleep!


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