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to be utterly baffled by how cosleeping works?

(121 Posts)
NellyBluth Fri 05-Oct-12 12:06:23

Firstly, this is absolutely nothing against cosleeping. I think it must be a lovely thing to do if it works for your family, and I'm sure it is much more convenient if you are b/f and the baby feeds several times a night.

But I've just always struggled to get my head around the logistics!

How does it actually work, having a baby in bed with you? I was thinking about this the other day after one of the sleep threads where people were recommending cosleeping to solve some problems. DD has never coslept with us. When she was very tiny she occasionally came in with me after she woke at 6 or 7am, but I would have so sleep in a very strange position so that I was wrapped around her and felt confident that I couldn't roll over, and it wasn't a position I would feel able to sleep the whole night in. Ditto the very, very odd occasion when I have just fallen asleep napped with her during the day on the bed.

I can kind of see that if you have your baby with you from the beginning, especially if you have them at home for the very first night, you might snuggle up in bed and then it sort of develops from there. But how does this work as the baby starts getting older? Do they sleep alone in the bed until you go up a few hours later, or do you and the baby go to bed at the same time? How does it work with the duvet and pillows? What about if one parents wants to go to bed at a different time? And how on earth do they not either fall out of the bed or end up under the duvet when they start wriggling around (or do I just have an odd 8mo who moves constantly and loves to sleep pressed against the bars of the cot?!)

Quite often cosleeping is suggested on here as a fix for sleep problems, but I can't help but think that if your baby is 6, 7, 8mo and happy in their cot, suddenly cosleeping might cause more problems than it fixes. But maybe that's just because I can't figure out how you share a bed safely with a little one. DD would fall out the bed within about ten minutes grin. AIBU to be baffled by this? Am I the only one who is baffled?

JollyToddler Fri 05-Oct-12 12:11:08

I was thinking about this last night. Ds is unwell and I put his mattress on the floor and slept beside him. I was in my sleeping bag and he had his blanket.

I think folk must put a mattress on the floor. And they must drink less than I do. I like a glass of wine every few days.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 05-Oct-12 12:14:36

We have never co-slept full time, but our two have always come into our bed in the night for BF and then we all just fall asleep again together.

I always put the baby - or now toddler <narrows eyes at 18 month old DS2> in the middle, we minimise pillows and move them right to the edge of the bed (have a king which makes this easier). When they were little, either DH or I would hold them, sort of wrapped to prevent rolling etc, but as they get bigger they just sleep.
DS1 is 4 and still comes in sometimes if he wakes in the night. He is lovely to share a bed with because he is cuddly but lies still grin

NellyBluth Fri 05-Oct-12 12:17:32

Ali, I imagine when they are a bit older it is nice. DP works nights a few days every fortnight and it did cross my mind that it would be a nice treat to share the bed with DD when he isn't there, but I took one look at our bed and thought, 'nope, I haven't a clue how this would work!' and gave up on the idea for now!

Jolly - me too grin. And - gasp - the odd cigarette when DD has gone to bed, which I'm aware does rule of cosleeping as a rule.

I always wonder about it, how do people sleep? Surly you don't roll over and turn your back on a newborn, so would end up in the same position all night? I'd think you would have to be aware of the baby at all times, so how do you get a good nights sleep?

I'd be too nervous and ds2 + 3 were prem so it was never an option anyway. I'm probably just too anxious to co sleep

MrsTittleMouse Fri 05-Oct-12 12:22:32

This is how I did it:

DH went into the spare room (which was to become the nursery).
My bed was a mattress on the floor (so no falling out of bed issues).
DD in bed with me, me curled around her protectively, and the duvet only up to my waist, to prevent it riding up and causing her to overheat.

A few months later, DH came back in with us (DD on my side, not between us, so no issues of him rolling on her or waking her up).
We gradually moved her into a Moses basket next to the bed, and then into a cot in the room.

I do wonder if co-sleeping babies tend not to move around so much. She will turn 360 degrees in her bed, but never did when co-sleeping, or now when she comes in if she's ill or has a nightmare. Conversely, her sister is a nightmare to share a bed with! But this is based on my n = 2. smile

DuelingFanjo Fri 05-Oct-12 12:22:55

DS sleeps in my bed alone until I come up. He is 22 months old and has done this pretty much from 16 weeks (Before that he would sleep on me downstairs then in bed with me).

We have the Duvet folded down on one side and pillows away from him. We did have a bed guard for a while but DS can now get off the bed safely and has only fallen out twice blush

He's never slept in his cot. It can be uncomfortable, particularly now DS is older and moves about a lot more. As far as sleep goes I get more sleep because I can just feed him as soon as he waked (I am breastfeeding) I love it. Sometimes I sleep through him feeding as he can basically help himself.
but I know there are many people who assume he should be sleeping through now.

Hanleyhigh Fri 05-Oct-12 12:24:33

Superking bed did it for us. The rest seemed easy after that!

dd is 10 now and superking bed still useful for snuggly mornings.

There have been times they have got into bed with me during the night but they've been older 2-3 years old

porcamiseria Fri 05-Oct-12 12:25:21

I cosplept with DS 2 for the first few months, it made my life SO MUCH EASIER

he BF alot (big baby) and at nights I could just feed him, then shuffle him back

poor DP had to sleep on the sofa

then we moved his cot next to ours (once he stopped feeding every 2 hours)

then we put the barrier up!

MrsTittleMouse Fri 05-Oct-12 12:25:30

Moomin - I slept a hell of a lot better than getting up every couple of hours! It's just instinctive - I curled around her and slept perfectly well. I was on a hair trigger anyway with both of mine, so I wonder if Mums of babies don't ever sleep as deeply as normal people. grin

JollyToddler Fri 05-Oct-12 12:27:44

I actually did notice cosleeping last night that I didn't move as much as I normally do in my sleep. So maybe instincts kick in.

dysfunctionalme Fri 05-Oct-12 12:27:44

First baby slept in the middle of us up higher so quilt wouldn't flick over her head. Just for first 9 weeks then she liked being in her cot.

Second baby slept next to me without a pillow, he was in a sleeping bag thingy. Put him to bed in his cot but brought him in first time he woke when I was in bed. I used a bed rail or, when away, pushed bed against the wall. No signs of wanting to move on...

NellyBluth Fri 05-Oct-12 12:32:24

I do wonder if bf is one of the big deciders here. If you are bf and your baby feeds several times a night then it is undoubtedly easier to share a bed so they can feed while you are both half asleep. If you are ff then you have to get up anyway so it makes less of a difference whether they are in bed with you anyway. And if you are lucky to have a baby who sleeps well at night then its less of an issue again. (Oh, don't mean this to read that bf babies sleep less well grin)

Madmum24 Fri 05-Oct-12 12:33:56

enters co sleeping advocate

There are many studies that show that those little disturbances/jittery movements/hand flailing incidents happen much less when a baby co sleeps, therefore does not move around the same way that it does sleeping alone.

I never intended to co-sleep, i had never heard of it but when my son was born he was wailing endlessly and the midwife begged asked me to take him into bed with me because he was disturbing other babies on the ward. I nearly had a panic attack, fearing he would fall out of bed (no rails/sides in those days!) but she showed me a way to tuck him in with the blanket tucked under the matress. Ans so it went from there.....

My dh is always very keen to get his own bedroom when we have another baby, but moves back in several months later. I lightly swaddle the baby up to the arms to keep it warm, and place it's face up to mine (on the same level) without a pillow. There are no hard and fast rules, and different families do it in different ways.

