Have just read "Three in a Bed" and it paints a wonderful picture of co-sleeping. Is this too good to be true?!(31 Posts)
Am now seriously thinking about starting co-sleeping with ds2 who is 7mo. He sleeps absolutely fine in his cot but I am still feeding him in the night and although he is in our room, I have to wake right up etc and it's quite hard going. We were away at the weekend and he was in bed with us and of course, it was so much easier.
Also, the emotional security benefits etc as outlined in the book just sound fantastic and it is this that is really making me think very seriously about this.
Is is really this simple?! What else do I need to consider? Dh is fine with it btw.
I would recommend it
I do think it helps if you are prepared to be in it for the long haul though
other books that are encouraging are "Our Babies Our Selves" and anything by dr sears
Totally, totally recommend it. So much easier and I really loved this time with DS. When DH got up in the morning we continued to snuggle in bed for a bit! Also, like you say, you don't have to fully wake to feed. As long as you have a big bed or one of those little attachment hanger thingys then absolutely go for it.
Didn't find transition to cot too difficult when he stopped bf either, couple of months of settling when first put down is about all I can remember.
My experience was less fantastic. I read Dr Sear's book and I loved the idea of a family bed. But for me co-cleeping was not a good experience. When she wsa in bed with me DD wished to suck all the time. Not really feeding, just sucking. It was quite uncomfortable but if I gently detached her she would scream. I could not sleep well at all with her constantly suckling. She also squirmed alot and woke much more when in bed with us that she ever did in her own cot. Eventually I gave up and falt much more rested as a result.
Hwvr, it sounds like you have already co-slept a little and found it easier than I did. It may well be the right thing for you .
Have co-slept at various points with both DSs and loved it, so I'm an advocate. However I think that book can make one feel guilty if you don't go 100% the attachment route. I seem to remember the examples from her own daughter were too good to be true, e.g she only cried once or something, and that was when she was ill. I also found her pretty judgemental (in a 'I'm not judging you but...' way) about things like wanting time alone in bed with your partner, or using a dummy. It's a lovely book in lots of ways but ultimately it made me feel bad.
I have coslept with all 3 currently with 6wo DD3, I have a bedside cot now which is great she usually starts off in there then is in with me after her first feed, also the bedside cot means I never worry about her falling off it makes the bed bigger too IYSWIM.
Theres nothing nicer than snuggling up to your LO.
It's had a similar effect on me. Something along the lines of "co-sleeping engenders emotional security in a way that nothing else will".
I read that when pg as did sister. She was enchanted being full on lentil weaver.
Fast forward about 12 months and she phonedme in tears saying 'I could kill that fucking bitch who wrote three in a bloody bed.'
Sentiments noble thoguh. Far better thanputting baby in some vile 'nursery' with amobile and Winnie the Pooh border.
well, i co-slept from birth, my dd is now nearly 6 and hates to sleep by herself
but she could have been like that if i hadn't co-slept
Well, quite. Ds2 is in his cot which is in our room and will then share with ds1 in due course, so he's not going to go down the abandoned baby route.
only read the book a couple of years after dd born, to reassure myself that it was ok to do
despite what my mother thought
I didn't cosleep (on a regular basis) because:-
DD probably high risk for cot death (not an issue at 7 months, obviously) and so we followed the guidelines to the letter.
Our bed was not ideal for cosleeping (gaps between bed and wall).
Whenever DH was away and I coslept out of desperation DD would latch on an stay latched all night.
DD was (and still is) a stubborn little girl and we knew that we would have a dreadful job getting her out again.
We just wanted some adult space ().
I planned to co-sleep but it just didn't work for us. I'm a light sleeper, DS is a spectacularly noisy and restless sleeper. I could never get the hang of bfing lying down, so I didn't get the benefit of being able to half sleep while he fed.
We also tried again once he was night weaned but sleeping really badly. It made it worse because he either cried much worse (because he wanted to be in your arms) or got excited and thought it was a great game. Still try from time to time, but I don't think he has the right associations with it now.
