Co-Sleeping...good or bad?

Sarah - posted on 11/12/2008 ( 32 moms have responded )

7

10

15

My son is 10 weeks old and since birth has been sleeping next to my husband and I. Its a lot easier to breastfeed him this way but I'm wondering when I should put him to sleep in his crib, maybe when he's sleeping through the night??? I'm torn because I don't want him to get used to sleeping with us for good but at the same time I love sleeping next to him if that makes sense. Thoughts???

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

32 Comments

View replies by

Glynis - posted on 11/23/2008

33

18

2

So it's called "co-sleeping" nowadays, is it? Back in my day (1987 - 1990 or so), it was called the "family bed". In fact, that was the title of a wonderful book by Dr. William Sears, who had six kids or more, was a pediatrician, and a board member of La Leche League.



Can someone give me a link to a pic of one of these "co-sleeper" thingies? I'd like to keep my info current - grandchildren expected in 5 to 10 years, yaknow.

Misty - posted on 11/23/2008

14

6

2

You will get differing opinions depending on who you talk to. There is good evidence that co-sleeping is good for both mom and baby as long as it's not in your bed (where either of you could roll on him) but in one of those co-sleeper thingies. La Leche League supports co-sleeping. It definitely helps with the nursing relationship and makes things easier. With my first, I co-slept for a long time (I was a single mom) and he transitioned into his bed beautifully. With my 4 month old, I have him in a bassinet literally butted up next to my side of the bed. I am going to keep him this close until he is older and sleeping thru the night. I think that if you are enjoying having your baby near you and things are working well....don't change a thing. Your baby will transition into his own bed when he's ready and you have a peace about it...probably when he's sleeping thru the night. I hope this helps! You two will be fine! ;)

[deleted account]

One thing that really helped me when we stopped co-sleeping at 5 months, was to get a video monitor. It really helped with peace of mind. The microphone is so sensitive, if you turn it way up, you can hear them breathing AND if you concentrate and look closely, you can see their chest moving up and down. Even though we all sleep better now, I miss him terribly every night (and it is sort of like a running joke with my husband - every night, I ask my husband if we can bring him back to bed with us, to which I know the answer). Seeing him on the video monitor helps me.

[deleted account]

Another thing to consider is our relationship with your husband. While we loved co-sleeping, once our little guy was in his own room, it was really nice to have our pillow talk, snuggling, and "Mommy-Daddy" time back. We didn't realize how much we had been needing it.

Beth - posted on 11/22/2008

36

17

3

I think it is definately each families choice whether or not to co-sleep. I just implore those that do to please, please, please be careful! I am in the medical profession and have heard more than enough stories about suffucation from thick bedclothes, or from the child too close to a parent's body. It is your choice, just make it a smart choice.

[deleted account]

my son is now 9mnts and he still sleeps with me and his dad.. i just said this week we need to get him into his bed.. becuae now he jumping crewling and starting to walk and i dont want him falling off the bed.. and i understand what u mean i love sleeping with him. put u have to start off slow and put them in there beds.. i have been putting him to sleep by laying with him in my bed and then movening him to his.. he well sleep in there for up to 6 hrs so by like 12 am or 1 am he back in my bed.. just keep working on it. thing will work out.. u could put and basnet or a playpen beside your bed and he still wwith u

[deleted account]

I agree that you need to do what you feel is right. Every baby is different and every parent is different. We had our son either in our bed or right next to the bed (it depended on the night) until he was almost 4 months old and he transitioned just fine to his own bed. I know someone who co-sleeps with each of her kids until the next one is born. I also know parents who never sleep with their baby in their room. Again, it's what's right for your family, and especially what works best for your baby in the long run.

Jamie - posted on 11/22/2008

6

8

0

I have a 4 month old little boy and we started putting him in his crib about 3 weeks ago. He had a bed in our room, but I ended up having him sleep with us each night becuase of breastfeeding as well. We had sleep issues with our 2 year old so that's why we made the move and put the little guy in his crib in his own room now, instead of later. I loved it too and once in a while let him stay in with us once he's done eating if he wakes up in the middle of night! He's a good cuddler!

