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Thread: Please share your bed sharing experiences

  1. #1

    Default Please share your bed sharing experiences

    Hello! I am currently bedsharing with my almost 5 month old and we both love it. It makes breastfeeding so much easier at night and we both sleep a lot better not having to get up out of bed / a crib. This is working for us right now, but I don't have any friends or family that have bedshared, so I am wondering what it will be like as she gets bigger and more mobile! Please share your experience with bedsharing and could you include: 1) how long you bed shared, 2) things you liked about it, 3) things you didn't like, 4) if you think it helped extend breastfeeding longer, 4) how your older child sleeps now, 5) how the transition went to their own bed.

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Please share your bed sharing experiences

    Bed shared with 2 kids. DD1 for 6 months, after which she slept better in a crib, DD2 until around 12 months, after which I wanted my bed back. Pros: much easier to nurse in the night, more sleep for me. Cons: none, really. I don't think it helped extend breastfeeding, but it certainly didn't shorten the duration- both my kids nursed until they were 3. Both kids now sleep in their own beds, except when they have nightmares and get into bed with me. The transition to solo sleeping was pretty easy- when they were ready, they were ready!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Please share your bed sharing experiences

    We bed shared pretty consistently from about 4 weeks until probably 3 months, then moved to a bassinet (she was a little baby). We still occasionally will bring her to bed with us at 14 months when she's sick and not sleeping well.

    Pros: much easier to night nurse, which as a working mother is priceless. The snuggles, my goodness the snuggles.

    Cons: When you get up, like if you're getting ready for work, you have to figure out what to do with baby. At least once they're mobile and can crawl off the bed if left unattended. A current is my LO is a little gymnast and loves to kick and thrash. She ends up perpendicular to me and will kick repeatedly at my throat. So, gone are the snuggles.

    I don't think bedsharing itself was responsible for lengthening the duration of breastfeeding as much as co-sleeping in the same room. Not having to walk across the house to nurse multiple times a night was a lifesaver.

    My LO moved to her own room and crib at 13 months will very little fan fair. I don't think she ever noticed a difference. Her sleep is mostly the same as it was, sometimes she wakes up more, sometimes she wakes up less. I'm sure this has much more to do with development and growth than sleeping arrangements though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: Please share your bed sharing experiences

    Hi jam315, I coslept with my firstborn until she was around 3. When I was pregnant with her baby brother, my husband and I got her a big girl bed, and she was so excited that that was the end of that! For the first couple nights either my husband or I slept with her in her room on her bed, and after that she was sleeping alone! She will be 4 in March and will usually wake up at least once throughout the night and yell out for me to scratch her back Then she falls right back to sleep and I go back to my room. We also nursed that entire time too- she will still occasionally ask to nurse -I am now nursing my 6 month old son(And yes, I let her When she was 11 weeks old, my maternity leave ended and I went back to work full time. I was away from her for 10+ hours a day and it was probably one of the hardest times in my entire life. I missed her so much, I cried daily at work... so coming home to her, we would nurse and snuggle all night and I loved that special time reconnecting with her. I would not have had that if we did not bed share. (I ended up getting a new position and new hours at the company I worked for 3 months later -dropping my hours to part time because I could not be away from my little one. It was killing me)

    I am currently cosleeping with my 6 month old son. With both children, I slept with them from the day they were born although my son slept longer stretches as a newborn. I would put him in his bassinet when he fell asleep, and he would sleep for 4 and 5 hours unless I woke him to nurse and bring him to bed with me- I would wake up in a panic after sleeping a 4 hour stretch at night because that is something my daughter never did as a baby! And he would be snoozing so peacefully... until I woke him.

    I sleep better with my babies close to me. I am more calm and relaxed being able to hear and touch them. My baby never wakes up fully throughout the night, I sense his slight movement, get close and bring my breast to his mouth, he nurses what he wants, and we both drift back to sleep. My daughter was the same way, although as I said before, she nursed more frequently then my little guy. Both my children sleep wonderfully and peacefully and I know it is due to bedsharing. We have never had any night time negativity aside from if kiddos have been sick, but that is going to happen if you sleep together or not.

