Co-Sleep or not to Co-Sleep

Jennifer - posted on 08/16/2010 ( 31 moms have responded )

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So I am really struggling with this issue. but

A little history: My 2 oldest children V/B never slept with me.

#4 is due in Jan.

Currently #3 is in my bed. He has been back and forth in and out of my bed since he was born. I have never really believed in co-sleeping but DH is in full support.

DH travels a lot and when he is out of town I usually have no problem getting #3 to sleep in his crib. When Daddy comes home #3 picks up on it quickly and wants back in bed with us. There is not enough room in bed for all 3 of us so DH ends up sleeping on the couch.

I know people have strong opinions on this issue but I am at a loss as to what to do. On one hand I love to cuddle with my little guy and feel him close to me. On the other hand I feel that it is healthier for him emotionally and psychologically to be in his own bed, it encourages self reliance and independence.

I need to pick one and be OK with it. I don't think it is good for our relationship for me to be on the fence. It makes it hard to my boy to know what to do.

I told myself that I would wait until his room is done before really pushing the issue but there have been problems. I am expecting #4 and my little guy kicks & wiggles a lot in his sleep. This makes it very hard for me to get good rest, I have been kicked very hard in the stomach so I sleep on guard.

Last night I decided to get him to sleep in his bed and it was the worst experience to date.

So he was doing really good sleeping in his crib until 4 weeks ago. I would read to him, say prayers and rock him until drowsy then lay him in bed and pat his back until he was asleep. One night he woke up and refused to get back into bed, there was a lot of screaming and big tears. I sat up with him mot of the night. This happened 3 nights in a row and that was the end of him going to sleep in his crib period. Of course then we discovered that 2 molars were coming through.

I am so lost on this subject. I don't want to be told what is right or wrong I really need to find my own answer about what I feel is right. I am not sure in my heart of hearts what is the right choice for us.

Thank you to those taking the time to read this. I just really needed to get it off my chest as I go through the process of making a good choice.

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Renee - posted on 08/29/2010

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Oh my gosh, I am not alone! Thankyou for sharing this, its made me realise there is someone in the same boat....
I may have a solution for you also.
My little man was in a bassinet then his cot in our room until 11 months, I didnt believe in co-sleeping at first & didnt even consider it. Until at 11 months he was teething & had a bug so I was up a few nights having to cuddle him back to sleep. Then it was impossible for him to get to sleep by himself, Totally my fault for starting the habit. So I would rock & cuddle him until drowsy then put him in his bed but he would wake up several times through the night & realise I wasnt right there & once he was up, standing up & crying, I would have to start all over again.... I tried him sleeping with us but there was not enough room, although he did sleep better. What we have done now is taken the siderail off his cot so one side is completely opened & joined it next to my side of the bed, so it is kindof like a sidecart bed!

I now get the best of both worlds, I get my cuddles from him when he goes to bed & when he wakes up, he is right next to me but still in his own bed. He sleeps 12 hours & will only wakes up if the blankets are off & he is cold.
Maybe consider this, because technically they are in their own bed. And if my boy wakes i only have to tuck him back in or say something & he is reassured back to sleep.
His room isnt done yet (renovations) so I will try to get him back in his cot at the other end of our room before taking it further to his own room.

I think what Robyn said is horrible & judgmental. Mums dont use co-sleeping as scape-goating the real issue- I think that co-sleeping reinforces a stronger bond & fosters a close relationship, babies and little ones dont manipulate you to get what they want, they cant tell you if they have nightmares or are scared of the dark, or just want a cuddle so this enforces a safe & trusting sleep area... Plus when they are babies why not give them the cuddles & love that they want, they shouldnt be punished or rejected for wanting to be loved. What she said seems very cold hearted and every parents situation & shild is different. Also when you think about it, you're not going to be co-sleeping or rocking a 12 year old to sleep so why not cherish it now when you can.

You should do a bit of research on the net to help with your decision. I am totally against cry it out methods, if you look into that you will find evidence of brain damage, lack of bonding and trust & all sorts of emotional trauma on the child.

