Co-sleeping with my 5 Week Old

Mary Renee - posted on 06/10/2010 ( 41 moms have responded )

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Aloha,

I had no intention of co-sleeping (in fact, my 5 week old's basinett is still sitting pretty right next to our bed) However, it just sort of started to happen around two weeks (the first two weeks she slept and napped in her basinett easily) She must have hit a growth spurt because she wanted to nurse CONSTANTLY and it was pretty hard on me, breast feeding her ever hour to and hour and a half for 45 minutes to an hour and then she'd want to feed again!

We were concerned that she was on my breast so much that she wasn't getting enough sleep, but she wouldn't sleep for more then ten minutes anyway except for with me! I gave in just because I wanted us BOTH to get sleep.

If she sleeps in the bed with us, she can sleep for up to 4 hours. If she takes a nap in my arms or with me next to her she'll nap for hours. But if she's in the bouncer, the swing, or her basinett she wakes within ten or fifteen minutes (this is after we've rocked her and sung her to sleep and waited a good while to make sure she was really sleeping). And we'll let her stay and watch her on the monitor to see if she falls back asleep on her own and she won't, she screams her head off. But if she's next so us and wakes up she sees us and then goes right back to sleep.

Right now it's convienient enough having her sleep with me but I don't want this to last forever. Also it's difficult that she doesn't nap with out me holding her. Any suggestions on when I should start trying to break her out of this habit and also... HOW I should start?

Mary

p.s. the one exception is that she'll sleep in her stroller for a forty five minutes to an hour if she falls asleep while she's on a walk. The only thing is that she's so young her head usually flops to the side and it makes me concerned for her neck to have her sleep in there for too long.

p.p.s. if you couldn't tell, this is my first!

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Jennifer - posted on 06/10/2010

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maybe try to swaddle her (so she doesn't feel so vulnerable) and rock her to sleep in your arms, wait until she's in a good deep sleep and then try to transfer her to her crib or bassinet. with such a young baby the idea is to gently introduce her to sleeping without you. if it doesn't work maybe give it a couple weeks and try again.



good luck

Irma - posted on 06/21/2010

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I am a first time mother as well and am having the same issue you are having. Baby boy is 1 month old and sleeps shorter in is bassinet rather then when he sleeps on me or next to me he sleeps longer! I am still trying to figure out how to have him sleep the same amount of time in bassinet as if he was sleeping on me so far i tried bathing him didnt work,swaddling didnt help,rocking him didnt work, But i have whats called a Boppy pillow and i set that in here and it helps! it makes him feels like he is in arms which most babies love to be! I only use it for a certain amount of time because it can interupt proper spine development but maybe itll help you for some hours ..:) good luck

Josie - posted on 06/17/2010

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Sweetie, you know how opinions are.......everyone has one. My 11 month old has slept with me from about 9 days old. She aspirated and could not breathe and it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life waiting for EMT to get here. So of course I was then afraid that she may do it again and I would not hear her. She has been sleeping with me all of this time. Everytime. I stay at home so my dedication to her does not interfere with a job schedule or anything else. It is simply me devoting everything I have to my daughter. She takes naps with me most of the time, and she is still nursing as well. Most of the past year I have slept on my side with my arms wrapped around her to keeo her safe in the bed. Like I said it has been a commitment because I can assure you I am tired of sleeping on my side, but I do it to make sure that she is safe in our bed. Cribs are not safe either. You have to pick the lesser of 2 evils. I felt like she needed me by her side, and so I have been there. So what now i have an almost toddler in the bed.....she is only little for a little while! And she will be my last baby and I will give her everything I have to give. Who else is worth that??

Anita - posted on 06/20/2010

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My baby girl is now 8 weeks, we also co sleep, she also dont want to be alone, I bought a SNUGGLE NEST for her, you put it inbetween you and your partner in your bed, baby is comfy and safe and you can still breastfeed in bed... there is more space in bed for you to sleep comfortable. good luck!

Laura - posted on 06/18/2010

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oh man.....just sleep with her if thats what she wants.....deal with putting her in her crib later ...sleep is so important!SLEEP IS IMPORTANT...vital....my boy has been sleeping with me since day one,and he nurses throughout the nite..i just roll over offer him the boob and he does his thing while i blissfully SLEEP..he doesnt even cry when he wakes up hungry he just kix his little legs untill i notice ...i beleive its cuz he knows and is confident that im going to feed him....i just think it seems so hard and daunting to put that much effort into anything that late at nite....