Sabrina - posted on 11/22/2008

38

24

2

my daughter is 14 weeks and she has been sleeping with me since the day she was born in the hospital, about one month ago i started to put her in her crib for the first part of the night until she wakes up at 5am to nurse then shes in bed with me till we both wake up.. its a great bond and i actually sleep better when shes in bed with me.. just do what feels best for you :]

[deleted account]

I love how open minded everyone is here:) I just wanted to say, that I co sleep with my 6 week old. We both sleep much better this way. I sometimes put her in the pack n play for the first stretch if my husband and I want some alone time. Then when she wakes up I just keep her in the bed with me. When she's in the pack n play I really don't get much sleep because every time she stirs I look over to see if she's waking up, so even if she isn't waking up, I get no sleep. When she's in my arms she seems to stir much less. So for us co sleeping is the best option. When it feels right we'll transition, we'll just play it by ear:).

Debbie - posted on 11/22/2008

249

20

24

My baby is a light sleeper so no one gets any sleep unless she is in her crib in her own room. She had been sleeping in a bassinet in our room but I found that either she was waking me up with her little "sleepy" noises or my husband or I were waking her up with sneezes, coughes, snoring etc. We are all much more rested now that she is in a crib in her own room.



All that to say it really depends on you and your baby's sleeping habits.

Melissa - posted on 11/22/2008

108

14

18

I agree that there is no right or wrong answer!! It's whatever is comfortable for you. (It was cute though, the LPN who did my 6 week pp check up asked if we were co-sleeping - and we are - and she said that she thought it was funny when people think it is wrong because even animals sleep with their young.)
Anyways, I told my husband that my goal is to try and have her in her crib by 6 months. I've started putting her in the crib for naps. And now she has started going to sleep at night before we go to bed, so I will put her in the crib and once she wakes up to feed bring her in our bed. She doesn't go to sleep at the same time every night yet, so it varies from night to night when she comes to bed. Most nights though, she has slept for about 3-5 hours in her crib before we go to bed and is waking up around the time we are heading to bed. I figure as she starts sleeping longer at nights, it will be a small progress, but she will eventually stay in the crib through the night ... but I'm not rushing her. Sometimes I sit and hope she wakes up before I go to bed so I can have her in bed with me haha.

[deleted account]

Hi. I "slept" with my first daughter until she was 9 months old, which is to say we didn't really sleep. So are you getting any sleep? With my son and now our new baby girl (10 weeks) the only time they slept with me is sometimes in the morning when I just can't get out of bed- then I pull her in with me! Of course you want to cuddle with your sweet baby! I probably would have had her w/ me a little more at first, but I don't trust my husband. (if he wollaps me in the middle of the night what will he do to her?) But the main reason I don't sleep with her more is b/c I'm a big fan of the book "Babywise" by Gary Ezzo. While I think it's perfectly fine for a mom to want some more cuddle time, if you want your baby to sleep through the night, it probably won't happen if he's in bed w/ you. If he's passing through a lighter phase of sleep, if you move a little he'll hear you or even smell you and naturally want to nurse, even though he may be perfectly capable of going longer w/o a feeding. Basically I just try to get my lovin' at another time. Our really special time is after our late night feeding (10-10:30) before I put her back in her bassinet. Then she sleeps 8-9 hrs. and wakes up ready to smile and play some more! I would definitely say it depends on how much you care if he sleeps all night long! On that note, my husband is gone for the weekend, so I'm about to go get in bed w/ my 5 year old and 3 year old. They think it is so special to sleep in Mommy's bed when Daddy's gone and brag in the morning about how Molly never woke them up! I was kinda rambling, but hopefully it might help.

