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Hi,<br>
Any advice for getting off to a good start with co-sleeping?<br><br>
My son is 5 weeks old. After many sleep issues with my first son (3yrs) I thought I was committed to sleep training (NOT CIO or CC, but gently a la Baby Whisperer). Yet... then he was born, and now I just feel it's natural to have him close.<br><br>
Yet, I fear he will not be able to nap without my boob in him face (not tenable either for my sanity, or for the needs of my preschooler) And I fear I will regret creating an all night nursing association and have to either endure it (and the resentment and sleep-deprivation that may well come with it) or untrain him, which would be so hard for him to go thru.<br><br>
Last night for the first time I realized he already has a sucking-while-sleeping association, and we were up for 2 hours after his 1am feed trying to get him back to sleep w/o laying him next to me to nurse all night (which leads to gas and fussiness as I have overactive letdown) and even then he was awake regularly and needed some settling.<br><br>
Veterans - any advice?? I really want to start intentionally, not accidentally as I've been doing. And I don't want to waste another night going between different methods.<br><br>
Many thanks!
 

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At this age they still need to eat frequently. And the need to suck is so strong that they do it in their sleep.<br><br>
Have you tried a sling so you can still function but have baby sleep with you?<br><br>
Worked wonders for me. They can be close and with you but you can still do stuff around the house.
 

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There's really not one perfect way to go (as you probably know). Speaking from my own experience, I have three kids and each one of them has turned out pretty different in terms of sleeping despite my doing everything the same from the get go.<br><br>
All 3 spent lots of time in the sling from day 1.<br>
All 3 were nursed on demand.<br>
All 3 were nursed to sleep.<br>
All 3 were put down in a crib or bed for naps from day 1, if it worked out/was convenient.<br>
All 3 started their evening in a crib and came to bed with us when we went to bed.<br><br>
What ended up happening:<br>
DD: gradually slept longer and longer in the crib, slept through the night around 12 months but still came into bed with us in the early morning to nurse/sleep.<br><br>
DS1: woke up every 2 hours for the first 9 months of his life; started thinking that coming into bed with us was party time so he always slept in his crib from 4 months on; miraculously started sleeping through the night around 12 months.<br><br>
DS2: at night after the initial going-to-sleep, after about 3 hours will not be put back down in his crib so to bed I go; wakes up every hour or two (I think) to nurse, all night long, but neither one of us really wakes up; is the mellowest, most easy-going baby of the 3!
 

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Throw out any idea of training. We train dogs, not children.<br><br>
Sucking to sleep is a normal, mammalian behavior.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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I know a lot of folks are down on the "binkies" and not all babies take to them, but for us they were a real lifesaver (or boobsaver). I always nursed on demand and if he was really hungry the pacifier would fail to pacify, but DS's need for sucking was very strong and it really did help keep him asleep and help him transition off the breast without waking him up. Of course there's the issue of fumbling around in the dark to find the darn thing in the middle of the night, but DH helped with that, and for the most part it helped us all get more sleep. DS spent most of his napping time in early infancy snuggled in the sling with the paci, waking up to nurse when he was hungry. And yeah that's like every 2-3 hours, day and night, paci or not.<br><br>
I think more often than not co-sleeping is accidental and not intentional; it was for us anyway and I think that's okay. You have to experiment to find out what works for you and your babe there is no ideal prescription for everyone. So don't be afraid to try different methods; it's the only way to figure out what works best for you.
 

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I have two conflicting thoughts about this. On the one hand, TBH, I really felt like books like the Baby Whisperer, while sometimes giving me a good tip or two, also just made me feel much less confident about my parenting instincts. That book refers a lot to accidental parenting, but frequently it's really going against <i>instinctive parenting</i>, the ways we just naturally know how to care for our little ones. If you follow your instincts now in parenting your LO to sleep, you'll be able to do the same in discerning when and how to make a change later, if things aren't working.<br><br>
On the other hand, you know yourself and what you're capable of. If you really sense that your child is settling firmly into a pattern that you will very soon tire of, it may not a bad idea to try and make gentle changes, or at least pave the way for them. Pantley's book or Sleepless in America might have some ideas for you. My DD couldn't sleep without being held the first two months, and after a little while , DH and I need a little bit of a break. We found she could sleep when swaddled during her first "nap" of the day. 3 or 4 months in, we built up to her being able to sleep swaddled for several more short periods in the day and early evening.<br><br>
But esp. when your LO is sooo little, I really wouldn't push them to sleep more independently than they are wired for. I accepted that DD needed me to sleep with her after the first 30m of each nap, though - hooray - at 12+ months, that's finally changing! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">:
 
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