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Rachel - posted on 06/23/2010

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Hi there! I really feel for you because that is how I started out with my first, and what I can tell you is to remember that no baby goes into middle school not sleeping through the night, or still wanting to sleep with you, so try to cherish these moments. They go by way too fast. Also, I applaud you for trying to figure out what makes the most sense for you and your family. As a mommy, you will do no good for anyone if you are exhausted. Try, if you can, to avoid taking criticism to heart regarding co-sleeping. In almost every other country in the world, it is the norm, but for some reason in our country, we really push the philosophy of birthing babies and forcing them into immediate maturity. Both my babies came 2 weeks early, and really needed to be/sleep close to Momma for a while. I also found it so much easier to handle frequent nursing requests through the night, and almost a necessity when I was too fatigued to function normally...by 5-6 months, neither one had any interest in sleeping with me. I made sure that I had them napping in their cribs during the daytime, and eventually they liked that better. Best of luck, honey! You're doing a wonderful job!

Josie - posted on 06/20/2010

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You can try purchasing a napnanny too. I bought one for her at 4 months and by then it was really too late for her. Buy something now that you can continue to use for a while. I have a king sized bed and it did take up a lot of room in it, but truly I wish I had gotten one earlier and been told about them earlier because she would probably still be in it has I started her younger!

Racheal - posted on 06/20/2010

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I did the same thing and I am still doing it! I did it with my 9 year old son when he was a baby and now I have a 2 1/2 month old. I did it from a different reason then you though. I just love sleeping with my son. I can't help it. He has slept all night since the day he came home from the hospital. I know it could cause sids, but I am not going to roll on him. I done it before. I wouldn't tell his doctor though. If I could give you any advice, it would be to put him in his bed about six months. My older son slept with me until he was over 4 years old! It took me forever to get him to sleep in his bed! I am going to put my baby in his bed when he gets six months, hopefully!! lol..

Heather - posted on 06/19/2010

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It's a tough one, isn't it? Everyone has their opinion, and many are willing to share them, often quite vehemently! The only thing I can add to the discussion is my own opinion that all children are different, and their needs will be different.

My son (now nearly 4) slept in our bed until he was 14 months old. It was not our original intention, but he was such a poor sleeper from day one that it was the best way for all of us to get some much needed sleep. Nothing worked on him, and we tried it all. (It turned out that he was suffering from food allergies, which were coming to him through breast milk, so he was a most uncomfortable baby until we pinned down all the culprits).

When it came time to move him to a big boy bed, we moved him to a full-size (twin) with a toddler safety rail. That way I could lie with him until he fell asleep, gradually transitioning to sitting beside him. He sleeps 12 hours a night with few exceptions.

My daughter on the other hand has been one of those babies that we hear about and never believe - slept through the night nearly from the beginning, waking to nurse, and going right back to sleep. She slept with me only for the first two weeks, while I was recovering, then we moved her to a bassinet, swaddled, and she was fine. I found that having her right next to me meant that I could just lean over and rub her belly or something and settle her again. The bassinet also had a "vibrate" feature that was really helpful! She has been in a crib in her own room since four months of age or so. (she is now 15 mos).

If co-sleeping works for you and your partner, then my feeling is that it does no harm, and can do a lot of good. (There are things that you can do to make it safe and comfortable for all.) If either of you resent the arrangement, then you'll need to take steps to change it because that won't get any better, believe me!

Sooner is better, mostly because babies get more 'stubborn' about a thing as they get older, but you can make the transition more painless by taking it slow and not stressing out about it. You might think about waiting until she is a couple of months old first, and more developmentally 'ready' to be alone more. Start with some 'play' time in the bed of choice - bassinet, crib, whatever - to make the sleep space a friendly and familiar one. Then start by encouraging her to nap there, even if only short ones. I found that a "sleep positioner" helped a lot with my daughter (see http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?...). Makes them feel safe and snuggled, and they have something to balance against.

Try to relax, and trust your own judgement. Only you know what your child needs from you, and what you are able to give.

Rani - posted on 06/18/2010

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I have just read all of the posts and it is sooooo nice to hear so many mums out there co-sleeping with their bubs! I have a 2 year old and a 3month old and I have done co-sleeping with both. My 2 year old slept with me until her sister was about to arrive (she was 20mths old) then we slowly transferred her into own 'big girls bed' It took time and patience but now our 2 year old is happy in her own bed at night. My 3 month old sleeps right beside me and feeds when needed without disturbing any one in the house so we all have a good nights sleep. I know alot of people do not agree with co-sleeping but if you want sleep for yourself and any other adults and children in the house then I highly recommend it. My 3 month old is exactly the same she only sleeps well in my arms but guess what it's not forever so enjoy the time and don't worry about the housework!

