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How long should babies sleep in your bed?

(18 Posts)
welshmum Tue 14-Jun-05 11:28:31

Just after some advice please.
Ds is 3 weeks old and happiest when sleeping in bed next to me - he settles beautifully and sleeps for longer - as you'd expect. BUT it's not what I want in the long term - is it foolish to carry on like this? Should I teach him to sleep in his basket from this young age? It seems really cruel to deny him what he wants but I really don't want to end up co-sleeping by default.
Any thoughts gratefully received.

saadia Tue 14-Jun-05 11:44:04

Ds1, now nearly 3 and a half STILL sleeps in our bed. But ds2, now 15mths, has sleeping in his cot since he was born pretty much. In the early days I would feed him in bed and let him sleep with us for a bit and then move him to his cot.
Now he is very happy to sleep in his cot and will go to sleep by himself whereas with ds1 he had to be rocked or walked around.

I know it doesn't seem very nice but I have come to believe that it is better for everyone if the baby sleeps in their own cot as once co-sleeping becomes a habit it is very difficult to change things. I think that in the cot the baby sleeps much better, and as long as he is getting lots of cuddles and kisses in the day then it's OK for him to sleep by himself.

But I do understand your dilemma, I'm guessing he's your first as with ds1 I just found it easier to have him with us.

welshmum Tue 14-Jun-05 12:15:27

He's our 2nd Saadia - but with dd we had a strange start as she was in neonatal early on and I guess got used to sleeping alone in the incubator
My response to ds has probably got something to do with that - I probably want to really enjoy these early days BUT still don't want him to sleep in our bed forever. I guess I'm asking how late I can leave it before making him sleep in his own bed....

handlemecarefully Tue 14-Jun-05 12:17:38

I co-slept with my 2nd baby until he was about six months old - stopped when I stopped breastfeeding. It took him a night or two to get used to the new regime.

welshmum Tue 14-Jun-05 12:19:04

And did he go into his own room then HMC or a cot in your room?

QueenFlounce Tue 14-Jun-05 12:20:40

Welshmum - I've got both ends of the scale. I co-slept from day 1 with ds and then dd. Ds was still in our bed 3yrs later..... but when dd got to about 5 mths old she just didn;t settle in our bed! She was restless and crabby so we put her in her cot.... and that was that! So it really depends onthe nature of the baby IMO.... we didn't do anything different the 2nd time.... ds is jsut a cuddly baby and dd isn't.

teeavee Tue 14-Jun-05 12:21:21

I went with my instincts - my ds co-slept with me almost every night for abuot 3 months, then off and on for about 6 months. I used to have him in with me after fis early morning bf. That lasted till he was 8.5-9 months
I think that if it reassures him, then it's the best thing to do. If your baby feels secure, he shouldn't have any problems settling in his cot later on.

handlemecarefully Tue 14-Jun-05 12:21:40

He went into a cot in my room for a couple of weeks and then to his own room (I thought it might spook him to do otherwise).

Must say, he is a very laid back baby though. Other previously co-sleeping babies might have put up more of a protest.

lucy5 Tue 14-Jun-05 12:23:51

I dint co sleep with dd until she was old enough to climb out of the cot and she just used to creep in. She's 4.6 now and still creeps in, I don't even notice.

milward Tue 14-Jun-05 12:26:37

welshmum I've co-slept and for dd3 I slept with her until she started to crawl out of bed in the night!! - about 10 months old. Don't worry about what will happen later - all mine have slept fine in their own beds as toddlers. I think this is because they didn't have an anxiety as babys over going to bed - unlike many of my friends who have had difficult times after their babies slept through the night in cots in different rooms & then had toddler bedtime trauma.

mumoftreasures Tue 14-Jun-05 12:33:08

I co-slept with DS1 until about 18 months. He would then start the night off in his cot, which was at the end of our bed, and if he woke in the middle of the night he would crawl into our bed by himself. When he was 2y9m he got his big bed and would sometimes still come into our bed, but gradually that stopped altogether. Quite painless transitions we had with him. DS2 however, would not settle in the cot, and he slept with us until 3y, and moved to the big bed then (skipped cot). He is now 3.5y and doesn't come into our bed anymore, apart from early in the morning (6 or 7am. Went quite smoothly as well. Just do what feels right for babe and you at the time, and don't worry too much about later on. You can always do that later

welshmum Tue 14-Jun-05 12:36:02

I guess the answer is that it really does depend on the personality of the baby (isn't that usually the answer?!) and it's much too early now to know whether he's going to move to his own room quiety or under a deal of protest. Thanks for responses - any more please chuck them my way.

LeahE Wed 15-Jun-05 19:48:39

What we're doing with ds (5 months) is that he goes down for the night in his own cot but then once he wakes up we take him into bed with us. That way in theory as he starts to sleep longer and longer at a stretch he'll be spending more time sleeping on his own. I'm hoping it will work out the way it has for mumoftreasures with her ds1. We never intended to cosleep but it's saved my sleep and sanity, and I enjoy the time with ds.

juicychops Wed 15-Jun-05 20:15:21

ds was in bed with me until i finished breastfeeding but that was only a month. Then he went in his moses basket

Flossam Wed 15-Jun-05 20:24:10

DS went into his cot at about 3 and a half months. He hated his basket and loved being in with us! I got one of those bedside cots, so he was still next to me IYSWIM. Lovely. Went into his own room when we moved last month, no room for cot in our new house! He's now seven months old. I went with what someone (I can't remember who) said on here, that you can't spoil a baby under 3 months. Gives you a lovely chance to relax and look after baby and worry about whether you are doing the 'right' things a bit later on.

Flip Wed 15-Jun-05 20:27:41

Neither of my babes have ever slept in our bed. I need my space for starters. Cruel mum me put them in their own rooms within three weeks to. They are both excellent sleepers and do at least 12 hours. They go to bed no problem every night between 7 and 8 and I have to wake ds1 for school in the morning. I really can't complain about giving them their own space.

FairyMum Wed 15-Jun-05 20:31:59

As long as you are happy with it. I have slept with my babies from birth to 4-6 months when I have put them back into their cots without any problems. Well, they do come into my bed sometimes, but not as a default.
I think if you are happy at the moment, then don't try to change things now. Later on you will have more energy and be less sleep-deprived, so it will probably be a lot easier to handle an upset baby anyway. The only thing which matters to me the first few months is sleep and I'll do anything to achieve it!

hana Wed 15-Jun-05 20:44:05

welshmum - we had dd in our bed for the same reasons, we never planned on cosleeping but she's now 3.8 and has only just stopped coming into our bed! I loved the closeness and the feeding on tap and waking up to this sweet little thing - but she is quite a poor sleeper ( she does have her own room!) - dd2 is 5 months old and I said I wouldn't do the same thing again - but we did cosleep for the first month or so, then she went into her own room. (most of those nights we had dd1 dh dd2 and me - it was v v crowded!) I do miss it but I didnt' want another poor sleeper.
I think everyones situation is different - I don't think at 3 weeks it's setting up bad habits and they do sleep so well which makes a big difference in the first few months
lots of luck

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