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I can't seem to find a definitive answer on this, it seems like that for every article I read about co-sleeping being great for growth, there's another one that says it stunts said growth. have any of you found incredible consequences to allowed your baby to sleep with you all night? And if so, what are they?
 

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Stunts physical growth? Do they offer any evidence for this at all?

Have you read anything by Dr James McKenna or Katherine Dettwyler?

I think you can be fairly confident that co-sleeping won't stunt your baby's growth :) Anecdotally, mine have co-slept from birth. They are now in the 60th percentile or above.


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Do you mean emotional growth?
I've co slept with dd since birth. I was so against it until she was born. I had her in a bassinet next to me originally, but I would wake up every hour or two worried about sids or me sleeping through her cries or any other worry you could think of. So it was just easier to keep her in bed. She's 2 now and is a great sleeper. She sleeps 8-8 usually. The down side is that she wakes to nurse a lot. I used to sleep through it, but now she sleeps like a tornado and dh and I were getting fed up with it. Last week we night weaned her. 3 horrible nights later she sleeps 8-5, nurses, then sleeps in till 8. I fear the day when we're ready to move her to her bed, but for now there is nothing better than cuddling with my baby at night. It goes by fast and I try to enjoy every minute. In a few years she won't want to cuddle with me, so it's worth a few kicks in the head. Lol
 

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What cons are there? You need to practice safe co-sleeping especially in the beginning but if you do I see few drawbacks. I definitely think it promotes growth and emotional wellbeing. My child transferred easily to a mattress on the floor at 15 months when I noticed that she woke up from our movements. I put her to sleep there and breastfed as usual to sleep and if she woke up but the rest of the time she slept there. At 2 she moved into her own room and usually sleeps there all night the occasional wake up comes and she goes to our bed but that is quite rare. If I compare to my "absolutely no co-sleeping and sleep-training is necessary otherwise they will sleep in their parents bed until graduation"-friends my daughter sleeps more easily in her room and has much fewer wake-ups now that she is older than their kids but she woke to feed a longer time and waited longer to consistently sleep through the night but once she started the change was much more stable. I see very few drawbacks to co-sleeping.
 

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I think it is helpful for Mental growth.

I can't seem to find a definitive answer on this, it seems like that for every article I read about co-sleeping being great for growth, there's another one that says it stunts said growth. have any of you found incredible consequences to allowed your baby to sleep with you all night? And if so, what are they?

My baby was really in need of me. If possible all the time. I talk with her and listen to her while going to sleep. It is required for a certain limit of age. After that, there in no need to co-sleep. It may be painful.
 

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Co-sleeping has saved my sanity with two of my three children. Everyone got (or gets, current tense, as my almost two-year-old is still co-sleeping part of the night) more sleep. The snuggles are priceless. You do have to be careful with blankets/pillows when they are small, but you may also be surprised how your mommy instincts kick in when your child stirs in the night. You become hyper aware of their position and movement. I would just read up on co-sleeping safety if you are considering spending nights with your baby by your side.
 

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PROS:

-Reduced risk for SIDS (this is particularly important in the early months, when SIDS is more of a risk)
-Better milk flow (particularly helpful for mothers who work outside the home - co-sleeping often helps these mothers to continue breastfeeding, when their milk would otherwise dry up)
-Often, both Parents and Baby sleep better, particularly when Baby is very young (under 9-months)
-Being close to Mother is usually comforting to Baby
-Parents don't have to leave their bed to feed Baby during the night (which results in less fragmented sleeping patterns for everyone)
-Parents and Baby have the chance to deepen their bond by sharing sleep together

CONS:

-Neither parent can consume alcohol or take any other drug that causes drowsiness
-With an older baby, there's less room in the bed (and you'd be surprised how much space that baby can take up!), and Baby may be a restless sleeper (kicking you, pulling the covers, etc.)
-Baby may have more fragmented sleep patterns while co-sleeping than she would in her own bed, resulting in over-tiredness, and eventually exhaustion
-Mother or Father may sleep less well with an infant in the bed, for fear of hurting him
-Baby may become so attached to Mother that she can only sleep with the breast in her mouth, or while lying on top of Mother (resulting, often, in poor sleep for Mother and possibly Baby, as well)

