Monday, November 14, 2011

Somebody's Been Sleeping In My Bed . . .

Before having kids, I was a firm believer that babies no matter how young or old should NOT sleep in bed with you. When my baby was a newborn I was terrified of all the crazy stories I had heard about babies suffocating because their parents had allowed them to sleep in their bed. I was so paranoid, that I really did a great job of never allowing that to happen...

However, when my baby got a little older (around 6-12 months), I slowly started to cave.

My little guy would go through phases were he would wake up once or twice every night. I got to the point where I felt so sleep deprived that I started just laying him in our bed and giving him a bottle. Whether he was hungry or not, the sucking motion would usually put him right to sleep and then I would slyly sneak him back into his own crib (not wanting him to start thinking that he could sleep all night in our bed).

Then somewhere along the line, I completely caved. I started letting him stay all night in our bed every time he woke up. Which was crazy because my husband and I NEVER sleep well when he is in our bed (it must have something to do with the fact that he twists and turns all night, and sometimes he will even try to play and starts kicking or smacking us in the face).

Every morning this happened, I would promise myself that it wouldn't happen again... but it's funny how your brain works differently at 3:00am when your delirious and halfway asleep.

Luckily, we have yet to get to the point where we let our little guy sleep with us every night. In fact, usually after so many consecutive nights of this awful slumber I get so fed up that I let him just "cry it out" in his crib. Once I do this 2 or 3 nights in a row, he goes back to sleeping through the night, but something always triggers the middle of the night wake-ups and the cycle begins once again (for example, when he is sick, teething, or if we go on vacation).

I really hate hearing him cry... I mean seriously, it takes a lot of guts to be mean to this face.

What do you think? Any advice?

Do you (or would you) let your baby/toddler sleep in bed with you?


  1. Oh look at that precious face! I wouldn't be able to say no to him either :)

  2. I can't sleep at all if Emory is in my bed, so we have never done it. I just give her tough love, but we both wake up happier in the morning. When she was younger and started waking up regularly, I did add a CD player to her room with some sleeping music. If she woke up, I would go in there and turn on the music, it worked awesome.

  3. As hard as it is, if allowed, this can only get worse. Caregivers need care, and that includes a good nights rest. I suggest slowing giving him a warm rice pouch. This can be made by putting dry rice in a cotton sock and then loop to tie the top closed. Then microwave for around a minute. This trick is great for a hot compress in place of a hot water bottle and in my experience, it also can act as a security blanket to help a child feel more comfortable in their own room. Something warm to snuggle up to is like a safe warm body sleeping near by.

  4. Hi, you don't know me, but I follow your blog. I'm married David Johnson, Ann Johnson's youngest son.

    Anyway, I know that co-sleeping is very common around the world. I don't think there is anything wrong with it as long as it isn't impacting your sleep significantly. Honestly, I would sleep much better if I was in my own room and in my own bed but I continue to sleep in a bed with my husband because it enhances bonding. The bottom line is that you know what's best for you and your family and just do what feels right.

  5. Stumbled on your blog for a bread recipe through pinterest...
    We have coslept with our daughter since day 1. There are many benefits of co-sleeping and if done correctly, it is the safest way to sleep. I would prepare your bed ahead of time for cosleeping if your son is going to end up in your bed anyway. Obviously, the biggest rule is no drugs or alcohol that would inhibit your ability to sense where your son is. There ARE dangers to the Cry-It-Out method of sleep training - I would highly recommend the book No Cry Sleep Solution that helps you create a nap/night time sleep schedule and routine that can help you all get a better night sleep in the space you choose without having to resort to cry it out. If you aren't comfortable with bed sharing, that's fine but you should be aware that it is common, safe and even beneficial - esp. for infants. Dr. McKenna has some amazing research on this - Hope this helps you make your decision and find some solutions that work for everyone in your family!

