Baby sleeping in bed???

Bethany - posted on 01/12/2011 ( 34 moms have responded )

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I am having a a heck of a time getting my son to sleep on his own. In the very beginning i did everything "correctly" i would nurse him and put him back in his bassinet. Then as he got more and more colicky around 2 months i instead would just sleep with him and nurse him to sleep and not put him in his bassinet. Well now he is 4 months old(not colic anymore) and I would like to put him back in his bassinet. I like sleeping with him but i also want him to be able to sleep on his own. I dont believe in crying it out. Any tips/tricks suggestions??

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Rachel - posted on 01/15/2011

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What does the RESEARCH say about cry it out? Check out Dr. James McKenna at the University of Notre Dame. He has run the mother-baby behavioral sleep lab there for over 30 years. He says that making a baby sleep alone, crying themselves to sleep indeed does LOADS of damage to babies and that crying it out is one of the worst practices ever to be recommended for children.



Regardless of what the research says, what does common sense say? Babies are little people with big needs. They do not just cry for no reason. A baby's emotional needs are JUST as crucial to their development as their physical needs. When a baby cries for long periods of time (5 minutes plus) their stress levels skyrocket. Their brain is FLOODED with stress hormones. They may fall asleep and sleep through the night but they have learned something called "learned desperation and learned hopelessness." They will still wake at night but because they have been taught that their needs are not important, they will give up, stress hormones still flooding and go back to sleep, alone. Answering a baby's cry means that you are teaching them that they can rely on you. That their needs are important to you and that they can trust you. If you continually leave your baby alone to cry, they are simply learning that they can not count on you to take care of their needs. Babies do not have the mental capacity to know the difference between wants and needs. They don't have the capacity to know what manipulation is. They cry for a reason, they cry because they have needs and they need those needs addressed.



Think about it. We hear stories of babies in orphanages in remote places like Siberia who are never held. There are not enough people to take care of them, so they are simply fed and changed. Many of these babies DIE from not being held. So it stands to reason that their need to be held and in close contact with someone FREQUENTLY makes a huge difference in their development.



We are the FIRST civilization in the history of the world to put babies in another room and leave them to cry. In some cultures that is considered abandonment and the parents can be prosecuted. I think personally that making a baby cry alone in a dark room is abuse, no matter how many people in the United States do it and no matter how many people say it's ok.



Your baby will not come home from the prom and climb into your bed. Eventually they will leave and you'll miss those snuggly nights. My kids are 3 and a half and 22 months. Both of them transitioned to their beds when THEY were ready - they did it all by themselves with no encouragement or arm twisting from us. And to be honest I really miss those nights. Let your baby be a baby. No need to rush to fit them into adult schedules.

Sally - posted on 01/15/2011

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A baby sleeping in it's own bed in it's own room was invented in science labs in the 1950s. Unfortunately at the time a majority of people were willing to raise their children however scientists told them to even though their mommy instincts screamed that it was wrong. When a cultural practice has been the "norm" for 2-3 generations people think "that's the way it's always been" because they personally haven't seen any different. Now mommies think they're doing something wrong because babies survival instincts didn't read the manual.
If you like sleeping with him, enjoy it while you can. If you are willing to wait until he's ready it will be easy. Babies are designed to sleep next to mom and when they are ready to sleep alone they will beg for their own bed. It may take a couple years, but a couple years of a soft warm sweet smelling little one sleeping next to you can be a small price to pay to not have to listen to them cry themselves to exhaustion until they learn to give up.

Minnie - posted on 01/15/2011

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Regardless of whether or not it is damaging to an older baby or child, research on younger babies showed that unattended crying resulted in them suffering similar effects to an adult suffering a stroke. Crying also uses up valuable calories and taxes an infant's respiratory and cardiovascular system.



There is certain physical evidence you simply cannot ignore.

Merry - posted on 01/16/2011

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Millions of babies in America have been made to cry it out.

Millions of people in America rely on sleep pills to fall asleep.

Millions have sleep apnea, even more spend the whole night snoring in constant agitation.

Millions of kids have rampant nightmares, bed wetting, teeth grinding, etc.

Maybe cry it out is harmless, maybe it causes all these unnatural sleep problems.

But one thing IS fact, and that is that Letting your baby cry is unnatural.

When mom hears baby crying she has a physical need to attend to her baby, her breasts start engorging and her mind becomes focused on helping the baby.

When a mom forces herself to ignore her instinct she looses something.

Becoming desensitized to baby is a slippery slope and being apathetic to your baby's emotions can really affect your whole style of mothering.