That's all I can think of for now. I am a strong advocate for co-sleeping, particularly for babies under 9-months. I think it's very helpful for many families, and is often a wonderful sleep solution. However, it doesn't work for every family (and you do need to take into consideration the needs of the entire family unit - not just those of your baby). Many people are very passionate about sleep solutions and sleep situations (both for and against co-sleeping, sleep training, etc.), and so you will find very thoughtful and well worded arguments for both sides. My motto is, it's important that everyone in the family gets a healthy amount of sleep, and the needs of each family are different. It doesn't matter if everyone's sharing one bed, or if everyone is sleeping in separate rooms: it matters that everyone is sleeping well. Lack of sleep is what will stunt your child's growth and development - not where he sleeps. If he's sleeping well in bed with you, by all means, continue that. If he sleeps better in his own bed, then that's where he needs to be. Flexibility is the trademark of a good parent, so if what you're doing isn't working (i.e., sleep isn't being had), try something else for a while to see how things go. Bear in mind, also, that your child's sleep needs may change as he grows. Perhaps your 3 m/o slept beautifully in bed with you, but your 1 y/o does better in the nursery with her older siblings. Maybe your first child needed his own bed right away, but your second child needed to co-sleep until age 5. Sleep needs and preferences are very individual. For every parent who swears by co-sleeping, there's another who swears it does more harm than good. Babies don't come with a personalized manual, so it's our job as parents to figure out their needs and do our best to meet them, and adapt as those needs change.
 

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Yes, all good points. I would also like to add that room sharing is protective for SIDS as well so, if you are not bed-sharing for whatever reason, please consider room sharing for at least the first 12 months.


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Yes, all good points. I would also like to add that room sharing is protective for SIDS as well so, if you are not bed-sharing for whatever reason, please consider room sharing for at least the first 12 months.


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Great point! I completely agree. I think room sharing is a safety must until Baby turns 1, with very few exceptions.
 

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PROS:

-Reduced risk for SIDS (this is particularly important in the early months, when SIDS is more of a risk)
-Better milk flow (particularly helpful for mothers who work outside the home - co-sleeping often helps these mothers to continue breastfeeding, when their milk would otherwise dry up)
-Often, both Parents and Baby sleep better, particularly when Baby is very young (under 9-months)
-Being close to Mother is usually comforting to Baby
-Parents don't have to leave their bed to feed Baby during the night (which results in less fragmented sleeping patterns for everyone)
-Parents and Baby have the chance to deepen their bond by sharing sleep together

CONS:

-Neither parent can consume alcohol or take any other drug that causes drowsiness
-With an older baby, there's less room in the bed (and you'd be surprised how much space that baby can take up!), and Baby may be a restless sleeper (kicking you, pulling the covers, etc.)
-Baby may have more fragmented sleep patterns while co-sleeping than she would in her own bed, resulting in over-tiredness, and eventually exhaustion
-Mother or Father may sleep less well with an infant in the bed, for fear of hurting him
-Baby may become so attached to Mother that she can only sleep with the breast in her mouth, or while lying on top of Mother (resulting, often, in poor sleep for Mother and possibly Baby, as well)

That's all I can think of for now. I am a strong advocate for co-sleeping, particularly for babies under 9-months. I think it's very helpful for many families, and is often a wonderful sleep solution. However, it doesn't work for every family (and you do need to take into consideration the needs of the entire family unit - not just those of your baby). Many people are very passionate about sleep solutions and sleep situations (both for and against co-sleeping, sleep training, etc.), and so you will find very thoughtful and well worded arguments for both sides. My motto is, it's important that everyone in the family gets a healthy amount of sleep, and the needs of each family are different. It doesn't matter if everyone's sharing one bed, or if everyone is sleeping in separate rooms: it matters that everyone is sleeping well. Lack of sleep is what will stunt your child's growth and development - not where he sleeps. If he's sleeping well in bed with you, by all means, continue that. If he sleeps better in his own bed, then that's where he needs to be. Flexibility is the trademark of a good parent, so if what you're doing isn't working (i.e., sleep isn't being had), try something else for a while to see how things go. Bear in mind, also, that your child's sleep needs may change as he grows. Perhaps your 3 m/o slept beautifully in bed with you, but your 1 y/o does better in the nursery with her older siblings. Maybe your first child needed his own bed right away, but your second child needed to co-sleep until age 5. Sleep needs and preferences are very individual. For every parent who swears by co-sleeping, there's another who swears it does more harm than good. Babies don't come with a personalized manual, so it's our job as parents to figure out their needs and do our best to meet them, and adapt as those needs change.
As for only sleeping with the breast in the baby's mouth or on top of the mother, this can be worked with and you can train your baby not to do this even if you continue cosleeping. It is not easy like most changes with babies but it can be done. Also, for some a pacifier can be the solution and this can be used whether you cosleep or not. My daughter wanted to sleep on me but I put her down very carefully and progressively moved her further from me and while it was not an easy task it could be done without crying or distress. Pacifiers were never interesting though, the only difference between different pacifiers were how far she would spit them, because out they came!
 

