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Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.

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  1. Jessica says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for this article! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like a terrible mother because a Doctor has told me not to co-sleep. ( I was scolded for co-sleeping at the hospital with my newborn).

    I co-slept with my 1st daughter until we were already to transition her to her own bed. What we did was co-sleep until she was 5 months old, then we part time co-slept until she was 11 months old. By then she gave up her overnight feed and has slept on her own bed ever since. (Except for times she is sick). I am so glad I did a gradual transition and I plan to do the same with my 2nd daughter.

    I’ve always been safe about it and I wish more emphasis was given to that, than to scaring parents, or even worse, make them feel bad for even thinking about co-sleeping. Not only is co-sleeping a part of my culture, but it is something I should have the choice in doing and not feel bad about it. I am hoping that in our future, the stigma of co-sleeping goes away, and when babies get hurt due to it, they blame it on the actual cause, for example the provider being under the influence of drugs, and not just the practice of co-sleeping.

    • Janelle Reid says:

      @Jessica, thanks for sharing your experience with us! Congrats on baby #2 that sounds like she’s coming soon (or perhaps already here?). 🙂

  2. Kari Amalie says:

    So nice to read an American source that is not condemning co sleeping. Same as Hilde above, I am a first time Norwegian mom. I would say that safe cosleeping is even encouraged over here, we were sent home from the hospital with a neat folder explains safe co sleeping principles. We bought one of those side car beds that is attached to our bed, mattresses the same height. Our LO will start the night in her own little side car, and then she will be transferred over to my bed upon first waking up for her first feed. She demanded quite a lot from us when she was a newborn, and doing this saved both of our sleep, I was even able to fall asleep with her nursing making my waking up to attach her significantly less impacting my own sleep. Now she’s 4,5 months old and still starts the night in her side car at 7 PM and doesn’t wake to feed until ca 6 AM the following day, so I too can attest to the fact that co sleeping does not necessitate frequent night wakings demanding to feed.

    • Janelle Reid says:

      @Kari Amalie, Thank you so much for your comment and sharing your co-sleeping experience with us! I am so glad your daughter is doing so well. Thank you for using the Baby Sleep Site as a resource for sleep!

  3. Anna says:

    Just to clarify: Bed-sharing worked for us…until it didn’t. By about a year old, our daughter was starting to get less restful sleep in bed with us, and our sleep was also suffering as a result. By 14 months, we finally got help from the Baby Sleep Site to transition to a crib, and as daunting as it was, we did it!

    Given our co-sleeping experience, I’ve become a big advocate of informing parents of their options and how to be safe no matter what choice they take. My top advice (for anyone who finds it helpful) is to educate yourself, go with whatever works for your family (knowing that it may change over time), and not to worry about what others are doing.

    Sometimes I’m sad that bed-sharing didn’t work long-term for us. It would be so nice to snuggle occasionally with her at night, but our few attempts at it (usually when she was sick and in need of extra comfort) have resulted in making exhausted disasters of all of us by morning.

    Fun follow-on story: After she moved to a crib, we continued to room share, debating when/whether to move her to her own room. Then, at about 2 years old, she TOLD us she was moving to her own room, and started pushing her crib (it’s light-weight) down the hallway. That was it. Sometimes it’s best to let the kid take the lead. 😉

    • Emily DeJeu says:

      @ Anna – I love your advice 🙂 And I know other moms reading this will, too – thanks for sharing!

  4. Hilde says:

    I’m a first-time mum that intended to of course let the baby sleep in a crib. I didn’t know of any other options until a midwife at the hospital said that if I wanted, I could bring the baby into my bed. I should just make sure she didn’t overheat.

    Now, policy in Norwegian hospitals is to room-in with the babies anyway, but I took my baby into my hospital bed and never looked back. My little girl is now 9 months old, still sleeping with me. I have never felt exhausted, despite even growth spurts and teething which at its worst woke me up every hour. Actually, I’m looking forward to nights, because I can snuggle with my daugther.

    What about my husband, you say? Well, we do have some grown-up action pretty often I’d say, but just not in the marital bed after lights out 😉 I might even say that I think the frequency is quite large because I am more rested. (A lot of people thinks co-sleeping as bed-sharing equals zero sexlife, I just wanted to debunk that myth.)