    I agree with pp that a downside of bedsharing is when you have to leave the bed when baby is still sleeping once they are mobile. I pushed my bed up against the wall the long way and I slept on the outside with my daughter on the inside. I have since rearranged the bedroom, but now that little guy is scooting, it will be going back.

    Bottom line- do whatever works for you and your family. I love nursing by children, and I will continue until we are done... I don't worry about when that might be or how it might come about. Cosleeping for me is the same- I love it, baby loves it, hubby doesn't mind, so we will continue until it is not working anymore. My babies won't be babies forever, and I don't want to miss a moment!

    First time mama to my bean, born 3/2012. Still . She loves her "me's".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Please share your bed sharing experiences

    I bet you know more people who have slept with their babies or older children for at least part of the night at least part of the time than you think. There are lots of parttime and secret bedsharers out there.

    My older two children who are now "tweens." Each slept with my husband and I every night until they were between ages 3 and 4. They each nursed for about a year after we stopped bedsharing before weaning completely. No longer bedsharing at that age was a decision we made due to particular circumstances at the time. I do not believe there is some upper age limit at which point bedshahring is no longer desirable.

    My children have no sleep issues of any kind. Both napped pretty much daily right up until first grade. They have almost never had nightmares, fear of the dark, or any sleep disturbance that was not physical in nature. Bedtime battles have only occurred lately because they have friends who stay up ridiculously late (imo) and think they should too. Our boys go to bed between 8:30 and 9:30 every night (It varies due to sports and scouting activities that are held in the evening.) Both sleep wonderfully and get 9-10 hours of sleep per night.

    Daughter is three and she sleeps with us. She sleeps well at the start of the night but can get restless toward morning and that can be tiring for me.

    Nothing about bedsharing has been a con for us. Yes I would get tired at night when baby or child is wakeful and wants to nurse a lot. But I do not think that not bedsharing would necessarily solve this. And it is small price to pay for the many benefits we have experienced.

    Two books that you may enjoy that have a positive attitude about bedsharing are Sweet Sleep (from LLL) and Kiss Me! By Carlos Gonzalez.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Please share your bed sharing experiences

    1) how long you bed shared - we started at 3 weeks and continue now (4 years old)

    2) things you liked about it - I love it, cuddles, easy breastfeeding, lie-in nursing in the morning, not too much drama about going to bed (though there is still some drama), got an e-reader with light so I can read in bed while my daughter sleeps. We did elimination communication (putting baby on the potty) and bed-sharing was essential for catching pees at night, so my daughter hasn't worn a diaper to bed since she was 1 or so. Basically, I feel like by co-sleeping i have always been there to look after her at night too, I sleep well knowing that she's right there, and I could attend to her needs right away. The BEST, absolute best for me, are some of the late-night conversations - like a sleep-over party. Some of our best and closest conversations have been at that time.

    3) things you didn't like - my alarm clock sometimes wakes my daughter. Used to be she'd often wake up and cry if I wasn't in the bed, so I'd have trouble getting out the door for work. Sometimes I am falling asleep telling her a story and she keeps waking me up asking me to finish the story. We only have one double bed and one single bed, so it means my husband has to sleep on the single bed. When travelling, we needed to pay for a double and a single, or cram the whole family into a double, because we couldn't put her in a bassinet or playpen.

    4) if you think it helped extend breastfeeding longer - I still nurse her at 4 yo every couple days. I think that bed-sharing was just part of our larger experience of nursing, baby-carrying, parenting thoughtfully, all of which have brought me very close to my daughter and convinced me that it's nice to keep breastfeeding past babyhood.

    4) how your older child sleeps now - she sleeps very well, but we've never tried to have her sleep on her own. She sleeps well with just her dad too. Sometimes she wakes up a little in the night and asks me to hug her, if I wasn't there she'd probably get up and go look for me.

    5) how the transition went to their own bed. - haven't even really thought about doing this yet.

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