Co-Sleeping - good or bad idea?

Jackie - posted on 02/16/2010 ( 248 moms have responded )

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So I'm sure this one will illicit a firestorm b/c people are either very for or very against this topic...but I'm curious to see where it leads in a "debating" forum like this one.

I will state right now that I couldn't possibly be more against co-sleeping! There are a million reasons I'm against it, you need to maintain a bond with your significant other, it can be dangerous, no one (including the baby) sleeps as well/soundly, its a HORRENDOUS habit for your child etc etc etc. I promise you someone will post that "no school age kid is still in bed with his parents" and I'm going to state right now that one of the many reasons my daughter has never slept 2 minutes in our bed is b/c my husbands son WAS still sleeping in bed with his mom at the age of 10. he would come to our house where my husband absolutely did not allow it (a big part of the reason why he's my husband now...he was flat out against it and slept on the couch in the end of his first marraige b/c of it)...and at 9 years old it would take my husband 2 HOURS to get this kid to bed. So yes, it is a horrible habit that no they don't just "grow out of". My main reason for being against it is b/c I see absolutely no reason to do it. Your baby doesn't "need" to sleep with you all night, I know many children who have slept in their cribs from the day they came home from the hospital - including my own daughter. THey are all very healthy, well adjusted babies who get plenty of mommy/daddy time during their awake hours. Of the baby group that we are part of, there are 6 babies and the only 2 who do not sleep well are the 2 who were brought into bed with their parents. The rest of the babies have been sleeping 11-12 hours/nite since they were very very young. So...in short, sorry if that got winded, I feel strongly about this one, I do not agree with co-sleeping, and I have more I could say but I'll wait for some responses. I am interested in seeing where everyone else is coming from.

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[deleted account]

Well to be honest i wouldnt be happy about my 11 or 9 year old sleeping in my bed they should be in their own beds from about 3 or 4 i would say.

Jackie - posted on 02/18/2010

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And for one of the other kids I know it went on if not every nite then most nites until the age of at least 10ish, but we have since not stayed in touch with the parents so I can't comment on that one now....but that kid is the same age now, 14.

Jackie - posted on 02/18/2010

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Now (at the age of 14 (a boy) and entering high school next year) it is still occasional, but I believe its rarely ocassional at this point. But it was an every nite thing up until the age of 10-11ish, then became ocassional (but not that uncommon) for a while to get to now. Except when he was with his father (and now us), its a never thing, and his father moved out when he was 9. So on those nites my husband always made him sleep in his own bed (even before he started dating me).

[deleted account]

Well Jackie im commenting about children i know too my kids and my friends kids you can too you've commented on here told me that my kids will have issues when they are older etc but now you want to end the debate because im not giving in. Your entitled to your opinion but as i said earlier what difference does it make to you where other people kids sleep? Your attacking co sleepers but ont like it when anyone disagrees with you.

Jodi - posted on 02/18/2010

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Jackie, I am curious as to what you consider co-sleeping. Is this an EVERY night thing at the school ages you describe? Or is it only occasional?

Jackie - posted on 02/18/2010

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Right, that's your opinion and I have mine. I am not going to go round and round in circles on the same thing, I don't like repeating myself. I don't expect you to change your mind so you shouldn't be expecting to change mine. While I agree it may not be the only thing driving the issues, I do firmly believe the co-sleeping is a solid factor in attachment/independence issues.

You are saying I can't speculate b/c I don't live with them, yet you are speculating on people you have never met. My comments are based on live, in person first hand knowledge at least.

I will gladly continue this debate, just not going to continue this specific back and forth b/c it is getting repetitive and pointless now. We have both stated our points.

[deleted account]

As ive said before i dont really believe it has anything to do with co sleeping where they sleep does not affect personality its when they are awake their personality develops if this child has no self confidence it is probably down to the fact that he hasnt been treated very well. People with no self confidence tend to be those who have spent a lot of time around people who constantly put them down and tell them they cant do things because they are stupid. Unless you yourself live with this child you refer to how can you speculate on what has caused his behaviour.

Jackie - posted on 02/18/2010

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I didn't say that you haven't cut the cord, I clearly stated I was speaking to the situations I have first hand knowledge of. Thats great that your kids are well adjusted, I am saying that I know many who are not...and they are all different parenting styles with co-sleeping being basically the only link. Even if it is the parents that I know...still doens't matter if the root of it was co-sleeping. Whether the kid wont leave, or the parent doesn't want them too does not matter, I disagree with the long term affects it has had on these kids.

Yes some kids can adjust to it, but some kids don't. The thing is, its real easy to help teach a baby/toddler the right way, they are a sponge learning and soaking in everything they see. Now you take this 11 yr old with no personality, no foot to stand on who can't handle anything.....you can't just lead the way. While it is not impossible...it is EXTREMELY difficult to all of a sudden teach an older child to start doing for themselves, being independent. Again, don't see the point in taking the risk that when you finally think you want your bed back this will have happened...b/c it can all be avoided by teaching them these very important skills very early on and skip the whole mess.

And I also firmly believe that all of us, even babies, need their own space. There are many books I have read that also say this, sometimes they just want to be left alone. It's human nature to want down time/alone time - so let them have it and take it for yourself and everyone is recharged in the morning.

[deleted account]

I think Jackie that these childrens problems are probably nothing to do with where they sleep but more likely about how they are brought up when they are awake. I have three school age children who are extremely independant. They are 11,9 and 3 none of them have suffered with seperation anxiety. My oldest two are quite happy to go camping for the weekend with the scouts, they are capable of cooking their own meals, shopping for their own clothes my oldest has just recently learned how to iron. Where have i not cut the apron strings? My three year old started school in september he was one of the only children who did not cry for mommy on his first day, he didnt even wave at me he just run in smiling. Hes the only three year old i know who can dress himself even his socks and shoes. Hes independant going to the toilet i dont have to wipe his rear end like other mothers i know with kids the same age. As i said before maybe its just the parents you know because all the kids i know who have co slept havent got any issues.