A side cart might be the perfect solution for you, its kind of like a medioke, a bit of both worlds.
Also consider NOW, not .... what about in a year then what? Because a year maybe what makes a huge difference & he may be completely ready in a year to be in his own room.
Goodluck

Crystal - posted on 08/22/2010

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My 16 month DD has slept with me since day one and continues to do so now. I never imagined I would cosleep, but it was the only way either of us could get any sleep. I've read tons of research on the advantages for the baby, so I do feel good about doing what felt right for both of us. It's tough some nights, however, and I am ready for her to sleep in a bed beside us. So, I've ordered rails for her crib and will be converting it into a double bed very soon. Her bed will be set up against a wall in our room, tight against our bed. She has always hated the crib, so I've given up on that idea. She's an active baby in her sleep (and otherwise!) and will bang herself on the sides of the crib and wake up.

I'm also reading the No Cry Sleep solution, and have found it helpful. Good luck with this, and good luck with the newest addtion. You must be one busy lady!

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Alexandra - posted on 09/13/2011

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I would not co-sleep. For once, I would feel very worried I would hurt the baby in my sleep. And I could not have a soundly sleep that every mom needs at night so that they can take care of the children during the day.
Since the baby is so accustomed to sleep in the mother's bed, it will take a while for the baby to adjust. My personal opinion is to put the baby asleep in his/her bed in his/her bedroom. And go there after 5 minutes, then 6, then 7, then 8... always reassuring the baby that I am right there in the next room and that I love him/her, and that it is now time to sleep. After a few days, or weeks, it will be ok, the baby will be happy and fine, but it will take a while. If there is excessive screaming, then the mother must pick the baby up a little longer everytime she goes to the room.
White noise and night light are a must. Also, a teddy bear or some kind of toy OUTSIDE of the crib so that the baby can see (if at that age) is recommended, so that the baby is not so alone.
as far as mommy wanting to cuddle: why not doing a lot during the day? We must remember as mothers that we also love our husbands and that we should continue having husband-wife time. Many times our husbands don't tell us but they feel aside, not so cared for. It is important to have that time too.
Good luck.

Meghan - posted on 09/07/2011

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so I'm having serious trouble with this....my daughter is now 17 months old and she sleeps with me all the time and if I get her to sleep b4 I go to sleep and I put her in her bed she will just wake up after an hour and wanna come lay with me.... there are days that we r on a good schedule and if we could get bed time and sleep down pat I would be golden but I cant..... I think my biggest problem is that I still live with my parents and when they hear her cry someone wants to go save her so I cant really get her to go to her bed and leave her there I don't know what to do and I would really like help I need my bed back so bad!!!!!

Heather - posted on 09/05/2010

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With my first son I would put him to sleep out in the living room when he was little then put him in his bed, when he woke up I would then bring him in to our bed. Our second son though never wanted to go to sleep and would wake up as soon as I put him down, a friend of ours suggest letting him cry it out, so we tried it. I will say it didn't work for me and I won't do that again, my son would wake up screaming his head of in the middle of the night and get so worked up i would spent and hour after that just to get him settled down enough to go back to sleep. That was when he was 8 months old, now that he is 16 months he shares a bedroom with his brother and they bother have there own toddler beds. We put them to sleep by reading them a story and singing then me and my husband will rub there backs and cuddle them until they fall asleep, usually this only takes us 10 minutes or so. When either or our sons wake up in the middle of the night they come and crawl in to our bed, or when they wake up in the morning they come snuggle for a bit before we all get up and have breakfast. I found this was the best solution for us because me and my husband don't get our rest disrupted, we get to start out sleeping in our own beds, and both our children know we'll always be there for them and they can come snuggle if they need to. (We also had to up grade to a kingsize bed because number 3 is now on the way and our double gets pretty cramped with the 4 of us)

Rubena - posted on 08/29/2010

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so glad to have read this post, I've been struggling with my 16month for about 4 months now, we had no issues moving her to her cot and then suddenly 4 1/2 months ago she decided she'll sleep in cot only for a few hours then wakes up and cries to be in our bed. I found it amazing thou that this was just about the time I found out i was expecting our 2nd and not sure if this may be why she's doing it, what i find is that the minute she's in our bed she only wants to be close to me and even cuddles into my tummy. Maybe #3 senses your pregnancy and just wants comfort

Kelli - posted on 08/29/2010

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i know alot of peple r not a fan of letting their children cry it out but sometimes it works i have a child who was always wanting to sleep with me and my husband we tried the cry it out and it worked some nights than others we let child fall asleep in bed than when she was in a dead sleep we put her in own bed and had no problems

Lisa - posted on 08/29/2010

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They(not sure who "They" are but a few articles I read), said that co-sleeping with babies lessen the risk of SIDS when the baby is still infant, cause they feel and hear your breathing and beating heart. Still scary that you can roll over and squish them... It is what you feel comfortable with. Totally agree with Renee, about adding the extra bit of confidence and nurturing. Everyone thinks that their way is the best, so that is what is hard. It is best to listen and take only the advise you agree with and all the rest with a grain of salt...