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As for only sleeping with the breast in the baby's mouth or on top of the mother, this can be worked with and you can train your baby not to do this even if you continue cosleeping. It is not easy like most changes with babies but it can be done. Also, for some a pacifier can be the solution and this can be used whether you cosleep or not. My daughter wanted to sleep on me but I put her down very carefully and progressively moved her further from me and while it was not an easy task it could be done without crying or distress. Pacifiers were never interesting though, the only difference between different pacifiers were how far she would spit them, because out they came!
Yes, I'm aware that a baby can be trained not to sleep with the breast in her mouth or on top of Mother. Not all of the pros/cons I listed are applicable to every family, and many of the cons can be worked with. But it's still a con, because if your baby does to that, you may have to put in quite a deal of effort to train her out of it.
 

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Actually bed sharing is a very big risk for SIDS! I also heard that it was a way to reduce SIDS risk until I started doing research and found many medical articles citing the opposite, that SIDS risk actually goes up exponentially when you share a bed with your baby. This is not the same as room sharing or co-sleeping, where the baby is sleeping nearby in her own bassinette or on a separate surface, which I do believe works wonders for helping the whole family to get more sleep! But for me sharing a bed is not worth the risk until baby is at least 1 and SIDS is no longer an issue.
 

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As other parents have mentioned, you have to do what's best for your family. My prior experience cosleeping with my DSS has made me very firm in my decision NOT to cosleep with our next baby. For us, the drawbacks of cosleeping far outweighed the pros:

-No room for 2 adults + a very squirmy, thrashing toddler in a queen sized bed
-Toddler would lay awake, sometimes for hours, if anyone else was in bed with him
-Toddler woke up screaming and terrified if he was alone in the room
-NO ONE, including toddler, got anywhere close to enough sleep

We transitioned him to his own bed and his own room, and the transition itself was a little rough, but actually ended up being far easier than we imagined. He's now 3.5, has been sleeping successfully on his own for around 8 months, and all of us are a lot more well-rested because of it. He rarely wakes up at night and almost always sleeps 12 hours straight.

DSS's mother coslept with him longer than we did (we share equal custody) but she eventually got so fed up that she moved him to his own room at her house too.

For our new baby, her crib will be in our bedroom initially until she gets a semi-predictable sleep schedule established (my guess is anywhere from 3-8 months though it could be a lot longer than that), at which point she'll start sharing a room with her brother.

I know cosleeping is wonderful for lots of other parents, and I'm not knocking it for other people! But for us it was a nightmare.
 

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SIDS is defined as an unexplined death of a baby less than a year old. This is not to be confused with a sleeping peson smothering a baby in a bed, on a couch, in a chair, ect. Smothering is NOT an explained death. There is a concern with very small babies that they can can get in a position get smothered because of bodies, bedding, pillows, or other situation. However, babies also smother in cribs because they get in bad positions or because of stuff in cribs. Because more babies sleep in cribs, cradles, seats, and other places there are more infant deaths in these places than co-sleeping.

SIDS and smothering are tragic but very rare.

Co-sleeping is the norm for humans. It is how human being have survived. Putting infants in cages in another room and expecting them to sleep alone is a recent behavior. It is the experimant behavior that must be proven safe. Of course babies and young children should sleep with their mother and they do in most of the world today.

Instead of buying a crib, setting up a nursery, and getting a bunch of baby stuff, William Sears recommends getting a king size bed so there is plenty of room for the family bed. I'm glad I listend to Sears and had a king size bed and made a baby sling. It was 1979 and there weren't baby slings in stores.

http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Sleep-Book-Complete-Parenting/dp/0316107719/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1440458190&sr=1-3&keywords=william+sears

It isn't recommended that other family members, aunts, step-mothers, baby sitters, ect. sleep with babies. Many of the smothering deaths of babies are people other than mothers sleeping with babies. These deaths get headlines and are called co-sleeping deaths. They often occur in places other than beds and are still called co-sleeping. People that are against co-sleeping uses these deaths to try and scare mothers. They don't understand that most breastfeeding mothers and babies have a connection with each other that put them in similar sleep cycles that help them better sleep together.