There is no biological reason baby's should be allowed to cry, there is nothing good for the baby that crying brings.

Sure it is easier for mom to not have to deal with the baby at night, yeah it sounds nice to just lay baby down and walk away. But these are all mom benefits, nothing for the baby.

Oh but they have to learn to self sooth right! Yeah they do, but they will learn to self sooth at their right age, in moms arms. We don't force babies to learn to walk before they start doing it on their own, we don't force them to learn to color in the lines! So why force them to put themselves to sleep.

Your instincts are there for a reason, you don't want to let her cry, youshouldnt let her cry!

It's that simple, when we start making motherhood a scientific Procecdure it all gets messed up. Being a mom is natural, so your feelings and instincts about how to care for your baby are natural. And, best!

Cassaundra - posted on 01/15/2011

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I too have 4 children ages 9 years to 9 months. I have slept with all my children. With my first child I was so pressured by other people that I needed to put my BABY in their own crib in their own room all by themselves, because this was my fist I listened to them and tried to let him cry it out....It was the absolute worst experience ever. I knew with every thing in me that it was wrong for both of us. I was crying and to the point of getting sick in one room and he was crying and actually getting sick in the other room in his crib. It didn't last long, I knew deep with in me that I was his mother and I was going to do what I knew was best. And guess what he sleeps just fine in his own bed now as well as his 7 year old brother whom I slept with also. I can't believe why anyone would think that it is best to put a brand new infant or baby in a crib, in a room all by themselves. They have been tucked inside their mother's womb for 40 weeks, with you wherever you go, smelling your smells, feeling your warmth and then you deliver them and put them in another room. Just doesn't make any sense to me. All I can say is God has given you these children, you do have motherly instincts... Trust them.

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Heather - posted on 01/18/2011

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We co-sleep with our 1-year-old as well and we've halfway transitioned him to the crib, and it halfway works. lol. On a good day/week, he'll nap just fine in his crib alone (I lay next to him till he falls asleep) and he'll manage the first 4-5 hours of nighttime sleep in the crib. When he wakes up, he joins us in our bed. The crib is in our room. I'm still breastfeeding, so it's a better arrangement for all of us. I would love if it he could swing a little longer in his own bed, but that only happens rarely.

On a rough day, he'll wake up the minute I walk out the door at naptime and refuse to sleep if he's not attached to me. Or he'll wake up after an hour or two in the evening and howl till we join him in bed. I've tried a couple of mini-rounds of CIO during the day but I'm just not up for it. When I come in the room and he's been hysterically crying, all snotted up, and offers me his pacifier as an exchange for taking him out of the crib, I'm done for. I know it works for some moms and some kids, I've seen that myself, but I don't think it's the route I want to go.

I agree with Shannon, you need to take your baby's temperament into consideration. My little boy sleeps best on his own when things are stable, he's healthy, and we don't push him. The more anxious we (I, really) get, the worse it goes. I had to remind myself of this earlier this week when he regressed back to the nap-with-me phase.
I'm hoping that he'll want to sleep more indepently the older he gets. I hear my fair share of scare tales ("move him now or he'll never leave the bed") from friends/family, so it's good to hear from some other mothers that the transition worked at later ages. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, we'll continue snuggling.

Kasie - posted on 01/18/2011

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I would suggest making it so he can't see you though if he's in his crib or bassinet in the room with you. If he can see you he will cry more for attention cause he knows you're in there with him.

Brittany - posted on 01/18/2011

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I think you may have already received this suggestion, but it worked for us.
I put the bassinet right up against my side of the bed. He would fall asleep holding my hand. He could still smell me, and it helped move him. Then he was able to fall asleep without me touching him and now he's in his own room at 9 months.
Hope this helps and you find success!

Stephanie - posted on 01/18/2011

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Maybe...try a paci and keep him right next to you in the room ( in a crib or bassinet)? That way you can breastfeed when he starts getting hungry at night, but you can also get some sound sleep. Teaching a baby to use a paci is a FABULOUS thing, imo, and I have no problems with it, All my 4 kids have great teeth (although one refused the paci). All have given up the paci by 4 (shock!! yes, but I sleep all night, and they do, too... as a single mom, it's worth it to me).