Lisa - posted on 08/28/2010

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Jennifer, I can totally understand the needing DH & him being oblivious, if he is anything like mine! Good Luck!

Denae - posted on 08/28/2010

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My husband works a lot of night so I understand. My 15 month old daughter and I cuddle in my bed until she falls asleep & then I move her into her pack in play in our room. We will be trying to move her into her crib in her own room soon. I am not a fan of letting her cry herself to sleep so I am sure I will still cuddle with her until she falls asleep and then moving her into her room. Hopefully it will all work out if it does not I think I am going to try getting a toddler bed.

Felie - posted on 08/27/2010

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I went through the same with my little guy. Things are much better though sine he moved into a "big boy' bed although he still shows up in our room sometimes in the middle of the night. When he does, we let him sleep with us until he's fast asleep and then take him back to his bed - I prefer this to letting him cry it out. Slowly the midnight visits are becoming further and further apart. In my cast I do think the crib contributed as he would bang himself on the sides at times as he turned himself which I think woke him up. All the best!

Jennifer - posted on 08/27/2010

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Thank you for all the advice. My Dh is the one that totally is for the co-sleeping, he insists it is not for long and the baby needs more mom time. I need my DH but he is oblivious to this. I have never been a supporter of co-sleeping as much as I enjoy the snuggle time. At this point I am pretty convinced that once I get him a toddler bed in his own room this will be resolved (crossing my fingers). Hopefully that will happen soon we just have to get his room finished.

Lisa - posted on 08/26/2010

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Not sure if this helps or not... my daughter hated her crib, plus with Breastfeeding the getting up in the middle of the night was killer, so she slept with us, plu we were in a 1 bed apt, and her bed was in our room. we moved in to a 2 bed room apt got her a toddler bed for her 3rd birthday and first night in new apartment she slept in own room and own bed.The closer I got to delivering #2 the more she slept in room, and she too kicks and rolls, I swear the baby and her were jabbing at each other! Now a year later she still wants in bed with us, she sometimes falls asleep by our legs ( we pick her up and put her to bed). There is no room, cause our Son now took her place in the middle, cause he too hates the crib! My solution is I want a bigger bed so we can all sleep in the same bed and be comfortable when everyone wants to crawl in and snuggle.

Nichole - posted on 08/25/2010

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I'm kind of on the other end of this, my daughter is 16mths and has always slept in her crib. Nowhere else, seriouly I think the only time she's ever fallen asleep out of her crib was with my husband and she was a few weeks old. I'm happy that she can soothe herself to sleep, if she wakes in the middle of the night she'll put herslf back to sleep, and will 95% of the time sleep straight through at least 13 to 14 hours. So many times though I have wanted to her to just relax with me, lay across my chest and cuddle, fall alseep on my shoulder, and snuggle. I'm sure everyone can understand why :o) That's not her and she's never wanted anything to do with it.

I think it is most healthy to get your child into the routine of sleeping in their own bed. I understand wanting that closeness/bonding time with your child, but there should be other times to bond then going to sleep near each other. I would encourage you try and get him into his own bed. It will be a trying time for you I'm sure, but better now then with a newborn. Good luck on what you decide. You and your husband are the only ones whom ultamately know whats best your family. I bet dad would like to have his spot back next to you. :o)

Kimberly - posted on 08/25/2010

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I read the lull-a-baby sleep plan which is a no cry solution and it worked wonders for us. I started it from birth but a lot of the nurses I work with at the children's hospital use it as well with good results. It should be at the library. Good luck!!