[deleted account]

We used a side-car co-sleeper for the first 4 mo. then started putting my son in his crib for the 1st and 2nd stretches of sleep. At 6mo. my son started waking every 1.5-2 hours. I work full-time from home and I was SO tired. I was going crazy. So at the advice of my OBGYN we started co-sleeping. My son is 23 mo., still nurses, but not much at all during the night, if at all and we are still bed-sharing. WE LOVE IT! Yes, we look forward to having our bed to ourselves again one day, but this will all be over before we know it. So we just meet in our office on our futon for date night. :-) We're doing child-led weaning and are kind of following the same idea with bed-sharing. We may do some encouraging for him to go into his own race car bed that is at the end of our bed when baby #2 comes in April, but then again, we plan to use the side car co-sleeper again and may even do the family bed concept eventually. We will see. We just want it to all be smooth, happy and no stress for us all. I say, it's up to you and your hubby, and if you're willing, your son! Again, this time is SO short in the grand scheme of things.

Daryl - posted on 11/19/2008

24

0

2

I was the same way...i loved sleeping with my daughter but around 4 months she started waking up a ton and it seemed like I kept waking her up. I started putting her in her crib for naps so that she got used to it and once she liked the crib, i put her in it for bedtime too. She cried the first night (but I also took the binky away at that time so i think that was more of the problem) but has been fine ever since (she's now 6 mo). Now when i try to bring her into our bed, she can't sleep...she likes her crib better. I really missed sleeping with her in the beginning, but I've gotten used to sleeping on my own. I still get up a few times at night to feed her, so it's a little more inconvenient for me, but she seems to sleep better. Good luck and whatever works the best for your family is what you should follow.

Nancy - posted on 11/19/2008

17

20

4

No correct answer! Do what you feel is working best for you, your husband & child.

My oldest co-slept regularly for about 18 months, then sporadically after that. He's a kindergartener now & sleeps fine.

My 3 year old co-slept with me until he was 2 1/2 - I transitioned him to his own bed because I was having another baby. There were some tears, but then his independent streak took over & he was ready to sleep "by myself!".

I have no plans on transitioning my 10 month old to sleeping by himself anytime soon - I imagine he'll be 2-4 years old unless we have another baby before then.

[deleted account]

We co-slept until 3 months when I couldn't take my husband and baby hogging the bed anymore ;)
We found swaddling (wrapping him up tightly, arms down at his sides) really helped him sleep.

Carrie - posted on 11/12/2008

307

58

63

We have done no co-sleeping, all co-sleeping, and partial co-sleeping. Whatever meets his needs at a particular stage. Right now he's in his crib from about 9pm until 4am, when he wakes, and I bring him in with me until 630 when I have to wake him and get him ready for the sitters. Do whatever works for you, and know that it will likely change with time and his needs.

Katie - posted on 11/12/2008

5

16

1

Our 22 mo old is still co-sleeping, so I would say whatever works for your family is the right way to go.

Johanna - posted on 11/12/2008

3

27

0

We also slept with our twins for months, because lets face it it is just easier and it is so sweet to have them so close to you! It is scary to put a baby in their own room where you can't "watch" them all the time. There is no right answer, (despite what hardcore ferberizers and hardcore attachment parents will tell you) - you have to do what is best for you. Very little babies NEED lots of love and touching and nearness. As they get older, it is important for them to realize that they are separate from you. Have you seen SuperNanny where the 9 year olds are still in bed with mom and dad and scream bloody murder when they are forced to sleep alone? You certainly don't want that! A happy medium is good. They should be in their own bed before the first year is over or it will be very hard to transition them. They will be old enough to feel rejected and sad. An infant will adapt better. :)

Jennifer - posted on 11/12/2008

53

19

5

Do what works for you and your family. My husband and I co-sleep with our little girl who is 11 weeks. We have an arms reach co-sleeper, she spends the first part of the night in the co-sleeper than when she wakes up to feed she moves into bed with us. It works for us. I also recommend checking out what Dr. Sears has to say, it reassured me a lot. Good luck.