  6. Lots of people do it. There is simply no room in our bed. But, we do co-sleep. We have a 1 bedroom apt. so Eli is stuck in our room, just in his little pack 'n play. It's co-sleeping either way. There are benefits and drawbacks to any sleeping arrangement with a child. If everyone is sleeping well in the same bed then I wouldn't worry about moving him (yet). But if any of you are losing sleep because of the arrangement, you should probably nip it in the butt now!! That's my advice!

  7. Our oldest one has slept in his own bed about a month . Then I had no desire to get up every night removed one side from his cot and put it on ours. So all had enough space and we were still together.
    I don´t know the name in English for it, in German we say Babybalkon = baby balcony.
    And with the youngest we did it from the beginning in this way.
    My sons are now 8 and 10 years old, but whenever they want.
    After their father moved out, that's even a ritual for us.
    Friday evening we get a little nibble to us, all crawling into my bed, watching a movie and then cuddle all night long.

    I really, really love it, even if it is close in bed slowly.

    @Wombat: "Something warm to snuggle up to is like a safe warm body sleeping near by."

    Nothing can replace the heartbeat of the mother, nothing her warm hand, nothiing your breath that your child feels at night on the cheek - no one of a primitive people would come to the idea to give ​​the children a heated sock filled with rice instead of their own body.

    Just my two cents.

  8. Sorry, my Second sentence is incomplete:

    Then I had no desire to get up every night to breastfeed and so we removed one side from his cot and put it on ours.

  9. Hi, this is the first time I leave a comment here, but I've been following your blog for a while now through google reader. Anyway. I have 4 kids. Like you, for the first one I listened to all those people telling me it was not OK to let him sleep with us, I would spoil him etc... He didn't sleep with us until he was 8 months old and teething started. After that, he stayed with us untill he was about 2 years old, then got a room of his own and came back with us when his sister was born. She too stayed with us until about 2-3 years old. Our third is now 3 1/2 and still sleeps with us at least part of the night for most nights. The baby of the family is now 16 months old and has never spent a night away from my side.
    What really worked in favor of co-sleeping was that I don't need to get up at night anymore. Since my babies are breastfed, I simply give them what they need, while being half asleep and can go right back to sleep myself.
    Hope this helps you

  10. We let Isaac come in bed with us a lot when he was a baby....and now at 5 years old HE STILL DOES. Seriously, he walks in our bed almost every single night about 3 or 4 am. We usually carry him right back once we realize he's in there. It is a toss up bc there is something special about watching your baby sleep. And one day when they are all grown up I think we will give anything to get one of those nights back, with them all cuddled up between us. These days are precious. BUT on the other hand it's rough when they bigger and more wiggly and no one gets any sleep. With Claire and Sam we vowed to not make the same mistake and they both sleep through the night perfectly in their own beds. So pretty much I have no good advice for you :)

  11. OH my gosh. This is a page from my journal or something. I laughed out loud at the kicking in the face part. Zoe's always kicking Jake in the face at night. And we sleep horribly, but we keep bringing her back! hahaha

  12. Your guy is so cute.
    Carson slept with us every night until he was 6 months and then on and off again like your situation. He still occasionally sleeps with me when Adam is at work. However, I think when we moved him to his own toddler bed, he started finding that more exciting than sleeping with me. Do you think he could be ready for a toddler bed? It is nice for them to be able to grab a toy, have a pillow, or grab a drink or book instead of hollering from the crib.
    Also, we haven't let Allie sleep with us and she surprisingly sleeps better than Carson ever did. It rules.

  13. you are so popular with all your comments! but i can't handle how cute he is in that last picture. he's a real man now

  14. great post...I have a no babies in the bed rule ( unless they are sick, storms, or nightmares ) mainly b/c I can't sleep and when this momma doesn't sleep it isn't pretty. We had a hard time with our daughter when she moved to a big was a lot of getting up and walking her back to her room and turning on music ( which really really helped her) However I do agree when you are tired it is soooo much easier to give in...which I used to do around 6 am...she comes into snuggle...6am turned in to 4am which turned into do they Each time it takes just about 3 or 4 day to get her back on track. Now I tell her if she opens her eyes and it is dark go back to Our son is still in the land of cribs...which I am so scared to give up... :) Your mamma you know best, you have to do what works best for you.