Jackie - posted on 02/18/2010

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No Susanne, if you want to narrow it all the way down to do I care where the kid physically sleeps....I don't think what bed they are in necessarily matters, though I know there are safety concerns about co-sleeping. But as said above, some do it safely so if you think you can fine whatever. As far as the safety issue I would never risk it, not a risk I think is worth taking but thats my opinion. The reason I get so heated is b/c so many people say co-sleeping is fantastic and NEVER could it possibly have negative affects on a child. My opinion is based on children who it has had VERY negative affects on and that I would personally never want my daughter to turn out like them. Its not about the location of sleep...its the separation issues they develop when as someone stated above "the cords not cut". They dont' know how to problem solve ANYTHING, they can't speak up for themselves, they can't function without mommy...b/c mommy has always just fixed everything for them. Children NEED to learn how to wrok things out, its a MAJOR life skill to function in society. ***These are not blanket statements, I am speaking to specific situations I know of for a fact*** I am not talking about babies, i'm talking about school age children who should all be able to handle all of these situations. This is why I do not think it is emotionally healthy. Of all of the co-sleeping I have known personally in my life, not one single case has ended well, so yes I feel strongly about it. As do many people about their opinions and there is nothing wrong with that.

[deleted account]

Well hey Jackie maybe it comes down to the parents you know not being firm enough with their kids or those kids not being very independant. Dont know why your getting so heated about this does it matter where other people kids sleep to you? Personally i couldnt care less where your kids sleep thats up to you whethere thats in a cot or elsewhere. Ive been married for 14 years and we are more in love now than ever even though hes spent a lot of time in the spare room. We still have our time after the kids go to bed my youngest goes to sleep in my bed on his own at 8 o clock every night and me and my hubby curl up in front of the telly or whatever. I can see both sides of this argument because ive had kids that will sleep in a cot on their own and ones that prefer my bed and to me its all about a good nights sleep.

Jodi - posted on 02/18/2010

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Jackie, I am aware it is a debating forum....I was giving my opinion.



Just because I say I don't care, and I get sick of hearing about how much other people care about what others are doing, doesn't mean it isn't an opinion!

Jackie - posted on 02/18/2010

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Jodi, I don't mean this disrespectfully, but this is a debating forum, so why are you saying you get so sick of listening to the two sides go back and forth? That's what this community is all about, its for people who WANT to do that.

Jackie - posted on 02/18/2010

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For those of you who continuously say either your kids specifically didn't have transition problems, or you dont' know any that did and you don't anticpiate any....congratulations. You are the lucky ones. I personally know MANY people who have gone this route and end up very unhappy with the outcome. I know more people than I can count that said if they could go back they would either not do it altogether, or end it in early infancy. I personally know school age children still in parents beds, school age children that can't sleep away from home.....believe it or not, it does happen. Just b/c you havent experienced it yet doesn't mean its impossible. Do you really think all the people posting these stories on here are lying? Trust me there are people out there who do "pay for it later".

And as to all the comments about how you obviously can't have a good sex life if your bedroom is where you chose to be intimate - really - I can't even begin to describe how ridiculous that comment is. Ya you can have sex wherever you want, but for me and my husband, we don't have sex with my daughter in the room - that leaves at nite when she is in bed - so yes the bedroom. And I started this by saying it can affect a marraige, but everyone just assumes sex life is the only thing I was talking about. There is SO MUCH MORE to a marraige than your sex life, and you all need to figure that out quick or your going to be in trouble. My husband and I will also use our quiet alone time in bed at nite to talk, cuddle, relax and continually strengthen our relationship TOGETHER, as a pair. And I don't care what any of you say, clearly no one has ever been to a marraige counselor, this is more important than ANYTHING else.

Nicole you clearly say you shouldn't have the baby on the edge of the bed or in the middle of you two....which I agree, b/c both are unsafe....so where does that leave that you think IS safe?

Jodi - posted on 02/18/2010

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Oh, I will add, the only time I EVER put my foot down about a kid in my bed was my step-son....he was a bedwetter, and after about the 3rd time I woke up with pee all over me, I seriously told my husband enough was enough, LOL.

Jodi - posted on 02/18/2010

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I've decided to have some input on this debate, and to be honest, my input is I really don't care what you do if it works for you and your baby and everyone is happy!!! Why do you have to stick to a single method by the book? Whatever happened to parenting by instinct, whatever happened to parenting for what works? Trial and error? Let's see what happens.

Jo, I am with you when you said the following:
"We've slept on the couch... we've slept on the floor... we've slept in our bed... he's slept in his crib... we sleep where we get to have sleep. When we move into our house, he will have his own room there, he will be about 18 months and we're going to plan on getting him to sleep in his room when we move. But I'm not gonna make it be any harder than it has to be. We'll go with the flow and see what happens lol"

I've done the same. I've had nights where I slept with kids in the spare bed so as not to disturb hubby. I had a bassinet in the bedroom while the kids were small and I was still breastfeeding. I've had nights where they have crawled into bed with me. My youngest is (almost) 5, and she sometimes still likes to sleep in our room when she is scared or overtired, so I have an old cot mattress, blanket and pillow on the floor beside me in our room just in case. She sleeps, we sleep, no-one ends up tired in the morning.

Honestly, I don't understand the debate. The best thing is what works for your family. Is co-sleeping wrong? No, it isn't if that is what works for you, your baby AND your family. Is putting your child in a crib wrong? No, it isn't if that is what works for you, your baby AND your family. I just get so SICK of listening to each side of this debate trying to prove why their method is the better one. You know what? Your method isn't better. Your method works for YOU. But that doesn't make it the superior method. That doesn't mean this person or that person abuses their child, neglects their child, is cruel to their child, or is going to smother their child.

