The CoSleeping Edition Of My Attachment Parenting Freako-ness

Okay, first of all, let me say what I feel I have to say.  This is my story.  This is how I do what I do.  This is not telling you how to do anything.  I am only responsible for my family.  I am not responsible for your family.  In fact, I’m pretty sure the American Academy of Pediatrics is against the practice of bed sharing.  So, there you have it.  Don’t do what I say to do.  Make up your own mind.

Having said that, this is how I do what I do and just how I got to this place.  I co-sleep.  (As I lower my voice and look around to see who’s staring at me.)  I bed share.  I sleep not only in the same room with my babies, or even within an arm’s reach of my baby, most of the time I actually sleep next to my baby.  At least a portion of the night.  And I still sleep with my toddler.  Yes, I do.  My toddler that has been Mr. Attachment since the moment he came out.

I didn’t study this one either.  I actually read more about this practice while writing this post than I have in all my years of doing it.  I’m bored by reading all that stuff.  I’m not gonna tell you the official rules of “how to” do it – go look it up – it’s all over the place.  I’m here to tell what I do.  Not what “they” tell me to do and not do.  Besides, I’m gonna do what I want to do anyway.  I’m stubborn like that.

I didn’t co-sleep with my first child.  I kept him in a bassinet by the bed for the first month and then moved him to his own crib in his own room at exactly one month old.  Just like everybody said to do.  Now, I did “slip” and find myself sleeping next to him some mornings on his couch in his room when I couldn’t keep my head up any longer to get him to settle.  But I felt guilty about not putting him back into his own bed and vowed to not do it again.  Each time.  But most of the time it wasn’t much of any issue because he was such an easy sleeper.

And then my second child was born.  A non-sleeper.  A child attached.  Wouldn’t be laid down in the hospital room.  Every time I would lay him in that plastic bassinet he would scream like a crazy person - I would call the nursery, they would check him, ask if he was a nursing baby and wish me luck.  So I brought him to my hospital bed.  Just to get sleep.  Any sleep.  Oh my goodness, the lack of sleep.  I brought him home and it was just the same.  I’m pretty sure this nursing all night long when I didn’t have the laying down nursing position mastered led to all that trouble I had with nursing him.  But we made it.  Now, just how did I sleep with him so much?  My husband was working nights at the time and my bed was empty.  So, when he cried, I brought him to me.  And fell asleep.  And found peace.

When my girl came along I was still having toddlers coming to my bed in the night – even GoodSleepingOldest needed to know we were near occasionally.  And boy, that Middlest really needed me.  But we had a queen sized bed and a taboo feeling about children in the bed with us so we had them drag their blankies and pillows to our room and sleep on the floor next to our bed.  Lots of times holding my hand that I hung off the edge of the bed down to them to soothe them.  MyGirl was a sleeper though.  Nurse that child and lay her back in that bassinet beside the bed and we were good.  She took pretty well to sleeping with little to no effort.

By the time BigMan was born I was well into the “do what works” phase of my parenting.  Another fully needy baby – I slept most nights with him next to me on the edge of the bed away from my husband.  With the bassinet against the bed in case he ever got too close to the edge.  We eventually transitioned him to his own room.  Just to find him more than once playing in the house in the middle of the night.  Like, the time we woke up at 2 in the morning with 15 month old him sitting on the kitchen table not knowing how to get down and crying.  We moved his crib back into our room and for a while we kept the door to our room closed to be super sure we heard him if he got up to wander out.  That’s also around the same time we installed a “bar” on our sliding glass door.  Oh my goodness.  Plus, he wanted comforting at least as much as TheMiddlest did.  Now I still had 3 other small children wandering in at various times with leg cramps and bad dreams and “I wet the bed, Mama.”  So we did what works.  Crawl into bed.  Lay on the floor of my room.  Just sleep.  Whatever you do, just sleep.

