weaning baby out of bed?(19 Posts)
I co-sleep with my 6 month old, which I love, however, I am worried that she is going to stay in my bed forever. I have looked up attachment/natural parenting sites, read 3 in a bed etc and they all seem to be into letting your child leave your bed of their own accord (some time around 2 or 6 - aarrggh!!!). I don't really want her to be in our bed then - I want to be tucking her into bed, reading her stories etc at that age. I am not a believer in letting her cry it out - my boobs ache too much when she cries! Have any mums had their baby in bed and weaned them out before they are one? If so any tips?
Forest, perhaps you can answer a question I've always wanted to ask of people who co-sleep with their babies: does it mean you go to bed at the same time as they do (if not, how do you stop them rolling out the bed) & if so, when do you eat / get things done / see your partner? I'm not being facetious, I'm genuinely curious.
No we don't go to bed at the same time. Generally dd (forgive me I am new to the site and am not sure if that is the correct abbreviation for baby girl!) goes to bed around 7. She has a bath, gets in her sleepsuit then we lie on the bed together whilst she feeds - she usually falls asleep on the breast. Our bed is a queen size so is pretty large but I don't leave her until she is fast asleep and then when I hear a noise on the monitor I go up and feed her back to sleep. So she is never really awake on the bed. We have been doing this for the past couple of months. Before that she just slept in our arms/car seat in the evening and then came to bed with us. I found it incredibly flexible and went to parties, trips away without worrying about interferring with her sleep. Now she is more into a routine she doesn't settle so easily if I take her out in the evening. I found she has fitted into our lives and have never had any problem finding the time to do things, eat and spend time with my partner. In some ways it has rekindled a spark with us as we creep around like teenagers!
I can see how it could make things easier in the 1st few months, but I suppose you'll have to think again once she can roll...
Personally, I never slept a wink when ds was sleeping in the same room as me, never mind the same bed, so he got his own room from week 3...!
forest - when my ds was about 6 months he went into his own cot as he had pretty much started to sleep through. It was no bother at all and he seem s really happy when I put him down. I think it helps that he shares a room with his sister now so isn't alone.
Hope you find a solution. Co-sleeping is GREAT though, I'm so glad I managed it this time (was on medication that meant I couldn't first time round!)
AS I just said on the GF thread, both my children slept in our bed until they stopped waking up in the night - both around a few months old. As soon as they were sleeping through regularly, I started feeding them in their own room and putting them down in the cot once they had gone off in my arms. After a few months of this, I started putting them in the cot awake and letting them go off. Now (aged 3 and 1)I just lob them both into bed/cot and leave and they both go off to sleep quite happily. So forget the dire warnings, and don't worry about them being in bed with you till they're teenagers!!
forest - I co-slept with my ds on and off for nearly 3 years. Now co-sleeping with dd (aged 6 months). ds did fall out of bed a couple of times but just onto a rug - no damage done. I would lie with him till he fell asleep then just join him later when it was my bedtime. I put cushions round dd. You can get bedguards though or just use furniture like the back of a chair.
I started putting ds into his cot for daytime naps and then for part of the night. He slept for awhile in his cot most of the night around 20 months. Then we moved house and he went back to my bed. Fortunately he went back to the cot a few months before dd was due - he was about 2 1/2 by then. However he relapsed obviously due to the new arrival and came back with me (it was 3 of us then for awhile). However that was only for a few weeks. Sometimes he comes into bed for a short time now if he has a bad dream but always goes back to his own bed. It has worked for me - no getting up in the night shivering and I enjoy the closeness.
And yes I do have a husband! We use another bed for *those* types of things
So... it depends upon your child. They seem to need you for the first 18 months or so. If you don't want to go this long you'd better start doing something about it now as it will be harder for her to adapt the longer you leave it.
Hope this helps.
Here's a link that shows co-sleeping does not lead to sleeping issues later, based on research.
Babies do lots of things/need lots of things as babies that they don't need as older babies or toddlers or children. We don't think that putting babies into nappies is a 'bad habit' that will mean our babies are wearing nappies at school. We don't think that using a spoon (or fingers) is a bad habit that prevents learning to use a knife and fork.
It is not hard to teach a toddler or older baby that their cot is an ok place to be, if you are consistent and loving...just as you teach about the toilet, and about table manners.
tiktok - wow, thanks for the analogies. I knew it was ok, but now I have a great way to say it! Thankyou!
What an interesting link. When I thought about it, it seemed highly unlikely that something that had been happening for millennia would cause damage to a baby. Separate beds are a relatively new phenomenon and still not prevalent worldwide. In Indonesia a cot is known as a 'baby box' which makes me think of something to tidy your baby away in when you've finished with it for the day!! Not many people have them as they are too poor to be able to afford them.