I will quite happily sit on the fence on this issue and say that I have done a little of both here and there. I never read a book on it, researched it, made a conscious decision on it. I never gave a shit for anyone else's opinions on the issue. I went with what worked for us. My children are perfectly happy and well adjusted. No-one died. No-one is feeling neglected and abandoned. No-one has permanent brain damage from falling out of bed (and yes, it has happened). No-one feels like a caged animal. And I am still the only one permanently tired, but that's inevitable being a mum :)

[deleted account]

Jennifer how is a habit like that hard to break im curious because all my three boys broke it no problem and i know a lot of co sleepers and i dont know of anyone whose babies have died from it.

[deleted account]

The pay for it later comment is such a load of rubbish my oldest is 11 at four years old he went in his own bed and i never had any trouble getting him in there he was excited about it. I did the same with my 9 year old when he was three again no problems. My youngest is three now and sleeps with me i'll be moving him back into his own room soon i havent paid for it later my kids a happy independant kids.

[deleted account]

I'm strongly against co-sleeping. Firstly, many babies die from co-sleeping from being suffocated, suqashed etc. Secondly, a habit like that is very hard to break and you still see children who are school age sleeping in their parents bed. Thirdly, a baby/child needs to learn how to settle themselves to sleep without the comforting smell of mam and dad close at hand. And lastly, a parents bed is for the parents. I love my son but it's important that my husband and I have our bed to ourselves for intamacy. I'm not against a cuddle in the bed in the morning but sleeping together no.

?? - posted on 02/18/2010

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Quoting Lisa Moreau

Do those against bedsharing think the Japanese wrong for practicing it? Japanese parents regularly sleep in the same beds as their children, through the teenage years, believing that children are spirits that need to be welcomed into the family fold. Mother and father sleep with the children in between them emulating a river with its banks. These cultures that routinely bedshare with their children from birth have nearly non-existant rates of SIDS.




I wouldn't put too much credit into where the Japanese put their children considering the lack of living space they generally have, most families have no choice in the matter... unless they want to leave Japan all together lol





On a side note, regarding the other cultures, Lisa;



I find it disheartening that you continue to rely on other cultures to support your decisions as a parent. Because as much as those cultures support your decisions as a parent... other aspects of those same cultures contradict the very fiber of reasoning behind why you do, what you do. I don't understand why you can't just accept that it's your way of doing it and let that be the end of it.



The Japanese culture, they condone the murder of baby ENDANGERED whales in order to lure in the mother of the calf, so that they can murder the mother as well -- all in the name of their 'culture' and their 'right' to eat fish and fish product. They lure thousands of dolphins into a bay and then massacre them - only saving the 'best' to be sold off to zoo's - every year - all in the name of their culture. Except this year and hopefully every year from now on thanks to people who don't agree with murder for the sake of culture.



I don't really care what the Japanese do, or any culture does - in the past, the present or the future - for whatever reason that they do it because ultimately the Japanese (or whoever's culture you're quoting as right for whatever topic is being discussed) are not the above all of everything and they are not right, nor are they wrong. They are just another culture doing what serves them best in their enviroment.



I SINCERELY wish you would own your decisions as your own, you obviously have the facts that 'prove' that you know what you're talking about, and yet you keep trying to articulate that because someone else of another culture does it this way or that way and THAT is what supports YOUR decision, that it's the RIGHT way, the BEST way -- and implying that any other way is automatically the wrong way, because of your decision to follow whatever culture on whatever topic.



And yes, sigh, I know it's a debate. And yes I know that different things make people decide different things, but, sigh, I wish you would just take credit for your own parenting decisions. You and I agree on a lot of things, just in such different ways that sometimes your 'information' and your opinion is lost in all of the other [irrelivant] stuff that you insist on accrediting.



I promise this isn't a 'dig' at you or anything of the sort, just a general observation of your posts and a reason why it's hard for me, personally, to digest some of the things you say, as reasonings for decisions you make yourself. Obviously me saying this probably won't change the way you present your opinion or your facts - I just felt the need to say it with only the intention of expressing how your posts come off to me, and from some of the comments I've read, others as well.

Amie - posted on 02/18/2010

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I tried reading this thread but there are way too many posts and it got boring after the arguing started.

I did co-sleep with all 4 of my children. =O They all go to bed just fine on their own, in their own rooms, in their own beds. /:)

People abuse all kinds of parenting styles. Including co sleeping. I co-slept as long as I BF my babies. Once they were done that, we transitioned them to a crib, then to a bed. It's more about a solid routine that a parent is willing to stick with, then it is about which style you choose.

Karen - posted on 02/17/2010

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I never considered co-sleeping for many reasons including the fact that DH's Uncles made us such a cute cradle that it would have been a shame for her not to use it! My DD was also a very noisy sleeper. I personally think intimacy is reduced by parental exhaustion, not co-sleeping ;-) I did have her sleeping on her tummy as soon as she was old enough to hold up her head due to tummy issues - she slept better because she could keep pressure on her tummy and felt better (such issues she would belch loud enough to be heard in the farthest corner of the house!) She slept in our room for the 1st 3 weeks or so until she hit her original due date and started sleeping for longer stretches than 2 hours, then she went upstairs so we could sleep a bit better. Even on the monitor I didn't start sleeping soundly until she was a year old and we turned off the monitor at night (her bedroom is right above ours) because she was so noisy she disturbed our sleep. In our experience having her sleep in her bed almost from the beginning was a huge help - 1st of all, she started soothing herself back to sleep much more quickly since going to get her right when she woke up was much less tempting when you have to climb stairs at 2AM!, and other times the climb up the stairs was the only exercise I got all day... she is extremely confident and independent and her room is her space but she knows to whom to come when she needs something and no transitions have been messy, after the noisy phase she entered the moving around phase - even with a King Size bed I would have been bruised and battered after just one night, during potty training phase there was no way she would have been in our bed because I was not changing our bed in the middle of the night. At 6 she loves her own space although she also loves coming to our room waaaay too early on a Saturday morning to cuddle and wait until it's a more civilized hour to rise. Occasionally we'll have a weekend nap together, too. So...co-sleeping was not considered in our house, if it had been it would have been rejected in favor of the sleeping part actually happening, and my child is happy, smart, and well-adjusted.