I'm 59 and know many children that co-slept with their mother and breastfed 2-3 or more years (I was a La Leche League Leader 25 years). These children grew up to be peaceful, considerate, outstanding adults. All the ones that I know that became parents breastfed and co-slept with their babies.
 

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Actually bed sharing is a very big risk for SIDS! I also heard that it was a way to reduce SIDS risk until I started doing research and found many medical articles citing the opposite, that SIDS risk actually goes up exponentially when you share a bed with your baby. This is not the same as room sharing or co-sleeping, where the baby is sleeping nearby in her own bassinette or on a separate surface, which I do believe works wonders for helping the whole family to get more sleep! But for me sharing a bed is not worth the risk until baby is at least 1 and SIDS is no longer an issue.
Um...I haven't been able to find any of those studies that actually compared planned co-sleeping in a bed rather than an exhausted, drunk, or drugged adult accidentally falling asleep with a baby on surfaces including couches, reclining chairs, and even cribs to an infant sleeping separately. Links?

I have, however, found this http://oto.sagepub.com/content/116/6/575.short which basically equates SIDS to apnea, and http://jap.physiology.org/content/84/4/1374 which indicates that sharing a bed with their mother reduces apnea in infants.
 

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Personally I don't believe any mother who is not drugged or ill will smother her baby. I worried about it before my son was born, but soon learned that any tiny movement from him or myself would wake me. It's like your senses are fine tuned to your baby. I didn't plan on co-sleeping, but after being awake days on end I gave up for exhaustion and am still co-sleeping now and he is almost 2. I don't regret it at all and I will be starting of with it right away next time around. I always say trust your instincts as a mother and don't worry so very much about all that "expert" advice.

One thing though, I never had him sleeping next to my husband, just lying next to me. My husband was a much more sound sleeper and definitely could have rolled on the baby and not noticed.
 

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Yeah, it's amazing how in tune a mother becomes around her own child. They have a sixth sense that is super heightened. Even as a godmother, I feel this. When my godchild visits, he sleeps in my room (we have separate beds), and I am always super aware of him while we're asleep. I'm a super heavy deep sleeper (I'm regularly known to sleep through alarms, and nothing wakes me up during the night - I once slept through my roommate moving out of our room with movers and everything) and always have been, but when he's in my room, I wake at his slightest movement or murmur. I only have to set my alarm to vibrate, and I hear it instantly. It's remarkable. I could only wonder at how much more sensitive I'd be if I were his birth mother.
 

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I personally think that co sleeping is not a bad thing at all because when you are near to your baby then he feels himself safe and secure. I have two kids and I believe on the co sleeping. in fact it sometimes also depends on your family background or the toddler behavior as well.
 

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Co-sleeping

Some parents co-sleep with their baby for part of the night or during the day so that they can get more rest. They might breastfeed their baby while they doze or sleep, for instance, or co-sleep because they find it easier to settle their baby this way. For more info about it please visit motherhow.com/a-co-sleeping-with-the-child-at-what-age-is-it-appropriate/
 

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we co-slept here

When my son was very very little we co-slept, since he was so small I made a roll of flannel and put a ring around the top of his body so that there would be a bumper between us and him, and he was at our head height, I never remember having the feeling I was going to roll onto him though. We were on a very very firm futon and he was not under our duvet. For one thing, if you are breastfeeding the baby thru the night you are not sleeping too deeply anyway, plus your body gets set on their rhythm so if they aren't nursing on their usual pattern you are quite aware of that fact. I know I was terrified we were going to experience some kind of medical emergency as when he was in the hospital he was on all kinds of monitors, all it took was for him to bend his neck a little too far and he would asphyxiate. I think I would have been even more of a nervous wreck if I'd had to rely solely on a baby monitor. So besides the ease of breastfeeding, I probably was rested a bit more, and my son didn't often have to come to a full on cry while I was close. When he was older and sturdier he got moved out of our bed, he would definitely be kicking someone in the face if we tried to share a bed with him. If it wasn't the feet you'd get his face about 1" away which could be funny in the middle of a very dark night.
 
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