But I'd definitely try again with another.
We didn't really enjoy it. Everyone seemed to get better quality sleep with baby in her own bed.
I think a key factor in enjoying co-sleeping is having plenty of space. If you are all crowded in it's not nice. It suits us really well, but our set-up at home works for us and we really notice the difference when on holiday and in a smaller bed. Also, I think it's easier/harder at different stages. When DD was on the brink of/just learned crawling it was a nightmare as she was really wakeful. But apart from odd phases like that it's been good and I'm very glad we do it. I must say I am not keen on Deborah Jackson though.
Best thing we ever did and I miss it now.
dd is 7 now and will still sleep in our bed whenever she has the chance, ds is 5 and prefers sleeping by himself but they both co-slept for the same amount of time!
For us, buying a super king size bed really made it work. I agree with dramasequalzero about space being important.
Yes, yes - superking bed is very very helpful.
wot artichokes said
WE have done it with all 3 and bought a mahoosive bed for the purpose. There are moments when it is lovely but now (12mo DS3) I am somewhat worn out.
I mostly take him into bed when he wakes for a night feed but he starts off in his cot.
He quite often feeds more when in bed with us as he doesn't have a full feed because I am lying down and dozy. But because his feeding is NOT something I can sleep through, and because he likes to thrash about, bash pat us on the face, bite noses and nipples, sit up and try and switch the lights on, dive head first over his dad narrowly missing the corner of the bedside table, turn around until he is completely top to toe with his head under the duvet, it is getting quite difficult...
Lovely when he's out for the count though...
I'm with Sweetkitty, a bedside cot is the best of both worlds! We got ours from ebay for £26!! It is possible to convert most cots, you may have to brace it to compensate for the loss of the side, and secure it to your bed (cable ties work very well) but as long as the matresses are level and there is no gap between them (I found pushing the cot matress over to our matress and filling the gap at the "back" of it with a rolled up towel works well) then you probably wouldn't need a new cot at all.
Everyone has lots of room, DD2 can feed as and when and no worries about overlaying etc as she is in her own "space".
DD1 co-slept with us because it was the only way to get her to sleep at all, and after 18 months of sleep deprivation I couldn't take it any more. I read 3 in a bed and realised why she wouldn't sleep alone and the rest is history. She slept between us, and it was a bit cramped at times, hence the sidecar cot this time around. DD1 still gets in with us now and then, and to be honest I love it when I wake up and have a "sleeping beauty" on both sides of me, those little faces all relaxed and gorgeous, with out a doubt the nicest thing you can see first thing in the morning!!
Go for it!
I think the book is good although agree that the examples are a little bit too rosy. But it did encourage me in the path we'd already taken. And it was particularly interesting to read the research showing how breastfeeding mums lie in a protective position around their babies, and how the babies learn to regulate their breathing when lying next to an adult.
We have a superkingsize bed and I feel it would be hard to co-sleep without it. It still feels a bit much with all 3 boys, me and dp in it. But ds1 rarely comes in nowadays, and when he does it's usually just for a cuddle in the morning. Ds2 (4yo) starts off in his own bed but always wakes up at some point in the night and comes into bed with me. It's lots easier that way as he wriggles a whole lot before going to sleep and it can be quite frustrating to say the least. Ds3 (8wks) has never slept in a Moses basket or cot and goes to sleep quite happily without my boob in his mouth so I know I am lucky compared to some of the responses here. But even with sitting up to feed (which I am still doing as ds3 seems to have a certain amount of reflux) I find it far easier, and I sleep far better, without having to get in and out of bed each time.
if you're interested, Elizabeth Pantley's guidelines for safe co-sleeping are here although personally I find they are a little overcautious. Do watch out for rolling babies though, as they start doing it when you least expect it, and then you really will have to think about whether the bed and floor are safe or not.
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