Mina - posted on 06/18/2010

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try swaddling her so that she doesn't wke herself up with loose arms ... try giving her a comforter to snuggle up to ... same thing happened to a friend of mine and she used a t-shirt of hers ... your little one might be feeling a bit anxious when your not around but by placing an item of your clothing next to her might provide her with the comfort of your sent

Sara - posted on 06/17/2010

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If you don't want her sleeping with you, try switching to a playpen or crib for naptime. My son slept with us since we got home from the hospital. He's 5 months now and getting too big to be real comfy, so I put him in his crib most of the time. He goes to sleep by himself for Daddy or Grandma. But he knows I'm a pushover, so I'm kind of having the same problem you are. But we have pretty thin walls and I can't sleep when he's crying so I give in. Lol. I'm not much help, I think I'm gonna sit on your side of the auditorium and look at others' comments. Lol.

Brandy - posted on 06/17/2010

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My babies sleep with me. My daughter slept with us until she was 6 months old, then we moved her and her crib to her own room and she would just come back into the bed when she woke up at about 3 or 4 for a feed. She stayed in her bed after that unless she was sick or teething. My son is 5 months old and still sleeping with us.

Bonnie - posted on 06/17/2010

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For your daughters head bouncing around in the stroller try putting a head positioner in there. My son was tiny when he was born, so we used them in the car seat as well as swing and stroller. I actually got the one that had two inserts together, as he grew we took the smaller one out. Good luck with your little angel.

Lisa - posted on 06/17/2010

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oh i totally agree with josie too!! they are only little for so little time...enjoy being close and treasure every minute of it -- they will soon enough want their own bed and their own phone, etc. etc. kids should not be made into an inconvenience...we are there to help them with each step when they are ready for it : ) i think too many times parents force their kids to do things before they are ready -- wean from the breast, sleep by themselves at night, etc. plus - co sleeping for naps and/or night does wonders for your breastmilk supply! if you ever think you need a boost -- co sleep :)

Lisa - posted on 06/17/2010

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i had the same issue and i found co-sleeping while breastfeeding to be the best answer for all of us to get sleep. since i made that decision i have never wanted to go back -- i love the fact that she is comfortable next to me and that we both sleep better. what baby does not want to be next to their mom while sleeping? babies are not meant to be "independent" ...they are meant to be next to an adult for 1-2 years. we as a society have forced babies to sleep on their own letting them cry. i just can't do that -- i can't just let my baby cry in the next room. it teaches them distrust. they stop crying because they soon realize that you will not come anyway....so sad. co-sleeping beyond 6 months or even a year is not a bad thing for the child. they will eventually learn how to sleep on their own when they are ready. but the best decision is the one that is best for the whole family -- including dad!

as for naps -- i have that same problem...she goes in phases. sometimes she will sleep fine in the swing sometimes she doesn't. she is a light sleeper and seems to wake up as soon as i put her down sometimes. but it is all a phase and i just go with the flow since i am home with her i can do that.

good luck!

[deleted account]

My son has never slept in our bed. He slept for11 weeks in a Moses' basket and then was transferred into his cot in his own room and has slept int heir eversince. He's now 6 1/2 months old and sleeps 7pm-6:30am.

I'd strongly advise tha you try to break the habit of co-sleeping sooner rather than later because the longer it goes on the more she will become used to it. Begin by placing her in her bassinet for daytime naps to get ehr used to sleeping there. Try giving her something with your smell on perhaps a shirt to go in her bassinet to soothe her. Place her down so she can settle herself and if she won't settle reassure her. Continue this until she falls asleep.

Co-sleeping is not "safe". The safest place for your baby to sleep is in their own cot or crib.

Iliana - posted on 06/16/2010

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Someone already suggested it below, but read "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp. The theories in the book make a lot of sense. I have yet to test them out since I'm 3 weeks from having a baby girl, but I hope they work! We don't want to co-sleep.

Cassandra - posted on 06/16/2010

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our son slept with us till he was a little over a year old. It took us about a week to transition him to his own bed in his own room.