That’s where we were when I was pregnant with this one.  My husband had built a king-sized waterbed by this point, but I wasn’t comfortable with bringing babies to bed in a waterbed.  Plus, my husband works days now.  I don’t.  Well, you know, I don’t work like he does.  And a crying baby always stresses me so much more when I’m worried about Matt not getting enough sleep for work the next day.  So I knew we’d alter the “toy room” to be a “nesting room” when TheFinalist arrived, I just didn’t know exactly how it would work until we lived it a little while.  In fact that first night home from the hospital I thought I was going to lose my mind with the amount of minutes I didn’t sleep.  But we settled in after a little bit and now it works.

yellow room

We had the old queen sized mattress, but no bed frame for it.  Which works nicely to not worry about the baby dropping to the floor.  We had the crib in the room originally for BigMan.  And I tried a bassinet type bucket thing for TheFinalist at first.  This did not work.  For so many reasons.  What we have currently is this:  The newborn Finalist is laid into his crib - either when he goes to sleep for the night (usually around 8:30p) or when I go to bed.  He’s a sleeper, it takes no effort to get him settled into his bed.  I just lay him down.  Already asleep.  And he just stays asleep.  It’s him, not me.  I lay the 2 year old BigMan against the wall in the bed.  And I go to sleep.  When TheFinalist wakes to nurse I get him out of the crib, change him right there in my bed (note the bucket, lamp, and clock for these purposes).  I nurse him laying down and we drift off to sleep together.  I usually plan which side I will nurse him on for his last feeding so that he is not between me and the toddler.  If I need to feed him on that side I sit up with him to nurse and then put him to sleep on the other side.  I don’t trust sleeping with him between me and BigMan.  I always sleep with him on the far side.

To answer the shocking question you probably have in your mind right now..  No, I don’t sleep in the same bed as my husband right now.  I said it.  It’s a season.  A brief season.  Getting briefer all the time – this kid only wakes one time in the night already and has even skipped that one feeding a few times.  We’ve built BigMan his own bed that’s already in the loft – we’ll start that slow transition soon.  And when things change and cease to work the way they are now, we’ll adapt.

I know I’m a freako.  I know.  It’s okay.  I’ve accepted that by now.  When I was looking around to give you a couple of links I found myself actually reading and being engaged by one.  Dr. Sears made me feel not only much less like a freak but also like I was doing something right.  Pretty amazing to me.  So, if you find yourself drawn to this (or even just stumbling into it like we did out of needing to survive this season) go read his article - it’ll make you smile.  Just keep in mind the American Academy of Pediatrics has this to say about it too.

Now about these pictures..

I sorted all our books and put the toddler friendly ones in our “nesting room” for easy sleepy reads.

with bookshelf

This is a pic of an actual “co-sleeper” bed thing that a friend has let me borrow.  In all honesty, I just put it in his crib to keep him comfier.  I don’t use it in our bed.  I just sleep with him.

2 month sleepy head co sleeper

In the bucket – I pack everything we might need in the night.  Diapers (an extra for the toddler too), clothes, wipes, powder, a pump if I wake up too full, a nasal bulb right now (poor baby has a cold), diaper rash ointment, hand cleaner and lotion for me.  When we go to bed, the bucket comes with us from the changing table and in the morning it goes back with us.  One place to refill everything.  Completely portable.  The bucket credit SO goes to my friend CC who had five kids before I did and back when I couldn’t imagine how she did what she did!  The bucket I use now even has TheMiddlest’s name and info in her handwriting – we still use the same one!

baby bucket

That’s it.  That’s how I manage to sleep through the bedtime revolving door of four kids between 8 and 2 and a newborn nursing through the night.

Now tell me how you do it.  Do you co-sleep?  Have you ever?  Have you looked into it?  And go ahead, you can admit now that I’m WAY closer to freako than you thought I was before.

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  • MeganD

    Can I go ahead and be the first to make the following off-color comment? Well, we know you're sleeping with your husband at least occasionally ;).

    Now that that's out of the way, I'm not against co-sleeping for myself, but it just doesn't work out right now. When my babies are essentially newborns, and I'm incredibly sleep deprived, I can do it, but other than that I just don't sleep very deeply next to babies–I worry that any movement on my part will wake them up, so I lay there as still as possible and psych myself out of sleep. My oldest is a thrasher, so even though I'm able to go to sleep next to him, I am often rudely awakened by an arm or leg thrust into my face. With my middle child, it's the opposite problem. He cannot sleep next to me; he's too social and excited and has to try to chat me up. On top of all that, my husband is an incredibly light sleeper so any kids in the bed is a dealbreaker for him.

