Dear Crissy

Co-sleeping blows

I know that I’m probably going to suffer for saying it — but seriously — co-sleeping BLOWS.

Yes, I am aware that she won’t be a baby forever. I am also clear on the fact that I should appreciate everything that is beautiful, sweet, and precious about this time in the life of my infant, but let me tell you, co-sleeping is not one of those things.

co-sleeping sucks

Co-sleeping, for me, is not rainbows and unicorns. The truth is, Kara is a really crappy bed partner and I sort of feel like I’m sleeping with an angry wolverine.

Now that she’s 6-months-old, is it safe for me to say that she is spoiled, or am I still subject to a public stoning at the mention of the S-WORD?

As much as I hate co-sleeping at this point, and I hate it with a fiery passion, I have no good alternative. If I put her in a crib, she screams as if it is truly the worst punishment imaginable.

Not only will she not sleep in her crib, she pretty much won’t sleep period unless she has her pacifier (me) in her mouth. Oh, and by the way, she won’t entertain the thought of using an actual pacifier.

If I dare pull free, she shrieks and thrashes around in the bed until I’m so scared of my 2-year-old waking up that I promptly give her back what is rightfully hers — my boob.

When morning comes, I feel like I’ve spent the night in the ring with a heavyweight boxer. I am tired. Really and truly, deep down, depressingly tired. I would really like to start transitioning Kara to her crib, but the whole thing just feels so overwhelming.

She is so used to her place in bed with me, her pacifier, and undoubtedly the love and pure comfort that she is accustomed to feeling. The idea of putting her in a cold crib by herself makes me want to cry a thousand tears, and yet the idea also makes me want to pop the cork on a bottle of champagne.

Have you ever felt fed-up with co-sleeping?

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80 Comments

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  1. Tina — June 20, 2012 @ 3:20 am (#)

    Try putting her in her crib for little moments during the day with something fun to look at. Once she can stand it without crying increase the length of time but try and take her out before she gets frustrated. Then gradually move to naps in the crib. Hopefully this won’t take as long as you think and you can be sleeping soundly!
    I had great experiences with co sleeping, the problem was sleep deprivation from late night feedings! Once those stopped it was easy peasy!

    Reply

  2. Ali — June 20, 2012 @ 3:47 am (#)

    Yes I have. I co-slept with my first born until he was just over 4 months. I started slowly with the transition, day time naps to start. I would put him down and then go have a long shower so I couldn’t really hear him crying and was too wet to really do much anyway. Gradually it worked and he is a great sleeper now but there was a fair bit of crying it out to get us there. You might just have to turn the TV up loud and open that bottle of champagne to get you through it! Xx

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  3. Buki — June 20, 2012 @ 5:02 am (#)

    I am fed up! Plus he’s sixteen months already. He keeps crying and climbing back. I moved his bed to my room but it has not changed a thing. He is constantly feeling for me all night. *sigh* I love the way he hangs on to my arm, he also pats me to sleep.

    Reply

  4. Run DMT — June 20, 2012 @ 8:41 am (#)

    Yes, every morning. Co-sleeping blows big time. I’ve been co-sleeping for 10 years now. I can’t seem to get the kids out of our bed. I have no advice for you. Hang in there, mama.

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  5. Sylvia — June 20, 2012 @ 8:56 am (#)

    Can you tell me what the point of co-sleeping is? I had never heard of it until I started registering for my baby and saw the co-sleepers.

    My daughter was in her crib before she was a week old. She HATED her bassinette and being in our room. Once we put her in her own room she was fine. She only woke once to nurse until she was 4 WEEKS old when she started sleeping though the night. She’s 15 months now and an awesome sleeper. I am so glad we did it the way we did. I value my sleep because if I’m not rested I feel like I can’t be focused…

    Reply

    • Laura @ GotChocolate — June 20th, 2012 @ 9:24 am

      AMEN!!! There is NO point to it. In my opinion, the parents think they are doing their kids a favor, when in fact, it creates all kids of sleeping problems.