Even though cosleeping is both espoused and derided so passionately by the separate camps, you have to do what works best for you. For me, I slept better with my little babies nearby but not in bed with me. As they got around 1 or so, I co-slept until about 2.5, when I started transitioning into a bedroom with their brothers and sisters in a big boy (or girl) bed (and in my case, I kept nursing during the day.... until they weaned between 2 and 3.5). I never let my babies CIO; it felt wrong on all levels. But, my older kids, that is, 3 and up, know I'm all business when it's 7 pm and it's bedtime... crying a little or arguing after 4 yo or so is just part of parenting, on both ends, lol :)

Kasie - posted on 01/17/2011

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I just wanted to state that, in my argument above, all I was saying was that it wasn't damaging and that's what I do but I know that's not what everyone does or has to do. CIO isn't for everyone, that's just what I found works best for my son and I. I wasn't trying to say it was the only way to do it by all means. Just thought I'd add that. Thanks!

Nicky - posted on 01/17/2011

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interesting how strongly people feel about CIO, I can't bear to hear my wee girl in her room crying on her own, so i dont think i could let her CIO... there have been times when i wanted to though!
Just though I would mention that my mum let me CIO as a baby, and I wonder how many others in this forum were... i dont think i was scarred for life or traumatised by it... just sayin....
in fact it was after watching a doco on those bulgarian orphans while nursing my then 1 week old that I decided I could never let her CIO, talk about a tear jerker!!
I have let her grizzle it out, there is defenitely a difference in a whingey tired grizzle because she is fighting sleep and wants to play other than crying because she is upset about something - she's 9mo and i'd like to know how to get them to sleep perfectly every time... i guess i've gt more chance of winning lotto eh

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It's such a relief to hear so many other Mum's say they co-sleep and enjoy it or find it the most natural thing. I have coslept with all my babies and they've all transitioned into a bed of their own without too much difficulty. My cot has been mostly a decoration. I enjoy cosleeping because I get the sleep I need and my partner and I love snuggling with our children while they're young and we can. But despite this I feel pressure and guilt at times because most people around me don't do it and/or don't agree with it. There are disadvantages (like not having a lot of alone time with my partner) but kids grow so fast and once they have grown you can't get that earlier time back. So why not get some sleep and enjoy a cuddle? Thanks ladies for making me feel more confident about my decision to cosleep.
My only advice is go with your instincts and your baby. Some babies respond to some things and some other things. Getting a baby to sleep is definitely trial and error.

Shannon - posted on 01/16/2011

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Wow! Seems like people feel pretty strongly about this. I have co-slept with both of my kids and never did CIO. My first child, who is now 2yrs, was always more sensitive so CIO was not a good fit for him. We did No Cry Sleep Solution which was fantastic. It was really the best middle of the road approach from all of the books and other things that I had read. My daughter, who is 4 mo., always seemed fine putter herself to sleep so no problem there. I am therapist specializing in parent/ infant attachment and I truly believe that both no cry and CIO techniques are fine depending on your babies temperament but feel strongly that non of these sleep training methods should be done until after six months of age when children have developed "object permanence".

As far as your current situation goes, I agree with several of the other posts that there is no need to move your baby out of bed unless you would like her/him out. She/he will sleep on their own when they are ready. You cannot spoil your infant at this point. If the desire to have your baby out of bed is coming from you and your baby is resisting I also agree with some of the other posts about having the co-sleeper or bassinet right next to the bed so that you can still touch the baby as he falls asleep and he can look over and see or hear you breathing. I prefer the arms reach co-sleeper to a bassinet because it is easier to maintain contact with the baby and pull them into bed for feedings. If you are not swaddling they also have a bit more room in the co-sleeper which they seem to enjoy by 4 mo. Just keep your babies temperament in mind and do what is right for both your baby and for yourself. Don't worry about what the "experts" say. Good luck Mama.

Christal - posted on 01/16/2011

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I recently made the transition with my daughter because we were keeping each other up all night. I have been cuddling her in a blanket and rocking her just taking a little time. usually she will fall asleep and i'll set her down tapping her side gently to the same rhythm and she usually sleeps fine. Other nights when that doesn't work i turn on her mobile and she might get bored with it and cry. I'll go in and check on her but i'll let her cry alittle. I believe it's ok to let her cry it out a little , not scream it out. I think if your child is really getting worked up it doesn't help your child fall asleep. But for her to make some noise is kind of typical when she is tired even if i am doing everything humanly possible. It's good for them to be able to self soothe too. There is defintely a difference between letting your child cry a little and work it out, and putting your kid in a crib and saying that's it.

A - posted on 01/16/2011

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I agree with Rachel- I believe it's unnatural to make a child CIO. I SEE the differences in the kids. A friend of mine makes her child CIO & then during the day when he wants something, he's learned he may not get it & goes from 0-10 in the screaming department immediately, throwing himself on the floor in a tantrum. He doesn't have parents HE feels he can trust. THEY think they're teaching him to be independent. Yes, indeed. From a need to survive (in his little heart). I want our son to have independence because he KNOWS he's loved & cared for & is a valuable member of our family- not a prisoner in his crib who's heart-needs are ignored.