  • brenda

    My oldest slept in a bassinet by our bed until she was 2 months old, when she kept waking herself up hitting the sides of the bed. She was 22″ at birth, so she didn't fit for long. I got up and sat in the living room to feed her so husband could sleep. That sucked. I was like you—putting the baby in bed was FORBIDDEN and in all fairness, the few times I tried it, husband rolled over and almost hit her in the head with his huge hand. I remember catching his arm in the air. He was just totally not aware of her presence. THere was this other time I went to the bathroom and shook him to say, “the baby is next to you.” I came out of the bathroom and he had pulled the covers up. I was frantically pulling covers and yelling, “Where is she??” He nearly died. He had never heard me.

    We found her.

    Anyway, I couldn't STAND to put her in her own room when she outgrew that bassinet b/c her room was all the way across the house…..not next door or even down the hall. So we borrowed my sister's crib and rearranged our room. Then, at 4 months, she was sleeping through the night every night so there was no point in her being there and we moved her.

    My second one came along and she was a champion nurser. I kept the bassinet, mostly so she wouldn't roll out of bed like you said and sometimes I even woke up to put her in it. :) She slept with us for 9 months and finally started sleeping through the night. And she slept in that bassinet until she was nearly 10 months old. She was short. And never moved when she slept. Older daughter would wander in from a bad dream, thunder, etc. and fall asleep in our laundry pile by my bed. Nearly stepped on her 100 times. How's that for keeping it real? Finally I was ashamed my daughter was sleeping in laundry and we created “The Thunder Bed.” It was a sleeping bag I kept rolled up and ready for her to use b/c we only had a queen sized bed and husband was already propping himself on the nightstand to keep from being pushed out of bed. :)

  • Jennifer

    I wondered in those early months if we ALL would have gotten more sleep co-sleeping. Anna was not a good sleeper the first 6 months. Well, she slept, but she would wake up about every 45 minutes to an hour, all through the night, just to be rocked back to sleep for about 30 seconds or have us put the paci back in her mouth. (And no, she would NOT put herself back to sleep, despite what other parents, ped. clinic, parenting books, etc. said.) So she wasn't really awake much, but WE were. I'm not one of those people who can just fall asleep the minute my head hits the pillow, so usually I was just drifting off again when she started squawling.

    But I didn't know how to do it safely. I can't sleep unless I'm bundled up with heavy covers all the way up to my chin, and I couldn't do that with a baby. I thought about one of those co-sleeper things, but we just have a queen-sized bed (and we both wanted to sleep in it!), so there really wasn't room.

    Fortunately, since about 6 months or so, she sleeps GREAT. And David and I have the bed to ourselves because it was never an issue. We hardly ever hear a peep out of her at night, and now I have friends whose babies were good sleepers but now their toddlers keep them up all night. I guess the season hits everyone at a different time.

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    first – “that's a deal breaker.” laughing so hard! i'm so distracted, sorry!
    second – the off-color comment – still laughing! i said i didn't “sleep”
    with my husband right now… that um, doesn't involve… ahem, sleep.
    third – i'm not actually an advocate for co-sleeping. i know that's hard to
    discern from my post. i don't care if another person on the planet
    co-sleeps!! ;) i don't really want to co-sleep, but in this season, with
    these particular children, i don't care what kind of sleep it is, as long
    as i'm involved in it. as we all know, more sleep = better mommy. thus, i
    co-sleep for right now. and i'm counting down the days that i don't. just
    doin' what works until it doesn't. i SO understand the thrasher child. that
    would be MyMiddlest. thanks for sharing, girly – and thanks for the laughs
    this mornin'!

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    brenda! where do i even start?! 22″ at birth?! oh my! with TheOldest I sat
    in the living room a lot too watching nick at night trying to avoid
    sleeping with him. ugh. it did suck. matt never wakes up when almost
    rolling onto baby. too many times. too many. i would wake to catch his arm
    too. which again equals no sleep for mommy. ugh. hate the across the house
    set up – what's up with that anyway?! that's how we are now – and hence,
    why BigMan would get distracted to play on the way to our room in the
    night. I still don't trust that kid to be anywhere away from me. your
    sleeping bag comment made me remember – when the “drag your blankets”
    wouldn't work (ie, didn't allow for sleep on my part for trying to find
    them a blanket at, say 2 am) there was a while that we would “make the
    floor” before going to bed each night – pillows, blankets, stuffed animals
    all laid out nicely for their mid night arrivals – seemed forever at the
    time – was just a season. and i'm sure my husband appreciates not being
    propped against the nightstand this time, too!!

