R.W. asks from Chatham, NJ on April 29, 2008
Does Any One Else Sleep with Their Baby?
I have a 5 month old girl who is not, and never been a good sleeper. she is up multiple times a night. usually we fall asleep on the couch together, and then move upstairs for the rest of the night. my husband has been staying down on the couch b/c she has been in bed with me and i dont feel safe with the 3 of us. we had gotten a co sleep with all intentions to use it, but every time i put her in it she wakes up. so out of exsaustion and frustration i just keep her next to me in bed. in between me and the co sleeper so she wont fall out. she is also nursing which makes it easier as well. this morning i woke up and she had nestled her face slightly under my pillow. it seems no matter how far away i put in bed with me she wiggles her way close to me. i feel that she is safe b/c the pillow was not smooshing on her face, but i cant help but feel guilty like i am doing something wrong. i guess in need some words of encouragement, or any ideas as to what to do?
So What Happened?™
Thank you so much to everyone who gave me positive advise and support. It makes me feel so much better to know how many other women do the same thing as me. I am trying to get her to sleep in her co sleeper b/c i feel that will be a happy medium! but its true that the co sleeper mattress is not that great. i wish they had one that was just like the one in the crib, i think my daughter would like it much better! what i did last night was put her down on her tummy, which she likes so much better than her back, and then rolled her over. it worked pretty good, she slept there for about 2 hours. then she basically nursed the rest of the time and we both slept. when did everone start to put their babies down for sleep on their tummies? i was reading something on dr. sears website yesterday that was so interesting. they did studies that showed that the actual number of "crib deaths" compared to accidental suffocation in aparents bed was multiple times higher. it was something like 60 to 2,000 a year. amazing! they pose a great question, if there were no cribs would there be such a thing as "crib death" ( i hate even writing it its so scary!) thanks again to all the positive loving mamas out there!
L.R. answers from New York on April 30, 2008
I have a five month old girl as well and she sleeps nestled in bed against me also. My husband sleeps in the bed too, though..we have a king size. I did the same thing with my older girl, she's now 26 months, but I started putting her in the crib at about six months because she would move around too much for my liking...I would wake up and she would not be next to me, but across the bed. Thankfully, she didn't fall off or worse.
To me, it's always about what you feel comfortable doing. There's nothing wrong with it.
G.R. answers from New York on April 30, 2008
I sleep with my 14 week old and my 4 year old. I put my daughter to sleep in the cosleeper but sometimes after the takes a bottle in the middle of the night I just put her in my arm and we go into bed. Since the beginning of time people have been sleeping with their kids. Just remember they will not be sleeping with you forever - who ever heard of a highschool kid crawling into bed with his mom and dad.. LOL. Enjoy it and do what is comfortable for you. With my first one I was nervous too and felt guilty since many Long Island friends and family frowned on it.. but after a lot of research it seems we are one of the only countries who put their kid in another room in a big crib and expect them to sleep. Most countries sleep with their babies and carry them in a sling 24/7 for at least the first year..Hope that helps!
M.B. answers from New York on April 30, 2008
I hope I'm allowed to post a recommendation for a book on this forum.. http://www.lulu.com/content/6460 ... I was actually interviewed for this book! It's awesome.
To me personally co-sleeping is in the same room.. my new baby and my 3 yr old are in bed with me (on opposite sides, siblings can roll over onto babies without realizing it) and my 5 yr old in her own bed in the same room. Dad sleeps in another room with the dog. LOL (He doesn't mind, believe me, he gets out of night duty!!)
A.G. answers from New York on April 30, 2008
Rachel: you poor thing, BIG HUGE MISTAKE...... my daughter did the same thing to me, many earaches, I breastfeed and was exausted and tired all the time, one night decided to leave her in bed..........that was it, she moved in....well, neethless to say it took me over a year to get her out of our bed, NOT A GOOD THING. Our solution, you have to put her in her crib, if she wakes up or fusses, just leave her in the crib, and rub her (while she is in the crib) do NOT PICK HER UP.....otherwise she owns YOU. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, it will take a while to get her out, but you must be consistent, and leave her in the crib, if she cries, you must not come immediately (I know it sounds cruel) but you let her cry for about 5 mins, and you come to the crib and rock her or rub her (WITHOUT PICKING HER OUT OF THE CRIB). Eventually she will get it......it will take some time, start on a weekend ( I'm not sure if your back to work). Just a word of advice, stick to this, it's not safe for your baby to be in bed with you, she's too small and you can crush her while a sleep, it can be tragic, it's in your best interest to keep her in the crib.
Your husband needs his rest too, it's not fair to him either. You guys need your space.
