View Full Version : OT: Co-sleeping
03-01-2007, 06:36 PM
I need help/moral support! My dd is almost seven months old and has been co-sleeping with my husband and me. I have been hestitant to move her to her crib b/c I am worried she will be crying b/c she is hungry and not b/c she can't sleep. After talking to her pediatrician today and being reassured that when she wakes up at night she is not really hungry (at this age) I have decided it is time to put her in her on bed. Does anyone have any tips on how to deal with the inevitable nights of crying? I know it is something I will just have to deal with, but how do I stay strong?
03-01-2007, 07:25 PM
Just do it. It probably will only take two or three nights.
03-01-2007, 07:26 PM
:hug: It is hard. My son would end up sleeping with us but it was never intentional.
Try putting a shirt that you have worn (a wee bit smelly is good in this situation :teehee: ) under the fitted crib sheet. When she lays on it, she will warm it up and the smell of you will be close.
I would suggest standing beside her and soothing her with back rubs and such, and help her fall asleep.
If it really doesn't seem to work the greatest and you are able, try moving the crib into your room.
And for us, putting the crib mattress on an angle worked. I was thinking about that the other day and wonder if that is because when he slept with us our weight would naturally make the mattress angled under him? :shrug:
Most of all, I have found lots of research when my son was young and I last looked at this to suggest that your physician isn't just trying to fed you a line, she really won't be hungry. Likely lonely or bored!
03-01-2007, 07:42 PM
Hugs for you, it's going to be rough, but mostly on you. Be tough and don't drag it out, that's no good for anyone. This time next week you'll all be sleeping better.
03-01-2007, 07:52 PM
And the longer she sleeps with you, the harder it will be to change.
03-01-2007, 07:54 PM
please read this article on co-sleeping/night feedings (http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.asp)
we co-sleep/family bed with our 10+ month old daughter. she does have a 'toddler' bed (its wedged between or bed and the wall-like a low crib) and i do still bf. she eats around 10:30, them 12 ish and again around 4:30. has since she was born... are you b/fing? i'd say that if you are, then your daughter wil eat when she's hungry and you can see if she's nursing for comfort or to eat by how long she nurses. a short bit to sooth her would mean for comfort and i would venture that it would be okay to use the above method to stop night feedings, but if shes actually eating at night, i wouldn't suggest cutting out night feedings. maybe just strech them apart a bit? hope that helps :heart: :heart:
putting her bed next to yours would be great, then you can check on her faster and feel assured that she is ok. i really dont think a 7 month old should go 8 hours w/o eating. their little bodies need food more frequently and in smaller amounts at a time since they are growing so fast.......
03-01-2007, 09:31 PM
Did you know that humans are the only mammals that make a different nest for their young?
Why do you want to move her to her own bed? She is still so young. :pout:
And what your pediatrician said to you was wrong. Different babies have different needs. How can (s)he possibly know that your child will not wake up hungry in the middle of the night?
Pretty soon your baby will become a toddler and won't even want to sleep in the same bed as you. Until she wants her independence, why force it on her? She needs her mama right now. You sleep with your husband because you love him, because it's more comfortable to be close to him, because you don't want to be alone.
Your daughter doesn't want to be alone either. :heart:
03-01-2007, 09:50 PM
I support your pediatrician because I believe that you wouldn't use a doctor that you don't trust. I won't say that your doctor was wrong--perhaps he/she just has a differnet parenting philosophy than you?
That being said--I did let my dd sleep w/ me until she was 18 months old and I have a 1 month old right now that everyone in this community can tell you I'm struggling with in that area right now...
