Thursday, November 11, 2010

Co-sleeping... yes or no?

Alright y'all. Here's the deal. I know you're out there cuz I can see ya on my sitemeter ....but very few are speaking up. I'm not a comment whore. Normally I could give a shit less. But like I said..... I'm only 21 days of LID's away from a referral. That could translate to me becoming a mom in just a few short months!!! Albeit a long distance mom at first... but still a mom. And I'm freakin' the bleep out!!!!

Seriously though. I need help. I need advice, opinions. I need the wisdom of all the been there done that moms out there. So I'm asking you to weigh in. Please. My brain is about to explode from all this over analyzing.

Today's topic... co-sleeping.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. A LOT. There's a thread on RQ that started my mind a'spinning. Now I know this is one of those issues that people have strong opinions about. Some agree that it's a great idea... and some don't. So please no flaming. Everyone's decision is right if it works for your family. And I need to hear all perspectives so I can make an informed decision about how I'm going to do this sleeping thing.

Way way way back in early 2006, when I first started this adoption, I definitely planned to put Mia in a crib in her own room. That's what you do with babies, right? Plus I'm a selfish sleeper. I want my space in bed. I wanna be comfortable. And I made that beautiful room for her, ya know. So naturally I would prefer her in it.

But.... now I'm not so sure. I'm leaning the other way.

Everything I'm reading right now seems to be promoting the benefits of co-sleeping for attachment, especially in children who started out in orphanage care. And I wanna do what's best for my daughter. At all costs. I've already let go of all the selfish notions I've carried around all these years of being a single, carefree woman. My daughter comes first. I come second.

But as usual I'm overthinking it all. I'm trying to imagine how it would work. Like the true logistics of it and how I would practice it in my own life. So tell me peeps... how does this work for you? Do you co-sleep? Or not?

With co-sleeping....do you put her in bed with you? Or on a mattress in your room? Or just pull the crib up to the side of your bed?

Do you go to sleep when she does? But babies go to sleep REALLY early, right? So do you wait for her to fall asleep and then get up to do chores, have some "alone" time, watch TV, etc? Or do you just go to bed at like 8 o'clock at night?

How does your morning routine work? Does she wake up when your alarm goes off if she's in bed with you? Or can you get up and get ready for work while she stays asleep awhile longer?

Am I sentencing myself to a lifetime of having her in bed with me if I start this? How do you ever get them into their own bed? In their own room? Uhmmm.... intimacy? I know I'm single but a girl still has needs. Does co-sleeping mean I'll never get laid again? Ever? LOL! Yeah yeah, I know. Single mom = probably not much anyway.

I know my situation is unique and not like yours. I know you can't give me an instruction manual. But I'd like to hear how you do the co-sleeping thing, how it works for you. Or if you don't do it and how that works for you. If you're not comfortable sharing in the comments section, feel free to e-mail me. My link is on the sidebar.

Thanks so much, guys. I'm looking forward to hearing your perspectives as I work through these things and make decisions about how to best raise my daughter. Sigh... my daughter. I like the sound of that. :)

35 comments:

Two Kayaks said...

My children are not adopted, but I can tell you that I was dead set against co-sleeping when the twins were born. I LOVE my bed and love sleep too much to have even thought about sharing my bed with anyone other than J. However, I quickly realized that what was lovely for me, wasn't necessarily the best for my son. My daughter loved her space and her crib from the get go, while my son needed to be held, rocked and need to be carried in the ergo all. the. time. We made the decision to co-sleep with him when we realized that we had to do what was best for HIM.
All this to say, take your daughter's lead. Be flexible and don't get your heart set on one thing or another. Just be open to both having her in her own space and to having her in the bed with you if she needs that instead.
Looking so forward to seeing you become a mom!

"M" said...