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    i also am not an instant drifter. argh. it does make it hard. and i agree,
    each kid has their own mind at birth. and that baby hasn't read the
    parenting books or talked to the “experts”.
    i've found, with mine – which are the only ones i'm an expert on (and
    that's only occasionally) – that their sleep habits have ebbed and flowed
    through the months and that as they get older they get better about not
    being so night-needy. and i think you hit the nail on the head – to each
    their own – with no judgement!

  • Terri

    It's so refreshing to hear more in more people are in the “do what works” club when it comes to babies. With my first, we worked hard to get her to sleep by herself in her crib… and I felt exhausted all the time. It did work better for her though, she's a thrasher and likes a lot of room for sleeping. I did co-sleep with her occasionally… when she was sick or during those really bad teething nights. I would kick my husband out of the bed (he is too heavy of a sleeper!) and bring her to bed with me. On those nights, I would only drift since she wanted to be pressed up against me. With my second, I knew the first night in the hospital that she was going to be different. She needed comfort while she sleeped and couldn't sleep at all unless she was swaddled. We had a twin bed in the nursery by that point, so I slept in the bed with the baby in her own bassinet within arms reach (so yes, the husband and I were… and still do sometimes… sleep in separate beds.) This did make the middle of the night nursing sessions SOOOO much easier and I felt more rested from the very beginning. Even at 7 months I still sleep in the same room with her at times. She's got a cold right now, so we're right back to sleeping next to each other… only now I'm not getting up to nurse her but to clear out her nose so she can breathe.

    I haven't touched a parenting book this time around… luckily I feel more confident this time around and discovered it's so much less stressful to just follow the baby's lead!

  • rmjsodini

    I love all of the comments~! I spent the 1st 8 weeks with my oldest on my chest – literally never moving except to hook her up. At her 8 week appt the dr. said she was 12 pounds and I didn't have to feed her at night anymore. Talk about freak out! It was a good thing it was a Friday so hubby was home for the next 3 nights (midnights~yuck!). She only had to go across one room to hers but I was paranoid that I wouldn't hear her even with a monitor. 5 nights later she slept through the night and continued until about a year ago. She is 6 now and has been a great sleeper. She even slept in our floor -daddy's “watch hand” in hers for a month and then went right back to her own bed. Amazing!

    Our second had a crib in our room and slept in it most of the time even from the beginning! He has always been a kid who only sleeps in his bed. Once in a blue moon he will crash in the car seat but rarely and usually just in time to stop.

    Our newest was born on our bed and thinks that is where she belongs. She sleeps with us, in my arm or in her swing of all places. She spends 4-6 hours in her swing at least once a day. Oh, the batteries we go through! She sleeps most nights pretty well. I wake up when she moves and feed her (while I go right back out only because I didn't fully wake up). Occasionally, I wake up and she is asleep! Yay! I can put her in the swing which goes back and forth between our bedroom, the classroom, and the living room. I always have to sleep in the same room with her at this point anyway. She is only 3 months and just made 10 pounds!!! She weighed 8 lbs 13 oz and then lost 2 full pounds before she started to gain. So we spent the first 5 weeks waking to the alarm every two hours to feed. Boy am I glad that is over! She can sleep and wake up when she is ready now.

    How nice to see there are others who do it the same way we do… whatever works. The 6 year old comes in our room and hauls out the old crib mattress (minus the vinyl covering) and grabs a blanket about twice a week. So if we are not tripping over the leg of the swing then its arms and legs that are upside down and backwards from the way they went to sleep. Speaking of Dr. Sears I was reading his Attatchment Parenting Book and he says that it is what we would do if we didn't have everybody telling us what to do. Isn't it neat that by the 2nd and 3rd we relax enough to do what we want or what works for us and our kiddos!

    Blessings and Sweat Dreams!

  • Melissa Stover

    i co sleep or some version of co sleeping in the early weeks. i always wanted one of those co sleeper things you've got. but it always makes me nervous and i don't sleep well. i can't wait to get each kid into their own bed in their own room. tess probably stayed with us the longest because her bed was in our room for about 4 months. now she's on her own and i love it. freedom! freedom to watch tv in bed, eat crunchy food, get up with a light on instead of creeping around in the dark. i'm too much of a night owl to have a baby messing up my me time.

  • Amy

    We put our firstborn in his crib in his room at bedtime from the first night home from the hospital. We used the monitor one night and then quit that. He was a great sleeper, and still is. Slept through the night from a ridiculous age!