Good luck, Aida
1 mom found this helpful
S.L. answers from Binghamton on April 30, 2008
I am a big fan of co-sleeping and if it feels right to you keep it up. I recommend reading The Baby Sleep Book by Dr. Sears and The Family Bed (can't remember the author). They are supportive of co-sleeping and have good info. FYI, we co-sleep with our now 14 month old and she snuggled right next to me until she was about a year when I sensed that she was ready for her own space. She sleeps in her crib which we use like a sidecar co-sleeper until the early morning when she crawls over for snuggles and nursing. Good luck and enjoy this precious time when she needs you so close. There is NOTHING wrong with it.
R.R. answers from Rochester on April 29, 2008
I recommend the book "Good Nights"... pediatrician co-authored co-sleeping book that really explains how to make sure your baby is safe (don't cosleep intoxicated, etc) and how to work around any concerns that you might have to keep your baby safe. I have slept with my baby every night since he was born- he's 10 months now. Did you know that the majority of cultures in the world cosleep, and parents across the world consider Americans to be neglecting their babies by keeping them far from them at night? Furthermore, sleep studies have been conducted proving that your baby is actually safer with you regarding sleep apnea and SIDS... your baby regulates her breathing to yours when you are sleeping close and is not likely to stop breathing.
But, you can't let your marriage suffer. We had to buy a king size bed after 3 months of separate sleep arrangements- our small full size bed did not accomodating 3 people. Now we are quite comfortable. =)
E.C. answers from Buffalo on April 29, 2008
I have a 6 mo old daughter that i am doing the same thing with. She wakes up 2-3 times a night to nurse and i end up keeping her in bed trip number 2 or 3 so that we both get sleep. I have just recently started putting her in her crib and making an effort to put her back after middle of the night nursing snacks. I did the same with my son when he was little but I think i remember getting him to the crip about 2 months earlier. I am having the same fears with her since i keep giving in. Once my son was in his crib he and i were much happer, we both slept better and were in better moods during the day. With my daughter, we still can't get her into a schedule or to sleep through the night. So It isn't really advice just reassurance that other moms are doing the exact same thing. My husband has not made it to the couch yet but it does cause problems that she is still in bed with us.
L.J. answers from New York on April 30, 2008
Rachel, you are not doing anything wrong...your baby loves being close to you! The only disservice might be that she will not be able to fall asleep without you, and in the long run that isn't helping her. Also, it seems your husband is getting the shaft! We used co-sleepers for all of our 3 children. If you are worried about your current situation, you might try helping her fall asleep in the co-sleeper. Put her down awake and stay next to her. You can give her a shirt of yours with your scent on it; and even rub her back or soothe her with your words or singing. After a few days, she should get used to falling asleep in the co-sleeper.
OR you could keep up your pattern if it is working and just STOP FEELING GUILTY!
If you haven't already read it, Dr. Willam Sear's The Baby Book is helpful in supporting co-sleeping. He may also have a book that is exclusively on co-sleeping.
Good luck, and follow your instincts...but don't forget daddy in the process.
All the best,
R.W. answers from Albany on April 30, 2008
Hi, I'm R. W. too. I had no intentions, but both my daughters slept with us and still do sometimes. If you and your hubby are ok with it, just let her until she is bigger. Be prepared though to wake up in a panic once in while thinking something is wrong. I know I did. Congrats. on your new baby.
M.H. answers from New York on April 30, 2008
I do sleep with my 10 month old son as well, and my husband in another room. However I have been blessed many times because I would fine him to close to the pillows and had even fallen asleep while nursing. I have cried over this because this is how SIDS happen to babies, we don't mean to hurt them. I am trying very hard to keep him on the other side of the daybed. I have a trundle so its like having two twin beds I just push them together and I check him all nite. PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL. I feel so bad and sad because I see what people write and I know they just want to be close to you but their safety is what is most important. I understant you, I need to do the same myself. GOOD LUCK! :)
J.J. answers from New York on April 30, 2008
Dear Rachel; you are doing a GREAT JOB! what a wonderful, tender, committed mom you are! co-sleeping and nursing your little girl; how natural, how perfect.
i am sure you will get a lot of support here but you can also check out the Dr. Jay Gordon website, just google his name and it will come right up, for support and information on cosleeping in the family bed with your baby. it's safe, it works, it's healthy, and you're doing it right. you can also check out these websites;
for more information on cosleeping, safety, and nursing.
meanwhile keep up the great work. the most important thing is that you are finding a natural, peaceful, loving way for your family to get the most sleep possible; and i'm not kidding, as the mom of a nearly 3 yr old boy and 14 mo old girl, good nursing and maximum sleeping is WHERE IT'S AT!
lots of love