Kylie - posted on 02/17/2010

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I agree Carol and Nicole and hope i didn't offend with the baby cage comment..
Melissa..the whole "gonna pay for it later" thing is such a myth. So many family's transition kids into their own bedrooms when the child is ready without tears or worry. In my experience co-sleeping leads to children being more confident to be away from parents because they feel more secure in themselves because their needs were met at that young, vulnerable age. I've never had that fear that the kids wont ever leave the family bed..i know they will when they are developmentally ready to.

Johnny - posted on 02/17/2010

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I'm not really strongly opinionated on this subject. I think there are pros and cons to co-sleeping.
Pros are the increased bond with baby, easier breastfeeding, and if it is done properly (following safety precautions) has actually been shown to decrease the risk of SIDS.

Cons are that it can (for some couples) decrease intimacy, it can be very dangerous if precautions are not taken, squirmy babies can lead to less sleep, and you can't stretch out in your own space.

For the first 3 months, our daughter slept beside us in her bassinet, never in our bed because we did not have it set up properly for safe co-sleeping. She was a good sleeper and we didn't have any problems. From when she was 4 months to 10 months, she slept mostly in her crib. When she was sick or teething, she would sleep in our bed, we had borrowed a co-sleeper from a friend that went in between us. When she hit 10 months, she started thrashing around a lot in her sleep, and often woke up because she'd hit her head on the bars of her crib. She started sleeping with us quite frequently because of this, and it worked very well for us. It was easy for me to breastfeed and it was nice and cozy. She was also much bigger and we were less concerned about rolling on her. When she slept with us, she was very calm and never moved around. She stayed in our bed until she was 14 months. We did not have any issues with intimacy, in fact, my husband is actually quite a strong believer in the family bed. He was the one who did the research about how to do it safely and encouraged the practice. She started thrashing around at 14 months, so we took the mattress out of her crib and put it on the floor beside our bed. It was an easy transition and it works well. She is still there and she is now 18 months. In the next month or so (as soon as hubby gets around to converting the crib to a toddler bed), we plan to transition her back to her room.

So we've done all sort of techniques and they have each worked well when we needed them to. We don't do CIO in our house, so leaving her to deal with stuff in her crib was not an option for us. That being said, we've never been sleep deprived (unless I'm up to late on COM) so going with the flow has been a good thing for us. I wouldn't change a thing if I had it to do over again. Honestly, I do sort of miss sleeping beside my little girl, it was nice while it lasted. But she is ready to sleep on her own, and I am confident that the move back to her own room will be smooth.

I also wanted to say that I really find that this is an issue that I don't think you can give much advice on. Parents should be aware of the options, the dangers and the benefits, and make their own decisions for each child and themselves. It disturbs me to see all the fear-mongering on here about co-sleeping, just as much as I don't like seeing committed co-sleepers referring to cribs as jails. We should all find our own paths to sleep success, and not attack parents who have not made exactly the same choices that we did. Maybe then we'd actually learn something.

Nicole - posted on 02/17/2010

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I think that co-sleeping is a personal choice that every mother has to make for themselves. Mommy's and babies have been sleeping together from the dawn of man. And all around the world they are still sleeping together. Every animal that raises their young sleeps with them they, don't have different beds. I think that you can safely sleep with your baby. You should not have the baby in the middle of you and you spouse or on the edge of the bed of course, but I know from experience that if i knew that my baby was next to me i would not move or roll over on him!! If you are one of those people that sleep to soundly then no, you should not co-sleep but for me i woke up if my baby twitched! i don't think that co-sleeping is for everyone but like i said i think that every mother needs to chose what is best for them and their family. and of course they have the co-sleepers now so you can have your baby near you but on a different sleeping surface. And I agree with Rebecca about everything she said. Co-sleeping worked for me but I would not say that people that have their babies in cribs are bad parents, so you shouldn't be attacking those that chose to do what is in our instincts. Like i said mommy's and babies have been sleeping together from before we were even really humans! So tell me who's really to say that it is wrong????? NOT THAT ITS FOR EVERYONE BUT IT IS FOR SOME!!!!

Melissa - posted on 02/17/2010

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A lot of opinions here, and i have to say im with non co-sleepers on this one. If a parent chooses to sleep with their children then fine, but your gonna pay for it later (probably) because they wont understand when all of a sudden there being taken out of the bed. Its better to either not start this or end very young. Of course children have a need to be with their mother and cuddled, and thats exactly what we do when we hold them, nurse them, bathe them etc. Someone assumed that non co-sleepers ignore our children and let them cry, well my son has slept in his crib on his own 12 hrs a night since he was 2 months. he's 9 months now.

I'll admit i never did research on this because it was never something i wanted to do, i dont think its natural for a child to grow up sleeping the parents bed. As for needing the comfort, i already explained above that co-sleeping isn't the only way of soothing or comforting a baby. Ive read "safe co-sleeping" you can take all the precautions you want but once your asleep you dont know what your body is going to do, or your childs. thats why i never wanted to do this, i just dont trust my son would be safe regardless of how "safe" i think he is. My son at 9 months is all over his crib, and even sometimes wakes up and plays in his crib, then falls back asleep.