      I totally agree that a parents bed is NO place for kids!!!

      Just MY opinion though!

    • Heather L — June 20th, 2012 @ 10:38 am

      Co-sleeping can be frustrating. Trust me I know! Both of my children were and my 4yr old still is. We are actually one of the only countries that do not use co sleeping as a regular practice. Studies show that children that co sleep are more confident, secure, and have better relationships.

      • Miri76 — January 2nd, 2014 @ 3:19 pm

        Really? Do cite the studies! Are they replicable in peer reviewed scientific journals? My father worked in hospitals and saw so many babies coming in with crushed limbs from co-sleeping.

        The reason much of the world co-sleeps is that much of the world lives in one room homes. If there is only one bed, then it is the “family bed.”

        Each country and culture in the world has their own norms for how to parent– acceptable vs. unacceptable behavior. Values. Priorities. Except us. We have a plethora of literature and talking blogging heads telling us how we’re screwing it up. Sears v. Weissbluth. CIO works vs. CIO will give your kid brain damage. Cloth vs. disposable vs. diaperless. Breastfeed vs. formula feed and how long to breastfeed? Geez! It’s a wonder we’re all sane.

        It’s this simple. If it’s not working for you, change it. A happy mother will mean a happier baby.

  6. Laurie — June 20, 2012 @ 9:17 am (#)

    I can understand immensely! I watched my 5 month old grandson for a week, while mommy had to travel for work. I didn’t get ANY sleep, I was a mess! It took me a few weeks after I got back home to even start to feel normal again. Good thing I love him so:)
    Laurie

    Reply

  7. Laura @ GotChocolate — June 20, 2012 @ 9:21 am (#)

    My now 13-year-old daughter has slept in her crib from Day 1 after arriving home from the hospital so we never had to deal with the “adjusting to the crib” horror stories I hear so often. It was THE best thing my husband and I ever did!!!

    Not to offend anyone, but I don’t get why people let their kids sleep in their bed. I LOVE my sleep and am a light sleeper, so the thought of having to worry about an infant or toddler falling out of my bed or, worse yet, squishing the kid, would have kept me up at night. PLUS, parents need their alone time, if you know what I mean.

    Sooo, I just do NOT get that co-sleeping thing at all. Trust me when I say that infants will do JUST fine sleeping in their cribs from Day 1. Your brain will appreciate the sleep and your husband will appreciate having you to himself.

    Reply

    • Shawn Ann @ Shawn Ann's World — June 20th, 2012 @ 11:06 am

      I’m with you! I don’t get co-sleeping and I don’t get why people think it’s a good idea or even safe! I understand that you want to bond with your children but there are better ways than having them in bed with you. We never had our kids in our bed with us except on a rare occasion when our oldest would wake up and ask to sleep with us because of a dream and I’d never get to sleep and after about 30 minutes he’d be sent back to his room. The only thing I see it causing is problems, as Crissy is dealing with now, getting them out of your bed so you can actually get some sleep.

      Sorry you have to deal with this Crissy, the only suggestion I have for you is to keep putting her into her own crib and let her cry it out. They do eventually fall asleep! The more you allow her in your bed with you the more problem it will be with getting her to sleep in her own bed.

    • Liz — June 20th, 2012 @ 11:35 am

      I think Co-sleeping is one of the nursing on demand things. I, personally, don’t get it either. With my 4 I never did it. They were in the crib from day 1 at night, the bassinet during the day and I have never had a problem.

      What I would do is what Shawn Ann said. Put her in there and let them cry it out. It will stop eventually and the torture might get to you but be strong. It will pass and she will NOT think you don’t love her or don’t care but it sounds likes she needs to learn to self soothe. She should be at the age for it, it normally happens around 3-6 months. Or

      You can also try changing diapers in her room and putting her in there while you wash your hands. Or when you do laundry, to put it away. Take her with you put her in the crib, go back and get the laundry and show her your back and put it away. Small things that put her in the crib might help a little bit.

      Good luck!