Leslie - posted on 08/25/2010

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My now 16 month old baby was sleeping through the night a few months ago, but my milk immediately started to dry up so much that it worried me b/c neither of us was ready to stop nursing. So for months now, when he wakes and cries out for me (somewhere between 1 and 5 a.m.) I bring him into bed on a futon we've put in the nursery and we sleep the rest of the night together while he nurses off and on. I think for me, I wasn't at peace with the co-sleeping until I got off the fence and stopped worrying I was doing something not beneficial for him. When I started to read about attachment parenting, I realized this is what's best for us for now. Good luck.

Amanda - posted on 08/25/2010

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I don't really have an opinion one way or they other... i do no co-sleep but my sister does. What i want to address is the fact the your hubby is kicked out of his OWN bed when he is home from a long trip because your son needs to be with you when Dad is home. That is not fair to Dad or Son. Also if he is a wiggler and kicker what are you going to do when baby #4 moves into the bed.... that is dangerous.
If i was to give an opinion it would be to nip this is the bud and put up with a night or 2 of crying so that he sleeps in his own bed. Good luck. !!!

Heather - posted on 08/25/2010

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my family added a rommate that needed her own room, so My HD and I moved in with our son who is 16 months old. It has been hard because he can get out of his bed on his own to come sleep with me. We are also cutting out nursing and sleeping thur the night.

Robin - posted on 08/24/2010

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i do NOT believe in co sleeping!! i think a child should be in their own beds. i think they sleep better that way. both my kids ages 5 years and 16 months both sleep in their own beds and sleep at least 12-14 hours a night!!! i just think co sleeping is a scape goat for moms who dont want to deal with kids who want to get their own way!!

Julia - posted on 08/23/2010

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my 16month use to be like that until we changed crib for toddler bed at 14months, now sleeps all night (although i do have to sit with her until she has dropped off to sleep).

Tara - posted on 08/23/2010

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woohoo! im not alone!!!! lol my 16 mth DD is still in bed with me , after the first month of me getting up to feed her at night i was exausted as was hubby and working on heavy machinery it was actually becoming a very dangerous hazard in the workplace everyone being so tired all the time so i moved into own room and got a new queen bed for me and her to share. most night i love it , cuddling upt o her and she is so much quieter than hubbys snoring lol but there are nights when shes restless/teething/sick that i would love to have that extra help in there with me, or be shared job of having to get up to her not always me first.in some ways i would like her to be in her own room , i have set it up and tried that with cot after having cot in my room wasnt working btu i think she just hates the cot fullstop! she will NOT sleep in it , and as for cry it out well she will scream it out for hours/spew if needbe and just keep on screaming n crying , she is one determined little cookie and is not gogint o sleep in it. i do feel liek hubby and i have lost our closeness for ti alot but it also means that we make the effort ot spend time togther either once kids r asleep at night or during the day to make up for that and the time we spend togther is quality and not spent on superficial stuff, it makes us appreciate each other more and make an effort to be with the other one.also because she is still breast feed and refuses bottle or dummy it is so much quicker and easier for em to just roll over and top her up to get back to sleep instead of us both waking up fully and takign ages to resettle again.

Brittany - posted on 08/23/2010

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I do not co-sleep with my kids...yes on occasion my 4 year old will sleep with me (usually when dad is working over night) or my 16 month old will if we are out of town besides that they sleep in their own beds. Both my son and my daughter (well when he was a baby/toddler) all you have to do with them is lay them in their crib with their pacifier and say good night and thats it... My daughter at 4 months old wouldn't let me rock her or pat her to slepp anymore which made life a little dificult when we were out and about. She is going to be a very independent child I think its in her genes . Good luck but I think co sleeping can also cause problems with relationships so I prefer my kids to sleep in their bed!

Lizelle - posted on 08/23/2010

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Jennifer, kids needs differ. that why there is no such thing as a right or wrong answer. Some love sleeping with you others don't. But sleeping with a busy toddler in bed while pregnant can be uncomfortable. Our solution was to let our son sleep in our room (right next to me on a mattress of the ground), but not in the bed. he's now 3 1/2 and still sleeps in our room every second night (gives us some privacy and he still gets the comfort). With a new baby on the way you'll probably find that he will feel insecure and being close by helps a lot.

Good luck with the big decision. But don't feel guilty about whatever you decide.