Janice - posted on 06/15/2010

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im in the same situation but my daughter is almost 2 yrs old, but i am a single mom, and there r reasons i have let her be in the same bed. I have tried to have her in her own bed, she would stay up, i would check in on her and she be still awake, but as soon as i went to bed she be out. She always cuddles right up to me. I have been reading thru the replies, and im gonna try by getting a teddy bear and put one of my shirts on it, and see what happens. If not its back to just trying to put her back in her bed lol

Arthurine - posted on 06/15/2010

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My daughter slept on me. That was the only way to get her comfortable. I don't suggest this to anyone but maybe have her sleep on your shirt with your scent. I just started back work today and going through withdrawals. This is my first as well. She will be 4 months tomorrow. I can tell you that my girl also had those quick naps, and she would not stay asleep in the basinet that sit right next to our bed. She would not allow us to swaddle her, but i let her sleep on me and when she is there a while i usually could put her down. Everything would wake her though when i put her down, even just breathing lol. But i think your scent will work wonders

Amber - posted on 06/14/2010

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Hi! I am a first time mommy as well and my son is 3 1/2 months old. He slept in bed with me and my husband for the first 8 weeks of his life, he wanted nothing to do with his crib at all. My doctor said it was normal, the crib is too big and scary. It started to get harder and harder to sleep at night since he slept on my side ( Oh, i am breast feeding as well), he would sleep right on me. I began to worry that i might roll over on him and told my husband i cannot do this anymore. So, when he turned 8 weeks old, we put the crib on my side of the bed about a foot away, so he knew he was right next to me, so he could listen to my voice, my breathing, just me. Before going into the crib we swaddled him up and even put a blankie over him to make him feel snug as a bug. Guess what! It worked, he then began sleeping on his own in the crib. Do you have a mobile? My son loves his and that really helps him get to sleep. I also, stand next to him after putting him to bed and i slightly rub his chest and hum to him. He just needs to know i am close by. I hope this helps. I know how frustrating a new born can be, ecspecially when your new at this. Good luck

Becky - posted on 06/13/2010

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i've run into the same thing. my son just turned 10 weeks. he slept in his crib the first few weeks for naps and his bassinet at night. but ever since i got the okay to start doing things again around 5 wks PP ( i had a csection and couldn't drive for a while due to painkillers) but now he 's so usesd to sleeping in a carseat while im driving or being held by people that he doesnt sleep for a long period of time unless I'm BF him in bed and then let him fall asleep beside me and then pick him up and put him in his bassinet...

Stacie - posted on 06/13/2010

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I've enjoyed co-sleeping with both my oldest whose three now (not still in bed with us!) and my new one who is 4 months. It feels so nice to have him in bed with me and it is great for bonding. It can be a little bit of a bother but it doesn't last forever and remember they are only this small once!

Shanda - posted on 06/13/2010

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My son (4th child) is 9 weeks old and still sleeps in bed with me and my boyfriend. He will start in his crib, or the bassinet next to our bed, for about the first 3 or 4 hrs after we put him to bed for the night. Then he wakes up every hr or hr and a half thereafter wanting to eat or just be held. Since I am nursing I just lay him in bed with us and we both go right back to sleep. Once in our bed, he will sleep for another 3 hrs or so (which allows more sleep time for everyone) and then he is up for the day wanting to play. You have to do what is right for you! As mothers, we can share what works for us...you will have to try to find what works for you. My boyfriend is worried that our son will sleep with us forever. Rest assured, they will not. I let all my children cosleep when they were babies, none of them needed to beyond 6mos. I think it is a way of reassuring them that you are there when they need you. Good luck and congratulations with your newest addition!!

Jodie - posted on 06/12/2010

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Eventually, she will grow out of it and will sleep on her own. At least that was the case with my twins who are now 9 months, and (more or less) sleeping through the night. Those first couple months were EXHAUSTING and I did co-sleep quite a few times because NOONE was getting any sleep. Bloody screams when we would put them down (especially the girl). I will still occasionally sleep with my little boy, but for the most part they are pretty good sleepers. One thing that worked was a bassinet thing that was batterie opperated... it would rock back and forth. Unfortunatley it stayed at grandma's house. If I had to do it all over, I would purchase one of them, absolutely.

Jessica - posted on 06/12/2010

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my son co slept with me till he was 4 and half months, we started him napping in his crib during the day so when it came to going there for bed he was use to it. he accepted it really well and the only time he has come back in since is when he was sick with a cold. he is 6 month now. I bought these foam pieces that help the baby to stay on thier back and u can snug it right up against them so the feel swaddled but they have thier legs and arms free..it worked for my guy to help sleep alone.

[deleted account]

it could be the rocking motion of the bassinet. my son slept grat for the first 3-4 weeks and then suddenly was always waking up. we started sleeping him in his crib and he would sleep for 2-3 hours at a time. also, you get get one of those head things they have for babies that stops their heads from bouncing around if it makes u feel more comfortable

Carolina - posted on 06/11/2010

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co-sleeping is safe! most parents around the world co sleep. they do warn you if u r obese or on drugs to stay away from it. my 19 month old slept with us until h was 7 months and he is now sleeping on a TWIN size bed once in a while he comes on our bed. enjoy your baby and the fact that for now she wants to be right next to you!