    Oh, and as for debunking myths: No, my baby does not wake up every second hour to breastfeed despite the fact that the goods are very available. She has, on her own, increased her sleep stretches, the longest now being 6 hours from midnight most nights. This, of course, is not valid for all babies this age, but point is that bed-sharing does not imply that baby will breastfeed all night.

    It doesn’t suit everyone, but it’s a valid option!

    • Emily DeJeu says:

      @ Hilde – love your comment! Thanks for debunking that myth for us 😉 So glad to hear that bed-sharing has been a great choice for you and your family!

  5. Anna says:

    James McKenna’s advice about co-sleeping is wonderful: sane, thorough, and research-based. We also thought we would room-share only, never bed-share. Amazing how reality changes our perspective on things. 😉 I am ever grateful that I read his book before falling into bed-sharing with the baby. We did everything we could for safety, and felt less guilty about it, despite a very unsupportive pediatrician. (It’s never a good sign when you resort to lying to the doctor because you just don’t want to discuss it again. Our decision was final, for the meantime, and no guilt was going to change that; we would just keep our decision and feel more awful about it. Countless parents I have spoken to have expressed amazement that we even ONCE told him that we slept with the kid: They just refused to bring their own bed-sharing up at all with the doc. Interesting that our own pediatrician was under the impression that we were a rare event, eh?)

    While I was pregnant, my husband and I took a child safety course offered in the evening through our hospital. When the instructor came to the part about sleep, she talked about “back to sleep” and then gave the official recommendation about co-sleeping (this was 2012, so the official line was essentially “bed-share if you want to kill you child”). After the official spiel, the teacher paused, looked at all of us staring back at her, and gave an “off the record” speech, with the take-home message: (1) Many of you will co-sleep no matter what I say and (2) You can maximize safety in this circumstance. She then wrote James McKenna’s name on the board and recommended his book, Sleeping with Your Baby. (Suddenly everyone was taking notes…) Then she erased it, and with an air of “what happens in the classroom stays in the classroom” moved on with her presentation.

    It is my hope that with the new data on this topic, the official curriculum (and doctors’ advice) will fall more in line with the “underground” instruction that we received from this amazing teacher.

    • Emily DeJeu says:

      @ Anna – wow…what a story! How funny that your child safety instructor had to be so covert about discussing bed-sharing, but I guess I can understand that, given the times in which we live. But glad to hear that cosleeping has been a real solution for you, and that you’ve been able to feel confident and good about your choice – way to go!

      thanks for commenting, Anna! 🙂

  6. Bridgette says:

    I totally agree that the focus needs to be on educating moms about safe bed sharing. When my daughter was an infant she wouldn’t sleep more than 45-90 minutes in her crib. I was sleep deprived and miserable. But I was terrified of bringing her to bed. And because I was so exhausted there were several occasions where I fell asleep with her in my arms on the sofa. I was so lucky that nothing tragic happened. When she was four months I couldn’t take it anymore so I researched how to bring her to bed safely. That first night she slept four hours straight, woke to nurse for a few minutes then went back to sleep for another four hours. Best decision I ever made. I was finally getting the rest I needed.

    • Emily DeJeu says:

      @ Bridgette – thanks so much for sharing your opinion with us! So glad to hear that safe co-sleeping has been a real sleep solution for you. It’s not for everyone, but it is a life-saver for some families! 🙂

  7. irene says:

    I as many other mums out there started out with full intention of getting my little one to sleep in his own bed.
    However soon after birth colics kicked in and we ended up sleeping in all sort of places (always done taking safety into account)..
    At just over two months the little monkey ended up permanently in our bed n at 31months still is…

    I m a very light sleeper and always taken my child safety as a priority. But had so many negative comments from health advisors that scared me n made me feel like a bad mum…

    Until one day talking to my child’s GP she reassured me that if I was being careful there was nothing wrong with cosleeping if it worked for us!

    I felt so much better after that!

    I believe that more information and support should be given to parents re baby sleep!

    Thanks for all the info and really wish I had found you guys sooner!

    • Emily DeJeu says:

      @ irene – Thanks so much for sharing your story! I think a lot of moms end up doing just what you have done…and it’s high time we stopped making them feel so terrified!

      Thanks for commenting, irene – glad you’ve found us and are adding your voice to our community. 🙂

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