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Working Moms

Thoughts on co-sleeping?

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You and your baby get much better sleep when you have your own safe place to sleep. Not only this, it teaches them to self sooth and puts them on a better trajectory to do things for themselves. You are always there to support them and love them but independence is important right from the beginning. I have 3 amazing kids (14, 17, 20) - straight A students, three season athletes, all play multiple instruments, all 2nd degree black belts, among other individual talents and I've always let them try and know what it is to fail, do things on their own, never lowering my standards or they will lower theirs. Let them climb trees, get dirty, roll in the grass. Don't react when they get hurt as they always follow your lead. Always remain calm, cool and collected. You will have level headed, humble yet confident independent adults. Good luck!!

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Im pretty firmly in the separate bed + training camp. That said I once zonked out on my sofa mid-midnight feed and awoke in a panic because my 2 month old son was between me and a cushion. Baby was perfectly fine but I was horrified. From then on I only did night feeds in a safely set up bed (firm mattress/no pillows etc.) so I could be more confident that if I did fall asleep it would be much less likely to result in something horrible. Sleep deprivation iwas no joke for me in the beginning and I was doing some crazy things (leaving keys in the door, putting laundry detergent in the dishwasher etc). while not directly dangerous to the baby- just knowing my judgment was that impaired made me realize that occasional bedsharing for a nap or to get a longer stretch during the night was a lifesaver to make sure I was capable of functioning during waking hours. I think each of us must weigh the risk/rewards based on our individual circumstances. Yes, SIDS is a very real risk but it’s also not the ONLY risk.

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The best sleep I've gotten after having kids. Follow the safe sleep seven. Co-sleeping is more prevalent world wide than not. Also, it has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS if done following the safety precautions.

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Same. We nursed full time until 18 months, then cut down to just for getting to sleep and the occasional comfort when hurt.

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Regardless of people here who say you can cosleep in bed safely, health guidelines do not agree. And as for the article posted by @PwC1, there are so many *** on that, why even risk it? And even if you COULD, it’s best from day one to try and get your baby used to sleeping on their own, on their back, on a flat, firm bed. All these cosleeping behaviors parents often do far too long, and have significant issues getting their kids down on their own later on. Mine has been going to bed by 6:30/7pm since he was about 8 weeks old (about 10/11 at first and slowly earlier), and we can’t say enough about getting those hours between 7 and our bedtime back. And he still sleeps until 7-8am no matter how late he goes to bed, and that’s pretty standard for kids (not necessarily not waking up, but no matter how late they always go to sleep, waking up at the same time).

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Agree @Deloitte 2!! I’m part of a few moms groups on Facebook and I cannot even number the amount of families looking to untrain cosleeping because they waited too long. If you don’t cosleep, kids don’t get used to it, period. Do the same thing from day one, and they’ll never know any different. Our son also didn’t take to pacifiers at first, and we just avoided introducing after that since it’s yet another habit we would have to untrain later. We’ve also never used bottle warmers (he rarely has a bottle warmer than room temp), and he now takes all his bottles straight out of the fridge (he isn’t 6 months old yet either). We’re hoping that will make the transition to cold drinks easier soon.

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Just say no. I never get any sleep when i sleep with my kid. Really little babies should sleep in your room in a bassinet by the bed but after 6 months your kid should be in his or her own room in his or her own bed. Otherwise, it is totally destructive to your sleep.

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Personally, I'd risk it and get my kid out of my bedroom by 6 months. The risk of SIDS generally drops very significantly once your child can roll over in both directions, which is usually by 6 months. Meanwhile, it is virtually impossible to train a child greater than 6 months for good sleep if they know you're two feet away. Above that age, they are fully aware you're in the room and will basically scream till they get you to get up because they know you are there. The people who make these guidelines don't account at all for the incteased stress to the parents of the recommendations, so they recommend things that are massive inconvenience to you for what is only a marginal benefit to your child. IMO this is one of those recommendations.

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I had a bad close call cosleeping, as in bed sharing. I’ve never talked about it to anyone and it’s the most shameful experience of my life. It’s your choice, of course, but exhaustion can cloud judgement more than you’d think. If you do it, have a plan to make your setup safe.