  15. In response to @noz! -

    "Nothing can replace the heartbeat of the mother, nothing her warm hand, nothiing your breath that your child feels at night on the cheek - no one of a primitive people would come to the idea to give ​​the children a heated sock filled with rice instead of their own body."

    It is true. Nothing can replace the heartbeat of a mother, or her warm hand. You are correctly identifying the characteristics of all young children, who are relationship-seeking and strive to participate in the life around them. Being sensitive and available is crucial for meeting infant's needs. Alas, in the toddler years, children strive towards independence. For example- learning how to walk, they are realizing their own capabilities. The steps towards autonomy that a child takes in this age are crucial for development of mobility, communication, and self care. Supporting these steps support significant changes in cognition and emotion, including but not limited to: self-concept, communicative competence, and empathy and emergence of standards. This emerging skill of understanding standards determines their capacity to regulate their emotions. Using a rice-sock is a great scaffold (Feel free to look up some of Vygotsky's theories to learn what scaffolding is) to helping children ease the habit of sleeping in mom's bed. It may be 'just a sock filled with rice', but the meaning and purpose behind it shows true desire and love for the development of a child. Your statement is incredibly ignorant, RUDE, and I find it extremely offensive for you to call someone 'primitive' when they are stating a clearly helpful tactic.

  16. I was totally anti-co-sleeping with my first kid, who was not breastfed and who slept awesomely through the night in his own bed from six weeks on. In fact, I remember telling my sister she was completely nuts when she mentioned that she might buy a cosleeper, for all of the reasons that you mention. Now that I've had two totally crappy sleepers who end up in my bed 90% of the time, I do not judge. :) Mommas need sleep. It's a survival thing. Get it however you have to, even if it means you end up with more people in your bed than you would prefer.

  17. Hi there!
    I have been a longtime reader and love your blog! I didn't cosleep with my first two daughters and totally regret it! I would have been more rested, less worried, and the girls would have been a lot happier.
    I currently cosleep with our 11 month old baby, she has slept with us from the start and I can count on one hand the number of sleepless nights we have had since bringing her home. It is so much easier to nurse a baby that is already in bed with you, plus I feel like I am more attuned to her needs. My husband actually loves it as well! I know that she will eventually want her independence but for now I will savor the little hand wrapped around my sleeve every night.

  18. No advice here, my 14 month old sleeps with me every night and shows no signs of giving up her routine. haha

    I just love the title of this post. As a cosleeper it made me chuckle.

    And the pictures... totally cute! I just stumbled upon your blog... probably from pinterest, and man he is a cute little guy!

  19. Lunesta, I did not mean that wombat is primitive, but that the people who still live in the wilderness are in accordance with this nurturing of children.
    Excuse me if this has been understood so wrong with my poor English.

  20. So I'm behind at responding, not too unusual for me. You should do what you need. Them sleeping alone isn't going to be the be-all-end-all of their existence. You're not selfish for wanting a good night's rest and them to sleep on their own instead of being in your bed. I have never coslept and I have 2. My second was breastfed, and getting up was not an issue. Yes I was more tired, but she was much happier in her bed and so was I. I just figure if I couldn't get out of bed to feed her and lay her down, that was pretty sad on my part(not a judgement on anyone else, a judgement on what I feel I HAVE to be capable of fyi). It never hurt my babies, I'm as close as can be, but I think after having them all over you during the day(and be honest, when they're very small they're attached at the hip of course), I need some breathing space at night. Now that they're older, the independance makes them happier, they're more prone to trying things my friends children scoff at and they get more sleep. We're happy like this.....point of my big ole long what makes you happy and to hell with what ppl tell you ;)

  21. my best advice to you would be to let him come and spend the night with me in rexburg...until i graduate.


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