We co-slept with my ds until he was 6 months old because he was feeding every two hours day and night and it was easier for me to just roll over and feed him when he was in the same bed as me. At 6 months, I decided I needed more sleep and went on strike. We started him on solids, moved him into a cot and did controlled crying to eliminate the nighttime feeds all in the same week with great success. He's now 23 mo. and we still put him back in bed with us when he has a cold and wakes up at night or when I travel and the jetlag or strange environment throws him off. I think you have to do what works for you. We were happy having him in our bed for 6 months and then decided we needed our space. Other parents might need this earlier than we did or much later than we did. I wouldn't worry too much about setting bad habits that can't be broken.
This is an issue close to my heart, our ds is still in with us at 2.6 yrs. It wasnt planned like this but he has suffered with very severe eczema and the only way to comfort him through uncomfortable nights was to bring him into our bed. We seem to have his eczema under control and are planning to put him into his own bed very soon. The practicalities are not a problem. One of us puts ds down to sleep in the middle of our very big bed. He has a pillow on either side to stop him rolling out. We (me and dh) have the rest of the evening to do normal things - tv. work, drink wine etc and then we jump into bed, one of us on either side with a snoring toddler in the middle. Yes, I miss the intimacy with my husband but we do make up for it on the sofa amongst other places! I also miss reading in bed and watching tv still .. hopefully this situation wont continue for much longer.
As far as the practicalities of having a child/baby in bed with us....it really depends on the child and your habits. My ds (and it seems my dd too) sleep like my husband which means that a brass band won't wake them up which means that a tv/stereo/sex/etc. can happen in the same room and not even an eye is opened so co-sleeping didn't really put much of a dent in anything except the amount of space I had in my bed (men/boys are so greedy with the duvet). Also, our bedroom floor is carpetted and I had my dh build me a low futon style bed, so that even if a baby rolled off it, no harm would be done. As bunny2 said, if the baby went to bed before us, a couple of pillows help the rolling problem...
I kept the lamp on when I put ds to bed and could easily read when I came up for bed. Also watched TV with the sound turned down low - he never woke.
Me too - re: reading in bed, pillows for rolling, naughty business going on downstairs on the sofa (much more fun) and a good nights sleep had by all since ds1 was born. He is now 3 and sleeps with dh, while I sleep with ds2 for half the night (he starts off in his cot).
I am about to wean my ds from the bed at 10 mths. He does already sleep in a cot from 7 until I come to bed. Too many rolling/crawling incidents. Not sure how we are going to do it but have started by putting him to bed at the begining of the night awake but drowsy (previoulsy always nursed to sleep at night and for his naps) and this has worked pretty well. I will let you know what happpens. Very relucant to try c.crying (although did do it a bit to get him in the cot which was HORRIBLE) but dh more on for it. Have looked at the Pantley but it all seems a bit vague to me and does not address the screaming my ds does unless he is on the bed with my boob in his mouth. Patting and singing and soothing don't wash.
Forest, we had dd in our bed until she was nine months and then put her into her cot in her own room with no problems. She had got used to the cot from having her daytime naps in there for a couple of months before. Good luck.
Thanks for all the replies. It is reassuring to know that other people sleep with their babies. Although I have a friend that does I am still made to feel like I am failing as a mother by parents, in-laws and HV. I do agree with you Eulaila/tiktok that they need you and it does feel right to have her with me. I'm sure I sleep better as I don't have to worry about her. The problem is dh although happy with the arrangement for now is very against her being with us when she is older. I am waiting for her to sleep through as that seemed a good time to move her to her cot. Unfortuantly dd is showing no signs of sleeping through the night! I keep wondering if it is because I am so close to her and so I am stopping her from sleeping through. Could you keep me posted Last as to how it is going with weaning your ds into his cot. Like you patting and singing don't wash - she wants boob and bed!
Great question and so nice to see so many replies... funny what people can admit when not face to face! I co-slept with our second child due to x-section that went "faulty"(!) then didn't have the strength to separate until child was nearly 2 years old. Would only tell my mother who was disapproving enough but understanding too. Think MIL knew and admitted that they did it with one of their children as was only to get any sleep. Now our 2nd is happily sleeping in own room and was old enough to take pleasure in fact that they had their own bed etc made a big thing about going out to buy/choose quilt cover etc etc which may have helped. Think I could have done it earlier if only hadn't been so tired/lazy but glad 2nd is in own bed now.
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