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Thread: What is true Co-sleeping, and what pros or cons?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    257

    Default What is true Co-sleeping, and what pros or cons?

    I have a three month old daughter. I have heard many things both for and against co-sleeping. Our current arrangement is to have her in something that is actually CALLED a co-sleeper, which is similar to the upper level of a pack-n-play, and pulls up (attaches with straps under the mattress) to the side of the bed. There is a little rail inbetween us so that she can't roll into me and I can't roll into her. She's an arms' distance from me.

    I like having her there and don't want to consider moving her into her own room/crib for some time.

    BUT, I don't think we can really consider ourselves "co-sleeping" because we are not cuddled up and don't have the advantages of body contact/warmth etc.

    We were scared off the idea of true co-sleeping because of all the recent SIDS information and precautions, but also because we are fairly heavy sleepers and have been dealing with various of our 3 dogs sleeping with us for years, so we have gotten used to sleeping through some fairly uncomfortable/crowded arrangements, and I feared we would not be aware enough of an infant between us. I have napped a couple times while she was beside me on the bed, (not on purpose) and did not move or have any issues but I worry about taking chances and will not do so if I can help it.

    But I have friends who swear by co-sleeping, and I long for the tranquil experience they describe. I had to go back to work when my daughter was 2 months old, and I wish we could have the contact of true co-sleeping at night.

    Any tips, guidelines, experiences anyone can share with me? I want to feel good about our current arrangement, but don't want to miss out on anything that would help my daughter's development and etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,064

    Default Re: What is true Co-sleeping, and what pros or cons?

    I don't think you need to worry about what is "true co-sleeping". I think the most important thing is to find an arrangement where you can meet your baby's nighttime needs and everyone can get some sleep. Some people have a wonderful experience having baby in bed with them, but for others it doesn't work so well. My DS slept in an Arm's Reach Co-sleeper for his first 4 months and I loved it. I could keep an eye on him, and he was right there when he woke and needed to nurse. At the same time, I still had space to sleep and could keep my blankets. After about four months, though, my son started waking more and more often, and he would wake when I tried to put him back in the co-sleeper. So at that time he started sleeping in bed with us. I am not one who likes to "cuddle" while sleeping (I like my space) so this was not an ideal arrangement for me, but it was better than the alternative which was to have a baby awake all night. Having him in bed was nice in that I didn't need to sit up or to move him even from his cosleeper into the bed. However, I didn't have the nice tranquil experience that many have where they don't even remember waking during the night. My son is now 2 1/2. Several months ago we moved him into his own bed in his room. I am currently sleeping in a bed next to him, but am planning to move into the master bedroom again soon. I will definitely miss having him with me, but I don't miss being kicked in the head during the night . I think whatever makes you comfortable and works best for your family is the thing to do!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: What is true Co-sleeping, and what pros or cons?

    I think it's great that you have baby beside you, and worry that you are a heavy sleeper. I also co-sleep with my daughter, but it's because I know I'm not an extremely heavy sleeper. I slept with both my kids only because I personally thought it was weird not having my kids near me after they grew in my belly However I don't trust my husband as he moves all over the place, so she does not sleep near him, only me, and also we put our mattress on the floor for extra safety. If you're worried you may roll onto your daughter, then I think the arrangment you have is perfect.. you are close but not too close to harm her accidentally. As llowe said "whatever makes you comfortable and works best for your family is the thing to do".

    Definately don't feel worried if you are not truely co-sleeping with her, she knows you're right there and that's what's important. Perhaps when she gets older you could reconsider this thought again and see how it works for the both of you.

    We also moved our son into his own room when he was around 2 years old. We didn't force him, we just bought him a car bed and he happily went on his own Wow.. it's so great to reminisce as he's almost 15 now! Time flies by way to fast.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    411

    Default Re: What is true Co-sleeping, and what pros or cons?

    I agree that you don't need to worry about what true co-sleeping is. Do what works for your family. I also have an Arm's Reach Co-sleeper that I bought before DS was born...but he's never slept in it!! It really is just a glorified clothes hamper! When he was newborn, we put him in a Snuggle Nest (a small bed for him with plastic edges around the top half that goes on an adult bed) in our bed...but after the first few weeks that got annoying because I still had to move him from it closer to me to feed him, so when he didn't seem so tiny and fragile and my DH and I were comfortable with him in our bed, we just put him right on our mattress. Now he's taking over! We have a king bed and my DH jokes that he sleeps on the edge! But really my DH is happy to have him in our bed. At first he used to ask me how long he would sleep with us, but now it seems natural to him to share sleep with our baby! And he loves to cuddle with DS too.

    The major pro of co-sleeping for me is easy nighttime nursing...I just position and latch DS on then we both go back to sleep...I never have to get up at night. And I think DS feels more secure when I or DH are next to him...he always sleeps better (longer) when sleeping next to one of us.
    Jenny
    Mama to Jacob , born 6/11/06
    And his NEW baby brother , born 8/14/08

    , , , cloth diapering

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: What is true Co-sleeping, and what pros or cons?

    thank you all for your advice and encouragement.

    I probably should have mentioned that I do not breastfeed throughout the night. Daughter has slept through the night since about 2 weeks, and if in the odd circumstance she wakes earlier than usual, she takes a pacifier and dozes back off till the morning feeding. Only once, about a week ago, I went to bed early - so no 11:00 pm feeding, and she did wake up around 1 am wanting to eat. I can tell the difference when she really wants it, and of course I did feed her.

    So my questions about co-sleeping do not currently involve a need to have her close or closer for night time feedings. At least not currently! Please continue to share your experiences or thoughts on co-sleeping here though! Thanks!

  6. #6

    Default Re: What is true Co-sleeping, and what pros or cons?

    With my daughter (she's 3.5 yrs) we did a little bit of everything. I would put her to bed in our bed, then transfer her to a crib, then take her back to bed with us when she'd wake up. When she got her big-girl bed, she transitioned to it no problem, but still came to bed with us if she happened to have a bad dream :-). When I was pregnant with my son (he's almost four months), my husband actually spent most of the latter half of the pregnancy sleeping in her bed, and I kept my daughter in our bed (she took up less space :-). My son had colic and the only time he wasn't crying was when he was nursing or in my arms, so I've had him in our bed since he was a couple of weeks old. It was definitely the right choice, now that he's getting a little bigger, I'm trying to get him to sleep at least part of the night in his crib, but I've pretty much got him trained to only sleep when I'm there with him... I love having him in bed with us, we nurse a lot at night and he's so cuddly and sweet, but I'm starting to wish that he could sleep without me there...

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