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HELP! I hate co-sleeping!

1550 Views 19 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  odenata
I have a 3 week old dd who we always planned to either co-room or co-sleep. She has been co-sleeping with us the whole time b/c she won't sleep if we put her down. In fact, she'll pretty much only sleep on our chests. I hate it - I worry constantly about her safety and I don't sleep well at all like this. She obviously needs to be near us right now, and I want to do that for her, but I want to sleep as well! Any suggestions?
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all i can say is
, I have done the car seat also...I enjoy the baby w/ me when i sleep. She didnt like being on her back when she was first home...but she was so used to being near me in utero and for 10 lunar months we were might need some rest and you time also
make sure if you can to take it..I know this isnt always possible , I am a sahm that wahj and time alone is very non existent...but they are little for such a short time then...if you need to talk just let me up most nights late night early morning working
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So don't do it! AP is not about a list of rules IMO. Maybe the baby isn't sleeping well like that either.I hate co-sleeping and I hate even having my kids in my room. They have both been in their rooms since 3 weeks and when I have a new one they will be in their own room from the start. My kids are 2.5 and 4.5 so take it from an experienced person in NOT co-sleeping (not too common around here :LOL ) it can work just fine. I have never left my children to cry it out. Not co-sleeping does not equal not responding. I always responded to my children right away and nursed/rocked them to sleep in the rocking chair and put them back down. I need my space at night, I don't sleep very well. I can't even stand to have my husband touch me. Its worked very well for me. As long as you nurse her to sleep until she is out cold (if you lift up an arm it will flop back down) when you put her down she will most likely stay asleep and if your respond to her as soon as she needs you she will be fine. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty and keep doing something that's making you miserable. Its not like breastfeeding, obviously breastfeeding is better and healthier, etc. Separate sleeping does not cause harm if you respond immediately. As long as they know you are always there they will do just fine. I will be using a baby Amby when I have another baby. It is supposed to help babies sleep really well. Good luck to you!
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Keep in mind that it has only been 3 weeks! Your world, and your dd's world, are going to change many, many, many times over the next few months. New "plateaus" will be reached in her development, and your adjustment to the many facets of motherhood will surprise you as well.

I was very scared to have dd in our bed when she was so tiny. I was nervous that the blankets would cover her up. We didn't plan it this way at all, but for the first 3 weeks she wound up sleeping on the chaise lounge of our sofa, with me or my dh on the couch part. Then we moved her to a co-sleeper, but by 4 months she was in our bed full time. Now I wouldn't give it up for the world! Snuggling with her in bed is the best part of my day, and it makes night nursing a breeze.

Now, that doesn't mean that cosleeping will be the right thing for you -- everyone is different. But it does sound like you had your heart set on it, so I wouldn't give up yet. For now though, forget about the labels and the "ideal." Just figure out what works for you right now, because in a week from now she is going to have totally different needs and skills. This is just the very beginning of the giant adventure.

Good luck getting the sleep you need! Remember to nap when she naps -- resist the urge to do anything else! And personally, our dd slept on her belly, not her back -- she just slept much better that way. Do what feels right.
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I remember how tough that was - you're exhausted but want to take care of your baby!

FWIW, we did two things to help out:

1) DH put our baby in a sling and he slept upright in bed (propped with pillows) until she fell into deep sleep. We used the OTSBH because we liked how the padding protected dd.

2) Once she was asleep, we put her in a carry seat (similar to the idea of using the car seat) inside the cradle next to my side of bed, so I could hear immediately if she woke up. You can even leave her inside the sling as long as you tuck it in around the sides of the seat.

Just remember that "this too shall pass" !

Best of luck!
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I would echo what a PP said about 3 weeks being very young, and things do change a lot over the next several months. My DS slept on me for about a month, and I remember being very uncomfortable and not getting much sleep. (Normal, I think, for having a newborn!) But when he was about 8 weeks old he started sleeping much better right next to me. When I had a night where I just felt like I needed some space to stretch out I put him in a bouncy seat right next to the bed. If he started to wake up I could often bounce it al ittle and he'd go back to sleep. Now, at 9 mo, he sleeps very well in our bed, and stretches out his arms while on his back. Doesn't need me to be touching him anymore, except when he wakes to nurse, of course.