As much as i love it, last night I had four kids in the bed with me from age 4-11, and I hardly got any sleep between the rib kicks and duvet hogging. Sad to say our co sleeping days are over :-(

SamSmalaidh Fri 05-Oct-12 12:34:02

When DS was a newborn we had a co-sleeper cot so he couldn't fall out. I would feed him to sleep in my bed, go back downstairs and then me and DH would come to bed later. You do tend to sleep in the same position around them when they are tiny and naturally don't move much but it didn't really disturb my sleep. You should only co-sleep with a little baby if you are breastfeeding by the way, and the baby should only ever be positioned next to the mother not by the father.

By the time he was 7 or 8 months (mostly in his own cot now) he would sleep in the middle and I didn't worry so much about duvets or sleep positions. He never wriggled down though.

mrstitter we probably don't sleep as deeply, I still find myself waking up as soon as ds3 19 months stirs and he's in a different room. Nobody else ever hears him

EdMcDunnough Fri 05-Oct-12 12:35:50

I feel similarly baffled as to how people keep getting up all night to go to their babies!! I think I would die from tiredness if I had to do that.

I've co-slept with both of mine for around 4/5 years each and will do the same with this one, when it's born.

I've not had the complication of a husband to share with though. I'm sure this makes it easier for me, and the bed has one side along the wall, high wooden ends (it's very old) a bit like a sleigh bed I suppose. So as long as I'm on the outside, no one can fall out.

One of them did wriggle down under the duvet once - how embarrassing to admit that, and I will make very sure they couldn't now. They were fine, luckily.

Other than that it's easy peasy. The times I've been pressured to put a toddler in its own bedroom have been by far the most physically draining nights of my life. When you have the child in your bed, first of all they tend to settle and sleep far easier (ime) and secondly, if you do get woken, it's generally at the start of their disturbance (so you wake when they start to wake, rather than once it's escalated) and they tend to settle again far easier if they aren't fully awake when you've responded.

If they've had a couple pf minutes to really start howling or whatever, they're properly woken up by then and it can be harder to reverse iyswim.

So I think it's the best thing ever.

BillComptonstrousers Fri 05-Oct-12 12:36:40

My DD is seven months and co sleeps because I am lazy. She can still wake twice in the night for a feed, and husband works away during the week so it's easier to have her in with me rather than getting up and down all night. We have a super king size bed so plenty of room grin I sleep further down the bed so the duvet isn't up round her neck, that's pretty much it really! I was hugely strict with the other two, and they never shared my bed.

MrsTittleMouse Fri 05-Oct-12 12:40:47

Moomin - the great news is that now both of mine are over the baby or toddler stage, I am back to sleeping deeply and DH is the one who wakes at every murmur. grin But it doesn't really help when I am in deep sleep and a small person decides to jump on me. hmm Then a hair-trigger would be useful!

spanishring Fri 05-Oct-12 12:42:58

We have a big bed. We all got in. We snuggled up. Sometimes got kicked but were never ever up in the night. Plus when i was working I felt better that I'd get a cuddle at night. Now she's 2 and in her own bed, which she loves.
It's no big deal. I think it's more natural to sleep with your baby as long as it works, than to stick them in another room. That's just my opinion though - I appreciate that some people need to do this.

Viviennemary Fri 05-Oct-12 12:44:29

If it works then fine. But I can't see how anybody can get a good night's sleep. I can see it might work with a king size bed and one parent. But not two parents, child in a double bed. I would never have co-slept with a small baby. I don't think it's very safe. That is my personal opinion.

Lambzig Fri 05-Oct-12 12:45:21

Why cant you co-sleep if you are not breastfeeding? Does it somehow make it less safe?

spanishring Fri 05-Oct-12 12:45:58

Of course it's safe. You adapt. Humans adapt. It's ridiculous to say otherwise

Thumbwitch Fri 05-Oct-12 12:48:55

YABU to be utterly baffled. smile
But YANBU to wonder how others manage it.

I co-slept with DS from the start, initially bf'ing took hours because he had a TT (which was snipped at 2w) so it was far easier to have him in the bed with me. DH moved into the spare bed straight away because he couldn't cope with being disturbed, so that helped enormously. I slept in the middle of the bed, and moved DS from side to side as necessary. Slept with one arm out above his head, bent at the elbow so my lower arm was down alongside him. Not the most comfortable position but not that bad either. Kept the duvet away from him, had bolster pillows along the edge of the bed (but he didn't move much anyway and nor do I when sleeping)

Both of us are pretty silent sleepers so didn't disturb each other until DS got to about 5.5mo, when he started to wriggle more - so he went into his cot. Stayed there (unless I had troubles getting him back to sleep when he woke for a feed - if there was the slightest risk of me falling asleep in the chair while feeding him, back to bed we went).

Then we emigrated when he was 20mo, and for the first 6w we stayed at MIL's, which was a shit set up. So I ended up with DS back in bed with me, and DH back in the spare room (he does like his sleep, DH!) and never managed to get rid of DS again, because by the time we got into our own house he was too big for the cot.

But we were used to bed sharing by then - DS was a lot easier to share with than DH grin and still didn't move much when asleep, or make much noise. Since being pregnant though, I have had to reclaim my bed. We only have 2 bedrooms here, and DH has the noisy one, with the far-too-soft bed - so DS now sleeps with him. grin

Sleep is VERY important to all of us - more than who shares with whom!

DS has never fallen out of bed while sleeping with me (although he has fallen off the bed a couple of times, including the first time he slept over at Grandma's hmm). We have offered him his own bed - he's quite keen, but only if it's in the bedroom with me or Daddy so we can be "close to his heart". When DC2 is born next week, I'll be co-sleeping with this one as well, so DS will be sharing Daddy's room for the foreseeable, whether in the kingsize bed, or in his own.

We will build a 3rd bedroom soon...

SamSmalaidh Fri 05-Oct-12 12:49:25

Lambzig - yes, formula fed babies are at a slightly higher risk of SIDS in any case, and breastfeeding mothers sleep less deeply and are more responsive in their sleep to their breastfed babies than non-breastfeeders. This is also why it is important that babies are only positioned next to their mothers and not their fathers (or anyone else).

EdMcDunnough Fri 05-Oct-12 12:49:26

Vivienne, I think I sleep better than if I had to get up whenever a baby cried.

It means I can just breastfeed, without having properly to wake up, and much less get up, which would force me to reach a higher level of wakefulness than just staying put and giving the baby my breast.

And imagine when the baby doesn't go straight back to sleep! Horrifying to have to just sit there, upright, or walk around jiggling them.

Also if you are breastfeeding, where do you then feed the baby once you've gone to it? I suppose a nursing chair or something? I haven't room for one of those so would end up back on the bed anyway.

Meglet England Fri 05-Oct-12 12:52:37

I am unable to sleep with the dc's in the same bed. I can't relax at all, I just lie there terrified to move!

MainlyMaynie Fri 05-Oct-12 12:55:42

We have 'my' side of the bed pushed up against the wall and DS sleeps between me and the wall. He sleeps in a grobag with the duvet well away. I do sleep a lot of the night facing him, but some of the time on my back. If I want a drink I have one a good few hours before I go to sleep. But we didn't co-sleep when he was newborn and I didn't have anything to drink until he was over 6 months old. I feed him to sleep and he still has little feeds during the night, but none of us really wake for them.

None of mine have been good sleepers, especially ds3. if it wasn't for him being so prem I'd probably have tried co sleeping at some point out of sheer bloody exhaustion!

porcamiseria Fri 05-Oct-12 12:57:49

when we co slept DS was on one side of double, me on the other. I did worry to start wth, but frankly as he fed very 2 hour I did not get into a deep sleep anyway!!