I do have a question for Lisa, what culture are you? Now i dont mean disrespect asking that, but ive read on another post you comparing us to Mongolians and now Japenese, like someone else on here said i dont study how other cultures do things, because it doesn't affect me, i do what feels right (motherly instinct) im not for or against it, but i do know a lot of people who have issues with their children sleeping their own beds, becasue they were always sleeping in mommy and daddys bed, thats not a coincidence so im sure that its because they feel insecure being away from their parents, which i believe will lead to independence issues when they begin school. Just an opinion no scientific facts here. But good luck to those who will have to eventually transition their children. But i am wondering what is the maximum age will those moms allow their children to sleep in bed with you?

[deleted account]

We didn't do it at first because I was simply too afraid to do it--I really thought my husband might roll over on him, or he would wiggle too far down under the covers. Now, I will admit to falling into a light sleep while breast feeding him in bed a few times, but I would wake when he finished and put him in the cradle.
We did keep the cradle in our room at 1st. His room was too far from ours to hear him cry (at least, I thought it was, but it's not) & the baby monitor kept me awake--too much background noise or something..it was like white noise that I took for him breathing, but sometimes it would stop and I would panic. Anyway, he was in the alcove area of our room about 13 feet from the bed. We moved him into his room at about 9 moths and he didn't care either way. We never had to to CIO or any kind of "sleep training." (He did have insomnia, but he had it from birth and he did not cry, but if you were to go check on him in the night or during his naps, you would often find him fully awake).

When he was 4 we lost 4 close family members and he wanted to cuddle in our bed for a while before moving into his. I let him. I would cuddle with him until my husband came to bed, then we would move him to his bed. This lasted for several months and 3 more deaths. He is now back to going to bed in his own bed. We did have to tell him that he needed to be in his bed, but he didn't argue or cry for us either. I do read him an extra story now though.....

So I guess we did a little of both, and I see nothing wrong with letting my 4 yr old fall asleep in our bed for a few months while he dealt with those 7 deaths.

Lindsay - posted on 02/17/2010

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Jo- Cooper was the same way as Gabe. He would climb anything and everything he could find to climb and even tried many things that weren't neccesarily "climbable" or so I thought. Never once though did he try to climb out of his crib.....funny, isn't it? =)

Jackie - posted on 02/17/2010

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Rebecca - first of all, we have ALL read development books, we have ALL babysat, we have ALL had younger kids in our family for the most part....this does not give you the upper hand you seem to think it does!

And as Krista and Christina have also agreed with me on, you MOST CERTAINLY did imply that babies who slept well in cribs were being neglected b/c you can't seem to believe that a child could sleep all nite. My daughter slept in 2 five hour spans for the first 6 weeks, then transitioned straight to 11-12 hours. I asked her doctor and he said (even at her 5 day appointment) and I quote "absolutely do not wake her up. if she is hungry or needs something, she will let you know". You are assuming these babies are neglected and accusing us of it - so don't try to pretend like you never said it...you've said it many times in many different ways.

And you can call it CIO or whatever you want, though you seem to automatically assume CIO, I call it self soothing. MY DAUGHTER DOES NOT CRY WHEN I PUT HER IN BED. And she CERTAINLY doesn't pass out from stress!!! I have already stated this. She plays her glow worm and talks to herself for a couple of minutes, and within 10minutes we don't hear anything else from her till morning. And she wasn't "pushed" into mine and my husbands schedule as you stated, we have let her create the schedule that works best for her as she became ready. And newsflash to you, schedules are STRONGLY suggested for children b/c they thrive on knowing what to expect. though i'm not even sure where the "schedule" came into play in this conversation, we were talking about WHERE our children sleep, then you again assume it has something to do with my schedule.

Again, you assume theres no way my daughters "friends" could have sleeping issues b/c of co-sleeping b/c you don't want to hear what I am saying. When one of them was finally put in her crib (probably 8-9 mos or so I think) surprise, she started sleeping for 8-10 hours, so ya, I don't feel like I am completely off base in thinking that it had to do with being in her parents bed.

And I love how you can state with such assurance that my husbands son would have moved out of his mothers bed had they not gotten divorced, funny b/c last I checked no one would predict the future, and you have never met nor been part of any situation involving him, his bio mom, my husband, or myself....so that is a COMPLETELY baseless comment also. As is the fact that I am lying about him being in her bed b/c I am "bitter". Hello....I couldn't care less where he sleeps..he's not my kid and he isn't in my bed. I am stating a fact as part of the decision as to why my husband and I never gave co-sleeping a second thought, neither of us were interested in a repeat performance.

Cassie - posted on 02/17/2010

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That is weird Jo! The crib seems like the perfect climbing spot!

I think Kiera took it as a personal challenge to climb out when she was put in her crib! ;P She loves to climb everything which then meant we had to switch her crib to the toddler setting...

?? - posted on 02/17/2010

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Oddly enough Gabe's never tried to climb out of his crib. He will jump and bounce and yell at me until I come and get him but he's never even once tried to climb out. He climbs anything and everything else... but never out of his crib... how weird is that!

Good luck with the transition Cassie ! I hope you're able to get her comfy before new baby comes, it'll definitely make everyday life easier to adjust to if you know she's comfortable.

Cassie - posted on 02/17/2010

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Jo, you sound exactly like me in how co-sleeping works for us. Although I am trying to completely transition her to her toddler bed (she learned how to climb out of her crib at 10 or 11 months so we had to switch to a toddler bed :S ) .

I'm very much the same, go with the flow and see what happens, I'd just like to have her in her bed in her room by the time our second is born in July so that the new baby will not keep Kiera awake through the night.

?? - posted on 02/17/2010

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lmao @ baby cage.. that's funny cause when Gabe wakes up from his nap, I always go in there and say something like "rawr, it's petting time at the zoo, come here little tiger baby!" or insert whatever animal I decide to make the noise of when he wakes up.

Gabriel is 15.5 months old. We co-sleep and he has a crib and whatever he wants to sleep in that night he does... he usually starts off by falling asleep in my arms, and then I put him in his crib and he sleeps for whatever length of time he sleeps for... sometimes a couple hours, sometimes the whole night.