Debra - posted on 06/11/2010

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So here is my advice. Take it for what it is. This works for me and my family, but like with everything in life, do what feels right for you and your child. My husband and I both felt that having our daughter in bed with us was the right thing. She is now 19 months and sleeps most nights in her toddler bed (she has been in that bed since 11 months, she HATED her crib). Our daughter still some nights sleeps with us. As for SIDS and suffocation, its something you need to talk to about with your husband. Don't listen to what others tell you. Just do what feels right in your heart.

Karen - posted on 06/11/2010

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I have a 7mth old little girl and she has slept in her cot in her own room from the day we came out of hospital. She has slept 12 hours or more from about 5 weeks old. Co Sleeping is not a good idea, there was a baby here a couple of days ago that died from suffocation by its mother while sleeping in the same bed. Put her in her bassinet during the day and she will get use to that. It will take time but she will get there

Chantal - posted on 06/11/2010

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My son HATED swaddling from birth, so that didn't work for us, but there are lots of fors and againsts for co-sleeping. I had the bassinet so close to the bad (touching) that I could just roll over and put my hand on him and found that worked fairly well. You could get one of those support things for her head in the pram if you worry about her head/neck? My boy was over a month prem so I guess he still wanted me close. I fed every 2 hours for 1/2 hr or so.... we would both go back to sleep and then I would wake and move him to bassinet, but like I said he was close enough for me to automatically put my hand on him. He also loved to sleep in his pram. Good luck, I know how frustrating it can be, he didn't sleep thru until he was almost 3. He also loved those full body suits as opposed to blankets.

Jenna - posted on 06/11/2010

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Lol..well my little girl is two weeks and sleeps with us too. Like you said, she just started this not wanting to sleep alone. I feel your pain. also, swaddling dose nothing for her, she gets angry and kicks out of it. sorry im no help, just thought i would share my situation with you...good luck =)

Sarah - posted on 06/11/2010

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Have you tried swaddling? Being wrapped up tight really helps recreate the feelings of being held. It works great for my LO! Of course, he'd rather be held, what LO doesn't, but swaddling allows him to sleep longer on his own. I highly suggest you get some Halo SleepSack Swaddles - they make swaddling so easy and are safer then using loose blankets!

Mary Renee - posted on 06/11/2010

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Thanks for the advice. Swaddling worked in the first two weeks but since then she squirms and kicks her way until she's out of it, I guess she's not a fan anymore, haha. I might have to try Bethany's idea of letting her sleep with us and then transfering her into her basinett. I have a "Mommy" sounds bear too that worked when she was younger.

Bethany - posted on 06/11/2010

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I have the same problem i have tried everything, My son sleeps right in between me and my fiance'. and it all started around the same time as your daughter. my son is 2months and is still sleeping with us most of the time i have just started when he falls sleep hold him for a while then try putting him on his stomache in his crib and he will make noise and fuss but he will sleep all night in his crib. so i wish you the best of luck!!!

Katie - posted on 06/11/2010

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I agree...the swaddling really, really helps! I swaddled my older child until he was about 6 mos. old, and he has always been a good sleeper. I am swaddling my baby also (she is almost 6 weeks old) and she is learning. I hold her when I know she is getting tired for a bit, and then put her in her bed before she is asleep, but when she is about to drop off. She is doing great with it. I also recommend the book "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp. It has good advice for fussy babies, as well as good sleeping habits. Good luck!

Ashley - posted on 06/11/2010

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I had my almost 1 year old co sleeping with me until he was 9 mo, breast feeding just like you said. I just went and put him in the crib or in your case the bassinet, and let them figure it out.... I would let him cry for a minute before going over and reassuring him that I was still there, and did that until the crying became farther and farther apart from each other.

Carolina - posted on 06/10/2010

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My son is 6 months and has been sleeping in my bed since day one. With the emergency C-Section I couldn't get up in the hospital so he would stay in bed with me the entire time. Same way at home. He does sleep in his own bed and has slept through the night for the past 2 nights. Hoping it will continue if not its okay for now but soon he will have to stay in his own bed. Since your married I can see why you would want her in her own bed but me being a single mom I don't mind it at all.

Jennifer - posted on 06/10/2010

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maybe try to swaddle her (so she doesn't feel so vulnerable) and rock her to sleep in your arms, wait until she's in a good deep sleep and then try to transfer her to her crib or bassinet. with such a young baby the idea is to gently introduce her to sleeping without you. if it doesn't work maybe give it a couple weeks and try again.



good luck

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