Rhonda - posted on 08/22/2010

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Similar problem with my son, 16 months old. He used to sleep in him crib for a long time. Or down stairs in his play pin. He still does most of the time. The problem is he sleeps during the day and then I am up with him all night. This is partly my fault and the family. The only way I get sleep is when I let him sleep with me on the couch. He starts out in his play pin and when he wakes up I will nurse him and we both fall asleep. He was doing so good I don't really know exactly what happened. I have wrote down the name of the book from these post. The no cry sleep solution by elizabeth pantley. I hope that will help me. My family tells me to just put him in his crib and let him cry himself to sleep. I just can't do that.It would drive me crazy, and it can't be good for him either. I heard that can cause brain damage. Not sure how true that is. Just read it somewhere.

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I, too, am in a similar situation with my 16 month old daughter. When she was little she slept in a bassinette. I would bring her to bed to nurse her and put her back to bed. But eventually I got lazy and found it easier to just keep her in bed with me. But then she grew and I find that there is no longer room in our bed for 3 bodies. So for the last couple months I have slept in the guest room with her while my husband took our room. And I too am looking for a better solution.
She hates the crib, but will sleep pretty well on a futon, very low to the ground, that she can get in and out of easily. I like it better than a toddler bed because I can comfortably lie down next to her until she falls asleep. Although I find that if her daddy lies down with her at night she falls asleep quicker. Sometimes I think "mommy" is too much of a distraction for sleep. But she will wake in the night and scream if she wakes up alone. If Im there next to her she will usually fall back asleep on her own. So what to do?
I was recommended the book "The no-cry sleep solution for toddlers and preschoolers" by Elizabeth Pantley. There seems to be some pretty good advice there for alternatives to the cry it out method. There is even a chapter on moving to their own bed and own room.
Anyway, Good luck with the journey. And just remember that this too will pass.

Melissa - posted on 08/22/2010

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I'm so glad I came across this post and I'm not the only one in this situaiton! My daughter is 16 months now and for approximately 6 months she has not slept through the night at all in her own cot. Most nights she will goto bed fine and falls asleep within about 15 mins. However anytime between 1 and 3am she will wake and refuse to go back to sleep in her own cot, there are lots of tears and screaming until I put her into bed with me. Then she will settle down and usually goes back off to sleep. I just don't know how else to do it without us both loosing out on sleep time which makes us both groggy the next day. My parnter always ends up in the spare bedroom, it feels like we haven't slept a full night in the same bed for ever!

I know my little one is teething at the moment so I suppose this could be contributing, but I just don't know what else to do for the best!

Michelle - posted on 08/17/2010

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You need to make your decision and stick to it, be it co-sleep or not, if you chose not then you need to get hubby on board, best way to do that is to milk his ego men like that tell him that you miss your alone time and with number 4 on the way you really need to get number 3 out of your bed or there won't be anywhere for you to sleep either when the new bub arrives.....I know this is a hard situation, I never slept with my little ones but I did have them in my room for awhile in their cradle and I was sad when I moved them to their own room but my youngest who is 16 months absolutely loves the room we did for her and hasn't looked back since we moved her in there.....good luck

LauraBeth - posted on 08/17/2010

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My son hated the crib he sleeps SO MUCH BETTER in his big boy toddler big, it was a world of difference when we swicthed it.

Jennifer - posted on 08/16/2010

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He is in our room already and I think that may be part of the problem. If it wasn't so hard for me to sleep it might be easier. I am starting to think he doesn't like the crib. At day care he sleeps on a cot, at G'mas he sleep on the couch. Maybe when his room is finally done I'll get a toddler bed for him and see if that is better. Might be the perfect solution since I will need a crib for the new one.

Everyone has to do what is right for themselves I know. I have to take it one day at a time. I think sometimes I am too tired to rationalize the situation.

Needless to say after spending 2+ hours last night getting him to sleep and an hour in the middle of the night, he dozed right off in my arms and is in my bed.

Thank you for responding.

LauraBeth - posted on 08/16/2010

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I put is bed in our room and iff he wakes he climbs into bed with us, We got him in his own bed last month and I am due with our sec. child in 3 1/2 weeks and plan on Cosleeping until a year at least.

JoAnne - posted on 08/16/2010

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My 16 months old sleeps in bed with us. So I understand. I am not sure how to get him to sleep in the crib by himself. I am not a fan of cry it out, so it is not an option for me. You just have to do what is right for you and your child.

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