    Second boy, we also did the crib-from-the-beginning thing, and he was a horrible sleeper from the get-go. But, of course, he did have issues. So we'll excuse him. ;) He's slept in our bed more in the last 6-8 months than he did his first 3 years. He's scared of thunder. And he's a light sleeper. And who knows what else. All I know is he climbs in between us a few nights a week and 9 times out of 10 we let him stay. Why not? It's kind of cozy, if you ask me.

    Third boy, I am at least planning to try the crib-from-the-beginning. We'll see what happens in Real Life. I just hope and pray pray pray that he is a good sleeper! I am also hoping to improve upon my nursing-while-lying down skills this time around.

    I like your sleeping-room arrangement. I agree with you… The Hubs getting up and driving somewhere to work and being there all day deserves a decent night's sleep. Ok, that's not exactly what you said, but that is my interpretation and feelings on the subject. :)

  • Bunch of Barrons

    Personally we don't co-sleep…but props to you for doing what works for YOUR family and being brave enough to say so! :) I hate when people act like families are “one-size-fits-all” things. No way…every family is different, and should be handled that way! :) Glad you are getting *some* sleep. haha. We have let our little girl sleeping our bed with us some…just so we can get some much needed sleep, like you said. Some nights I'd do anything to keep that girl asleep! :) I LOVE that bucket idea…awesome!

  • Blessed Adventures

    I love Dr. Sears and the room turned out great!

  • Time advocates ‘tough love’ approach to infant sleep | Crunchy Domestic Goddess

    [...] drives the point home that you have to do what works best for your family in her post The Cosleeping Edition of my Attachment Parenting Freako-ness and sometimes that may very well differ from child to [...]

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    didn't it? i love it now, just how i pictured it when i was crazy pregnant
    nesting and you and your kiddos helped me get it started!

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    the bucket makes my life so much easier – the older kids always know just
    where to go to get anything i request for the newest – it's always in the
    blue bucket.
    thanks for being supportive of something you don't personally practice –
    like you said, it's not a one-size-fits-all world. and it's good to know i
    have friends that are different sizes ;)
    it DID take bravery to say so. and that surprised me. i've hidden this
    practice from my family and real-life friends even. you know, until they
    actually asked what that extra room with all the beds is! but now i'm out
    and i can't go back!

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    i absolutely believe in doing what works with each kid. and y'all are
    proving what i had theorized with my own kiddos – each baby is different
    from the very beginning.
    it IS different when hubs has to go off to work and i don't. i can sit on
    the couch and drift in and out of sleep without getting fired – him, not so
    much! plus i can institute naptime when i want – again, him not so much!
    good luck this go 'round – here's to you having an easy sleeper! and if
    not, here's to you mastering that laying down nursing position – i could
    LIVE that way!

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    eh, i'm not as good with the cosleeper thing. i'm so much better with him
    on my arm.
    i like that freedom too – my easy sleeper has really allowed it this time.
    i can lay him down a lot of nights in his crib in the nesting room around
    8:30 with no problem – that's my tv watching time with matt. i really
    cosleep with this one when he wakes for his nighttime feeding. however,
    BigMan still falls asleep on the couch with us and then we transfer him. no
    freedom yet, but i know it'll come!
    glad you're finally getting yours!

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    i agree with what works. if you feel you're losing your mind it always
    helps me to remember that it's only a season. it will pass too quickly. and
    i've always regretted pushing them away too early much more than i have
    regretted bringing them to me. always.
    i love the “watch hand”! i slept that way many a time and now miss it.
    sweet memories waking up with a sweet little hand in mine.
    hate the waking to a clock. hate it! but we do what works until something
    else works!
    thanks for commenting!

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    as i said somewhere else, it's an ebb and flow around here. even with
    MyOldest who slept in his own bed most of the time, we brought him to us
    (or like you, went to him!) when he was scared or sick and then he would be
    get well and sleep well again.
    i love that you're following baby's lead – they're their own little person
    after all!
    and good for you too to put down the parenting books – between those and
    magazines most mamas have much more guilt and stress than there needs to
    be. maybe i need to write my own parenting book – the only one moms SHOULD
    read! ;)

  • Brandy

    Hi! First time here …. came from Crunchy Domestic Goddess.

