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Thread: Doubts about night nursing/cosleeping

  1. #1
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    Nov 2012
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    Default Doubts about night nursing/cosleeping

    I have been cosleeping with my daughter since she was a newborn. Now she is 9 months old and we are still cosleeping. I nurse her to sleep and I nurse her on demand during the night. Now I have read in one of my baby books that at her age I should not even be rocking her to sleep, let alone nursing her to sleep. That she should learn how to fall asleep on her own. I have believed in just letting her be a baby and trying my best to meet her emotional need to be near me. When I look at her I think to myself 'she is just a little girl - she isn't ready to be independent yet.' But should I be taking small steps to her independence?

    She rejects the cup. She eats a pretty good breakfast and supper of solid foods (and lunch sometimes). I don't have much of an issue with her sleeping habits even though she does not sleep through the night. She goes to sleep at my breast and her father or I lay her down in her crib at around 8. She wakes anytime between 11pm and 1am and at that point I usually take her into my bed, nurse her to sleep, and we sleep together for the rest of the night. If she wakes I nurse her.

    I'm wondering if I should stop? She takes one good nap in the middle of the day (around 1 or 2pm) and I often let her nap in my arms or on my lap as I read a book or chat with my friends on the computer. I feel like I'm supposed to stop, but I look at her face and can see it makes her so happy and content to be cuddled up to me. I think I'm being too soft. I like to keep her near me for most of the day as well, although I'm not constantly focused on entertaining her. I do put her down in her playpen to play alone for a bit while I get my cooking done.

    She has no teeth yet. She also has no interest in finger foods. She can stand holding onto things and she can cruise around the room. Sometimes she wakes in my bed at night wanting to play, and starts crawling around the bed. Sometimes I worry she may fall off one day, but I have my mattress on the floor, although the mattress itself is really thick so it would still be a bit of a fall. Every time she wakes up I wake up too, though, and try to rock her to sleep. If she won't go back to sleep I try to rock her to sleep, which works sometimes, and if it doesn't I put her into her crib where she plays around a bit for 10-15 minutes. When she cries for me to come back I usually let her cry for a minute or two, and then I take her back into my bed and at that point she is usually ready to go back to sleep.

    Am I doing this wrong? What should I change?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Default Re: Doubts about night nursing/cosleeping

    To me it sounds like you have a very good thing going, and there is no need to change, especially as you are also happy with the arrangement. SImply because a book (or website or MIL etc) says does not make it the best solution for you and your baby. And yes, at 9 months she is definitely still a baby and of course you make her happy ;-)

    I have coslept with my boy from birth until recently, he turned four in october. The last year of cosleeping was not that great really and in hindsight I should have got him out of my bed last year when he was about three and actually ready for it.

    But at 9 months, especially if you are content and so is your daughter there is no need to change a good thing. YOu are not too soft. You are her mom and you know her and her needs and development like no one else does. So don't let a book interfere ;-)

  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Doubts about night nursing/cosleeping

    You know what really irks me? When a mom is totally happy co-sleeping and nursing and being a responsive parent, and then some stupid book makes her feel bad about doing what is working for her. Of course, parenting books don't sell when they offer advice like "Follow your instincts, you know your baby best"!

    I co-slept with my kids, and night-nursed them, and was a responsive nighttime parent, and you know what? They're both quite independent and sleep in their own beds now. Don't try to force the transition to independence if you are content with things as they are. You aren't harming your baby by being loving and attending to her needs.

    Just curious- what book was it that planted this seed of doubt in your mind?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
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    Nov 2012
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    Default Re: Doubts about night nursing/cosleeping

    Thanks for the reassurance I believe it was either 'What to Expect: The First Year' or 'The Dummies Guide: Your Baby's First Year.' Those are two of the books I check most frequently, though in general I don't rely on baby books too much.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Doubts about night nursing/cosleeping

    If you want a book that might be a bit more in line with your parenting approach, I suggest the Dr. Sears "the baby book". The "What to Expect" books are not terribly friendly to attachment parenting ideas.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Doubts about night nursing/cosleeping

    The WTE books are really good for propping up wobbly tables, but not much else. Not only are they unfriendly to attachment parenting in particular and responsive parenting in general, but they are FULL of misinformation when it comes to breastfeeding. Personally, I think you should rely on books like WTE and even Sears & Sears (The Baby Book) for information on child development and health issues, and parent from your gut. If you read a piece of parenting advice in a book and it makes you feel really bad, then the book is probably wrong- at least for you!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Doubts about night nursing/cosleeping

    That is the worst book EVER. And I am still sleeping with my 7 year old. Happily. Like when he wakes up and is alone he STILL comes out and tries to lure someone to lay down with him. And usually we don't. Because we are up for the day. But yesterday was MLK day and we were off. And I went back in and laid down with him. He was back asleep SOUNDLY in 5 minutes. Some kids just feel better when they are sleeping with someone. If it works for your family it works. Whenever my son complains about anything in my DH's bed(Like other people snoring) we go "you know where that DOESN'T happen? In your own bed in your own room." So eventually he will go. But for now, team family bed. All the way.

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8
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    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Doubts about night nursing/cosleeping

    I don't think you can ever be "too soft" with a baby

    If it's working well for you and your baby, I would not change it! And if at some point it starts to not work well for you, "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" is a good one too. It basically helps you approach whatever sleep situation isn't working and gives you a bunch of things to try to help adjust so you can get to something that is working, in a gentle way.

    I read What to Expect When You're Expecting when I was pregnant and I remember reading a couple of passages that were so absurd I could not believe it. I don't remember what it was but it had to do with eating eggs. So I never picked up any of the others!

  9. #9
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: Doubts about night nursing/cosleeping

    Yep, throw the book away. You are doing an absolutely FABULOUS JOB! No two people are the same, any book that implys your baby is some sort of mass produced robot that can be set down and switched off for the night is simply shameful. I think nine months is when I gave my baby book away. If I need medical advice I'll see a doctor. Any other decision is based on what MY son needs, not some mystery author's opinion.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Doubts about night nursing/cosleeping

    I read the WTE book with my first baby and it made me SO stressed and miserable. I realized it the 2nd and 3rd time around when I felt confident enough to do without a book and felt so much more in tune with my babies! Like they say "don't let baby treat you like a snack bar." Well, sometimes letting baby snack at the breast all day is exactly what you and baby need to keep up supply and keep baby well-nourished during a growth spurt. Or they make you feel bad when baby is not sleeping through the night at such-and-such age. Or that nursing baby to sleep is setting up bad habits. So I would try NOT to do the thing that works best - nursing to sleep - and instead spend all kinds of time trying to get baby to sleep by other methods. (I think they also tell you not to do other helpful things like rock a baby to sleep. Not sure exactly HOW you are supposed to get baby to sleep without nursing and rocking - letting him cry until he's so exhausted he falls asleep?? Rubbish.) Anyway, it sounds like you are doing great.

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