If he wakes up in the middle of the night, sometimes he just needs me to let him know I'm there, and sometimes he wants to cuddle back to sleep... depending on how tired I am, I'll either get up for a lil bit and cuddle him and put him back in his crib (which is literally 3 feet from my side of the bed) or I just bring him to bed with us. He steals my blankets and my pillow, and then we go back to sleep.

He has fallen off the bed twice LOL but when he's been old enough to climb up on the couch and had fallen off the couch a couple times too. Of course I felt like crap cause he fell off the bed but... seriously... he's gonna fall off a lot of things in his lifetime and there's nothing I can do to stop that without following him around with a safety net... he'll never be ok with that happening so, that kinda crap is just gonna happen.

We've slept on the couch... we've slept on the floor... we've slept in our bed... he's slept in his crib... we sleep where we get to have sleep. When we move into our house, he will have his own room there, he will be about 18 months and we're going to plan on getting him to sleep in his room when we move. But I'm not gonna make it be any harder than it has to be. We'll go with the flow and see what happens lol

Kylie - posted on 02/17/2010

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Will state right now that I couldn't possibly be more for co-sleeping! Works for my family and i recommend safe co-sleeping it to anyone with a child who doesn't sleep well.
I see co-sleeping and breastfeeding going hand in hand. If i had to get up and wake up to nurse my younger child throughout the night I'd be a wreck in the mornings and that would be unfair to my older child.
My children are happy and sleep well and i feel strongly that I'm doing the right thing by having my breastfeeding child in bed next to me.
I've not once rolled on my babies, they've never fallen out of bed and we're much too creative for cosleeping to have had a negative effect on our sex life. I think my babies did and do NEED to be close to me in the night, it's called night time parenting.
Each to their own aye...i wont judge you for loving the baby cage so don't judge me.

[deleted account]

My oldest son didnt sleep for the first 11 months of his life i'd get perhaps three hours a night if i was lucky. I refused to co sleep with him because everyone told me it was wrong, i begged the health visitor for help and she told me to do the cry it out thing. That was a complete nightmare which resulted in two hours of screaming until he made himself sick. I put him in my bed while i changed his cot sheets and he fell asleep i left him in my bed and he slept for 11 hours straight so he stayed in my bed every night until he was four. My husband moved into the spare room and i can honestly say our marraige is strong enough that this didnt cause any problems. When baby two came along he slept in his cot until he was 6 months old then he suddenly took a dislike to it and he came into the bed with me and my other son. When i had my third son he slept in a cot until he was 2 years old then he went in a single bed but he refused to stay in there so he now sleeps with me. I dont see a problem with it they cant fall out because i have put bed guards on their side of the bed i dont drink or smoke. I'd rather have a baby in my bed than have no sleep and be a cranky mother all day. Its never affected their independance as i have very independant children. Also as im now 14 weeks pregnant with baby four i dont think its had any affect on my sex life too.

Stephanie - posted on 02/17/2010

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I completely agree with co-sleeping. I've co-slept with my son since we got home from hospital. He's 20weeks old now and sleeps brilliantly as long as he's in bed with me. I'm a single mother so I don't have to worry about anyone rolling onto him as I am always completely aware of where he is. I don't drink alcohol, smoke or take drugs (the main reason for SIDS in co-sleeping babies) and have a bed guard to prevent him from rolling off the bed (when he's that mobile). I don't disagree with people who don't wish to co-sleep and all babies are different. My sharing my bed when he's 30, so I can't see a problem! Animals sleep with their mothers, so why shouldn't our babies?! I also think that anyone more concerned about their sex life than their child shouldn't have children in the first place!

C. - posted on 02/17/2010

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@Cassie..

"Anyone can show research that supports or discredits both sides"

That was exactly my point to Rebecca. She can show all the research she has done, I can show her all the research I have done, and still there would be just as many opinions one way as there would be another way. I have not bookmarked any of those sites on this particular computer (this is the computer my husband used all the time, he cracked the screen on the one that I used to use all the time- long story), so it may take a little while to find them all.


@Rebecca..

"And I have much more experience caring for children than most first-time moms"

As do I, but that still does not make me a child development expert and it doesn't make you one, either.

"I think it says a lot about you that you would physically assault me if I was in your presence, simply because I expressed a different opinion than you. Wow."

That was said simply for affect. Though I would definitely WANT to slap you across the face if you ever said something so ignorant about us not co-sleeping with our children to me, I wouldn't actually do it.

"Never did I say that parents who don't co-sleep are neglecting or abandoning their children"

A bit of short-term memory loss you seem to have, now isn't it? Well, Krista seems to have taken the words right out of my mouth, so refer to her post.

"I can't believe you're playing the "lazy mom" card!"

Rebecca, YOU are the one that implied that parents who do not co-sleep are lazy parents, insisting that they do not get up to calm their baby when they cry! Don't play the victim here!

"I know that your husband is deployed, which to me is even more reason for you to not question parents who co-sleep -- you should know better than most that every family has to make the safe choices that work best for them"

Excuse me? How does co-sleeping have ANYTHING to do with my husband being deployed? It doesn't have anything to do with co-sleeping and how I feel about it and if I think it's A) unsafe, b/c not a lot of people follow the guidelines and B) it can scar them psychologically, then you're darn right I'm going to say so!

"I have certainly thought about the issues..."

Yeah, isn't that wonderful. But you cannot assume that people who do not co-sleep with their children are neglecting their children! That's just not the case!

"I am going to make a separate post about the benefits of co-sleeping since you seem to be so ingorant on that topic, preferring to make knee-jerk responses and unfounded generalizations of emotional harm to the children and attachment issues on the part of the parents."