    We didn't co-sleep with our first. When she was born, we put her in a bassinet next to our bed, then in her crib when she was about a month old. Her crib was in our room until she was 15 months old, then we moved her crib to her own room — because everyone told us we needed to or she'd never sleep on her own and we listened. Silly us … she was sleeping on her own even with the crib in our room lol

    We moved to Florida shortly after that. We stayed with a friend for awhile until we found our apartment … so she was in the room with us again, in her own crib though. We had window heating/cooling units in our apartment there … and her room never got cool enough in that hot Florida heat, so we brought her into our room with us. On a mattress right next to our mattress.

    Every move after that, she was always — for one reason or another — in our room with us. We just call the bedroom our Family Bedroom now, as she's still in there with us … at 6yrs old. She's on her own bed though. We've had a LOT of people tell us she'll never get used to sleeping alone because of what we're doing, but it's hogwash. She goes into the bedroom at 7:30/8pm … lays in there, tells her stuffed angel a story … and when I go in there at 11:30pm-ish, she's fast asleep. She DOES sleep alone. No problems.

    Our youngest is 14 months old. She's slept next to me since the day she was born. Even the one night we were in the hospital. It's easier for nursing, I think. I bought a sleep positioner (it's slightly wedge-shaped … with “pillows” on either side to keep baby from rolling), but she kept sliding DOWN it … so I just laid her in her Boppi pillow. She's been sleeping in that ever since. NO problems at all. She usually wakes once a night to nurse … … but when she's teething (like now — since August!), she wakes up a lot more. Like 4-6 times a night. Crazy, I know … but I know she'll get back to her usual sleeping once the teeth come in. It's a LOT easier to handle with her right next to me …. instead of getting up and going to pick her up, I just have to let her latch on, then I can lightly doze until she's done. Even though she's teething now (she had 5 coming in at once!!!, but now we only have 2 left that are still coming)… and she's usually up 4-6 times a night … I'm thankful that the last 2 nights she's woken up less (2-3 times). More sleep for her, more sleep for me!

    See? You're not the only freako lol

  • Mandy

    We are going with the “whatever gives Momma and Daddy the most sleep” arrangement right now. Currently that is Sawyer (3 1/2) on a blow-up mattress on our floor. Skyler goes to sleep in his room in his bed, but spend major chunks of the night in our bed when he gets ups to nurse. Last night he was in our bed from 12 – 3 and from about 6 – 7:30. The boys are supposed to share a room, but that was a nightmare! They kept waking each other up, so we would be up like 6 times a night between the 2 of them. Skyler is still nursing, most likely though the winter then I'll totally wean him. I am trying to wean him during the day right now. Not going so hot.
    He stayed in our room in either the bassinet or pac and play (but mostly in our bed) until over 6 months, then we tried moving him to his crib in the room with Sawyer, and, like I said, nightmare! We dod have one other small bedroom, but it's the office/storage room for all Brian's photography equipment.

    And I totally agree, a rester Mommy is a better Mommy . . . and wife . . . and human being in general!

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    i'm so glad you're doing what works, girl! letting go of the perfection
    when we tried having the boys share a room when they were younger it was a
    nightmare as well. but, take heart, when they get older it gets easier.
    mine share the loft and most nights i only yell to them to be quiet about
    50 times! ;)

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    Welcome – so glad you came over!! And thanks for sharing.
    I love that your little one tells her stuffed lovies stories. So sweet.
    I'm glad I'm not the only one, I really do wonder sometimes!
    And really the whole “they'll never sleep alone” argument? I don't really
    see my 16 year olds piled into our room. Really. :)

  • suzannah

    this is a great post! i also am cosleeping with my eight week old, but don't consider myself a cosleeper, either–we're just doing what works!

    my first baby woke every two hours and nursed a good forty minutes–while i sat up awake. 18 months later she still wasn't sleeping through the night and i was completely drained physically and emotionally. this time, we just didn't want to do battle. he sleeps with us, i nurse laying down, and we all feel miraculously rested and thankful. it's just a season. he'll sleep on his own at some point, but i'm not worried about it. he only tiny for a short time:)

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    exactly! i did the sitting up thing with TheOldest and just knew i couldn't
    when the next came along. sleep IS a good thing.
    thanks for sharing!