Things do get easier. It's really hard at first.
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Just to reinforce what other posters have said.... some of these things take time. We had a co-sleeper for our daughter, but she slept the best on my tummy or chest. I didn't sleep super well, but she did. Then it was on my side with my arm under her cradling her, and I'd wake up with numb hands and sore shoulders. After a couple of weeks like that I didn't even notice it and could sleep normally like that. Now at 10 months, she sleeps on her own in our bed with little cuddles when she wakes up or when I feel like I need some
. Everyday I love co-sleeping more and more, but it did not happen overnight.
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I haven't co-slept with my children on a regular, whole-night basis but 1) never let them cry it out; 2) always put them in bed when ill/waking up at night with a nightmare; 3) half co-slept until 3 months, meaning I'd put them in my bed while BF and we'de both fall asleep.
My youngest is now 2 mo, safely sleeping within hand's reach in his moses basket and only waking up once during the night to BF. In his first month he co-slept with us at least the second half of the night cos I was too tired to put him back inside the moses. He just progressed into waking up once, and getting back to sleep after the BF quite easily, so there's no reason why he slhould not sleep in the moses.

This way we all sleep better, sounder nights and all the children are healthy, secure and well rested. Co-sleeping shouldn't be a dogma.

Marta, SAHM to DS Manuel (May 2000), DD Mariana (March 2002) and DS João (march 2005)
Hi, hugs to you

My dd#2 would not sleep any where but my chest either, so I know where you are coming from. DD#1 hatyed co-sleeping and was in her own bed (inour room)from 2 weeks. She just could not sleep with somone touching her - still can't. If you want to sleep with your babe, here are 2 things that worked for us. I sometimes sleep on the couch. I can tilt my body in towards the back and this gives me the security that I can't drop the baby on the floor. We also use the boppy in the bed, It is by our pillows. I put the baby in it with her head and shoulders up on it (like pillow) and her body inside the circular part. DD#3 likes to be on her side and sleeps very well like this. Also, my girls liked to be swadled for a long time.

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I wish you all the support in the decision that is right for you!

My issue:

DD is 14 months and I now hate co sleeping. I've been trying to convince DH that DD needs to go to her own bed (next to us of course, we still BF), But Dh is not budging! He insists that she stay will us until she's ready! When will tht be!!! I am not sleeping well, I find DD on me in the middle of the night, she HOGS the bed, she runs hot I run cold and she kicks the blanket off both of us!
I need help convincing him, he knows what my needs are, but he also knows our DD. AmI wrong for pushing her out before she's ready? Or can I just think of me this time?

Originally Posted by Shell
...For now though, forget about the labels and the "ideal." Just figure out what works for you right now, because in a week from now she is going to have totally different needs and skills. This is just the very beginning of the giant adventure...
: I don't care to co-sleep either, but at 3 weeks old I found that it was easier to sleep with her on my chest than to get up every 30-60 minutes. Either way I wasn't really sleeping, but at least with her in the bed I didn't have to move as much and could fool myself.
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Don't beat yourself up abotu it. It's more abotu what works for you and your baby. We tried cosleeping for abotu 1 week and DS would just not settle down. He was way too interested in our presence. He liked to be close by, so we had him in a bassinet for easy night nursing, but he is now 2.5 and still prefers to sleep by himself with the door closed. We never forced this on him; we just learned that this is what he liked. He also hated the sling, b/c he hated having his feet confined. So we used a baby bjorn. He weaned himself earlier than I would have liked (15 months) too. But all these things are just part of learning what _your_ child likes, needs, prefers...not some standard in a book that you need to live up to.

Sometimes these things can seem like part of a big package you're supposed to just take all of...I had a homebirth, for example, but am not the least interested in homeschooling. (please don't feel the need to expound on that principle, anyone!) I really want to cloth diaper, but don't have a washer/dryer or care to do diaper service. What I'm saying is that you travel in certain circles and feel that if you don't do everything that is touted as "the best", you are guilty of lesser parenting. It's not true!

You will do so many other things to bond with your baby--this may just be one of those things you leave behind, or that works with your next one. I'm due in Oct with baby #2 and am leaving the door open for whatever she needs.