(And I'm sure there are ways to encourage independence without CIO that WE aren't really trying. I see some women find their kids sleep alone just fine, and that's great for them. But if the baby is telling you they're not ready, I would respect that.)

Our son, a year old almost, sleeps with us. He won't nap alone, he won't sleep alone, and I don't need him to be different for MY account. Is is convenient? Absolutely not! But we brought him into the world and will give him what we feel he needs. If I wanted "convenient", I wouldn't have had a child.

That said, I will TRY things over time to work him into his own bed, like a special light (glittery lava light perhaps) in his room, or move his crib next to our bed & see if he'll be tempted occasionally to sleep there. (And really only then so I can have a slice of private time with my husband!) But if he's not agreeable- I'm happy to have him in my arms all night & for naps. He's happy, healthy, has patience beyond that of many kids I see, and is starting to be quite the little flirt with my girlfriends when they visit. I'm absolutely delighted in the ways we're raising our kiddo, and he seems a most content little guy because of it.

Merry - posted on 01/16/2011

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Just breastfeed him until he falls asleep, then put him down!
Sound machines help ease baby into sleep.
I've been doing this for the past 21 months with Eric and it works great!

Layla - posted on 01/15/2011

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Look up Dr. McKenna's research on newborn/infant sleep. Co-sleeping is the biological and physiological norm for mother -infant sleep, especially when breastfeeding.

Melissa - posted on 01/15/2011

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My daughter was in a basinet until she was 4mo old. My son only until 2mo because he outgrew it. If you want to transition your little one, I agree start with naps. For more space for the babe, I'd suggest a playpen with the basinet insert.

Both of my kids have transitioned into the crib with no issues. We have a definite nighttime routine and have since they came home from the hospital. We have a warm bath and then I nurse them, lay them on my chest on a recieving blanket and another on their back, patting them to burp and to sleep if they aren't already in a milk coma and then lay them with their mommy and baby smelling, co-body warmed blankets in their bed. Both kids have always had and continue to have a dim night light, just enough to allow them to recognize their surroundings should they wake in the night. My son will wake amost instantly if its pitch black in his room.

My other advice would be to put yourself in the babe's shoes...if its a bed/room/ect situation that you wouldn't want to be in yourself, then why would you put your baby there?

Good luck :)

Lisa - posted on 01/15/2011

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My son is now a year old, and we always had him in his crib, and only more recently did he have difficulties with sleep, and unfortunately we have been inconsistent - at one point letting him cry it out and on the other extreme bringing him into our bed. My husband doesn't agree with the cry it out method, so I was recently researching a middle ground. There is a book called the Baby Whisperer and she suggests the Pick Up Put Down Method, which basically entails picking up your baby when he cries and then put him right back down when he stops, and keep repeating this. I think you may be doing this like 100-150 times at first - if that is worth it to you. One thing I've realized now that my kid is almost 1 is that the time to start whatever training is around 4 months, so whatever you decide, it's better to take charge now. Even if you don't like the crying method, at this age, it would probably work really fast, so that the crying would be minimum by the third day - something to think about for the long term.

Robin - posted on 01/15/2011

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I don't believe in the CIO method. But all I can say is good luck and hopefully somebody has advice for you. My daughter is 14 months old and is still co-sleeping. She did just fine transitioning to her crib at 6 months but I'm too tired in the middle of the night to nurse her in her room so I just wind up bring her into our bed for the rest of the night so we can all get some sleep.

Tricia - posted on 01/15/2011

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we didnt believe in letting our girl cry it out but sometimes admired the families who could do it and did it in 3 days time and was sleeping through the night but it wasnt for us. we bought the crib and didnt follow some peoples advice and coslept while i nursed. i loved nursing but also loved sleep. it was more comfortable and easier to nurse when she was right there. my husband and i were in agreement which made it easier as well. we did buy the crib but it was used a few times for naps and that was that AND i nursed until she was 2 and 3 months after i quit nursing she movd into her own bed and i slept and she slept through he night since. so no advice here sorry just a story. sometimes i wished she didsleep in her own bed but over all those timesare over and i have no regrets. i wish you luck.

HEIDI - posted on 01/15/2011

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My little girl has the same problem. I don't like letting her cry it out either. I wait till she's asleep then I put her in her crib. Most times she wakes up and wants me to pick her back up but instead I just hush her and say Mommy's here and I rub her back or her bum until she falls asleep. After which I wait for a few minutes before leaving the room. I have a stool next to her crib so I sit down while rubbing her and it helps the back. LOL It works and when she wakes up in the middle of night I still bring her in my room or if she wakes up really early. For the most part though she sleeps the full night in her own bed.