  • Becca

    I ended up cosleeping with my kiddos. Had a crib but we ended up getting more sleep with them in the bed with us. My daughter was a rock when she slept and that made it easier. My son but a mover and a bit harder to sleep with as he grew but he ended up being the one who really wanted to be next to me. When he was born, my daughter was almost three. We talked to her for a few days about being in her own toddler bed all night and if she woke up Daddy would come and pat her back. She took to sleeping all night in her own space like a duck to water. My son, not so much;) She likes it perfectly pitch dark in her room and he needs bright night lights. Without his nightlight (it quit a few nights ago) he's been crawling into our bed around 4am. Did I mention he's a mover? I got him a new night light today!
    My kids are older now (5 & 8) and sleep is happening again, sometimes I thought I'd never sleep through the night again! I just remember cosleeping was the only way I got any sleep with either of them the first nearly 3 years of their life!

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    How sweet about her Daddy coming to pat her back in the night – how
    reassuring! my olders need nightlights – as vital now as pacis were when
    they were little! We just switched to LED lights recently because our 2
    year old kept breaking the bulbs in the regular ones. It's good to know
    that SOMEday there will be “normal” sleep again!

  • livi

    We (husband, 8.5 month old girl and I) sleep in a queen size with a bed rail on my side. Just this weekend, we put the mattress on the floor since the baby is getting mobile.

    About 8 years ago, when an older friend of mine told me her family bedshared I thought they were crazy. Especially because I know they did so into his toddlerhood. When I got pregnant, I looked into co-sleepers of all kinds, but settled on the bedrail because of space. I thought it would be temporary, maybe 6 months, before we moved her to her own bed. Then she was born and I stopped thinking about it and just went with my instincts. It wasn't long before I started envisioning us becoming a long-term bedsharing family.

    I don't know what our arrangement will be when we have a second child, but I have a feeling we are going to need a bigger bed. ;)

  • livi

    Same here with the covers to my chin. I bought long sleeve button down nightshirts and wear a zip up sweatshirt during the winter.

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    i've had to eat alot of my pre-children judgements! keeps me from judging
    as much these days..

    and yeah, my arm gets cold sometimes, but i'll take that over no sleep!

  • baby bassinet

    This was a fun read and I love your writing style. I don't agree with your choice to co-sleep but its not like you didn't give us a good disclaimer before stating your case and for that I surely can't get on you for. My neice co-slept with her parent for almost 4 years and she still has extreme difficulty sleeping alone and getting to sleep in her own bed. She has developed some behavioral issues that I feel are tied in to it as well. I feel like you can start some attachment problems in children at a young age that they may not be able to shake. That is my main problem with the idea of co-sleeping for years. But again… I just wanted to share. I loved your article and would never bash you considering your approach to telling us your dark little secret.

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    Thank you for your kind words. And I certainly don't mind disagreements as
    amicable as yours! Thank you for your counter-point. I do wish I had known
    about your site when this latest baby was born – I looked for a Moses basket
    for my little one, but decided to go ahead and use our crib and now he's so
    big he wouldn't fit so well in one. But I love them and it would've worked
    great for my beside the bed set up. May all of my non-cosleeping readers
    buy from you.

  • Sheri

    Our house plays musical beds, so to speak. We did get a king-size bed to start, but where ever I lay my head is where I will nod off. ;^) Currently, we are in a 'move' transition due to a new job location, so both my littles (5 & 1) are in 'beds' on the floor next to us. I have nursed/co-slept w/ all 6 of mine. Most transitioned to their own beds around age 4. Interesting that our bed seems to be a core of family dynamics… our read alouds are there, our family meetings, our 'kick back and chat', our goofy mess around time, …sometimes one on one (as in mentoring a teenager), on up to all of us having giggle-mania…
    much better than a phsychiatrist couch, don't ya think? ;^)
    Thanks for sharing,
    dropped by from “A Mother's Prayers”…

  • Suzanne ~ TheJoyfulChaos

    thanks so much for dropping by and sharing!
    i do think it's better than that “couch” and hopin' to avoid it!
    we've called it musical beds forever! too funny.
    i love that you tell me it's about age 4 – this is the first time i've
    completely co-slept from the beginning (with the 2, soon to be 3 year old)
    and i've wondered when he'll be ready (on his own) to move. good to know.
    thanks again!

  • Tamara T.

    I do DON'T think you are freako! I have a co-sleeper crib beside my bed for my 4th (4.5months) that he stays in only until he wakes for his first nighttime feeding, a cover hog toddler that frequents the ever so small space left between me and the hubs, and two olders that frequently wake with growing pains, bad dreams, headaches, …you name it! We do whatever works now…I just. want. sleep. I sleep with Li'l man right beside me, on the outside of the bed where the co-sleeper bed is, never between mom and dad (or big brother). I lay like that so much my arm and shoulder ache! He's not a sleeper and the only way I get an hour or two of peace at night is to nurse him beside me, we drift to sleep so more, and when he wakes he just gets some more. LOL Admittedly, I sleep much better when he's not in the bed with me, but at least in his bed right beside me.

