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Thread: Co-Sleeping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    488

    Co-Sleeping

    I'm looking for opinions, advice, or your own experiences with bed-sharing.

    My daughter is 4 weeks old. The first few weeks of her life, she slept well on her own. We could put her down drowsy but awake, and she'd fall asleep in her bassinet. Soon she reached a state where she needed to fall asleep being held first. She'd fall asleep pretty quickly in our arms, and we'd place her in her cradle soon after. She might stir a bit, but would fall back asleep.

    Since a few days ago, she's been difficult to put to sleep. She sleeps okay being held, but as soon as we place her down (no matter how careful we are, or how long she's been asleep already), she will wake up, or if she stays asleep, she'll wake up and cry 20-30 minutes later. Eventually we can get her to sleep for a few hours, but it takes FOREVER.

    Last night, I was getting really frustrated after trying to get her to sleep for three whole hours, and I put her on my bed and laid down beside her. My plan was to wait until she was deeply asleep and then move her into her cradle (which is at the foot of my bed).

    Well, I woke up 4 hours later, and she was still asleep. She slept from 12pm-5:30am like that.

    I don't really want to co-sleep. I'm not 100% against it, I've read a lot about the benefits and risks, but I'd prefer not to.

    Now, before I solicit your advice, I want to say this:

    When she's in her cradle we've tried:
    Swaddling
    Rocking the cradle (it rocks automatically, so can continue rocking after we go to sleep)
    A pacifier
    White noise
    Patting her and reassuring her to get her back to sleep

    Co-sleeping:
    I removed all blankets from the bed
    I'm an extremely light sleeper
    Her father doesn't live with us, but spends the night if he has two days off in a row (rarely). He's a much heavier sleeper than I, and I'd be a little hesitant to co-sleep with all of us.

    One concern is that at some point, I may need to go on medication, which makes me sleep a bit harder. I'd be uncomfortable co-sleeping in that situation. We're also hoping to move in with her Dad at some point, and I'd prefer not to co-sleep in that situation.

    Any tips on how to work on her falling asleep on her own, or at least staying asleep after being put down? Or anyone who thinks co-sleeping is a better option for us?
    Lillian Elizabeth 6.16.13

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    3,345
    You could try a Moses basket/flat-bottomed crib of some sort that you could have on the bed w/her in it. That way she's protected, safe and close enough to hear you and be comforted.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    238
    I make a distinction between bedsharing (same surface) and co-sleeping (separate but adjacent surfaces). Co-sleeping is distinctly safer due to the separate firm surface, yet still allows you to touch, soothe, or even nurse your baby anytime you want without actually getting up. You can check out co-sleeper bed attachments at pretty much any big baby store that also sells cribs/bassinets, but here's the link to the brand I'm familiar with:

    https://www.armsreach.com/

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    164
    Your situation sounds a ton like ours with our son. We never figured out a way to soothe him that was effective--at best he'd sleep for maybe 30 minutes, then wake up and raise hell until he could nurse. I would nurse him lying on my side in bed, or sometimes holding him in my arms, but then he'd fall asleep and if I tried to move him back to his co-sleeper, he'd scream his head off all over again.

    So, he bed-shared with me and my husband and I just didn't get much in the way of sleep for three or four months

    When he was almost four months, (and I know this is probably horrible in some way, but it was the only way I could get ANY sleep) we started letting him fall asleep in his swing. He'd still wake up about two or three times a night, even in the swing. When he started getting too heavy for the swing, we moved him to his crib. It took about two weeks of "sleep training" (letting him cry it out for increasing intervals of time, comforting him between intervals, etc.) before he was pretty good at actually going down at bedtime.

    Still, it took until he was about one before he'd sleep as long as even six hours at a time. However, now he is like, the best toddler (he's two years old) sleeper we know. He goes down everyday at nap time and at bedtime (often requests nap time and bed time, in fact) with absolutely no struggle, and he sleeps about 10 to 12 hours straight through the night. Our relatives are always like, totally amazed.

    I don't know what tips or insights I can really offer except to say that I was made to feel incredibly guilty about sleep training my son, and it ended up being kind of great for my family once I got myself to do it. I did lose those early months of sleep, but I feel pretty good about that too, honestly. I've learned that I just have to find what works best for me/us
    Last edited by tawnysaurus; July 15th, 2013 at 06:37 PM.
    human children:
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  5. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    968
    One thing that helped us some was putting a heating pad in my son's bed while I nursed him, then we removed it right before I put him down, so the mattress was nice and warm. Always remember to unplug the heating pad and move it beyond arm's reach from the bed, for safety. Another thing that worked when he was a bit older (maybe just under one year?), was covering the mattress with a fleece blanket and tucking it in well. Again, this was to make the bed feel warmer. I think you can buy fleece or velour crib sheets too. Good luck! My son was a pretty bad sleeper till close to 18 months, but he sleeps really well now. This too shall pass ;-)
    Wife to Jordan.
    Mommy to Everett Callan, born 2010 and Callie Sage Eilonwy, born 2013
    and 2 fur babies: a male standard poodle named Shasta, and a female Australian shepherd named Scout.

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