Hmm, yeah, Ok, Rebecca. When you are the one that was saying non-co-sleepers were abandoning their children. Yeah, I'M the one that's making "knee-jerk responses". Go ahead and post away! You're not going to change the minds of people just b/c you post your theory. And had you stated before that your son sleeps in his crib, nobody would have been making those assumptions. But no, you didn't. Go on, post your thread. Is that supposed to make me run to my mommy b.c you don't agree with me?? Please! Honestly? Pshhhh..

Krista - posted on 02/17/2010

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Never did I say that parents who don't co-sleep are neglecting or abandoning their children. Where did you get that from?




Gee....I wonder....



Some babies are just less able or willing to vocalize their needs, especially when they are ignored day after day. Thankfully, my son was quite vocal about his needs, and helped me learn what he needed and how to meet his them.




As for your wildly unscientific sample of children who sleep well vs. those who do not, the fact is that the children who "sleep well" were probably forced to lie alone in their beds, crying/screaming for an indefinite amount of time, while stress hormones coursed through their bloodstreams, permanently altering their brains and predisposing them to anxiety issues later in life. And eventually they gave up on any hope that their parents would answer their cries, damaging the critical trust relationship which must be built in the first year of life.

Rebecca - posted on 02/17/2010

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Christina,



I am not a child development expert but I do read and research on parenting topics, relying on trusted child development experts, before I form opinions and make decisions that have a serious impact on my family. And I have much more experience caring for children than most first-time moms, since I babysat, worked as a nanny, and helped care for my cousins from the time I was 12 years old, so I'm basing my opinions on real-life experience, not casual observation or hearsay.



I think it says a lot about you that you would physically assault me if I was in your presence, simply because I expressed a different opinion than you. Wow.



Never did I say that parents who don't co-sleep are neglecting or abandoning their children. Where did you get that from? Here's a newsflash: my son sleeps in a crib. We co-slept when that was the best solution for our family, and we moved him to a crib when we felt that was the best choice: part-time at 3 months and full-time (most nights, at least) at 6 months. Between 6 and 11 months he was still nursing 1-2 times between midnight and 7 AM, so I was getting up, going to his room (in a "bonus room" connected to ours by a walk-in closet), nursing, and putting him back in his bed. So I know all about getting up to tend to my son's needs, and I certainly wasn't being "lazy" when we co-slept. I was providing nourishment to my son, keeping him safe, and ensuring the most rest for everyone in our family. I can't believe you're playing the "lazy mom" card!



As for my sarcastic comment about parents not dealing with their babies for 11-12 hours, that was referring to the OP's claim that the crib babies in her playgroup were such "great" sleepers because they had been put in their cribs from day one. I was challenging the idea that it's normal or desirable for newborns to sleep that long, alone, without waking or eating. That idea is pushed by schedulers who assert that babies, beginning in the newborn stage, must adapt to the parents' lives and should sleep all night without waking, crying, or eating. Although the OP didn't say specifically that she or her 4 friends let their babies CIO, that was not an unreasonable assumption on my part, since CIO is the norm in our culture, even recommended by doctors and some parenting "experts". (See Weissbluth, Ferber, Ezzo, Hogg, et al)



Co-sleeping babies do cry less, per Dr. James McKenna, the highly respected infant sleep researcher and Director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Lab at the University of Notre Dame. "Babies cry significantly less in the cosleeping environment which means that more energy (at least theoretically) can be put into growth, maintenance and protective immune responses." http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/advantag...



I did not say or imply that you or your husband were under the influence or anything, I merely said that both parents have to be AWARE in all sense of the word -- you stated that your husband was bringing your son into your bed without your knowledge, so you were not AWARE of his presence and therefore were not bed-sharing safely. I know that your husband is deployed, which to me is even more reason for you to not question parents who co-sleep -- you should know better than most that every family has to make the safe choices that work best for them.



I have certainly thought about the issues regarding moving a child to his/her own bed, but I believe that it can be accomplished without permanent harm to the child using a gradual process with sensitivity, love, and patience. Just like weaning from the breast or any other adjustment the child will face -- including a new sibling, moving to a new place, starting school, the list goes own.



Thanks for the "things to think about," but I have no attachment issues. As I stated, my son sleeps in a crib. I am going to make a separate post about the benefits of co-sleeping since you seem to be so ingorant on that topic, preferring to make knee-jerk responses and unfounded generalizations of emotional harm to the children and attachment issues on the part of the parents.

Lindsay - posted on 02/17/2010

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I'm not necessarily pro either way. We did not co-sleep with our kids and it was a good call for both us and our kids. We are all happy to have our own space to go to and sleep at the end of the day and everyone gets a good night's sleep and is ready for the next day. Had my kids not done well in their own rooms though we would have tried the co-sleeping to see if we had better results. I think it is important for us to have our own intimate and private space in the house. But this topic as most, my feelings are that there may not be a definate right or wrong way to do things. Everyone just has to find what works best for them and their own family.

Cassie - posted on 02/17/2010

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Christina, could you provide any evidence or research yourself that shows that when done properly, co-sleeping is unsafe.

Your son's doctors could have been simply giving their opinions. If it is a well-known statistic, could you please give an example.

I think this discussion is not one that needs to be rooted in fact that it is dangerous or safe. It is simply one that is a discussion about personal opinion and preference. Parents who choose not to co-sleep are not doing psychological damage by leaving their child alone in a crib just as parents who safely co-sleep are not doing psychological damage by allowing their child to bedshare. It is simply opinion. Anyone can show research that supports or discredits both sides. There is no right or wrong for the entire population but rather a right and wrong for an individual child and family.