    Oh, I spent the first 1.5-2 months on the couch…WITH the baby :o)
    I'm not a co-sleeper advocate, or an attachment parenting advocate…but I am SO all about peace and sleep when it means quiet children and at least two solid hours of shuteye for mommy!
    Loved your post!

  • Tamara T.

    and might I add that I go against the norm and have my 2 older sons and my daughter in the same bedroom. All for the sake of a playroom…just so they could play and still be able to sleep in the same room without laying on legos and army guys. And so we could play the Wii.

  • Tamara T.

    I do DON'T think you are freako! I have a co-sleeper crib beside my bed for my 4th (4.5months) that he stays in only until he wakes for his first nighttime feeding, a cover hog toddler that frequents the ever so small space left between me and the hubs, and two olders that frequently wake with growing pains, bad dreams, headaches, …you name it! We do whatever works now…I just. want. sleep. I sleep with Li'l man right beside me, on the outside of the bed where the co-sleeper bed is, never between mom and dad (or big brother). I lay like that so much my arm and shoulder ache! He's not a sleeper and the only way I get an hour or two of peace at night is to nurse him beside me, we drift to sleep so more, and when he wakes he just gets some more. LOL Admittedly, I sleep much better when he's not in the bed with me, but at least in his bed right beside me.

    Oh, I spent the first 1.5-2 months on the couch…WITH the baby :o)
    I'm not a co-sleeper advocate, or an attachment parenting advocate…but I am SO all about peace and sleep when it means quiet children and at least two solid hours of shuteye for mommy!
    Loved your post!

  • Tamara T.

    and might I add that I go against the norm and have my 2 older sons and my daughter in the same bedroom. All for the sake of a playroom…just so they could play and still be able to sleep in the same room without laying on legos and army guys. And so we could play the Wii.

  • Janine

    This is genius, and I stumbled it so hopefully more people can read it. :) I am pregnant now and find this stuff interesting (more so than before I was pregnant or than it will be once baby comes I’m sure). I love your nesting room setup, I think it’s totally brilliant (not to mention cute), and everything you do seems completely natural to me. Very inspiring!
    .-= Janine´s last [post] ..Sunday Link Love =-.

  • Brandy

    OH I LOVE your post!!! I tried to not sleep w/ my kids and well it did not work for us either. My oldest was in our bed till he was, hold your seat, 8 years old. The only reason he moved out is I got pregnant and there was NOT enough room for me and him and his daddy on the weekends (hubby goes to work at like 2am during the week) So I kicked him to the curb. :^) BUT now we have a 3 1/2 year old and a 22month old. in our bed. The 22month old is still night nursing. We are praying that God will show us when to move these little ones out. I am sooooo blessed in that when our daughter was born 3 1/2 years ago we were able to get a HUGE King size temperpedic bed. So there is plenty of room for all 4 of us in the bed a the same time on the weekends.

    Thanks for your post. I am now one of your new followers. :^)

  • Christie DeSilva

    Your honesty is always refreshing. Everyone responding was so kind! I’m terribly honest as well, to a fault. I’d rather everyone know my bad qualities right up front of a new friendship than feel like I’m deceiving them and have them later be disappointed in me. ;) Tee hee hee. In a pure motive, my feedback from my “real life” isn’t always popular and I tend to get a lot of “sweetie..honey…let me help you” in the sense of let me help you change the way you do what works for you. If only my honest was as well received as yours! We have a family bed, and by family bed, I mean that we don’t care if kids crawl into bed with us, and if they don’t feel like going to sleep in their own beds, we are glad to snuggle them in ours. :) Our kids are 8, 5, almost 4, and 2. People FREAK out that they sleep in the same bed with us as if it is child abuse and sick and wrong. I love that my 8-year-old still LOVES to snuggle with us. :) Half the time we wake up to six people in bed…hahaha. It’s much better now that we have a king. Do they make bigger than a king? I could certainly use one. :)

  • Christie DeSilva

    Oh my…I’m smiley face happy. :) Looking back at that post, I look a little like a twelve year old. ;) OH well…that’s me! Happy happy girl!

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