    • Crissy — June 20th, 2012 @ 11:53 am

      Thanks for commenting, Laura! :)

      My little boy never co-slept. He also didn’t breastfeed, so that made it easier I think, but he was always more independent.

      Honestly… I regret starting this with Kara. Originally it was to make night time feedings easier for both of us, but now we’re kind of STUCK!

      Time for a change!

  8. Jane — June 20, 2012 @ 9:21 am (#)

    Oh you poor thing. I know the torments well, although it’s been a while since I’ve had a baby. (My baby turns 13 in a few days!) I try not to dispense advice to new parents because I feel you have to do what feels right. We took the hard line with our oldest kids and let them “cry it out.” I don’t know the exact age – probably around 6 months or so. It was so painful but in the end they were great sleepers. I look back and feel guilty that I didn’t rock them, give them pacifiers, etc. Kid #3 sucked her finger and it was fantastic – she was a great sleeper. If she woke up she sucked on her finger right back to sleep. Kid #4 – I was so tired, I’d nurse in bed, fall asleep while nursing and he’d be there hours later. We still put him back in the crib – but the hard line rules fell apart. He was never as good of a crib sleeper as the others but ultimately he stayed there. So I don’t have good advice for you – except to say that you need sleep, too – to function! So if you decide to try crying it out – brace yourself.

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  9. Heather Stewart — June 20, 2012 @ 9:22 am (#)

    I have 4 children (ages 8, 5, 4, and 2) and co-slept with all of them. I let my oldest cry it out around 7 months old. It was awful, just awful. So when it came time to do the same with my next to oldest, I did it a little differently. I sat beside his crib just out of arm’s reach, head down (no eye contact), and waited. He cried and screamed, but at least I was in the room. At least I knew that he knew I was there, I just wasn’t going to pick him up. Each night I moved a little further from the crib, until I was finally sitting outside the door. The first night was the worst and took the longest, and it probably took about a week altogether, but it worked. It was still hard, I won’t lie about that. No matter how or when you decide to give her the boot, it’s going to be hard. If you decide to give it a try, make sure you are 100% in and DO NOT give in. I should also mention every time she wakes in the middle of the night you have to go plop yourself down in her room, head down, and wait for her to get herself back to sleep. That’s usually when it’s hardest because you’re soooo tired. But seriously, don’t even try it until you can absolutely stick to your guns. It’s not fair to the baby to give in, because if you try it again later they’ll assume you’ll give in again. Much luck!

    Reply

    • Andrea — June 20th, 2012 @ 9:34 am

      I love this suggestion!! It’s a safe way of making the switch and it also lets baby know it’s not that you don’t care about them or don’t love them..you’re right there! You just aren’t going to spoil them. That’s life. Great, great suggestion! I’ll have to try it with our next if we have problems. Our first was a very easy transition, she just slept whenever wherever as a newborn. :)

  10. Sherri — June 20, 2012 @ 9:26 am (#)

    Here’s what I don’t get. Moms know they know what is best for their toddler. They know when and what they should eat usually or at least they plan for that. They plan around naps and how long their child should watch tv, etc. But for newborns, somehow the moms think that the babies know best – about eating and sleeping. I am not trying to be critical at all, I just have always wondered why. Once a baby gets a good feeding, baby should be done eating for awhile. We don’t let our toddlers snack for 2 hours straight. And definitely not all night long. Moms need their sleep. Trust me, it’s easier to put a baby into a crib and let the baby cry than when they are 2 and 3 and 4 and running back into the room. Do yourself and your baby a huge favor and make the transition now! When baby wakes up in the night, change the baby’s diaper in the crib. Don’t pick her up. Just reassure you are there and then go back out. Yes, there will be long crying periods at first, but you will still get more sleep which you need to be a good mommy :)

    Reply

    • Sarah B. — June 22nd, 2012 @ 8:38 am

      The reasoning behind feeding on demand in newborns is that breastmilk digests at a quick rate (and differently for each child), and a newborn’s stomach is really small. Some infants can easily go 2-3 hours between feedings…others can’t, and they begin to lose (or not gain) weight. I was told at both the hospital and the pediatricians office to feed my newborn on demand until at least a few months old. It’s not unusual for infants to be underweight (or even fail to thrive) because their parents tried to do an inappropriate feeding schedule too early. Newborns are very different from toddlers…they can’t be treated the same way.

