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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think that sharing a bed with my 11 month old is a great thing...I love sleeping with her, as does my husband. It works out just fine, most of the time. She nurses to sleep and I put her in her crib until she wakes up. Sometimes 1 hour later, sometimes 4-5 hours later. You never really know. But once she's awake, I go and get her and we all sleep together. It gives my husband and I alone time, and then family time. I think it's the best of both worlds.
Now, I am starting to doubt this decision to co-sleep. Not because I don't like it, but because of the response I get from MOST people around where I live. The things that have been brought up that concern me are that nursing throughout the night (I basically let her eat when and if she wants) will cause issues later on with her teeth, not to mention with weaning. Also, that she will NEVER be able to sleep on her own. I plan on trying to have another in about 6 months...and don't want there to be a horrible issue then.

And sometimes she doesn't sleep as well as I would like. Or she just moves a lot (doesn't like covers, but still wants to touch...it's kind of funny).

Basically I just wanted some reassurance from those of you who practice co-sleeping - and to know if the concerns and raised eyebrows I get are to be taken seriously.

Thanks!
 

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You don't have to share your decisions with others if you don't want to. You have the right to make the decisions that you feel are best for your family, and to make changes if/when YOU feel they need to be made. But that doesn't involve others - it's between you and your husband, and your child. What works for all of you is what you need to do.

I'll share some of what we have experienced as a family.

Babies/toddlers don't nurse to sleep forever. I was beginning to wonder myself with my son, but he can go to sleep on his own without nursing to sleep. He learned it as he matured.

Same with sleeping in their own beds. They will do it when they are ready. If it starts to not work for your family, you can gradually take steps to move your child further away, but it doesn't have to be sudden, and it shouldn't be because you feel outside pressure.

We brought in a twin bed and set it up at the end of our king. DS goes to sleep there when he goes to bed, and dd (5mo) sleeps in the big bed. Sometime in the night DS might wake up and snuggle in next to me, but he might not. It's nice to have the extra space and it's been totally fine for us to continue co-sleeping since the baby was born.

When he is ready, we will move the bed out of our bedroom. He might be ready to go straight to his own room, or we might gradually move the bed further and further over time. We're playing it by ear, going by his needs and ours.

Rest assured you are doing your child(ren) a great service by meeting their needs as infants and toddlers. It will not make them more dependent - it will make them more confident so they can be independent when they are ready.

OH - As far as teeth, it varies by child. Some kids are prone to dental caries, and others aren't. My almost-4-year-old has been nursing at night and has beautiful teeth - no issues at all. Other kids who don't nurse at night get cavities. It just depends, but nursing at night is not an automatic invitation for cavities. DS brushes his teeth before bed and if he gets any kind of snack other than nursing, he brushes again. Sometimes I encourage him to drink a little water after nursing to wash it off, but it's not a big deal and I'm not worried about it.
 

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Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
i recommend not telling them you co sleep! Who is sleeping in your bed is none of their business!
I wouldn't tell either.... my kids are both happy and healthy. My dd is almost seven, co slept until about three and sometimes ends up in our bed now, but she is just fine
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If no one else responds, LianneM, I am happy you did. I already feel better. And yes, it really isn't anyone's business. It's funny - especially family - tends to ask "Is she sleeping in her crib all night?" and I don't know why they even ask...just to critique, I suppose. Now my answer will be, "A child's sleeping pattern is a very personal choice....". Done.
So, thank you. I feel a lot better. I just ordered a book "The Family Bed" and am excited to read it. The CIO method isn't for me, and if I feel pain, I can't imagine what she feels. As long as I am not holding her back, as long as I am not causing her harm....and it sounds like I am on the right track now, I am satisfied. I feel it is a bonding thing for she and I....and I don't want to take it away or make her feel as if she's been abandoned. So, I am grateful for the words of encouragement and your personal story. I can't thank you enough!
:
 

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You are doing the right thing- following what your babe and your heart tell you to. Don't forget that other than in our current culture (last 100 years??), it has been the norm for baby to share with parents.

I think of it like this: the things that propagate the species (reproduction!, eating, sleeping) and the things that contribute to optimal mental and physical health (hugging & holding; eye contact; attention etc) are [through some crazy miracle] pleasurable!

Of course not everything that is pleasurable is important to our survival/health. BUT when it's as fundamental as co-sleeping (which is awesomely pleasurable for both parents and baby) AND there is research that shows baby's thrive this way (see James McKenna's work here:
http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/articles.html ), I think it's clear that co-sleeping falls into this realm.

I did the cio thing with my two oldest and by the time I had my third (10 years later!), I was really dreading the cio thing. It was a huge relief to just kind of go with the flow and let what felt good lead.

hope that helps
 

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I just wanted to reply about the weaning thing, when I became pregnant with my second child my first was only about fifteen months, I had planned on nursing him until he was at least two, but due to pain and raging hormones lol I decided to wean him.
We co-slept with him from birth so I was really afraid about how he would react at night, but truthfully I think it was easier then it would have been other wise.
I would rock him to sleep by using music and standing and just rocking back and forth and that worked amazingly well, then he spent the night in our bed and when he woke up I would give him a sippy cup of water for thirst and he generally fell back to sleep, but I think the fact that he slept in our bed eased the transition, because he needs to touch me when he falls asleep, and after he was weaned he would rub my stomach, I think it was just a comfort thing, something to make sure I was still going to be there.
lol he doesn't have a security blanket or toy he just rubs my stomach.
I don't know if that helps, i hope it does, because I know how afraid I was to wean him and co-sleep, but really for us it made it much easier.
 

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if they give you a bunch of anecdotal 'evidence' i'll give you some to give back. i co slept with my parents and was ebf for well over a year. i nursed at night. i am a fully functional adult, i slept in my own bed eventually, and my dentist said he has never seen teeth as perfect as mine! lol
 

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I was feeling the same way when I told a co-worker that 10 month old DS was still in our bed. She just kept saying "That's really not good." In addition I've been having doubts about him sleeping with us because he's nursing at least every 2 hours at night still. He's been harder to put to bed recently at night and at nap times. I think because his night time routine changed a little bit, and he's been teething. There have been a couple of night that I leave in his play&pack all night, but it just means that I have to get out of bed every two hours to nurse and wait for him to get back to sleep before I can. So I'm definitely going to take the advice of some others on here and not tell anyone who's sleeping in my bed. It really is only our business anyway.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
if they give you a bunch of anecdotal 'evidence' i'll give you some to give back. i co slept with my parents and was ebf for well over a year. i nursed at night. i am a fully functional adult, i slept in my own bed eventually, and my dentist said he has never seen teeth as perfect as mine! lol
:

I slept with my mom till I was 9, breastfed till I was 4 (exclusively birth-6 months and then again from 18m-3 yrs. due to illness) and I didn't have horrible childhood tooth decay nor do I have trouble sleeping by myself except that it feels 100% natural for me to co-sleep with my own children
:

Laura
 
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