I read something about BF mums and co-sleeping (on her I suspect) that really comforted me

I LOVED it, poor DS1 was in his own room and cot by 3 months sad

NellyBluth Fri 05-Oct-12 12:58:29

Lambzig, though there is a slightly higher risk of SIDS anyway for ff babies (and I remember your other thread about ff, I also had to ff from birth so I hope you don't get worried by this thread), I was thinking more that if you are ff you need to get up to make the bottle, rather than just rolling over and feeding while you and the baby are half asleep.

Ed, I guess this debate comes down to how well baby sleeps anyway! We have been very lucky with DD who, while day time naps have been a battle since day one, she has slept well at night. So even from about two, three months old we were able to do a dream feed and then one feed at about 4am. I would get up, take her next door in to her nursery, and feed her in a dim light there. But then DP does a physically demanding, shift work job so his sleep was more of an issue than mine was at that stage. But if the baby is up several times a night for months, then I can see how cosleeping is far more attractive.

And thumbwitch, I stick in the same category as being baffled by how people do things with electrics and wires, or cook extravagent meals - I just look at it and think, "eh? what what?" smile

MangoLangoTango Fri 05-Oct-12 13:02:02

I love waking up to the sound of DS chattering and giggling and now that it's getting colder it's like bringing a wriggly hot water bottle to bed. I am frankly lazy and if I had to get out of bed at each time DS woke up I would be the worst grump in the world. With him in bed he just helps himself to boob then rolls over and carry on sleeping. I put him to bed at seven then join him about 11. We have taught him to safely climb down the bed bum and legs first and he sleep on the side of the bed next to the wall, or between DH and me.

I've always just sat up in bed when bf, although again that would be my fear of him being prem and falling asleep with him.

Ds3 never took to bf and I expressed so had to get up anyway. Now that I did find a pita especially 2-3 hourly feeds taking an hour each time and then having to express inbetween.

PeazlyPops Fri 05-Oct-12 13:06:10

We co-slept from 4-6 months, as 4 month sleep regression kicked in and DS would sleep right through the night in our bed, but woke hourly in his crib at the bottom of our bed.

DS slept in the middle, with DH one side, me the other. We were under the duvet, DS was on top of the duvet in his gro bag.

We stopped a few nights ago and DS now sleeps in his nursery, as he rolls and wants to sleep on his front, and I'm worried about him burying his face into the duvet.

PeazlyPops Fri 05-Oct-12 13:07:25

Forgot to add that we FF, but we are both still very in tune with DS.

aufaniae Fri 05-Oct-12 13:08:19

A super-king definitely makes it much easier.

But I reckon there's soem strange biology going on which helps ...

DP says DS and I were weirdly in tune in our sleep, our movements would mirror each others.

I've always been a really heavy sleeper - but still to this day I wake with the slightest murmur from DS, but can sleep through any number of loud disturbances.

I found we'd get about an hour more sleep when DS was a baby, once we started co-sleeping. (We didn't do it from the beginning as DP wasn't sure at first). Before co-sleeping, DS would wake about 7, and be up for the morning. Once we started co-sleeping, he'd roll over at 7, have a feed then go back so sleep for an hour. Great smile

FreudianLisp Fri 05-Oct-12 13:20:07

I've been co-sleeping with my 23-month-old twins for the last few months because they've been ill quite a bit and waking up (and then waking each other up - it's almost impossible to get them both to go back to sleep.) Husband gets exiled to the spare room and I've pushed the bed up against the wall. The twins sleep between me and the wall and I try and keep the duvet away from them. This would work really well if it weren't for the fact that they massively disturb each other. I'm frequently woken by hysterical giggling in the small hours as one of them has decided to tickle his brother... I still love it, though, even though I'm a sleep-deprived zombie.

GoSakuramachi Fri 05-Oct-12 13:20:43

I don't get the confusion. You sleep, in the same bed. Thats pretty much it.

Lambzig Fri 05-Oct-12 13:37:15

Thanks Nelly and Sam. I was just genuinely interested as I did co-sleep sometimes with DD despite ff and didnt know it had increased risk. Never got out of bed to get the bottle as DH always always went to get it for me (not sure quite how I managed that one), so would just pull DD over from her cot next to the bed (so no need to get out then either) into bed with me, cuddle her until DH appeared with the bottle and then sometimes she stayed in bed with me.

Does leave me with the dilemma as to whether I do that again with this one now I know its increased risk.

(oops dont mean to hijack)

NellyBluth Fri 05-Oct-12 13:37:48

Freudian, that sounds so cute!

GoSakuramachi - um... my confusion was about duvets, and pillows, and babies falling out of bed, and babies wriggling under duvets...?

I wonder if there is a chicken and egg element to this. So, if you cosleep from newborn until, say, 8mo (as this is the age DD is and the age I can't imagine safely sharing a bed with) then your baby maybe doesn't move around as much. But the baby is in a cot from a young age, they move more because they can. Not sure if I've explained that well, but I guess I mean that I can't imagine sharing a bed with DD now because I know she would roll, fidget and wriggle to find the edge and... straight off. But that's because in her cot she can roll, fidget and wriggle and just ends up pressed safely against the cot edge.

NellyBluth Fri 05-Oct-12 13:40:07

Lambzig, by all means do some reading - I'm sure someone on here will have links to helpful research on this - but as with all baby decisions, its up to you to decide. If you feel you are low risk anyway because you have reduced the rest of the SIDS risks then I personally wouldn't let the slight increase in risk for ff babies put you off cosleeping if that is what you want to do.

KenLeeeeeee Fri 05-Oct-12 13:44:52

I've coslept with all mine from day 1 to when they were about 1-ish. As they got old enough to sleep through a portion of the night, they'd spend that time asleep in a carrycot downstairs (until 6 months, then in the cot upstairs) and then when they woke for a night time feed, DH scoots downstairs to our sofa while me and baby share the bed.

The bed is in the middle of the room, so no risk of getting stuck between the bed and wall. We've ditched duvets for blankets and keep pillows well away from baby. I lie on my side with my knees bent up below baby and arm stretched out above so I form a sort of wall around to stop any wriggling away.

Gradually, the time spent sleeping in the cot gets longer and longer until they sleep right through by themselves. Easy peasy!

GoSakuramachi Fri 05-Oct-12 13:46:06

you just find a position that is safe and suits you. You sleep more lightly anyway, and are somehow aware of where they are even when you are asleep.

carabos Fri 05-Oct-12 13:46:53

Co-slept with DS2 until he was weaned at 27 months. It was hell. None of us got a decent night's sleep. Looking back now, I think the reason he was waking for comfort feeds every 45 minutes every night for more than 2 years was because being in with us disturbed him so it was a vicious circle. I stopped BF because I wanted my body back thought he was ready when he went to nursery and the minute he went into his own bed he never looked back.

He's never been back in our bed since apart from late night chats after the pub and Xmas morning and apart from when we are away (he's 20 next month).

CrunchyFrog Fri 05-Oct-12 13:57:17

I co-slept from birth with mine.

They are 9, 7 and 3 now. The oldest has only slept in with me once in the last year, the middle one only about once a fortnight, and the little one still every night, but he has his own bed now and can sleep there if he can find it under the toys chooses.

They never fell out, I slept curled round them. They all BF but continued co-sleeping after weaning from boob.

I didn't smoke or drink at all for several years. I do now, but limit the drinks when DS Is going to be sleeping with me (is with XH 2 nights a week.)

maddening Fri 05-Oct-12 14:00:05

I never intended to cosleep but started at 10mths when going back to work and ds was sick a lot from starting nursery. Df sleeps downstairs on an aerobed (which he likes as he has tv and Xbox) and until recently ds and I were in a kinhsize bed - we are still bf (ds is 20mths now). He fell out twice in 8mths but we had cushions down on the floor. I went to bed when ds did.

You can get bed rails but never got any as the cosleeping was meant to be temporary haha.

We are now on a mattress on ds' bedroom floor as we try and coax him into his bed - next step is to turn the cotbed into a bed so it is up against my mattress and if ds can go in his bed I might try gradual removal but no rush really. The mattress also means I can leave ds with a stairgate on his bedroom door and.go downstairs woohoo!

NellyBluth Fri 05-Oct-12 14:00:43

Carabos - I think the reason he was waking for comfort feeds every 45 minutes every night for more than 2 years was because being in with us disturbed him so it was a vicious circle - I think that's something that has always intrigued me about cosleeping, the possibility that that was happening. Or the possibility that babies are waking for feeds because it is easily there. But there isn't really a way of finding that out, and if the baby is waking because it genuinely does want food then it would just be sheer hell for everyone to try moving them to another room before they are ready for it.

I know from our experience that all three of us slept better when DD went into her own room, and she immediately dropped one of her wakings which suggested it was a matter of her either being disturbed by us, or us responding to a light wake that she would happily settle herself from.

But of course every baby and every family is different, this thread is certainly showing that! If you're happy cosleeping you probably can't imagine having to go and see a baby in a different room; if you've never coslept you struggle to imagine how it can work so smoothly.

Also, it seems some adjustment to the bed and room is needed, which looking at our current set up is what defeats me!

Allegrogirl Fri 05-Oct-12 14:13:08

I often wonder this too. I did it for the first 3 months or so with DH in the nursery due to frequency and duration of bf. I would be curled on my side with baby snuggled next to me but it was more of a doze than real sleep. Once the feeds got quicker and they were more settled generally they slept in their own room and I got up 3-4 times a night for a quick feed. This was still less tiring, for me anyway, than having them in bed with me.

Love the idea of co-sleeping but too exhausting for me long term.

Spuddybean Fri 05-Oct-12 14:13:36

i'm reading all these with interest. DP and i agreed no co sleeping before DS was born (that feels so nice to type - still gives me butterflies smile ). But, as we were in the hospital for a while after he was born (there was horrible bright strip lighting above the cot and i was too poorly to keep getting out of bed) he started sleeping with me. This has continued since i got home and now he is just over 3 weeks.

We are unsure what to do now. Atm i am in the super king in the nursery with him, and DP is in our bedroom. Ds sleeps on top of the duvet and i sleep under it next to him. I have tried the moses basket but am constantly checking on him so tbh i sleep better knowing he is just beside me. This morning i woke to his big eyes just happily looking back at me. It was one of the happiest moments of my life!

I do miss cuddling DP tho.

midori1999 Fri 05-Oct-12 14:20:47

YABU.

We sometimes bed share with DD. I have had her in our bed on and off since she was born. I do BF and she woke between 1 and 8 times a night until around 9/10 months old, then slept through, then started waking and feeding frequently all night again. Now she sleeps through again. Bed sharing has saved me from being utterly exhausted and made breastfeeding easier because of that.

DD goes down in her own cot when she first goes to bed for the night although prior to her doing that DH and I took turns holding/cuddling her until we went to bed, and then I either get her in bed with me when she first wakes or if I feel like cuddling up with her.

She moves all over in her cotbed, but stays between me and the bed rail in my bed. I wouldn't leave her in there unattended though. It's natural for babies, especially young babies to wriggle over to a warm person, so they naturally stay near you.

The only adjustment our room has needed is a bed rail.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Fri 05-Oct-12 14:41:36

This is how we do it. DH sleeps on the floor on an air bed, this is because he's very restless sleeper and moves around a lot. DS3 sort of sleeps in the middle of the bed and I'm curled around him. I make sure that my head is slightly lower than the top of his so that reduces the risk of me pulling blankets over his head.

I've given up using a duvet and have a quilt and a sheet instead, light coverings are better when co-sleeping you see.

DS comes to bed the same time we do, he has a wakeful period at around 8 or 9 PM and when he goes to sleep after that, we head up to bed too.

Before I get criticised for making DH sleep on the floor, it's a sacrifice he willing makes so that I (and him too) can get a good nights sleep. By co-sleeping I can bf lying down. DS is still sleepy when he gets fed so he usually goes back to sleep fairly quickly after his feed. I don't need to worry about moving him and waking him up again. Last night he woke up twice for a feed and went back to sleep straight away. I doubt I was up over an hour in total and when I woke up this morning I felt quite rested, as did DH when he woke up. DS3 is 2 weeks old.

I didn't co-sleep with my first two and I can remember those awful nights of feeding a baby and trying to put him or her back in the moses basket only to have them wake up and then having to offer a comfort feed and then trying to get them moved back in to the basket, rinse and repeat. I ended up co-sleeping on some nights, not intentionally but because I was so exhausted. I did some reading up on co-sleeping before I had DC3 because I figured that as it was inevitable, I might as well learn how to be safe about it.

CrunchyFrog Fri 05-Oct-12 15:47:42

The only adjustment I made was to ditch a pillow so I only had one thin one, that was it!

Scheherezade Fri 05-Oct-12 15:50:07

I could never work out the logistics of duvet/pillows. We have a 500+ year old cottage in the country, it gets VERY cold. Duvets need to be up around the ears and DS well wrapped up. Duvets round waists isn't a possibility.

hellymelly Fri 05-Oct-12 15:53:59

My dds are 5 and 7 and haven't ever left the bed! They go to bed together at about 7-7.30 and then DH and I go up when we want to. We have a single bed butted up against a king size as DH was getting too squashed and ended up in the girl's room half the time. I have moments where I wish they were elsewhere, when I get elbowed in the eye at 2 a.m, but mostly it is cosy and waking up with them is lovely. I have left it up to them to choose where they want to sleep so far.

sweetkitty Fri 05-Oct-12 15:56:33

I've coslept with all four to just beyond a year each. We had a cosleeper cot where one side slide under the cot and it was at the same height as the bed although depending which side the baby last fed on that's what side they slept on.

Have never rolled on the baby etc you know they are there same with falling out the bed. You never fall out of bed do you?

I loved cosleeping and miss it dearly.

Raspberryandorangesorbet Fri 05-Oct-12 15:58:00

viv - why is it not safe?

I co sleep with mine and have done since birth (even in hospital for the first three nights - the nurses raised their eyebrows but smiled...) I can't imagine anything more hideous than having to get out of bed to feed DS! Would make me livid! grin

monkeysbignuts Fri 05-Oct-12 16:00:35

I co slept with my first baby as he fed almost constant for the first 6 months and after that he woke once or twice a night. It made my life easier and more manageable to just co sleep otherwise I was like a zombie!
we managed to move him into a cot around 11 months then into his own room at 12 months when he was sleeping a lot better.
My daughter only used to wake around 5am for a feed so I would bring her into our bed for that in hope of a bit longer sleep.

BoffinMum Fri 05-Oct-12 16:01:45

With young babies I put them down the bed a bit so they are away from my pillow, and sort of curl around them. They can almost bf themselves in this postion. I don't sleep deeply, it's more of a doze really, but I get more sleep than if they were out of the bed IYSWIM.

After about 9 months they get a bit big for this so we make a kind of nest in the middle of our bed for them if necessary.

Usually after 4-5 months they are happier in their own cot though.

I understand the sleeping, I just don't understand the getting them to sleep! My two go to bed around 7.30. Much as I'm sometimes tempted, I can't do that! They would go crawling off if they weren't in a cot. How do co-sleepers manage evenings?

JugglingWithPossibilities Fri 05-Oct-12 16:07:56

I'm a good sleeper - the only thing that has ever woken me up is my babies - they found it easier to get my attention sleeping next to me !
I think it may have been their decision as much as mine smile

Raspberryandorangesorbet Fri 05-Oct-12 16:08:32

I put mine into my bed (which s on the floor) at half 7ish and leave him there until I join him at which point he revs up for a nice night of snacking at the milk bar

When he goes into his own room I plan to have him just on a floor bed so I can join him when if he needs me to. And yes, he will probably crawl around the room, but that's ok.

bonkersLFDT20 Fri 05-Oct-12 16:09:36

This is what we did:
DH in spare room.
DS2 co-slept from day 1. Just laid him on the bed and I slept next to him. Yes, I did sometimes get a bit achy from being in the same position for long periods of time, but I never had to get out of bed!

When he got a bit older, around 3 months I think, I then started to settle him at bedtime in his cot. He would then join me when he first woke. Did away with pillows and duvet on his side.

We did go through wriggly periods when I would return him to his cot after BF, and periods where I thought he was just BF all night. Carried on anyway. Used a bedrail once he was mobile.

Now (he's 3 1/2) he goes to bed after stories and creeps in next to me at some point (no idea what time) and has some Mummy Milk. I do get nights when he's snuggled up so close to me it's ridiculous, so I'll shove gently move him away, often to be greeted with a sleepy "but I just want to sleep next to you"....awwww.

I never did go through the utter exhaustion I did with my first (not just down to co-sleeping I'm sure).

PiedWagtail Fri 05-Oct-12 16:11:16

I co-slept with ds from birth on and off. It was just easier than putting him down in his moses basket etc after feeding. We have a super king size bed so there was plenty of room.

I swaddled him so he was away from our duvet and pillows. Put a pillow on his other side so he couldn't fall out. I kind of curled myself round him - instinctively. Meant he could latch on and feed in the night.

I used to wake up in the same position as I had gone to sleep in. I knew he was there, yet could still sleep. Worked for us.... but I can still remember how lovely it was to be able to sleep by myself and stretch out and not worry about ds!!!

OvO Fri 05-Oct-12 16:13:42

When mine were babies I swapped my huge heavy duvet for a single one and just had 2 pillows in the bed instead of my usual 8. (I have a pillow addiction) I also used a bed thingy. What are they called? Those doodahs that you put at the side of beds so children don't fall out? Mind has gone blank. Well one of those things then baby in middle and a pillow at the bottom when they were at the escaping age to stop them escaping in that direction.

I still co-sleep with my Ds3 who is 5 next month. I still like it so no plans to stop. If he's in his own bed he gets woken by his big brother and gets up at 6.30am but in with me he sleeps until 8am at the very earliest but usually around 9am. Seems a no brainer to me. grin

Now the only problems with co sleeping is who gets the fan side. Me dammit! It's MY side. <scowly face>

Raspberryandorangesorbet Fri 05-Oct-12 16:15:07

Bed guard?

Bed rail?

NellyBluth Fri 05-Oct-12 16:15:14

Twelve, that's what I was thinking! DD would never stay still on her own in a bed, but goes to sleep almost 3 hours before we do.

I'm spotting a common theme here and it is breastfeeding. It would be fascinating if we were able to see how many breast-feeding mums cosleep v how many formula-feeding mums.

A question for those whose DH's sleep in another bed (and to reiterate I'm asking nicely and am just nosy curious), do you find that ok in the long-term? Do you feel it has an affect on your relationship?

JugglingWithPossibilities Fri 05-Oct-12 16:21:13

DH was a bit put out at being ousted by the babies for a long while, but it was kind of his choice to move out once they moved in ! I was just doing what I could to get everyone reasonably happily through the night ! I guess he had to fend for himself for a bit - but at least he got an un-interrupted night's sleep. I'm not going to feel too sorry for him ! (though you may if you wish !)

Scheherezade Fri 05-Oct-12 16:21:27

But how do you an baby keep warm in winter without bog duvets and blankets?! Our house is FREEZING at night.

MrsTittleMouse Fri 05-Oct-12 16:23:48

Baby sleeping bag for us. smile

OvO Fri 05-Oct-12 16:24:21

That's the one, Raspberry! Thanks. grin

Nelly, my DH sleeps in the same room but a different bed. I think it's been a positive for our relationship as I can't kick the bugger for snoring now! Bruised shins make for sad marriages. wink

But seriously, we all sleep better with this method and enough sleep makes a huuuuuuuge difference to daytime hours. We're all the happier for it even though my DH and I don't share a bed just because we are well rested. Tiredness makes me evil.

Thumbwitch Fri 05-Oct-12 16:26:24

I find it ok to be in a different bed from DH, tbh. He snores and farts and kicks - DS was much easier to sleep with but I'm still happier on my own. I'm a light sleeper and get woken easily, plus DH is often up at 5-6am, while I'm a night owl and prefer to go through til 8 (DS is also a night owl).

DH does think that we should end up sleeping together again, but he ignores the practicalities of the situation - I like sheet, blanket, duvet where he prefers just duvet although has been trained to accept sheet and duvet; the king size is too soft and hot for me - it's a pillow-top mattress whereas my double bed is not - it's the right firmness and doesn't get so hot. We both get fairly grouchy if our sleep is disturbed. I also like to read myself back to sleep if I have troubles sleeping - this doesn't go down well with DH; he prefers to watch the TV to sleep - I can't do this.

On the whole I think DH only feels we should share a bed again because that's what married people do - practically he's actually just as happy with the set-up as I am (although he'd prefer to be the one who had the bed to himself again, I'm sure! grin)

OvO Fri 05-Oct-12 16:27:16

Scheherazade, I made sure my DS's had plenty of layers on in winter, (both November newborns)plus plenty of baby sized blankets. Plus they get your body heat when you are curled round them.

NellyBluth Fri 05-Oct-12 16:32:52

Oh, OvO, I hear you on the snoring! We used to have a spare double bed and DP could go and sleep in there when he was having a fidgety, snoring night, I miss that sooo much. I'm not going to disagree with anyone that separate beds can be great, they can be a bloody lifesaver, but I think if I had spent the past 8 months not sharing a bed with DP at all I would... miss the intimacy. And not in a nudge-nudge, wink-wink way grin. Though I appreciate you are replacing that with a extra time with your baby.

Scheherezade Fri 05-Oct-12 16:40:50

Ovo but what about yourself? Having a duvet round your knees is useless, and you can't bf with a big wooly jumper and long johns grin

I tried but just couldn't keep us both warm, so DS slept next to me in a Moses basket. I bf.

OvOntToSuckYourBlood Fri 05-Oct-12 16:46:00

My blubber kept me warm. grin

Sorry, it's me OvO, just slipped into my Halloween outfit. wink

I dunno, I was fine. Hot water bottle for my toes and I was toasty. And I'm talking about Scotland in winter and no heating on. Thinking about it, I'm clearly a freak. Or reeeeeeally blubbery. Maybe a bit of both!

SeveredEdMcDunnough Fri 05-Oct-12 16:51:52

That's very good, Ovo. I am thinking shortlist for you...oh yes smile

greenbananas Fri 05-Oct-12 16:52:58

For those who are wondering about the logistics of co-sleeping, we have a double mattress on the floor with a single mattress pushed up next to it. Even if baby does fall out of bed, it is only a few inches to the carpet. I share the double mattress with DS1 (and also with the new baby when he arrives in 4 weeks time) and DH sleeps on the single mattress right next to us. Our bedroom looks a bit weird and 'hippy', but it works for us and we are lucky to have the space.

I think breastfeeding makes a big difference to co-sleeping - breastfeeding mothers are more conditioned to respond to little wriggles and tiny noises. Co-sleeping/breastfeeding mums don't go into that very deep cycle of sleep which is hard to wake from (sleep research has shown this by hooking mums up with lots of little monitors, but I can't remember the names of the researchers blush )

DS is a wriggler who likes to sleep like a starfish, but I have learned the art of pulling him back under the blankets without really waking up properly. On the other hand, I am awake very quickly if his breathing becomes laboured (he has suffered from asthma in the past). DH says that one night I slept through a load of shouting in the street and a full-on and noisy fight between two drunken blokes followed by half an hour of the police helicopter directly overhead, but that I then woke up instantly when DS coughed and reached for me.

OvOntToSuckYourBlood Fri 05-Oct-12 16:54:40

Thanks Ed, but I actually won <insert fake modest blush here> last year with this name and they don't let you into the comp with the same name. Woe. I'm so hard done by.

wink

SeveredEdMcDunnough Fri 05-Oct-12 17:00:45

Did you? Oh my. See, I clearly have good taste grin

It is a very good name.

You'll have to think of another one this year then.

BoffinMum Fri 05-Oct-12 17:04:40

I think co-sleeping and bf go hand in hand, really. Having one without the otehr doesn't quite work.

That's a good one, I have no idea what to change to for halloween

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Fri 05-Oct-12 17:53:14

A question for those whose DH's sleep in another bed (and to reiterate I'm asking nicely and am just nosy curious), do you find that ok in the long-term? Do you feel it has an affect on your relationship?
In the long term DH will be back in bed with me. Him sleeping apart is only short-term while DS is teenie.

greenabananas Prof Helen Ball perhaps?

hairytale Fri 05-Oct-12 18:08:01

My previously sleeping through baby (8 months old) seems to have become unable to settle for more than an hour in her cot. So we have the side down and when she wakes, I have her in with me. We've all got a better sleep since we started to do that.

greenbananas Fri 05-Oct-12 18:28:39

Teenstrop - yes, it was Prof Helen Ball who did that research. Thank you!

wheresmespecs Fri 05-Oct-12 19:39:14

DS was about 10 months, I think, when we STARTED properly co-sleeping. I'd had him in a bedside cot, then a cot in the same room, then tried to move him into the next room in the cot....

Problem was that he woke multiple times during the night, and took ages to resettle. He was EBF but would take a bottle of breast milk, so night duties could be shared a bit - but we were both horribly horribly sleep deprived.

My mother said just to take him into bed with me - best solution. Rather than waking and screaming and getting upset, he still wakes (no longer BFs, he's over 2, stopped of his own accord) - but he just fidgets, mutters, puts an arm out to find me, or I put my arm round him, and he goes back to sleep.

It's like he just wants to know I'm there. He still gets a drink of milk during the night if he sits up and asks for it - then goes back to sleep. I have obviously got used to waking up during the night, but being able to stay in bed and fall back to sleep as soon as he does.

i have no idea how to persuade him to sleep in his own bed now! and DP spends most of his night in the spare room, but we all get enough sleep and that's so much better than stumbling out of bed and sitting in a chair or beside a cot 5 times a night.

We use a bedrail. DS sleeps under the duvet with me if he's cold, or on top of the duvet if he's warm. He kicks it off if he doesn't want it, fidgets over to where he wants to sleep - occasionally we argue about whether or not he is allowed to sleep on top of me, and I have to plonk him on the other side of the bed.

I find it very reassuring, tbh. Lying in bed with my little boy sleeping soundly. It makes me happy.

filetheflightoffancy Fri 05-Oct-12 19:53:09

When you co-sleep, what does your child do for daytime naps? Do they just go in your bed in the day with a bed rail or something?

I know that co-sleeping is definitely not for us. Any time that DS has ever come into bed with us I have never been able to sleep properly, I just lie there totally rigid, terrified that I will either roll onto him or my moving will wake him up. I also get pushed more and more to the edge of the bed as he kicks and squirms about and I dont want to shove him back into the middle!

SeveredEdMcDunnough Fri 05-Oct-12 20:05:41

Mine used to sleep in a cot in the kitchen, or on the sofa, or in a little crib or whatever.

Plenty of alternatives.

I have a cot this time, again, which I plan to use during the day so he will be safe when I'm not next to him and can't fall out etc.

wheresmespecs Fri 05-Oct-12 20:30:12

My DS never napped in a cot. I think when he was tiny, like about a week, he slept in a moses basket occasionally or in a rocker thingy - but otherwise he would only sleep on people, or in a buggy.

There are 'travel' bed rails which attach in seconds to pretty much any bed - make a bed a bit like a giant toddler bed - and I'd be quite happy leaving a wriggly baby on a bed with these on either side.

An unexpected bonus of co-sleeping has been travel, in fact - toddler plus mum or dad will sleep in a double bed or big single, if you just pack a bed rail. No need to worry if there's a cot, and will it be comfy and will DS sleep in it etc - no need to take a travel cot. He just comes in with us.

Hmm, put Ds to bed in his cot with him standing up at the bars, bashing poor teddy's brains out on the edge. He falls asleep two minutes after the lights go out, but I don't think a bed rail would keep him in!

Shagmundfreud Fri 05-Oct-12 20:39:05

Lord knows how billions of people have managed to co-sleep with their babies since time began. I mean, the logistics! hmm

MarzipanAnimal Fri 05-Oct-12 20:44:43

Mothers have an amazing instinctive awareness of their babies even when fast asleep. DS came into bed with me at just over a year old when DH was away for a couple of nights (didn't normally cosleep, though did a bit more when he was younger) - I was sound asleep next to DS (but not touching him) when he rolled over and fell off the edge of the bed. I caught him before he hit the floor and he didnt even wake up! I was well impressed with myself! grin
Nights when he's been suffering badly with teething, the only way we've been able to sleep is with him attached to my boob. It's a lifesaver! I do generally prefer my own space at night though so I'm glad he sleeps happily in his cot most of the time.

sunflowerseeds Fri 05-Oct-12 20:48:22

How long do you carry on cosleeping? I know someone (single SAHM) who slept with her son until he was 10. I don't think she bf all that time.

maddening Fri 05-Oct-12 20:58:31

I wear my dressing gown when it's cold so no cold shoulders or back

NellyBluth Fri 05-Oct-12 20:59:43

Marzipan, I'm impressed with you too, those are some good reflexes!#

Shag, thanks, but as I mentioned in my OP I was on about high beds, duvets, pillows, electric lights (and thus people staying awake for a lot longer than they ever used to), things that we haven't had since time began, and all the things you get warned about as risk factors with babies.

Teenstop, yes, you're right, it is only for a short time. Things can feel like such a long time, though, when babies are small <thinks back to how long those few months of waking every 2-3 hours felt at the time>

Does anyone know what percentage of parents do cosleep, has anyone ever looked in to that? Obviously with a thread title like this the overwhelming number of people replying are going to be cosleepers. I think it would be really interesting to know.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 05-Oct-12 21:03:12

Greenbananas (fellow allergy mum I think?) we do exactly the same as you, double and singlr mattress etc.

Ds doesnt move about the bed much, not like DS1 dud. Its probably because he's always had to share with an adult though.

DuelingFanjo Fri 05-Oct-12 21:03:53

for naps ds sleps on my (our) bed. we have a fancy video monitor so if he wakes i can see if he's going to leap off the bed.

I still co-sleep with DS, who is 3. I think you get very tuned in. When he was poorly, a year or so ago, I was able to lurch out of sleep and get him sat upright to a handy bucket just before he threw up. Still no idea how I did it, I was definitely asleep until seconds before.

BertieBotts Germany Fri 05-Oct-12 21:13:57

I think the breastfeeding connection is fairly obvious - the main draw is being able to feed in your sleep grin Of course the snuggling up is nice too and the fact they seem more settled in general but if you're bottlefeeding you'd have to sit up to do that anyway so surely it wouldn't make much difference.

We used to have a sidecar cot and at first I found I slept curled around DS in the "C" shaped position and used to get sore hips, but after a few weeks I found I could scoot him away from me a bit to change position if I needed to.

I don't drink much so didn't miss drinking at all, on the odd occasion I wanted to drink I put him right into the cot part so I couldn't roll on him. Once he was a year or so I didn't worry so much about the odd glass of wine but would always sleep apart if I felt "drunk".

I like a smoke now but didn't smoke at all from finding out I was pregnant until when DS was 18 months old. I did still have him in my bed for just under a year after then but I tried to minimise the effect by never smoking in the last hour or two before I went to bed (it makes me feel too wired to sleep anyway), always staying in the garden away from the door, staying out for a few minutes after finishing and I'd wash my hair and hands after the last cigarette and brush my teeth, and never smoked in clothes I wore to bed, any outside clothing I smoke in stays downstairs too (coats etc). Also I stopped having my face close up to his when he was asleep in case I was breathing out chemicals etc.

I stopped when he started developing annoying duvet habits! Also I noticed around that time he slept better if I slept elsewhere. Now sometimes he comes in in the night (rarely) but mostly we can't sleep together as we annoy each other. He likes his bed and I like mine!

When he was little I used to let him snooze on and off downstairs on me or near me and then we'd just take him up when we went to bed. As he's got older and had a "bedtime" I've just lain with him and/or fed him to sleep and then got up and gone about my evening. Or fallen asleep. As sometimes happens when I'm very tired.

Daytime naps again just used to happen wherever he was... buggy or car seat, sling, on me, or baby bouncer or on the sofa. I think I had one of those mythical babies who just falls asleep when they're tired with no enticing though...

BertieBotts Germany Fri 05-Oct-12 21:14:42

Ha, I've experienced the sick-predicting thing too! It's a handy talent grin

Fakebook Fri 05-Oct-12 21:16:13

I've co slept with both my children. It's very easy. For the first 3 months I kept them on top of a pillow with Muslim cloth under their head and their own blanket. I moved them side to side as I breastfed. DH and I just become more weary of our babies when they're in bed with us. My DS is 9 months and he comes under the duvet with us during the night now, when I breastfeed. I love co sleeping. It's always a bit scary the first few weeks but you develop your own style and routine. As long as baby doesn't overheat or is in a dangerous place, then it's pretty straightforward.

Fakebook Fri 05-Oct-12 21:17:15

Omg. MUSLIN cloth. Don't know what a Muslim cloth is!

PrideOfChanur Fri 05-Oct-12 21:26:34

And Facebook - "weary of our babies",or did you mean "wary"?? grin

as an ex-cosleeper,I reckon both were true for us at different stages!!

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 05-Oct-12 21:26:53

It's really interesting reading the night time goings on in everyone's houses when they have a baby smile

We co slept and bfed, and with ds1 we eventually bought a specific bedside cot because the one I chose first was beautiful but completely impractical and that worked perfectly. It meant I got to be close to him but he was safe in his own little space, and exdp could sleep with us. We had three months of just getting through the night any way we could with the Moses basket was clearly failing before deciding to go with properly co sleeping.

By the time dc2 came along ds1 was two years old and in his own bed most of the time, so he went straight into the bedside cot.

I co-slept with my two. With dd it was because that was the only way to get any sleep. With ds, we thought, 'Well that worked last time...' I used to settle the to sleep in our bed, then leave them to go downstairs. We had a BabyBjorn bedguard on our bed (wouldn't work on a divan, but ours is a slatted mattress. They wore a grobag, so that they could sleep outside of the duvet. I slept mainly on my side, facing the baby, and yes, I was curled around them. The duvet went over me, but not over my shoulders. In cold weather I wore a warm pyjama top.

My mum was convinced I'd roll on them (I didn't, in the same way that I don't roll out of bed), smother them (I didn't) or they'd roll out (they couldn't - bed guard). They didn't wriggle much - perhaps because there wasn't much room, what with three of us in there.

The other thing people felt strangely led to ask me was, 'Where do you have sex?' Weird, because I never asked them the same question! I used to reply, 'We've more than one room in the house, you know.'

If your child sleeps fine then I wouldn't change things. Co-sleeping worked well for us, but it was something we did out of necessity, before tagging 'conviction' onto it later. wink In the highly unlikely event that I had another, I'd co-sleep again and would not bother with a cot, given how much my two apparently hated it and how little they slept in it. (Literally, less than a night between them!), but I'm not 'anti-cot'.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Fri 05-Oct-12 22:54:55

I coslept with DD until she was 4. With DS1 until he was 18mo. Never coslept with DS2, but that was because he preferred his cot. Still cosleeping with DS3, of a sort - he goes down in his bed, then when he wakes for his bottle he climbs in with me. And I can't be arsed to put him back tbh.

DS3 is 20mo. I know they all go to their own beds in their own good time. I suspect DD coslept the longest as a) I worked during the day and she needed 'mummy time' at night, and b) because there was a 4y1mo gap between DD and DS1. She moved to her own bed, through choice, when I was 8 months pg and, in her words "Baby kicking my back, I sleep in my very own bed tonight". And that was the end of cosleeping for her!

RainbowSpiral Sat 06-Oct-12 11:11:09

I only co-slept for the first few weeks of multiple night breast feeds. The reasons are:
1. I like to share a bed with my husband and have sex with the knowledge the children can't hear. If you ban your dh to the spare room you are changing your relationship, but if they need to go to work they may not want to be woken by every feed
2. I put my boys to bed a many hours before I go to bed and so it would be unsafe for small boys to sleep alone in a double bed, much safer in a cot
3. Both my boys loved to cuddle in the day but loved their cots for sleeping. At nap time they'd have crawled off a mattress on the floor, they were very active.

adrastea Sat 06-Oct-12 23:05:04

I co-slept with my son from birth until he was about 13 months or so and then on/off till he was about 3 - sometimes sleeping on a mattress in our room or sometimes in a bed in his room. I barely noticed him breastfeeding at night. When he was tiny, I would wake up in the morning and get a fright and be sure I had neglected to feed him overnight but H would say 'No, he fed about 5 times'. I just didn't remember because I didn't woke up properly and fell fast asleep again very quickly. He didn't properly wake at all to nurse, mostly he did it in his sleep. There are videos showing mothers and infants sleeping filmed in sleep laboratories and you'll see how their movements synchronise and how infants sleep when next to their mothers. Toddlers are more of a PITA to share a bed with!

To co-sleep safely you need a very firm mattress. H & I had separate duvets and DS had those gro-bags. We used, at different times, a bed rail/attached cot/him in middle when older.

In the evenings, he went to sleep with us downstairs and then carried him to bed when I went to sleep. When he was a toddler, I think we put him in the big bed on his own.

It's not right for every family, but we loved co-sleeping - it meant I was hardly sleep deprived at all and I felt as if I had 8 hours uninterrupted sleep 9 nights out of 10 from almost the beginning. Never had to consider sleep training or get out of bed or any of that stuff. He more or less slept through (as he nursed in his sleep) except for during the typical sleep regressions but they didn't last long.

Seenenoughtoknow Sun 07-Oct-12 00:13:24

I have co slept with my dc's from birth to a year and a half/two years. A king size bed with a side attached to stop baby falling out works for us. This makes life easier for breastfeeding.
I always go to bed earlier than dh to settle baby and feed to sleep.
We always kept the duvet to our waists and only a sheet higher until baby was about 10 months old - even after 10 months the duvet is no higher than elbows.
From birth to a few months I always slept facing baby with arm out above baby's head so it would be virtually impossible to roll onto baby.
No pillows for me during early months.
Alcohol is a complete no no for the years baby is with us - I would never forgive myself.
I read that during co sleeping baby and Mum become attuned so the heavy and light sleep patterns apparently happen at the same time, so you seem to wake naturally when baby wakes for feeds etc. This definitely happened for me. The only time this is apparently compromised is if Mum is seriously over tired (should try to nap with baby during day to avoid this) or has taken drugs or alcohol - a definite no no when choosing to co sleep.

Dh and I have loved having our babies in bed with us and wouldn't do it any other way.

mumnosGOLDisbest Sun 07-Oct-12 00:32:38

another co-sleeper here.

ds 'slept' in his cot and i used matchsticks to keep my eyes open.

dd1 had a cot but always ended up with us.

dd2 is 8 months and currently snuggled up fast asleep.

we have a normal double bed up against the wall. dd is always either between me and dh or between me and the wall. to begin with we had 2 quilts ( 1 for me 1 for dh) and dd had a blanket. now she comes under our quilt. she sleeps really well, no tossing or turning and we instinctively sleep around her without squashing her.

to me this is the natural way to sleep and what people did before cots smile

NellyBluth Sun 07-Oct-12 07:32:42

Didn't realise this was still ticking over.

There's definitely a few common themes here, breast-feeding being the main one, but also a bad sleeper. If you've lucked out with a good sleeper who likes their cot, then the thought of changing to co-sleeping is less tempting - probably one of the reasons why I find it a little baffling. If I was terribly sleep-deprived and stressed I imagine it would seem a lot more tempting.

Also, it sounds as if most people have done at least a something different to the set up in their room - bed against the wall, bed rails, mattress on the floor, or even DH in another room. Which confirms my suspicions that however well meant the suggestion is, people suggesting that sleep problems can just be fixed by suddenly starting co-sleeping when the bay is 9mo is not entirely practical.

Seenenoughtoknow Sun 07-Oct-12 08:00:33

Co sleeping was a choice my dh and I made before our babies were born.
I had read about SIDS and read it was less common in breastfed babies and babies who co sleep (as long as it is done properly with safety guidelines) so we chose to do it from the birth of our babies.
We have not regretted it at all.

NumericalMum Sun 07-Oct-12 08:24:07

I think the theme is you can't share with a partner, you can't drink, must breast feed and realise that any additional sleep you may get won't be "proper" sleep?

My DD was breastfed and up every 2-3 hours minimum for 9 months plus. I desperately wanted to co sleep to help my sanity but I found having her in bed meant I slept even less, waking with every murmur and I really missed being able to give my DH a cuddle in bed. Perhaps we were the ones where co sleeping wasn't for us.

adrastea Sun 07-Oct-12 09:18:49

I think the theme is you can't share with a partner, you can't drink, must breast feed and realise that any additional sleep you may get won't be "proper" sleep?
Where do you get that from? Yes, of course you can share with a partner and the additional sleep you get is 'proper' - I felt perfectly rested.

I found having her in bed meant I slept even less, waking with every murmur
Yes, it doesn't work for everyone. Although there's no reason for you not to have been able to give your DH a cuddle - not sure why you couldn't.

There's definitely a few common themes here, breast-feeding being the main one, but also a bad sleeper.
Hmm, why bad sleeper? How are you defining 'good' or 'bad' sleeper? I think my son was a brilliant sleeper? Yes, co-sleeping is only recommended as safe for breastfed babies.

people suggesting that sleep problems can just be fixed by suddenly starting co-sleeping when the bay is 9mo is not entirely practical.
Well, there is a big sleep regression at 9 months. It's pretty universal that sleep goes to pot at 9 months so I don't there is a 'problem' that can be 'fixed'. Co-sleeping is not going to 'fix' something completely normal. I have no idea how I'd have managed to get through the bad sleep phases without co-sleeping, and I think it can definitely help to try it in the early days but probably not much later on as mother/baby won't be used to it.

MainlyMaynie Sun 07-Oct-12 09:31:09

NumericalMum, I co-sleep and DH has always remained in the bed too! I also have a drink, but just one several hours before bedtime. I sleep fine and get to cuddle DH!

Nellybluth, my DS is a good sleeper as long as he's in my bed! He was also great in a hammock until he got too big at around 6 months (he's massive).

BertieBotts Germany Sun 07-Oct-12 09:45:28

I planned it before birth as well and had a fairly good sleeper. Just if I'm honest, liked the idea of not having to get out of bed. I hate getting up when it's cold and moving/walking about usually wakes me up beyond the point of no return.

It's not for everyone but for me it makes perfect sense.

NellyBluth Sun 07-Oct-12 09:56:11

adrastea, you're right, "fix" is probably the wrong word to use in referring to any issues like this! And of course 'good' sleeper is also a relative term for every family.

You're later point is kind of what I'm referring to, about mother and baby being used to sleeping separately. I'm sure if you cosleep from day one its very natural and you ease in to longer, deeper sleeps while your baby is in your bed. But its when it is suggested for older babies going through sleep regression that I suppose I get 'baffled'. If DD has the 9mo regression (and you can all laugh at me if I'm back in a few weeks going "aaargh!" smile) then because she is very used to her own cot and her own room my natural instinct would be to try some of the sleep training methods first to try and settle her, and cosleeping would pretty much be the bottom of the list. I feel it would unsettle all of us and result in less sleep all around. Also, I've read how other people manage it and I look at our bedroom, our house, and also DP's shift work, and can't see how it would realistically work (hence my use of the term logistics earlier on).

It is probably one of those things that comes down to both gut feeling and experience. For example, I could wax lyrical for hours about the benefits of a dreamfeed and how that radically improved sleep for everyone. But some people will just instinctively feel that they don't want to unsettle their baby at 11pm, or feel unsure/nervous about feeding a baby who is asleep, or they will try it and find that it doesn't work.

BertieBotts Germany Sun 07-Oct-12 10:25:07

That makes sense Nelly smile

mumnosGOLDisbest Sun 07-Oct-12 11:05:24

agree with nelly. its best to do it from the start but with ds he did sleep with us at various ages when he was under the weather, teething etc. he still slept well and we didnt need to get up for him in the night. i did sleep lighter as i wasn't used to it. also want to say we've coslept with dd2 from birth. didn't move or add furniture, dh sleeps with us, have an occasional wine and all sleep brilliantly.

1789 Fri 19-Oct-12 16:14:21

Co-slept from birth with both - accidentally with the first and with conviction with the second! DD1 slept in a sling or moses basket in the evenings until she was about 5 months and then I would take her up to our bed when I was ready to go to sleep. I did try the cot a couple of times - but always gave up the second she needed to feed - and I always slept better when she was cuddled up next to me and I wasn't worried about listening out for her to wake up.

We are lucky because we have a spare room with a double bed so now DD2 (23 months) goes to sleep there (with bed guards) and then I just join her when she wakes up in the middle of the night (usually around 4 or 5am) although she has started sleeping through the night recently (I think because the mornings are darker). This actually makes me so sad because I miss our cuddle time when she is just waking up!

As someone else said, if we have a third, I am definitely not even bothering with a cot!

HearMyRoar Fri 19-Oct-12 16:48:46

We cosleep and have done on and off since dd was born. Dp has always been in the bed too and has never slept in a different room. I would have dd on my side of the bed on the earl days and because I could feed her before she started crying he often didn't even notice that she had woken in the night. Now she is 7 months and I am back at work she sleeps between us so dp can help settle her more if she wakes.

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