[deleted account]

My first son slept with us until he turned 2 years old. (he refused to sleep in the co-sleeper beginning on his first day home from the hospital) I loved sleeping next to him. I was also convinced that I needed to be as close as possible to him for safety reasons...first time mom worries. In any case, after the birth of my second child I was so happy when he and I both felt comfortable with him sleeping in his crib...he was in a co-sleeper for the first 3 months. The longer your little one sleeps with you the harder it will be to have him sleep on his own. Chances are he won't be sleeping through the night anytime soon. So, I would suggest maybe putting him in his crib by the time he turns 5 months old. By then there is no reason to nurse him in the middle of the night...when he does wake up it is going to be for you and not for your milk, although he will drink if you offer. (By 5 months babies can remember you even when you are not in the room.) Anyways, do what you feel is best for the both of you.

Mary - posted on 11/12/2008

243

23

43

we are co-sleepers and support 100%. there is no 'right' answer though. i say go with your gut, do what feels right to you.

Christina - posted on 11/12/2008

97

38

7

Sorry, looking back at my response it sounds a bit opinionated against co sleeping. Like some of the other moms have said there is no wrong or right answer as to what age we should stop the co sleeping. I simply just responded what worked for us. Every baby and every family is different. Sleep plays such an important role in a maintaining a healthy balance for our bodies. So I think that if co sleeping is working for you and your family than by all means as long as it is safe than go for it! I just know for my self I couldn't get a restful sleep which affected me and my relationship with my baby and my family. I was too tired to think properly and I was too irritable from the lack of sleep and I needed that little bit of time alone for my self. The lack of sleep also affected my husband.

You’ll know what is right for you and baby when the time comes. I would have to agree though with some when the say the longer you wait the harder it is to break a habit.

Ella - posted on 11/12/2008

7

27

2

I agree. If you and your hubby don't mind your lil guy sleeping with, then it's not a problem. A friend who is a dr. put it like this, do you like to sleep alone? If not, why do we expect to have our babies come home and sleep alone? Try not to care what is socially acceptable and instead think of what works best for your family.



If you do want your son to eventually sleep on his own, you could try to have him nap in his crib during the day. 10 weeks old I remember my son still fed about 2 times at night...so it is easier to have them in the bed with you. Maybe when your son is down to one feeding at night you could transition him.



I'll be honest, my son is 9 months old and still in our bed. I love it and my hubby doesn't mind. Do what works best for your family.

Christina - posted on 11/12/2008

97

38

7

I think co sleeping is great for the first few weeks as it has several benefits but I would suggest that you introduce your little one to the crib now before he becomes dependant on sleeping with mommy and daddy. You want to start good habits while they are young. I know a few parents who are still struggling with this issue and their children are over the age of two.

I have 2 children, both boys ages 21 months and 5 months. Both of them sleep in their own cribs. I started off with co sleeping for the first few weeks and introduced them to their cribs for short periods of time at a time. I started with putting them for naps during the day in their cribs while I still had them in the bed with me at night until they adjusted to sleeping in the crib. Once that was established I would start doing the same during the night until eventually they slept in their cribs all of the time. I loved sleeping with my babies and I still take the occasional naps with my 5 month old during the day.

It is healthier for everyone when your baby sleeps in his own crib. Everyone will sleep better, (more restful and less interrupted.) A well rested baby is a healthier baby and a healthier baby is a happier baby! The same goes for mommy! Everyone needs their alone time even if it’s at night while we are sleeping. It teaches your baby independence as well as it’s healthier for your relationship with your spouse.

I agree it is much easier to have your baby sleep with you but it might lead to future problems. Currently my 5 month old still sleeps in our room but in his own crib so we get the benefits of both. His nursery has not yet been completed but we will move him in once it is.

I wouldn’t wait until your son is sleeping through the night as for some this doesn’t happen for months sometimes up to 2 years old. Besides you will likely have to re-teach him to sleep through the night again once he is moved to her crib or to her own room. It will be a change of routine that usually throws off their sleep schedule.

