Bed-sharing. Is this normal? How do you cope?

(16 Posts)
Miriam101 Mon 28-Dec-20 10:31:16

I’m on my knees. To those who have bed shared with their breastfeeding babies: how??!! I have been doing this to varying extents every night for past six weeks or so. My whole body aches. I am exhausted. My nearly six month old son doesn’t really ever like to un-latch. He literally suckles all night and last night didn’t really even seem to go into a deep sleep, just very restless all night. I just can’t do this anymore; it’s driving me to the brink and I have another child to look after too.

If you bedshared does this sound normal? It would be ok if he suckled from time to time to get back to sleep, and rolled off again. But this is constant. I’m always worried I’m going to roll on him in my sleep. My nipples are painful. Neither of us is getting a good night’s sleep.

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Crunchiedelight Mon 28-Dec-20 10:37:26

People will tell you it’s normal and it can be- that doesn’t mean it’s necessary, especially if it’s negatively impacting you like it is. Your baby needs to learn how to sleep without the breast, that means stopping feeding to sleep. It’s fine to feed before bed and through the night if he needs it, just not back to sleep.

Condition a comforter, offer a dummy though it’s properly too late for that.

Crunchiedelight Mon 28-Dec-20 10:38:49

Fwiw I would stop bed sharing and put him in his own sleep space. This is from someone who bed shared and fed all night until my daughter was 16 months old. It broke me and I really wish I’d done something sooner.

igotosleep Mon 28-Dec-20 10:41:38

Its hard IMO. I bed shared + breastfed from pretty much day 2 until he was nearly 3. I wouldn’t do it again, I was tired constantly & sacrificed a lot of my life (which I should do as a parent but I mean I didn’t have an evening for years - literally couldn’t not lie by his side). I wouldn’t take it back because what’s done is done & he now sleeps a lovely 11+ hours in his own bed allllll night which is bloody amazing (he’s 3 years 4 months) but it was a hard slog & at times I thought it wouldn’t end.
Could you try to get him into a cot now he’s still little? You could still feed during the night but try to limit it & put him back in his cot. This is what I will be doing with DS3

linerforlife Mon 28-Dec-20 11:02:05

I co sleep with a bedside crib, but baby often in my actual bed, and DD goes through phases of not wanting to sleep without the nipple too! I wait until she's asleep, then unlatch her and pull her close for a cuddle, and after 5 mins put her in her crib. This is only an issue if I feed her laying down though. So now more and more if she wakes I sit up and feed her, then lay her in her crib when asleep. I found I was feeding laying down thinking I'd get more sleep but actually we ended up in the situation you describe. I get more sleep by feeding properly and laying her down.

TrySarahTops Mon 28-Dec-20 11:10:40

I tried bed sharing when my daughter went through a fussy stage at about 6 months. I ended up so tired I rolled on top of my daughter in my sleep. Thankfully she screamed and I woke. But I felt sick that I could have killed her.

The next night I moved her into her own room and offered her water to drink when she fussed in the night. Sure enough, after two nights she started sleeping through again.

From my experience, I wouldn't recommend it.

Thatwentbadly Mon 28-Dec-20 12:50:09

I always unlatch DD when she is asleep and rock her to sleep but she has a poor latch when she falls asleep and I couldn’t deal with her being latched all night. Although she is a year and a half and she mostly still sleeps in my arms. I find spooning her helps and rocking her as she can’t relatch. A pillow between your knees really helps your back.

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DemolitionBarbie Mon 28-Dec-20 12:59:16

Bed sharing is good when it serves you well but not if you're still not getting sleep.

DD used to do this, I'd break the latch or pull back a bit once she was drifting off, eventually she realised it wasn't worth the hassle and went to sleep without the nipple.

To stop co-sleeping you probably need to read up on a method a bit and then stick to it for a few nights - changing a baby's habits can take a few days and it's easy when you're tired to give up. So design a bedtime routine then stick to it.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Mon 28-Dec-20 13:00:22

Its only worth it if it works

Formula. Cot. Dummy.

Keha Mon 28-Dec-20 18:16:04

I cosleep - not something I planned but is working reasonably well. My DD is 10 months. She does unlatch after a while but we have had the odd night where she has basically stayed attached all night. She will now do 4 hours ish in her cot, so she goes there about 9pm and I get a little bit of evening and then some sleep to myself and I bring her in when she wakes. I think that has made quite a big difference - having a bit of time to myself. I use a pillow behind my back to prop myself on my side and am more comfortable like that. My sleep is still quiet disrupted but at the moment I'm managing okay - I think it probably depends on what sort of a sleeper you are and how much sleep you need. Cosleeping should be done because it makes things easier, if that's not happening I'd look at a new plan.

movingonup20 Mon 28-Dec-20 18:18:09

Mine shared and yes they fed a lot but by 3 months they learned to do it themselves mostly and i barely stirred. I managed it for 18 months a piece with mine,

Thirty2andBlue Mon 28-Dec-20 18:27:23

Echoing the advice about starting the evening in the cot. We had the cot in our room anyway so I would feed to sleep and put her down in there and she would sleep for a good 3 or 4 hours, then when she woke for her first night feed I would bring her into bed. I sometimes managed to settle her back in the cot, but often it didn't feel worth it. She started sleeping longer stretches (down to one night feed) from 13 months and she was in her own room, but don't know if she would have done this if I'd have moved her earlier!

Miriam101 Mon 28-Dec-20 22:02:57

Thanks so much for your replies. We have decided to bite the bullet and move him to his own room / cot tonight (DP is on holiday so can do much more at night than usual) so let’s see how it goes. He’s already woken twice and I’ve no idea how we’ll get on once later in the night. But hey! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Thanks again for sharing your experiences. I always find it fascinating to hear about how other people have dealt with these situations.

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JosephineDeBeauharnais Mon 28-Dec-20 22:07:26

Crunchiedelight

Fwiw I would stop bed sharing and put him in his own sleep space. This is from someone who bed shared and fed all night until my daughter was 16 months old. It broke me and I really wish I’d done something sooner.

Same. I didn’t get any sleep until DS2 went into his own bed at weaning aged 27 months! Fed/ suckled round the clock every 45 minutes. I wished I’d done it sooner.

ZackyM Tue 29-Dec-20 12:10:55

I would love to know how you got on with him being in his own room! I’m in the same situation, LO is 5.5 months and will only go to sleep on the boob. We’ve tried a few nights of my husband settling him but he won’t have it, just gets so angry and is then harder to settle. We also tried a few nights of my husband settling him in the night but again, wouldn’t have any of it! I really don’t want him in my bed attached for me for much longer and need to figure out a way that he will sleep without feeding as I’m finding it draining that only I can feed him, settle him etc!

Miriam101 Tue 29-Dec-20 19:29:17

@ZackyM oh that sounds really tough. I’m not sure what to advise- I’m v lucky in that DP is able to settle him v easily (in fact more easily than me) so last night involved him getting up six of the eight (!) wakes. I fed the other two. It felt great not to have to feed all night and have our room back. But I’ve no idea what we’ll do when DP goes back to work. Is there any way your DP can stick at it a bit, try out various methods of getting him back to sleep etc? M

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