I think you have to do what makes you and your family comfortable. When I had to make the switch w/ my 18 mo dd--I had to just do it--she cried for about 10 minutes the first night before falling asleep from being tired and she woke up twice during the night. The second night she only cried about 7 or so minutes and woke up once and on the third night she cried for less than 3 or 4 minutes and she didn't wake up at all. After that, I'd get whimpers from time to time but she'd go quickly to sleep and sleep through the night. I was breast-feeding at the time and was worried that she'd be hungry but I soon learned that she was only nursing out of comfort and habit.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
03-01-2007, 09:52 PM
First off, let me say that whatever choice you make about where your baby sleeps will be because you know what's best for you and your family.
I wanted to share this article with you by a woman named Kathy Dettwyler. She's an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Nutrition at Texas A&M. It may or may not strike a chord for you.
Sleeping Through the Night (http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detsleepthrough.html)
03-01-2007, 11:52 PM
And the longer she sleeps with you, the harder it will be to change.
You aren't kidding. Our ds will be 3 in two months and he STILL sleeps with us. There are nights when we just let him sleep where ever he wants, just to ensure that we get sound sleep. :shrug:
03-02-2007, 12:10 AM
Well I'm of the opinion that while asking your pediatrician was a good idea, that doesn't necessarily mean you need to take the advice. But that's true of any professional, the adivice is just that, if I knowledgeable friend were to give you the same advice, it'd still be up to you to take it or leave it. When my Son was a little under a year, we (my wife and I) would take turns. We'd get him calmed down, then laid back into bed, and upon the next awakening, it was the other's turn to go do it.
03-02-2007, 05:11 AM
I think it's important to explore your feelings about why you want the switch. There's a big difference between wanting to do it because YOU want it, and wanting it because you're getting messages from others that it's "time". Separate sleeping quarters are a relatively new phenomenon, historically speaking.
Co-sleeping is a very emotionally charged issue for parents, right up there with nursing (or not), spanking (or not), etc., so people tend to get very worked up about it. Listen to them, don't get too sucked in emotionally, but keep your ear out for good tips that feel right to you. There are solutions that fall in between a crib and direct co-sleeping, and there's lots of support and ideas out there on the Internet.
Let me say also that medical students and pediatricians receive next to NO training in breastfeeding support and infant sleep patterns. Much of their advice comes from how they were parented, what their spouse is doing, and other doctors (who may or may not be very well-informed). I know this because my husband is in medical school (and planning on being a pediatric intensivist), and I've heard some pretty crazy (and outright WRONG) information coming out of instructors' mouths.
There is, however, a lot of research being done on infant sleep, with all the attendant controversy about research methodology. James McKenna at Notre Dame runs the Mother-Baby Sleep Laboratory, and his research seems to suggest that cosleeping protects against SIDS. Your baby is beyond that fear, for the most part, so I suppose that's not a big factor. Other research supports babies sleeping alone. For nursing babies, they certainly may not need the caloric intake, but they may crave the comfort and closeness of the breast, which is a legit reason to offer it in the middle of the night. Remember that for babies, everything is still very new, and they find comfort in your scent and milk. By the way, many breastfeeding professionals (IBCLC's and lactation educators) believe that babies do in fact need the caloric intake of milk at night, particularly if you're working outside the home and leaving the child in day care.
In other countries, families cosleep quite happily for quite some time into a childs' life, and I can't tell you how many of my friends, with children well into the elementary school years, find themselves sharing their beds in the middle of the night.
That said, it is also your right and choice to have your bed to yourself. Doing it in the gentlest possible way will help both of you. Listen to your instincts - they will guide you.
My son coslept for quite some time, and continues to love it when I offer occasional cosleeping (he's 7). The kiddo snuggles close all night. My daughter actually resisted cosleeping, and only sleeps comfortably in her crib. This was a shock to me, since I am so in favor of cosleeping, and I mourned the loss of a cosleeping relationship with her. But each child has a certain temperment, and asks for different things from us as parents. Our job is to meld their requests and our needs as a parent.
Good luck to you! It's not easy ....
Oh, and may I suggest any book written by William and Martha Sears? While they're very in favor of co-sleeping, they do offer suggestions for easing baby out of your bed, should you feel the need.