  11. Andrea — June 20, 2012 @ 9:29 am (#)

    I co-slept with my baby for 9 months, which is also how long I nursed her. She was really great to sleep with when she was that young. Now, though, she is a monster to sleep with! She’s 19 months old and has a very hard time getting to sleep by herself. We only have her right now and it’s sad because she gets lonely in her room and wants me to cuddle with her. She is always tapping her pillow saying “night night” for me to lay down with her. It’s so sweet and I’m just trying to sacrifice now (burning, tired eyes and all) so that as she gets older I’m not regretting any moment. As far as getting her to sleep in her crib. I would just set her in there for naps and slowly make the switch. I can imagine it taking a lot of patience and time though before she’s cool with it. I know it’s hard. It’s hard being a mom and trying to balance every piece of life. Finding time with your spouse at night, paying attention to yourself and trying to maintain your sanity with no sleep…nobody said having kids was this challenging! :) Good luck, it will get easier!!

    Reply

  12. Courtney — June 20, 2012 @ 9:31 am (#)

    You described my baby’s sleep habits perfectly. I don’t mind co-sleeping, except that she needs me RIGHTTHERE to sleep. Starting at 7pm and twice a day to nap. I’m losing a lot of time to just keeping her asleep. I just need her to nap in the crib and night-sleep there until I’m ready for bed.

    I’m not a fan of the crying methods, but even if I were, I know her personality. She’s persistent and she would go for hours, so I’m not even going to try.

    I’m not recommending this ,but I have actually considered climbing in the crib with her…and tested my weight with a box of books to make sure it won’t break…BUT THAT IS REALLY REALLY UNSAFE so I won’t do it. It’s amazing what us moms will come up with in times of desperation.

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  13. Rose Powell — June 20, 2012 @ 9:33 am (#)

    Oh you are so much better than I am, Isabella is two and still sleeps with us, that is a long story, but I can tell you that being smacked in the face a thousand and one times and then being kicked, pushed, climbed on and woken up at 3am is for the birds, bite the apple and go for it, the sooner the better, the longer you wait, the harder it is going to be, I know it is way easier said than done, my first slept with me until she was 7!

    Reply

  14. Hillary — June 20, 2012 @ 9:38 am (#)

    Yes, oh my gosh YES.

    Amen, sister.

    I’ve co-slept with Huxley since day one, and at 17 months I am just a wreck. He still nurses pretty much the entire night. I feel like my boobs are going to fall off!

    We just sold his crib. It was useless. He would NOT go to bed in it. No matter how long we let him cry.

    When does the madness end??

    GOOD LUCK! xoxo

    Reply

    • Sylvia — June 20th, 2012 @ 10:51 am

      You nurse a 17 month old? Wow… hope they don’t have teeth.

      • Laura — March 4th, 2013 @ 11:23 pm

        Sylvia, FYI babies start getting teeth around 6 months. It’s not a reason to stop nursing. And also, across the world it’s recommended you breastfeed until age 2.

  15. apaigeatatime — June 20, 2012 @ 9:39 am (#)

    I feel your pain, co-sleeping is not always easy. I recently got my little girl to go from nursing ALL NIGHT LONG to falling asleep on her own in the co-sleeper next to our bed using one of those glowing seahorses that plays music. She watches the glowing light and then peacefully falls asleep, it is magical. I can usually get her to sleep for 4-5 hours straight that way, but then she spends the rest of the night in our bed latched on for dear life. We try to put her in her crib sometimes for naps, but she usually wakes up immediately. Hang in there, when we have a rough night . . . or week, I just remind myself that there aren’t any kids in high school still co-sleeping (I hope) and this to will pass.

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you are beautiful. hope to see you soon!