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I can completely relate. My husband let our 2-week old baby sleep on his chest once when husband was exhausted (after I told him it’s not safe to sleep in bed with the baby). The baby accidentally rolled off of him and onto the floor. Baby was ok, thank goodness, but I’ve never been so scared and furious *in my life*. Deep down I still haven’t really forgiven him for it, and it still really angers me when I think about it. So no - I do NOT do cosleeping bc I know how scary exhaustion can lead to mistakes and it’s just not worth the risk to me.

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1 in 46,000 chance of baby dying from SIDS while they’re in a safe sleep space (alone, on his or her back, in a crib or bassinet following safety standards) vs. 1 in 16,400 chance of baby dying from SIDS in bed. Not even a question for me. I’ve been breastfeeding for nine months, baby’s been sleeping through the night since seven weeks, and bedsharing is not remotely acceptable to me when we know better.

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Thanks EY1, that makes sense. And I agree - definitely in the bedside bassinet camp to prevent any cases of accidental smothering by blankets or another person! Just not worth the risk.

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Absolutely no to bed sharing. Keep the baby in your room but not in your bed

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Bed sharing can be done safely. The main risks are for smokers, when alcohol is involved, etc. Nursing mothers and babies are actually quite safe to sleep together. Rather than saying it’s dangerous and ignore that people will do it, Notre Dame has published some guidance on this here: https://cosleeping.nd.edu/safe-co-sleeping-guidelines/. Of course you will need to adapt your own use of pillows and blankets, but its workable! We didn’t do night sleep bedsharing, but we did lots of bed-shared naps. Good luck!

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Thanks all for the feedback. I committed to safe-sleep when my baby boy was first born 6 months ago. I sleep in peace knowing he is safe! I know bed-sharing is NOT safe, and an option I never considered. I tirelessly tried to get my baby to sleep alone for the first month and while it was hard, I managed to get there and he has been sleeping in his crib in his own room actually for 4 months now! I get a lot of questions about why I never bed-shared and I never understood why people bed-shared when it’s so dangerous. I think of safe sleep on the same level as car seat safety personally.

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PwC 1...was thinking the same thing. She kind of is throwing shade on 1/2 her responders....🤷‍♀️

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Agree with MHS1. Have three kids and practiced co-sleeping / sharing bed with all three. It gives you those important hours to get some rest and what is important to continue breastfeeding. Not sure but it seems to me that many of those who don’t share bed with babies go from breastfeeding to formula very quickly. Btw, also not from the US, and most of people where I come from do the same as I did.

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Nope

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For any reason other than desperation, it’s a hard pass for me. Having some personal space and boundaries is important. And I would never want to get busy with my husband in the bed my kids sleep in - ick.

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This is also assumes you’ve been cleared for the deed. I had terrible tearing and was not in the mood for many months so this was not an issue

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My SIL who is a pediatrician said that she’s had two instances of adults rolling on to their babies when co-sleeping, one caused serious problems for the child & the other death.

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And the risk of rolling onto your baby when they sleep in their own crib is 0.00%

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My son slept in a cosleeper attached to the bed and then in the bed when bigger. My quality of sleep was so much improved.

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Bed sharing family here. Only way mama stays rested. I don’t do sleep training so this works for my family instead. Like so many parenting decisions, gotta do what you think is best and be confident in your decision. I also don’t openly talk about my parenting decisions with friends, family, coworkers because it’s no one’s business where I choose to put my kids to sleep (same goes for breastfeeding versus formula, etc etc etc)

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Our 4 yo son was in the NICU for 4 weeks after birth and the best advice that his doctors and nurses gave us was to put him in a crib in his room to sleep. Did the same with our 15 mo and it is the one piece of advice I will alway remember and give to new moms. It’s hard sometimes as a new mom, but worth it in the long run. Both boys now share a room and go to bed at 7:30pm and wake up at 7:00am.

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As my mom told me “once you let them in your bed you’ll never get them out!” 😂

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Do whatever you’ve got to do to get the kid and you some sleep. For us that meant co-sleep on and off with each of ours until about 2. Now they adorably just share a bed with each other (ages 2.5 and 5). (Of course follow the safety guidelines)

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Whatever gets everybody the best sleep. In our family, that meant a bedside bassinet until three months, her own room until 1 year, and then cosleep through preschool. Different arrangements worked at different ages.

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Do what works for you and your family

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Why risk it? It’s not safe.

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