Wow, I am the first to comment with such a big question....
I, too, an an overthinker. The biggest think I am learning is to have an idea of what I would like to do, but be open to changing to what works. "A" was 2, so it may be different with a younger baby, but here is my experience. I didn't really want to co-sleep for many of the reasons you mentioned. My girl was velcro on me from day one. In china, she slept in her crib the frist night, and after that is was across my upper chest and neck. It was very hard for me. Same when we got home for a few weeks. I learned to wait until she was in a deep sleep until I could slowly roll her off of me and co-sleep. My goal was to have her in her own room and crib, and eventually have her fall asleep on her own. It took 9 months of progressively moving myself out of her room. I slept on the floor next to her crib and held her hand until she was in a deep sleep. Would leave for a bit to have alone time, but come back an sleep right next to her crib. I SLOWLY moved away from her as she fell asleep, but came back and slept there. By 9 months she could fall asleep with me in the next room. When she woke up (most nights) I would take her to my room and co-sleep. Now at 4.5 she goes to sleep on her own and comes into my bed midway through the night. For us it is a really good plan. I do like the closeness and she really feels more secure (and sleeps later in the morning). Call me selfish, but it works for me because I have some of my own time and space too. A good balance, but it was a long time to get here. Sorry for the novel.

Donna said...

Seriously, the best advice I have for you about co-sleeping (and everything else) is to keep an open mind and try not to get any preconceived ideas about ANYTHING until you have your child right there in front of you.

Personally, I don't allow my kids in my room at night. I just know I'm a shitty mom when I get no sleep and I can't sleep with another human being touching me. Period. End of story. But I DID end up sleeping on a mattress on the floor next to Gwen's crib for 5 miserable months. She needed that and I couldn't deny her. But after 5 months, I did the tough-love thing and made her accept that I wasn't going to do it any more. To my utter amazement, she was okay with it.

Maddy was 2 years old when she came home. She was great about going to bed in her own room but would cry sometimes in the middle of the night. I could go in and comfort her quickly and she'd go right back to sleep. I could never do that with Gwen because she would scream bloody murder if I came into her room to "comfort" her. She would insist on being held but would fight me because she was tired and really just wanted to go back to sleep. In the end, it was easier to let her cry for a couple of minutes and put herself back to sleep. This might not work with all kids but it worked with her.

We are an incredibly affectionate family so my girls get no shortage of snuggles and cuddles all through the day. But at night, we all have our own space and the kids have been taught to respect that. Since we're very VERY consistent, there's never any debate about it so bedtimes are totally drama free and have been since about age 3.

Donna
Our Blog: Double Happiness!

Christina said...

Hey there,
I don't have kids yet, but when I'm interested in the responses to this post for when I do. Like you, I plan to adopt, and like you, I will likely also be a single mom.
Anyway, just wanted to comment to "de-lurk" (although I think I have commented before) :)

~Kristen said...

Ahhh.. your daughter. I like the sound of that too!

Now I have absolutely no experience or true right to have an opinion at the moment... But I am sooo very not willing to co-sleep if at all possible. I will sleep in her room on the floor for as long as it takes before I would ever resort to allowing her in my bed. I don't think it's healthy for anyone at all to start a habit of sleeping in my room. I see too often people who start it and then can't break it... I will be no good to anyone if I am not sleeping.

But like I said... I have not walked in those shoes... but am pretty adamant about not going that direction.

Again... your daughter... <3

Diane said...

In August I went to China with my daughter (a single mom) to get her daughter. My daughter had planned on the baby having her own bed and room, but after having her in the crib next to her in the hotel rooms, she couldn't bear the thought of putting her in a separate room. She asked her dad to go to her house before we got home and move the crib into her room and that's where she stil sleeps. At first she would lay on her bed so that the baby could see her till she went to sleep, but now can put her down on her own. That has worked for them.

She had considered co-sleeping, but the baby was so active neither of them got much sleep, so that wasn't the best solution for them. While you are in China I think you will get a feel for what you think will be best for you.

Anxiously waiting with you! Enjoy China too - it is the trip of a lifetime, but plan carefully the trip home - it is a killer!

dawn said...

I like many was dead set against it. With LIly we would rock her to sleep and once she was "out" would transfer her to her crib. She would sometimes fight it a bit but we would rub her back and she would go to sleep. Always in her crib...always.
But then one night I thought how nice it would be for her to sleep with us. I can remember sleeping occasionally with my parents and I loved it. We offered her our bed...I think she will move out one day. LOL Actually she sleeps in her bed or our bed or in the day bed in Rosies room. She just doesn't like to be alone.
Rosie liked to be alone in her room with all the lights out????? Then after about 10 months she realised that LIly often slept with us and that was that.

The girls sleep better when they sleep with us, Rosie has less nightmares and I like the fact that I am not running through the house calming children who are scared.

It's like the freaking Waltons, everyone in one bed.
As for the intimacy aspect. If our bed is full then that means there are 2 bedrooms that are vacant.

Take your cues from your daughter. She will let you know and if you are open to it then you have it as an alternative.

I have just put both girls to bed, in Lilys room. Not sure if one or both will remain there all night but that is fine.

I joke sometimes that I am going to rent out their bedrooms.

Julie said...

I agree in taking the lead from the child, she may not need it, she might.

I was for the idea in general but not for us. I wanted my sleep and my space. Seven months after bringing Tess home, her sleep issues were so severe that I begrugingly gave in. I surprisingly got more sleep than I had been getting. But as a couple of years passed I wanted my bed and my space back.

I gave her six months "notice" that she would sleep in her own bed by her 4th birthday. We gradually cut over and she's been there since 2 weeks before her birthday. I do allow a "Friday night sleepover" which means she can sleep with me one night a week, and mostly that's enough for her. If she's having a bad day she might ask. Usually I say no otherwise.

Good luck with your decison. You have to do what's right for Mia, and for you!

Wendy said...

Our Gotcha day was October 11 so we've been sharing space with our precious baby for 31 nights. I was very against co-sleeping until she was in my arms and then I didn't want to put her down, ever. We had her in bed the first night in the hotel in China and it was terrible. Tried it again our first night at home. Again, not comfortable for anyone. So it just turns out she prefers her own space. She is 9 months and lived in an orphanage and so far, seems to be attaching to both me and my husband perfectly. That's our experience so like many other comments here, just take it easy with your daughter and give her what she needs. Waiting anxiously with you!!

Kathi said...

I have not adopted, but do have 3 children- 2 have special needs. Our youngest has not slept through the night in 6 years. She has finally started sleeping in her own bed. I was against it too until I found out how much more sleep we could all get!
My best advice is take your lead from her. My sister is in China right now picking up her sweet Tahlia, and I imagine all their plans will be changing when they get home next week, too. You can see it in her eyes.
Best of luck, and feel confident in your choices, as they are yours and yours alone!

kitchu said...

first (and this is pure semantics) what you are talking about is co-bedding, not co-sleeping. and we're still co-sleeping with ellis, and we've been home over a year. she sleeps in a toddler bed near me. my best advice is follow the lead of your child. we knew immediately that e was not at all ready to be in a room by herself, because she wasn't used to that. not only did she sleep with 3 other cribmates in her room, but her nanny was there too (night nanny). and we started by staying in the room with her until she fell asleep, about 6 months later, we introduced saying goodnight and coming downstairs. this was touch and go for a bit, sometimes we'd still have to stay until she fell asleep. now? we always put her down after story and then just do a one time check (at her request). we bring up her "big girl room" frequently as the plan is when she's 5, she will start sleeping in there.

now, granted, she isn't a "baby" but we've sort of treated this sleeping arrangement as if she were. i am a huge proponent of co-sleeping, but i never could have had her in bed with us. i am a hog, for one, and need my space, and 3 people in one bed would not work. every saturday is "big bed night" where she gets to lay with us for about 10 minutes before we put her in the toddler bed.

i think initially having her in the room with you is a great idea. have the crib near your bed. you will probably get more sleep yourself this way, because your own worry will have you up checking on her in the beginning.

good luck with whatever you decide. i know of people who never co-slept or co-bedded and it worked fine as well (most of them decided to sleep on a mattress in their child's room until they felt their child was okay without them there).

Traci said...

Boy, when you open a can of worms, you go for the big can, don't you?! :D

I'm way too tired to write it all out now but I'll be back. Would it surprise you to know that I have an opinion on this one? ;)

Lindsay said...

My advice would be keep an open mind about it. I was originally very against the idea of co-sleeping in the same bed due to a cot death in the family under those circumstances. Basically I was scared of accidentally smothing my daughter. However Hannah turned out to have serious attachment (RAD) issues and could not abide to be held or have me lie next to her - so we could not cosleep even if I wanted to because she would literally scream for 2 hours if I tried to. So I started off sleeping in her room but she could wake literally 10 times a night due to hypervigilance, and in the end I could not function all day and all night long too. Like you I am single, and when you have no partner to share night shift with you really do need to find the balance. My priority became attachment and since Hannah took no comfort from me at night I decided to move back into my room and work on attachment in the day. It took about 18 months for her to be able to co-sleep to an extent. She is a very restless sleeper still and I get a very disturbed night when she is in with me (kicks in the face etc. although play therapy - which never once focussed on sleep issues - helped her sleep incredibly.) Once she got to being able to cosleep in my bed, she wanted to and we did that for several months both before and after I got her a 'big girl bed'. Even now she will still come in with me from time to time at her request. Her sister (home 2 months) is a different story. She is in the crib in my room and also wakes multiple times a night. She is quickly soothed with a stroke on the head. She has also slept in my bed and it was a huge comfort to her. Her attachment is progressing very well (came from foster care rather than orphanage) and I do not feel the need to cosleep to further promote attachment. Plus she is also an 'active' sleeper and I feel she is safer in the crib. I had no trouble with Hannah's transition to her own bed, though after a few days the novelty wore off and she was back in mine. However it is just a process - she is not a child where doing things instantly works, which is ok. She is 99% in her own bed now (age 3 1/2) and has been for at least 6 months.

So for all that overly long answer, for me it comes down to balancing what your daughter needs and can tolerate with what you need and can tolerate. You are single, you cannot do attachment parenting 24 hours a day. You need to sleep too and depending on your daugher, you may find she cannot tolerate the closeness of cosleeping in your bed. A crib in the room is great if you get some sleep too but do not feel guilty if you get to the point of moving to separate rooms - you will not be able to be a good mom to her during the day if you are horribly sleep deprived. With my first it was clear I was of no comfort to her during the night: if I tried to put her to sleep it created hours of sleeping but she could get herself to sleep in seconds. Both my kids cry in their sleep and wake me without waking themselves and even with my new daugher there are times I go sleep on the floor in the living room rather than stay in the room and be woken constantly by her. It's not a case of being a selfish sleeper - it's a case of being human and needing sleep. Be aware too that sleep disturbance is very, very common in PI children and whilst she may sleep very well (and a lot) in the beginning (it can also be a reaction to stress for them to sleep excessively) you may find after some days or weeks home that she begins a pattern of night waking. Keep in mind the mantra: this too shall pass :)

Donna said...

Like Lindsay, my kids used to cry in their sleep too. They would wake up just enough to be grumpy and cry a little bit more for a minute or two. They rarely seemed to fully wake up (unlike me because, at this time, I would be standing rigid at their bedroom door!). I found it was easier to turn down the baby monitor so that I didn't hear the little fusses. I also put a white noise machine in everyone's bedroom and night-time waking was cut in half immediately.

Life in the SWI, I suspect, is constantly noisy. We noticed that our girls slept soundly in really noisy public places. Some adopted children hate loud noises but other kids find them familiar and comforting (as long as they're constant). You'll quickly learn what kind of daughter you have in this regard and that will factor into your decision about co-sleeping too. I have a white noise app on my iphone and use it when we travel.

How exciting that you're getting so close!

Is anyone going to China with you?

Donna
Our Blog: Double Happiness!

Stephe said...

Hi.

Stephe said...

Do you co-sleep? No. I would have if I need to though. I slept in the bed next to her crib in her room but she didn't sleep well. I got advice to NOT sleep in her room, have it completely dark...no nightlight...and door shut. She slept like a champ from there on out!!!

Do you go to sleep when she does? At naptime, yes. Night time...NO WAY. She went down 6/7pm and we needed to be up at 5:30am. I went to bed around 9/10pm.

How does your morning routine work? I wake up half hour before I wake her up. Get makeup & hair done, dressed, let dog outside and get her breakfast ready...then wake her up. Dress & Feed her and we're off! Baths are at bedtime and clothes for both laid out for the week on Sundays.

It's the best!! No worries...routines seem to be the best!! Stephe

AJ's Mama said...

I co-slept with both my sons. They started in a cradle at the side of my bed but eventually ended up with me.

I found the easiest and most secure feeling way for me was to sleep in a mattress on the floor with my baby. That way I felt safe to get up and leave the room knowing that he wouldn't fall out. I would go to bed with my baby and sometimes watch a movie in bed or read in bed once he fell asleep. My youngest went through a phase of knowing I left after he fell asleep and get upset when he woke up and I wasn't there. So I did a lot more reading and movies in bed during that time.

My oldest son had a hard time with cribs from the day he was born. So when he was 18 months we got him a full size mattress and he was so excited to have it in his room he went right in it with no problems. When he had a hard time going to sleep I wold sit in a chair right outside his door where he could see me.

My youngest son went into his crib at 11 months after a camping trip when he slept really well in a pack and play.

If you haven't read it yet the book "Good Night Sleep Tight" is an excellent book for helping with the transition out of your bed.

Co-sleeping is one of the best things I have ever done with my boys. If Mia seems to want to be in your bed I would say go for it and enjoy the snuggles!

Carla said...

Follow her cues. What I have learned along the way, every child is different and whatever your plan may be before they get here, may not be the plan that works best for them.

Obviously, you already know I have 5 kids. :op And you probably already know whether or not I co sleep (or co bed, or bed share, or room share, or whatever you would like to call it), but I will rehash it all for your devoted readers. :op

Baby #1: Had no idea what co sleeping was. He slept in a crib next to our bed for uh, a couple hours, then coslept for the next year and a half. He slept better, I slept better. End of story. At 18 months, I was told that CIO was the best method to prevent spoiling him. I wouldn't recommend it. Unless you have a heart of steel. It killed me. But I did it because that's what the "experts" said was best. I think that's why he won't kiss me now. Although that may be because he's 13.

Baby #2: Co slept initially, then by 6 months, fed him, rocked him, put him in his crib. He slept best in his own room, in his own bed. He would wake at 6 am, which was way too early for me, so he co slept from 6-9am.

Baby #3: Very high maintenance girl. She required constant contact. Was in a sling or carrier most of the day and co slept well into year 2. By this time, I learned to ignore the "experts" and listen to my kid.

Baby #4: Just started him out in our bed. I figured it out by that point. :op I think he co slept until age 2 as well.

Baby #5: Started out in our bed, but actually slept better in her crib in our room. That was hard for me, because by that point, I considered myself a co sleeper. She pretty much slept in her crib from birth on except when she woke to nurse at night. There were some nights when I tried to co sleep with her but ended up putting her back in her crib. She just didn't sleep well with us. Not to mention, she kicks the blankets off which is annoying.

So, to answer your question, you'll have to figure it out along the way. If you're lucky, she'll sleep in and let you get ready before waking her up. If not, you'll have to wing it. :op Ponytails are elegant.

Miche said...

I have actually never co-slept (except for a few sick nights here and there, or on vacations camping) BUT I would think it would be really up to how your child needs to sleep-mine are all champion sleepers and have always done great on their own. I would think though, that for all the changes Mia will go through, co-sleeping might be a great choice for you guys.

Have you seen those "side bed cribs" ? They are like a three sided crib that goes right up with your mattress and connects, so there is no chance of cracks and crib movement, etc. They look like they might be cool for letting her fall asleep with you next to her, but still being able to leave her while you go do things around the house after her bed time. I think Toys R Us has them.

You'll find the right answer when she gets here :) I'm so excited for you!

Mariah said...

Girl, I know how you feel! I was really confident about co-sleeping a week ago after the question but tonight I spent an hour at Buy Buy Baby staring at the bedrails and did not come home with one!!! I leave in 6 days for CHINA!!! I am so scared about not getting sleep myself and becoming a monster! I think I am just going to have all the options available and just see how it goes! I will keep you posted. I think I may return the audio baby monitor for one of the video ones. I thought that was overkill but no longer! :-)

Nancy said...

I am a single mom. Co slept with both of my kids. My daughter in my bed and my son in the crib beside my bed. My bed is more comfortable than their floor and I like my comfort :)
Like the others have said, keep an open mind and be flexible. My daughter was adopted at 2. She had a lot of night time anxiety which was better when she slept with me. My son's crib was against my bed, so I could touch him when he cried out. He moved too much to sleep with me until he got a bit older.
Both kids are school age now (8 and almost 6), but they still like to have sleep overs with me. I will take their cuddles and enjoy my time with them. They grow so fast.

M3 said...

Oh shoot, I don't know. Probably no one but you and your babe will know for sure when the time comes. I think it's great that you're willing to consider all the options. For us, I am a TERRIBLE sleeper (can barely make it through the night with just my husband in the bed), so it was always understood that we weren't going to have four people in our bed. Anyhow, can't wait to hear more,and Best Wishes!

Diana said...

I would wait to see what she "needs" and go with that. If you do co sleep I think a crib in your room is the way to go since you will be a single mom. That way if you need to go to the bathroom or shower you know she is in her crib and not walking/crawling around the house or falling out of bed.
I am so excited for you:)

Twin Mommy said...

I was neutral on co-sleeping. With the twins I co-slept a little but had them in their cribs by 3-4 months. I didn't want them overly attached to my bed. In the end it didn't matter. Even though until they slept in their beds until about the age of 3, they then wanted in my bed every night.

With Max I have co-slept a lot and have really enjoyed it. He is still nursing, so it makes that easier. Since he was about 3 months, he goes to bed in his crib and when he wakes around 3-ish for his feeding, I get him and put him in the bed with me. Works wonderfully!!!

Hanne said...

My bed is my bed, and I absolutely can not co-sleep with anyone.Both my daughters started sleeping in a crib right next to my bed, and that has worked fine. I always stayed with them for a little while, but as a single mom, I need my alone-time in the evening, so from staying for quite some time (till they slept) in the beginning, it developed into me sitting with them for 10-15 min. and if they were not a sleep at that point, I would whisper good night and leave the room, which they have both accepted without any problems.From the age of 3, they have sleept in their own rooms, and the youngest (4 y.o.a.) sleeps through the night and have done since day one. My oldest daughter (9)wakes up several times each night, and loves to sleep in my bed, which she does every friday (see the beginning of my comment:-))

As others have said, I think it is important to keep an open mind, and let your daughter show you what she needs.

Hanne from Denmark

MotherMotherOcean said...

Come sit in my class and listen to my lecture on the topic. I think that it totally depends on the kid, so wait and do not make this a big deal that you debate over and over. Not worth it. What you need to do, will be done. You have good instincts. Go with that.

In a larger, global opinion, I do not think that babies were "designed" to be put in rooms by themselves with monitors listening to them.

Michal said...

Crapola! I just left this huge comment and it got lost.

Sigh.

In short, you have some great advice here. You will know very quickly what will work and what won't. You will be amazed at how fast you learn your daughter.
Let me go on the record with this though. You will need good quality sleep in order to function and care for her every day, all day. So if you have to make the decision to NOT co-sleep or co-bed , just so you can sleep. That will be ok. It will.
It's like on the airplanes when they say to put your oxygen mask on before you help anyone.

We don't co-sleep. There is no way that I could. So we have made adjustments for each kid that work.

JODY said...

I'm a single mom who brought home a China daughter at 16 months old in March 2009. Like you, I was very thoughtful and prepared (I thought!) If you asked me before, I would have said there was no way I would co-sleep. Well, then I went to China and picked up a daughter who was continually terrorized by the sight of any crib. My daughter just turned 3 and we still co-sleep. She still continues to need that security and attachment at night. The beautiful crib with cute sheets are still in her room, but I'm thinking of taking them down (to make room for a large dollhouse Santa is bringing her).
You will get many comments from others who are well meaning. You will read books written by people (who never adopted a child from China) with tips and recommendations that may not work for your child. Right now, you don't know what issues you may have to deal with, so keep an open mind to all possibilties.

shelley said...

Whatever works for your baby and you. She may love having her own space. We chose to have a place beside our bed that was called "the nest". When our kids needed to be there they could be there...for ever how long they needed to be there. We explained to them that everyone has their own bed and this was mom and dad's bed only. They can sure visit but it wasn't for sleeping.

Hope this helps....your sweetie will be the decider.

bleu said...

http://www.mindfood.com/at-cultural-perceptions-of-sleep-wellbeing-health.seo

It is an interesting little article showing many different cultures sleep habits.

I co-sleep. I adore it. I go to bed with my children and then once they are asleep I do my own work, but it is usually at my computer next to my bed. When Bliss was little the house we lived in allowed me to feel ok going to the living room some nights after he was asleep but here I only go downstairs to grab things as needed but then come right back as if Soul wakes up needing something I would not hear her from downstairs.

I truly feel western society is strange in their sleep habits. We lived next to Mong families on both sides in California and on one side the entire family slept in the living room on the floor, parents, teens, grandparents. They were also all so close as a family. On the other side they slept many in each bed and it shifted often. It was their norm and I believe it was one of many things that kept them all so close as families.

Bliss has slept in a bed pushed up to our big bed for over a year. It is same height length everything, but lately he said he doesn't feel as close so now I switched the beds and that bed is used as the overflow or my work space at night if needed. He likes feeling my feet against his when we sleep and I think that is so lovely.

Waking up when Bliss was a baby was usually to his kisses. It still is now but very quietly because he wakes before Soul. So we do our morning ritual almost silently then he goes downstairs until Soul and I wake up a bit later.

Laura said...

Personally I really don't want anyone in my bed. It has actually taken me awhile to warm up to the idea of actually even having my baby sleep in my room at all(domestic newborn). I think the play it by ear method will have to work. I do have to say that I think I would rather sleep in her room on the floor than create a lifelong co-bed. It just depends how big of an issue sharing your bed is to you.

Laura said...

Oh and p.s. I hate to confirm this, but no you (or I for that matter) will probably not be getting any for a VERY VERY long time!

Sean and Mic said...

Wow, what a big topic- with no right or wrong answer.
Like most others that posted, I say go with what works for you and your daughter. And only trial and error will really tell you that.

We were so sure that we would not co-sleep- but then that was not what our daughter needed or wanted!
And, we have flipped flop back and forth in the last 2 years, really trying to get her to "like" her crib, and getting her into a big girl bed in her room- all so that she can just sleep in our bed or on a mattress at the foot of our bed. :>) My husband and I ask ourselves weekly if we are doing the right thing- but you know what? Since we just accepted that she needed to be in a room with us (she slept with her foster mother- not in a crib)- we are ALL getting sleep. And good sleep at that. Some of my most wise mama friends have all told me that she will likely not want to sleep with us when she is 13- so to just follow her lead. And it is working. We have been home for 2 1/2 years now and she is a little over 3. Some nights she asks to snuggle in bed with us for books and to go to sleep, but most nights, we read books with her on her mattress, and then turn the lights off and she is out like a light. Some nights she is up at 4am asking to come into bed with us- other nights she sleeps until she wakes up on her own mattress.
The only thing we did not ever try was to close the door and let her cry it out in her crib. That just did not feel right to us for her- but it might work for some with no problem.

And getting ready for work with a little one was much easier than I thought. For one, she woke up early every day- and was happy to hang out and watch us get ready. If she is under a year old- I woudl suggest getting a Bumbo seat to put her in. Mine loved to sit in it while we took showers. Just a suggestion.

Good luck. Cannot wait to follow your big journey.

foodiechickie said...

I am a cosleeper. For me I feel there is a closeness associated with it. I feel like my children and I are closer. I know it may sound odd for parents who don't cosleep and I am sure they are close as well but it gives my children a sense of safety. I think on their own the child will let you know that they are ready to be in their own room and bed. My kid sleeps with me in my bed but you can try a mattress, your bed or a cosleeper crib. Good luck.

Tanya said...

I'm a single mom by choice as well but I gave birth to my boys.

With the first I thought I'd never sleep with him... then I realized how much better he slept when snuggled up against me. I had started transitioning him because I wasn't comfortable having a baby who could potentially roll off the bed sleeping with me... then one day I was exhausted and he just wouldn't settle down. That was it. I put him in his bed, wound up the mobile (as I did every time I put him to sleep in his own bed), and went to bed. He fussed a little but then went to sleep. He did wake up a few times and I'd go comfort him and put him back in his own bed. That was it. Within a week he was sleeping in his own bed full-time.

With boy #2 I knew he'd sleep with me initially. After about 2 months he started getting restless. I then started putting him to bed in his room. I usually get a few hours of good sleep at his point before he gets up to eat. After his middle of the night feeding he has a lot more difficulty going back to sleep... that's when he comes to bed with me for the remaining hour or two until my older son gets up... then he comes and crawls in my bed and we have a group snuggle for 10-15 minutes before we get up for the day.

It works for us.