Joy - posted on 01/15/2011

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Only when I've been extremely tired from not letting my daughter CIO have I let her CIO. I've also read the studies of CIO being damaging, but at some point it is also damaging for both the parents who get less than 4 hours of sleep because they're up all the time as well as the child whose parents become cranky from not getting enough sleep.

For our daughter we had her next to our bed in a bassinet until she outgrew the bassinet which was around 3 or 4 months. Then we moved her to a crib in the next room. Right now we're transitioning her to a toddler bed. Each transition in sleep has been a bumpy ride and we've had to be creative with what we do. It does mean getting up frequently with her.

If you are making a transition, don't go backward on it - one night have him in the bassinet, then another night bring him to bed with you. Going back and forth tends to confuse the little ones and they get upset.

Layla - posted on 01/15/2011

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Harvard Medical School also did a study on CIO and it showed that it is indeed damaging to babies brains.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/15/2011

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I was also going to suggest the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. She has wonderful suggestions for moms looking for a gentler approach.

We co-sleep, and DS is 17 months old. He has always slept better with me next to him (even though I sleep like crap! LOL). I believe that children let us know their physiological and psychological needs, and his being close to me to sleep is one of them. That's all they KNOW is what they need, so that's how they operate. I personally adore bedsharing (and night time nursing - a godsend since he's had an awful cold because that's the only way he could get any sleep), so unless you personally need to move him out for your own reasons, don't feel pressured to do so. I understand that bedsharing isn't for everyone, but if it's for you, then there's nothing wrong with it.

Marsha - posted on 01/15/2011

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Sometimes I will lay with my girl, I am not going to sleep, but she is laying with me on the couch or in bed, and once she falls asleep I put her into her crib. Most of the time she stays asleep in her crib, and there is no crying.
This is just some of the time, when she is really fighting going to sleep on her own.
I try to nurse her, then put her into her crib, and sit in the room so she sees me, and then she falls asleep on her own knowing I am there.
I am now leaving a bit before she falls asleep, so she gets used to being on her own and getting herself to sleep.
This is one of those very hard things we as parents have to deal with!!!! I think most do not have an easy time with this.

Julie - posted on 01/15/2011

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I never tried crying out with my son and he's managed to sleep great without resorting to it.Everyone has their own methods that work for them,but that isnt one I would try really. I bought a book by The Baby Whisperer,which was a great help and suggests a 'shush and pat' technique. Keeping the baby in his crib, on his side, if he becomes upset, to shush and also gently pat his back,as this calms and they cannot concentrate on more that those 2 things,hence, the crying stops, worked brilliantly for us! Good Luck!!

Kasie - posted on 01/15/2011

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CIO is not damaging, do you know how many people in this world have done that? That's the ONLY way my son would sleep on his own, he wouldn't sleep better with me at all. Plus, you can't even prove that it's damaging. My son is a perfectly happy, healthy baby.

Lauren - posted on 01/15/2011

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Well, I agree that CIO is damaging to a child and sympathize with your situation. The book No Cry Sleep Solution has a lot of wonderful suggestions. That being said, I still cosleep with my 1 year old. She nurses to sleep but is able to sleep without me beside her; I like the closeness and convenience since she still wakes sometimes at night.

Kasie - posted on 01/15/2011

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Wish I could help but the only thing that worked with my son is crying it out. It tires them out, it doesn't scar them emotionally at all it just makes them understand that it's bed time and you aren't going to pick them up every time they cry cause they need to sleep. My son doesn't even cry himself to sleep anymore, he just falls asleep on his own in his crib now. Do you have a crib for your baby?

Maddie - posted on 01/12/2011

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When I moved my bub from our bed into her own cot, which was when she was about 8 weeks, i moved her cot right beside my bed so she could still see me and was pretty close, I never had any problems with it. But I agree with Katrina, try nap times during the day in his bassinet. Also I did find my daughter liked the space, so she never slept in a bassinet just went straight into her cot. Goodluck!

Katrina - posted on 01/12/2011

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If your sleeping arrangements aren't bothering you or him why change them? He will learn to sleep on his own, even in bed with you at night. If it is really bothering you though you can try starting just for naps putting him in his bassinet. GIve that a bit of time. Then at night put him in first thing at night and put him in your bed when he wakes up for the first time at night. Slowly work on more time in his bassinet and less time in your bed. Don't rush things so he hets all freaked out.

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