If you are afraid of leaving him alone at night than you may want to try the Angel Care Monitor with a motion sensor pad that goes under the mattress. An alarm will sound if the baby stops breathing. I was terrified of leaving my first baby a lone for the fear of SIDS. This alarm really made me feel at ease.

Hope this helps you.

Cristina - posted on 11/12/2008

6

21

0

Sarah! Great question and good for you for doing what feels right. If you love sleeping next to him, you are doing the right thing for your son and family right now. We have been co-sleeping with our son since he was born sharing the same bed. Then at about 10 months we got him used to his own twin bed on the floor right next to our bed (which was also on the floor to be safe). Then at 16 months we put him into his own room, I night weaned him and he has been doing great since. I think that each child and family has a different solution and you should just play it by ear. They will not sleep in your bed forever and you have such a short window of your lives to enjoy those special moments in the middle of the night while you nurse or early in the morning as you wake. Read some of these great resources at this link - they will help you to feel better about your decision either way. Ask Dr. Sears is a great resource http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070100...



Goodluck!

Lori - posted on 11/12/2008

2

8

0

I think that arm-reach co sleeper is a great idea. We co-slept with our first from 3months until he was 14 months and then he got his own toddler bed which is still in our room but he has no problem staying in his own bed. We're currently co-sleepin with our 2nd son who just turned 7 weeks old and plan to do the same thing. I'd have to agree with everyone else though. There's no correct answer, I think it's different for every family. Whatever works for your family is the right answer :)

Luci - posted on 11/12/2008

21

41

7

We had the same dilemma with our first (now almost 3 and in his own bed)...Here's what we came to for ourselves: If you're reasonably certain the baby is safe -- keep covers and pillowcases away, etc and neither of you sleeps so heavily (ha ha) or thrashes around so much that you could hurt the little one unintentionally, then savor the time with him. They're small for so short a time. We loved sleeping with our first and he's a happy, healthy, secure, & calm kid even now. We knew it was time for him to move to his own crib/ bed when we all started getting a bad night's sleep when we were together. He still comes in occasionally in the wee hours for a bad dream or something, but he's happy to be in his own space now.

Just had our second in August and she's been in our bed most nights...like her big brother, she just isn't comfortable in the bassinet. She's had issues with reflux and has had some uncomfortable nights. I've found that being near us soothes her, even though our mattress is flat and hers is propped to help with the reflux. There's just no replacing the comfort of mom and dad, I think. And, well, we love it too. She'll move to her own bed when the time is right for all of us..

It works for us, but not for everyone. We do have to slough off comments from other moms and grandmoms who disapprove for one reason or another, but since you're breastfeeding, you probably have already dealt with unwanted advice. :)

Just a few thoughts; hope they help. Enjoy that little one!

Connie - posted on 11/12/2008

66

45

8

I have co slept with all of our children and loved it our youngest is nine months now, but I will say that it is hard to get them into their own beds after so long, my three yr old still wants to sleep with me which is okay during the week because dad works nights and is gone but then he has to sleep in his own room on the weekend which makes it hard for him to sleep but he will sleep in his own room most of the time so I think it depends on the family and how you feel about your kids being in bed with you.

Kenya - posted on 11/12/2008

2

17

1

Great question. I don't think there is a "correct" answer. If you and hubby don't mind, then you shouldn't worry about your little guy sharing the bed. We are currently co-sleeping with #3 who is 8 weeks old. I've found with the first two, at around 4 or 5 months, they want their own space naturally. One thing we are using this time is the arms-reach co-sleeper. It is a basically a pack-and-play with a drop side that attaches to your bed. All the benefits of co-sleeping with a little space so you don't worry about baby getting too used to mom and dad's bed. Plus, it gives you more room in bed if an older sibling comes in after a bad dream or something. Good luck with your new little man and happy co-sleeping.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms