Co-sleeping is apparently the only way forward....

(39 Posts)
Dollybird86 Thu 01-Aug-13 21:59:47

Hi I dont know if im putting this in the right place but here we go...

Im currently 28weeks pregnant with PFB and 2 particular family members keep insisting that I should just except that co-sleeping is the only way in the early months and that having no routine is the easiest way to do things.
1 of these people in particular is very much an easy road kind of person when it comes to everything especially her kids and alot of her parenting methods arent for me. (There is no way of me telling her this without sounding rude) I would much rather have a routine and it be difficult in the first few months than end up with a child that will not sleep by themselves this is pretty much mine and my dh main fear!
I saw her yesterday and she seemed very happy to tell me about someone we both know who is very much struggling with new parenthood despite being super organised and a nanny!who is now ff and co-sleeping but shes had to go back to work so very understandable.
All im looking for really is someone to tell me if routine has worked for them and that its worth not just going with what's easy.
Thanks for reading

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 01-Aug-13 22:02:55

Co sleeping might work, it might not. You won't know until you meet your baby. Just smile and nod at the loons who give you absolute definitive advice, they're not worth arguing with.

Good luck with your PFB smile

NumTumDeDum Thu 01-Aug-13 22:14:04

Routine worked like a dream with dd. She positively thrived on it. I could put her down for a nap or for the night and she'd oblige me by putting herself to sleep. Tried that for ds, but it didn't work, and I wasted weeks getting myself wound up and stressed because I couldn't get him into routine. Even now he only has a vague one and he's 8 mo. It very much depends on the child but I think if you're consistent you can definitely influence things. I tried Gina Ford on dd (well picked the bits that worked for me). With ds it's a bit more Tracy Hogg.

lisadmyrtle Thu 01-Aug-13 22:23:48

Co sleeping worked like a dream for us, but I know other people who found it wasn't for them. It's very personal and you will have to see. Breastfeeding and co sleeping meant that we have had very few disturbed nights with two Ds of 5 and 2.

debbie1412 Thu 01-Aug-13 22:27:36

Co sleeping didn't work for either of mine, the minute we moved they woke up. Own bed own noise worked like a charm. Both of mine slept 7-10 hours from 12 wks

lola88 Thu 01-Aug-13 22:28:38

I had a routine from early but we still co slept sometimes i said i wouldn't but you have no idea what you might do for a few hours rest if you have a bad sleeper. Ds went into his cot at 7 and after his 3rd wakening i'd bring him to bed with me just for some sleep he woke up to 9 times a night so all my crap about i will not co sleep went out the window, he started sleeping alone naturally at 12mo.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 01-Aug-13 22:32:41

Dolly- No one can tell you how to parent. Routines may work for you or they may not.

But as much as they are being rude pressurising you to parent a certain way, you are being just as rude and judgemental assuming that their parenting choices are based on what is 'easy'. Co-sleeping doesn't mean you are a lazy parent choosing the line of least resistance. There are lots of very valid reasons people choose to parent that way.

tunnocksteacake Thu 01-Aug-13 22:50:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JollyHolidayGiant Thu 01-Aug-13 22:52:16

Lots of people on here suggest cosleeping if you've got a wakeful baby. For us, cosleeping is not an option we want to use. So we didn't with DS and we won't with DC2. It's not an inevitability.

jewelsandbinoculars Thu 01-Aug-13 23:53:53

I coslept with my DD until she was about 6MO. Didn't look to impose any routine, just went with the flow. One of my NCT friends did Gina pretty much to the letter from day one.

She and I were talking only today about how our DDs (who are now 8 months) have settled into almost identical nap patterns, despite such different approaches to start with. And as it goes, at the moment my DD is sleeping through and hers isn't (but these things change all the time and I aint resting on no laurels!) So there's no great difference now, but there is no question that I enjoyed the first few months of motherhood a LOT more than my friend did, and I'm so glad to have had that experience.

Different approaches/priorities are right for different folks (and different babies) and anyone who tells you otherwise is probably a tool, but my take is that just doing whatever it is that makes you all the happiest in the first few months is probably time and energy well spent.

Congrats btw. It's a lovely, exciting time!

lola88 Fri 02-Aug-13 08:25:29

I agree with amanda you do sound quite judgy tbh she`s prob having a laugh at you on your high horse waiting to see if you follow though when you've had 8 hours sleep over a week. I was very much on my high horse about not doing things the 'easy' way when i was pregnant but after DS was born i realized that the easy way is believe it or not easier and doesn't mean your going to have a brat that rules your life.

FormerlyKnownAsPrincessChick Fri 02-Aug-13 08:59:08

My PFB is now nearly 7 weeks and we do a mixture of her in her basket or in our bed. Sleep and my sanity are more important to me!! And sometimes she just wants to be close and snuggled, other nights shes happy to be put in her own bed. I was keen on getting her settled into a routine and her own bed but since her arrival we've just followed her lead and she's an exceptionally well behaved and happy little thing - we've had 6 hours sleep most nights since she was born. This isn't anything I've done - we're just lucky with her temperament. I didnt really want to co-sleep but we discussed it before she arrived and said it wouldnt be the end of the world if we did. I think its important for everyone to be happy and I try and have preferences rather than absolutes. For me, it was bf. Lots of my friends have recently struggled with bf and switched to ff early on. So I said to myself, I'd prefer to bf but its not the end of the world if I end up ff. Baby will be fed either way. This removes the pressure so so much. So perhaps you could frame it by saying, "I would prefer PFB not to co-sleep with us but if it turns out to be the only option or an occasional thing then that's that". This way you don't set yourself up for failure / put too much pressure on yourself. And you mustn't see that you lost or failed because someone else is seemingly "right". Everything with a new born is trial and error and they change their minds like the wind - you'll see! No-one is right or wrong. When my lo is being cranky and I'm tired I look at her and think you'll only be tiny for a short time, I'd rather enjoy you than freak out cos you won't settle into a routine. And if that means a couple of hours napping between me and her Dad then it's no big deal to me.

Smile and nod at all the unwanted advice and say that's interesting. I had some very unwanted advice from an old lady at a bus stop yesterday but there is no way I'd implement her advice and she spoke to me like I was completely dumb and useless - I smiled and said "hmm yes I wouldn't have thought of that" smiled again and walked away! I'm sure she was well meaning.

And anyway, you can't know until your baby is here. A routine may work brilliantly for you or it may not. I smiled the other day at the EASY baby whisperer routine I'd designed for my baby!! Maybe next time!! Do things your way, enjoy and be happy smile

Congrats btw smile

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Fri 02-Aug-13 11:11:00

Try not to have too much of a plan, for your own sanity! Some babies like routine, some don't. You will have very little say in the matter unless your happy to let him cry.

When pg with DS I had plans of a routine and read all the sleep advice going. I'm a professional, had done 72 hour shifts with no sleep at work in my early years and like to be very organised. Absolutely wasn't going to cosleep.

DS had other ideas!! Ended up giving up on routine after several long months and started co sleeping til 4 months because until you've had a no sleeping baby you DON'T know what sleep deprivation feels like and you would do anything for an hours sleep.

DD is now 14wks and I cosleep from the beginning, now a mixture. Didn't even think about a routine, just let her lead.

DD is FAR more content than DS was and sleeps better. And I've enjoyed it so very much more.

I hope your plans work out for you but if not don't let it feel like a failure. Good luck.

mrsmartin1984 Fri 02-Aug-13 13:41:54

I was dead against co sleeping while pregnant. But when DD was born that soon changed. It was a nightmare trying to get her to sleep in a moses basket and as a result we were SO tried. Co sleeping really changed our lives. I EBF and feeding in the night was so easy. Just latch her on and go back to sleep.

I would never say you have to co sleep. But it might be something you should consider if needed.

Lala29 Fri 02-Aug-13 14:06:21

I knew when pregnant that I wanted a routine, baby in own room, etc. People told me I'll change my mind. Dd was in own room from day 2 and we followed a very strict routine. Yes, it didn't work immediately and required effort on both our parts. But she slept 11-7 from around 8 weeks (she was breastfed).
Co-sleeping and on demand feeding are not an inevitability. However, plenty if people object to strict routines and were very vocal with me about it. Frankly, I had the last laugh as I had a happy baby, who was fed and slept before she knew she wanted to, so barely ever cried (no need!) and husband and I were happy and well rested and enjoyed quality time.

Not for everyone, but if that's what you want, do it and screw others who think they know better.

Whilst it's interesting to think about how you'd like to parent your baby when expecting PFB in many ways you have to wait until they're here and then go with what works best for you all - it's not really a case of taking the easiest path, just the one which works for you !

Dollybird86 Fri 02-Aug-13 16:49:07

Thanks so much all of you I really have no idea what im going to end up with baby wise but im going to try and keep an open mind and see what comes.
Lala 29 did u follow any routine in particular?

Thanks

rowtunda Fri 02-Aug-13 17:08:11

It really is a cliche but you just can't plan these things. I didn't co sleep and had a very rough routine (baby whisperer EASY routine) I breastfed (and I do sort of think you have to do that on demand) but baby was in own room early & always put in cot for naps - harder in the early days but worth the effort from my pov

I have a friend who cosleeps, babywears and hasno routine. It looks like a bloody nightmare to me as baby can't sleep without her or being held etc. but my friend & her baby are very happy and have there own way of doing things.

Neither way is better I suppose and neither easier - you just do what seems natural to you & your little person.

LittleBearPad Fri 02-Aug-13 17:17:00

Regardless of whether you co sleep SIDS guidance is that the baby should be in your room until 6 months. We never co slept but having dd in our room made nightimes a lot easier.

It's very important to remember is that whatever book you read and plan to follow - your baby won't have read it. So be prepared to go with the flow a bit.

Lala29 Fri 02-Aug-13 17:23:43

I had a book called Baby Secrets, as Gina ford scared me when I was pregnant. But to be honest, it's exactly the same thing, just expressed nicer. After a few months I was doing a combination of the 2 books (taking advice as I needed it) and probably did mostly Gina after a bit. I did adapt the routines slightly to suit us (DD needed more sleep than books suggested,) so I just kept her on a routine for a younger baby for a while.

It's not a miracle answer and comes with its own problems (you have to plan your life around a routine, adapt which activities you do, etc). But it was worth it for me, I still managed to do loads of stuff and unlike many of my mum friends, never had to rush home with a screaming baby, because baby was hungry or overtired. And never is not an exaggeration by the way.

It doesn't work for everyone, but ilike my life to be 100% planned out, so it worked for me (and gave me confidence, as I had no idea what I was doing having never really been around babies).

Lollypop1983 Fri 02-Aug-13 17:31:32

I always said I would not co-sleep, and my LO would have a routine.

My LO is now 17 weeks. He comes into our bed early morning so we can get a couple of extra hours sleep. We don't really have a routine. U won't know til u meet ur baby. Every baby is different.

badguider Fri 02-Aug-13 17:35:25

Co-sleeping actually in our bed wont' work for dh and I no matter what the lo wants (due in 5 weeks).
So we've hired a 'sidecar' cot which can be put alongside our bed level with us so it's almost like co-sleeping, or it can have it's side up up and moved away from our bed (wouldn't put them in their own room at first due to SIDS advice anyway).

My approach so far has been to try to prepare to be flexible (if that isnt' an oxymoron!)... we'll see how well it works in a few weeks smile

milk Fri 02-Aug-13 17:36:37

Moses basket at the side of the bed worked for both of my children smile

MrsHoarder Fri 02-Aug-13 17:41:30

I would say its worth knowing cosleeping guidelines and being prepared to do it if its something you aren't dead set against.

Then you can have light blankets clean and folded near the bed so if you decide to go for it you don't need your duvet, know about not drinking etc. But if its something you will only do if its really tough you don't want to be researching and hunting for bedding whilst at breaking point.

cpic Fri 02-Aug-13 18:05:27

I have bought the troll bedside crib from ebay so baby can be right next to me for night bfs. we have been lent a moses that he will probably nap in downstairs for the first few weeks then I hope to establish naps in the crib too, when we are at home. I reckon openmindedness is the key though, not going to beat myself up if it goes another way. smile

waterrat Fri 02-Aug-13 21:22:35

If your baby is screaming at 4 am and you have not had more than a few hours sleep each night for months on end - you may well want to bring that baby in to your bed and the relief you will feel as they fall asleep next to you is indescribable !

I hope your baby sleeps well - but routines are not easy to establish with all babies - most babies in te early months want your body heat and your heartbeat next to them - I don't know any babies who obediently slept in their Moses basket for daytime naps in the first weeks! Most prefer to be in your arms

Please don't fixate yourself on one way and a routine - all children find a rhythm as they grow - we co slept and then moved easily to cot sleeping - it's not a big deal, go with what they need at the time

Even if it takes some work to transition to own cot/ routine etc later on - that's no more work than you would have put in at the beginning

I think you should relax a bit - you do sound judgemental - your friend just wants you to know what worked for her

Lala29 Fri 02-Aug-13 22:20:12

My DD slept very well in her bouncer or pram for daytime naps since pretty much the beginning (maybe after a couple of weeks). We always tried to follow the books, put her down awake and not cuddle her to sleep. Worked perfectly, as we were consistent with it and did it from the word go. It also worked perfectly well for my only other mum friend I know, who also followed a strict routine.

It meant at night, husband and I divided the night, so he did first half (and bottle fed expressed milk for dream feed) and I did second half without baby in room disturbing the other. I could then go to bed at 9pm and have at least 4/5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Same with him.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Fri 02-Aug-13 22:32:58

Lala - I'm glad it worked for you. But it worked for you because you were consistent with it AND because it suited you, suited the personality of your baby and suited the way you wanted to parent. It wasn't just consistency.

DrDolittle Fri 02-Aug-13 22:38:45

Routine worked with both kids (DD now 8 and DS now 3). We didn't co-sleep much (only occasionally when they needed it), but I guess every child is different. See how it goes with yours, after you meet him/her and get to know what makes your DC tick.

rowtunda Fri 02-Aug-13 22:42:09

Yep the best piece of advise I was given was when you decide what you are going to do just be consistent.

Shiraztastic Fri 02-Aug-13 22:46:01

Do what works for you.

Before I had a baby. Of my own I wanted a routine, had no intention of letting a baby manipulate me, thought a bit of exercising their lungs did them no harm and would never ever ever consider bed sharing.

4 dcs later, how I laugh at my stupid naive judgemental pregnant self.

Whatever books you've red or ideas you have, you can bet our baby won't come out exactly as predicted.

Make sure you save this post so you can look back on your baby's first birthday and see whether your opinions have changed... wink

SunnyIntervals Fri 02-Aug-13 22:53:14

Cosleeping is incredibly common - the Isis Uni of Durham research project fiend 50% of all uk babies had co slept by 3 months.

I think we all need to focus on what's important, which is your baby's well being. When yours arrives you will know them best and can make decisions based on what you think they are like.

I co slept and bf on demand and mine slept through by 8 weeks, as it happens, so not having a set routine does not mean your baby won't develop good sleep habits - there is loads of evidence based info on the Isis website.

SunnyIntervals Fri 02-Aug-13 22:53:35
noblegiraffe Fri 02-Aug-13 23:07:13

DC1 was a fucking nightmare, sleep, any sleep was a bonus, so we co slept safely in the end because I was simply falling asleep with him in my arms as he fed in the night through sheer exhaustion. We didn't have a strict routine, but if he had been awake for 90 minutes (later 2 hours) I went into 'get DS to sleep' mode, which required full on violent rocking. He was a sleep fighter, and rather than 'self settling' or simply falling asleep when tired, he would get more and more irate and wound up until he was unbearable. Forcing him to sleep even before he seemed tired was the only way forward. Routines and books didn't help, because they didn't seem to account for a baby who threw up every time you lay him down.

Anyway, DC2 is great. I haven't needed to cosleep with her (6 months) and unless things change drastically, I can't see it happening. She is a completely different baby. If I'd had her first, I'd have been smug about my parenting and how you should simply leave them in their cot and they'd go to sleep. First time she did it, I simply didn't believe it because it was so different to DC1.

If your baby is like DC1, then all the routines in the world won't help. So wait to meet your baby, and be prepared to throw the books out of the window if necessary, and do what you need to do.

LadyLech Sat 03-Aug-13 01:54:10

Agree - do what works with your DC.

I tried co sleeping with my DD1, but I found it actually increased the amount of times she woke in the night (it was almost like she could smell my milk, and so cried for it constantly). I ended up so knackered that I actually rolled on top of her in my sleep. This is despite her being exclusively breast fed.

I moved her out of my bed, stopped offering her milk in the middle of the night, and she stopped waking after that (she was about 6 months at the time). For us, it was the worst thing that happened, and I dread to think what would have happened if I had completely covered her. Thankfully, I was only partially on top of her, she screamed and I woke up. I never co slept again after that.

Seenenoughtoknow Sat 03-Aug-13 02:14:51

We co-sleep, and I still bf and my nearly two year old wakes up lots in the night to feed (totally unnecessary!) and cuddle, and has no real sleep routine, but the lack of sleep doesn't bother me, and I love the closeness.
I have one or two friends who have done the same and are happy with the situation.

I also have friends who have their DC's in fabulous routines, early bedtimes etc etc and they are perfectly happy too.

You can start one way and still go down the other route later, or the other way around. There are no rules, just try to enjoy the benefits of whichever choice you make.

Seenenoughtoknow Sat 03-Aug-13 02:18:24

Or as Noblegiraffe says - whichever choice is made for you by the personality of your DC! (very true)
There are pro's and con's with any way you do it, just focus on the pro's and enjoy them if you can. Best of luck.

shufflehopstep Sat 03-Aug-13 02:32:34

My opinion, for what it's worth, on routine is do what works for you. If you cope better with, do that, if you don't, don't. I would have been stressed if things were too regimented as living with a newborn regularly means routine goes out the window, and I'd feel I was trying to catch up for the rest of the day. I'm much more a go with the flow kind of person and it worked fine for DD and me. Now she's a toddler and I'm back at work, it's different and there's more structure to the day.

Learn to smile and nod at the long line of people who feel the need to offer unsolicited advice and just go your own way.

Sunnysummer Sat 03-Aug-13 03:36:56

Like people say, it will end up being a what works for you and for your baby.

There is no 'easy road'. As the replies above show, for some babies cosleeping means more sleep, for some less, for some babies routine is a saviour, while you'll also meet mothers and babies who are exhausted to the point of PND by week 12 from trying to make a routine work with a baby who just isn't ready.

One of the midwives in hospital said that the best advice she could give was to do whatever it takes to keep you safe and sane for the first 12 weeks, there's time to change things afterwards if you need. Another thing I liked was never take absolute answers from anyone who has had only one baby - so often people will think they have 'the solution', but then have a second or third baby and realise that this baby requires a totally different approach!

In the meantime, hope you are able to get some rest, and to try not to be too hard on yourself or your friends about parenting styles until your baby arrives and you find out what works for you smile

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