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

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  1. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Jennifer — thanks for sharing your opinion! Sounds like bed-sharing was a solution that made nursing at night much easier for you. That’s definitely one of the advantages to that sleeping arrangement 🙂

  2. Jennifer says:

    It is apparent the posters here questioning whether parents can actually get any sleep while bed sharing decided it was not for them. This was the best way for me and my family and the best way for me to get sleep. My son was a night waker (and still wakes on occasion even now that he is 3). My husband was deployed for 7 months and co-sleeping was the only way I could get any sleep at night without him!

    Also I think the missing link here is that bed sharing can allow a breastfeeding mother to get more sleep because all she needs to do is lift her shirt. My daughter was a solid sleeper until she turned 8 months. For the last four months we have been bed sharing and it works for us. She can nurse at night quickly and easily when she needs to which means more sleep for me. I just turn over and go to sleep and so does she.

    Rather than guess at what is best for everyone else we should all focus on what is best for our own families. Parenting is hard enough these days without people ragging one another that what they do isn’t the “right” way.

  3. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Katarina — thanks so much for sharing your experience! You bring a good balance to the conversation, as someone who’s bed-shared and had it work well. Glad to hear this sleeping arrangement is working well for your family 🙂

  4. Katarina says:

    I’m a new mom with a 9 month old. In the beginning I did not bed-share with our daughter. frankly speaking she just looked too fragile and with the crazy sleep schedule I didn’t feel safe. I bought one of those co-sleeping bassinets and had her in it near my bed. Also she had a short stint in the NICU so I couldn’t sleep unless I knew she was on the sleep monitor. But at 4-5 months something happened. I started letting her sleep next to me when she was having a rough nigh with sleep. Sometimes my husband would sleep next to us but often he chose to take the floor.

    Now at 9 months, she is still in our room and mainly sleeps in a crib in our room, but sometimes still sleeps between us. She’s always been exceptionally strong. She was born lifting her head, always hated tummy time, and never crawled. Even at 2 months she seemed to always want to work on being upright. She was cruising at 6.5 months and walking on her own by 8 months. She will nap in her room during the day but at night she screams bloody murder, so we let her sleep in ours. She’s perfectly capable of sleeping om her own. We don’t believe in crying it out, but we will let her cry a bit to burn off some energy if she’s struggling to go down. Normally if she needs it, a good 5 minute sleepy cry and 2 minutes of rocking will get her to sleep. My little one sleeps about 11-12 hours from 10 to 9. I am a remote consultant so I work from home, so we let her sleep later so I don’t have to get up so early.

    We try to make the bed safe – no excess pillows or blankets, etc. If she sleeps between us, we carve out a section for her so she doesn’t get rolled on. We also have barriers so she doesnt go rolling off the bed. We’re both light sleepers. Im also still breastfeeding, so it is nice to be able to nurse before she sleeps and again in the morning before we get up.

    I ultimately feel that some creative research interpretation and overly cautious public guidance has resulted in vilifying bed-sharing. Like all things – common sense prevails. If you smoke, if you are over weight, if you are a heavy sleeper, if your bed is too small, if your bed is too soft, if you aren’t hyper attentive, if you have been drinking, if you are on drugs /medications, if your floors are hard, if your beds too high…..maybe bed sharing isn’t for you.

  5. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Lindsay — thanks for sharing your story! What a good reminder to parents who bed-share; it’s so, so important to understand all the precautions that need to be taken to bed-share safely, and it’s important to actually follow them! It’s recommended that mom be the only person to bed-share with an infant, and your example certainly shows why that’s the case.

  6. Lindsay says:

    I second the rule of daddy sleeping somewhere else for at least the first year. I almost lost my daughter twice due to his incompetent sleeping practices. I had to dig her head out from under him once and her lower half another time. It was truly frightening. I held her for two weeks through the night following each incident. He’s also overweight, which may not have helped the situation much. She now has an attached crib to the bed (sorta like a cosleeper) and is 15 months old. It works for now since at no point can she be alone. She’s very social, to the point of it being a need to be near someone at all times.

    My 11 year old was the same way as my daughter but he wouldn’t tolerate anything other than sleeping on my chest for the first 6 months of life. At about 6 months he switched and had no issues sleeping in his crib most nights. I am a very aware sleeper and can even get a good nights sleep on a 2by4 (without falling off). A little exaggerated, but I’ve slept in some situations where anyone else would have fallen or crushed something.

    My 15 year old probably would have been great in a crib if I could afford one. He’s never minded being left to himself and actually prefers it. He slept with just me for the first year and a half and moved to a full size western style bed at 18 months without a cry or a care. He was an ideal baby in that way. He just hated to be held so cuddling wasn’t an option until he was over a year. Not very ideal in that way. But all babies are different.

    I feel bed sharing is completely safe for someone like me and completely unsafe for the first 6 months at least for someone like my daughters dad. So, I’m not a blind advocate, but I am an advocate of the rules.

  7. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Shari — thanks for sharing your thoughts! Your are right about socioeconomic status and income level making a difference; deaths related to bed-sharing are more common in families who live below the poverty line. I didn’t emphasize that fact in the article, though, simply because some of the factors that make bed-sharing dangerous apply to people of all income levels, so it’s important that we don’t write off bed-sharing death as something that can only happen to people who are poor.

    @ Alix — I generally agree. It’s fantastic to remain open-minded, and to be willing to learn from other people and cultures (as well as from the past.) But I do think people sometimes tend to glorify the past, as well as other cultures’ methods, without accounting for some of the less glamorous realities (like disease, etc.)

    @ Nadina — Excellent, excellent advice! Parents really do know their own children and their own situations better than anyone else, so the decision on when/where/how to sleep should be left entirely to them 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience!

    @ Katia — you make an excellent distinction here, and it’s one that lit up message boards after this article was published. SIDS, and death due to actual suffocation, are two different things. This article played a little fast and loose with the terms SIDS, I thought. The truth is that bed-sharing deaths are almost always due to actual suffocation, whereas SIDS deaths don’t have any obvious or apparent cause. Thanks for pointing out the need for clarification!

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