03-02-2007, 07:46 AM
I second the advice about Dr. Sears -- you can find his website here:
Ask Dr. Sears (http://www.askdrsears.com)
I have read many of his books over the years especially when my kids were babes.
03-02-2007, 08:52 AM
Thank you so much everyone! I do breastfeed which is what makes me think she is hungry during the night, but as someone mentioned she doesn't really eat she just gets up and latches for a minute or two. I appreciate all the info and links. I will read it all today. My husband really wants her to stay and I can go either way really. He sleeps through anything so he isn't the one up five or more times a night. But I would also miss her snuggling. Oh well, I suppose it is as most of you said, family decision that feels right.
03-02-2007, 09:52 AM
every family is different- we did not co-sleep even when DD was breastfeeding- she was in a bassinette next to the bed until about 8 months. Then we started letting her sleep at night in the crib. First the crib was in our room to let her get used to the bed. then we moved it down the hall to the nursery.
But we still have snuggle time before bed. (she's almost 5) and if she wakes up early she's allowed to get in bed with us.
for our child, "crying it out" was harder on us than her. She'd cry a few minutes, then notice we weren't running toher rescue, and she'd give up. Little did she know I was outside the door arguing with myself whether I should go pick her up "just this once" !
There are alwyas exceptions. you can tell when something is really wrong by the tone of their cry. or if they are sick, or had a nightmare.
Go with your instincts- That was the best advice i got from my mother.... MArykz
03-02-2007, 11:57 AM
shellebelle, you've already gotten some very thoughtful responses and it sounds like you are still considering your options. I just want to assure you that it is not necessarily the case that the longer you wait to get the child out of your bed the harder it will be.
One of my twins moved to his own crib in his room at 6 months, but he was mostly formula-fed (a long sad story about why one ended up mostly formula-fed and the other mostly breastfed) and had been sleeping through the night since around 3 mos (up until 6 mos. he had been in a pack-and-play next to our bed). The other baby coslept and nursed throughout the night. Shortly after he turned 11 mos., I decided to move him to his own crib - this was partly due to my and my dh's needs to have some space and some sleep and partly due to my feeling bad about leaving my other child alone in his room w/o his brother (they were used to taking naps together in their room). I was afraid I was going to be getting up with him to nurse all night long, but it was maybe three nights total that I had to get up to nurse - and only once per night. This was a huge change from when he'd been sleeping with me and nursing off-and-on all night. The fourth night, he slept through the night - much to my complete surprise the next morning when I realized I'd had a full night's sleep.
I had no problem whatsoever moving him, and he nightweaned almost immediately when I did. I'm sure for some older babies and toddlers the transition is more difficult. I just wanted to let you know that this is not always the case. To echo what others have said - trust yourself, and do what you feel is best for your baby and your family. If you are not ready to move your 7 month-old, it doesn't really matter if other people think it's time.
03-02-2007, 12:06 PM
My husband and I have been reading Dr. Sears (thank you to those who suggested him) and he seems to make a lot of sense. I so appreciate everyone's input and suggestions. My husband is reassuring me that I just need to do what is right for us and not worry about anybody else.
03-02-2007, 12:52 PM
SHELLEBELLE... i know what you mean about He sleeps through anything so he isn't the one up five or more times a night we are the same way too.. there was a point abou t a month ago when i was so frustrated from being woken up four times a night :hair: ... and i think i just needed some time to myself and a nap :passedout: it did pass.... and nowwe got our grove back :muah: good luck with your decision.. .it will be best for your family :thumbsup:
03-04-2007, 05:21 AM
I remember, too, the mood swings that accompanied co-sleeping and nursing. Some days, you're just so Zen as a mother. You're on top of your game, snuggling with your babies and feeling great.
Then there are the other days. And heaven knows we all have them.
Hang in there. It's all a phase ... the good AND the bad! ;)