Heather - posted on 02/17/2010

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I honestly dont understand what the big deal is...I never realized how much of a debate this topic is, I think you have to do what is best for your child...if that means bed sharing, then great! If it means putting your child in its own bed...wonderful! I dont think there is a right or wrong in this debate, there is plenty of info supporting both sides of the argument.Much like most topics in which parenting decisions are discussed, my feelings are usually, do what is best for your family, as long as no one is being harmed. Parenting is 99% common sense IMO, you can find info and statistics to support or disprove just about any subject, you can obsess over the latest hazards and drive yourself crazy trying to do everything perfect and "by the book". I think that us mothers on this forum, need to build each other up and support each other, even if we dont agree with each others opinions...you can debate without tearing each other apart on a personal level.

Krista - posted on 02/17/2010

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and the parents responded sensitively by co-sleeping rather than leaving the babies to CIO as most parents in our culture would do.


Those aren't the only two options, you know, despite your strange insistence that those of us who do not practice co-sleeping are ignoring our children and callously letting them shriek and wail all by themselves for extended periods of time.

C. - posted on 02/17/2010

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@Rebecca..



"It's just not developmentally appropriate for a baby to sleep that long without waking to eat or interact with his/her parents."



That's not true. When my son was 6 months old he slept long hours and the doctors were happy that he was able to go about 11 or 12 hours just sleeping. There's nothing unnatural about a baby sleeping that long. WHEN THEY SLEEP, THAT'S WHEN THEY GROW. That's why when babies and children hit a growth spurt, they sleep a lot longer and more often than normal.



I know this was in response to someone else, but I want to say something:



"My generalization was based on facts and statistics"



Really? There is just enough evidence that co-sleeping is worse for children, not better and if you would do MORE RESEARCH, you would find that out. My son went to about 10 different doctors in just the 19m that he has been alive, and they have ALL warned about co-sleeping. Not just b/c some people don't follow the safety guidelines, but even the ones that DO follow them end up having a harder time "cutting the cord", or letting go, when the child is older and the child has the same problems. It's a well-known statistic and if you would look at unbiased sites or ask people that aren't solely FOR co-sleeping, you would find that out.

C. - posted on 02/17/2010

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Lisa, you did. When you bed-share from the beginning, you aren't even giving your child a chance to try and sleep without the parents. That is FORCING them to sleep with you.

Rebecca - posted on 02/17/2010

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First of all, I'm not going to apologize for my post. It was no more inflammatory than the original post or the first few replies. I responded the way I did because the OP made an inflammatory post, accusing parents who co-sleep of having no regard for their spouse/partner or baby's safety and well-being, based on NO evidence other than a few select anecdotes which don't even prove her points.



As another person said in their reply, the OP is obviously very bitter about the situation with her step-son and her husband's ex-wife, so I don't think we can trust the accuracy of her assessment of that situation. Further, when the boy began sleeping with his mother is irrelevant; the potential "issue" was that he was still there years later, which is when the marriage was collapsing. I was pointing out that he would have moved to his own bed without issue except for all the problems in their family situation.



Regarding the 2 babies in the OP's playgroup who don't sleep well and have co-slept, the OP assumes that co-sleeping caused these problems but never considers the more likely scenario: as newborns, the babies had some kind of issue -- feeding problems, reflux, colic, or just difficulty sleeping -- and the parents responded sensitively by co-sleeping rather than leaving the babies to CIO as most parents in our culture would do. Very few babies sleep 11-12 hours straight, alone in a crib, when they are "very very young" unless their parents ignore their cries and the babies give up signaling their needs. It's just not developmentally appropriate for a newborn to sleep that long without waking to eat or interact with his/her parents.



To Jackie -- I did not mean to imply that you were doing anything neglectful toward your daughter because you did not co-sleep -- even though you basically accused co-sleeping moms of the same -- I was simply generalizing about how the majority of non-co-sleeping parents behave. My generalization was based on facts and statistics, not on a few anecdotes like your generalizations.

[deleted account]

How can you say w/out a doubt that the emotional issues are ONLY because of the bedsharing though? Can you guarantee that there wouldn't be other emotional issues if these same children were in their own beds from birth?



Just asking here since I don't know. My son's emotional issues actually started when he went in his own crib. Whether or not they are related I have absolutely no idea since he did FINE at night for about 7-8 months in the crib.

Jackie - posted on 02/17/2010

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Yup, you can call me out as often as you want, and I will still think it is emotionally unhealthy. Why, because I have seen the negative outcomes of it on more than one occasion...the school age child who takes 2 hrs to be put to bed, the school age child who can't handle the very popular social situation of a sleepover b/c they cant' sleep without mommy, the parents who are sleep deprived b/c babies naturally move, roll, kick all over and as a result their parents don't get restful sleep, which gets emulated onto their children during the day, the marraiges destroyed b/c intimacy in bed is gone.

I don't need to find an overwhelmingly large number of anything, one emotionally unstable child (nevermind the fact that I certainly know more than one) is enough for me to not take that chance with my daughter.

Nothing about my daughter sleeping in her crib was forced....NOTHING! When she was a newborn and needed me, I was there, I got up and comforted her. When she was hungry, I got up and fed her. And when we are all well rested in the morning, I am still there to greet her smiling face and give her all the closeness she wants and needs all day long. Everyone needs their own space (including babies believe it or not) to recharge their batteries.

Minnie - posted on 02/17/2010

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Umm..are you talking to me, Jackie? Because I mentioned saftey as only a small part of my response. The overwhelming majority has been focused on cosleeping as you refer to it as a 'horrendous habit' and that it is bad, and that regardless of what humans have done throughout the millennia and still do today, you think that it is bad.



Human infants are born with an ingrained biological need to be close to their mothers. We are mammals, we breastfeed. Prolactin levels are maintained at their highest levels when mother sleeps with the baby. This is a scientific fact. In light of this fact, we choose to sleep with our children from the moment they are born. And choose not to force them from our bed before they are ready. Again, could you please find an overwhelmingly large number of adults who still sleep with their parents?



Why is it not healthy, Jackie, for children to sleep with their parents? Why is it bad for families to sleep together?

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