Not to worry!
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Thanks for the replies, everyone. It is good to hear that dd and her sleeping needs will be changing over the next weeks and months and this will pass. Of course part of me already knew this, but it's so hard to think of these things when all you want is some sleep now.

To clarify, I'm not really attached to the idea of co-sleeping as an ideal, it's just that dd seems to like it best, and she doesn't seem inclined to change her mind about that anytime soon. I still try laying her down, but it only lasts about 5 minutes usually. I'm hoping if I keep trying she'll eventually get used to it and realize that I'm still going to be right there when she needs me.
From a mom who has not slept more than 3 hours at a time in the last 5 years...I say do whatever works without leaving your baby to cry obviously. And as long as it is safe of course. I usually only get 1-2 hours of sleep at a time at night and it really is he**. It may get better or you may have a baby that is not a good sleeper. It does happen contrary to all you will hear about these babies sleeping through the night at 6 weeks old.

Hang in there. I really hope you find something that works for you. I would give you advice but I have none since nothing has worked for me. Some of my babies have just not been good sleepers.
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It's nice to hear from some parents whose kids slept on them & transitioned well to sleeping w/o being held. It didn't work as easily for us. When dd was young, I'd have her sleep on my chest for the last couple hours of the night to get some extra sleep. Slowly she slept less & less w/o being on me & eventually it was all night, even when she was much too big for it to be comfortable for me. Just when I thought I'd lose my mind (10 months old), she accepted sleeping next to me, although I could barely move, let alone leave the bed w/o her waking up. It was the same for naps.

Having been through that, we now have new baby #2 & I find myself again doing whatever I need to in order to get him to sleep & allow me some sleep! But I don't think I can go through the above ordeal again, so I'm putting him down more often than I did w/dd. In a way it makes me sad, but the alternative could be no fun for me. (I certainly don't ever leave him to cry.)

Anyway, I share all this to let you know that if you truly don't like how things are now, it absolutely could change next week...or not. Best of luck to you & your new family!
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I'm a little confused. Are you nursing her to sleep? Do you nurse her while lying on your back?

My DD#2 (she's 1 b'H) sleeps on my chest just because it's easier for me to tandem nurse her with DS#2 (3yo b'H) with her on my chest ... but with one baby going to sleep (if DS#2 is already sleeping or staying up) it's easier to lay on my side to nurse.


Do you ever lay on your side to nurse her?
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ITA with the pp who said it's really important just to do whatever you can to get sleep.

The issue of sleep drove me crazy with DD 1. I vowed not to do it with the 2nd (who seems to have reflux, so it's even WORSE). It's truly better to go with the flow-- you just can't change babies. You can ignore them (CIO) but you can't CHANGE them.

As for sleeping with her on your chest, this will definitely change. My DD, since like I said, seems to have reflux, seems to sleep best when I wrap her in a Moby Wrap and sleep propped up on the bed that way. If she's fussy and wants to nurse, then it's just easiest to nurse in her in bed while I sleep.
I was in your shoes. I was so desprate for sleep I would walk around crying. for 1 month my dd would only sleep on my chest draped sideways so she could nurse. Now she sleeps beside me and some times in the crib. She also wakes up when i set her down.
I would try setting her down everytime she falls asleep for naps b/c eventually she will (probably sleep for you w/o you) and this gets her used to the idea. Also give her to your partner and close the door and nap. I didn't do this enough. Just remember sleep deprivation is a powerful force don't let it cloud your decision making process.

Originally Posted by merpk
I'm a little confused. Are you nursing her to sleep? Do you nurse her while lying on your back?

Do you ever lay on your side to nurse her?

I don't always nurse her to sleep, but sometimes I do. She doesn't have any problem falling asleep - just staying asleep once she is laid down. I mostly sit up to nurse her, because I've had problems getting her to latch right and it's easier in that position.

She is sometimes sleeping next to me now, but I still can't sleep well with her in our bed at all, and would really prefer her to sleep next to our bed in her bassinet. She just started sleeping in her bouncy chair during the day, and I'm thinking of moving it next to the bed for now and see how she does in it at night.
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