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?

    79 Comments on “Co-sleeping blows”

  1. I feel for you. I did not co-sleep with my daughter. My father worked in hospitals and saw too many cases where a baby was brought in with broken limbs (or dead!) after having had the mother (not drunk) roll over and smother it. I made her room beautiful and warm. I hung a butterfly mobile from the ceiling so she could zone out to it (she’s visual so she self-soothes visually). I gave her lots of hugs and kisses and snugs. We have a warm and cuddily bedtime ritual that used to include a long breastfeeding session and when she weaned herself from that, a bottle. I make sure to give her lots of affection during the day, cuddles, kisses. When we play in the day, my focus is on her, not on my I-Phone or a TV. I wear her on occasion if we’re out and about and she needs more snugs.

    So that said, if you’re at the end of your rope, it’s not working. Her crib can be a warm and inviting place. If you think it’s cold, she’ll pick up on that. If you feel bad about it, she’ll pick up on that. She’s not going to like it at first, but in time, probably shorter a time than you realize, she’ll acclimate. Try putting her in her crib for naps. Does she have a lovie? If not, try introducing a lovie. Sleep with it for a week so it smells like you. You can even introduce it while you’re co-sleeping at night. After she’s comfortable napping in the crib, put her in the crib for bedtime. Make a bedtime ritual around it. Some stories. Some lulabyes. Cuddles. Kisses. Then go. You can leave the door open. She’ll cry. Go back into her room every 15 minutes. Comfort her. But don’t engage her or talk to her. Keep the room dark. Calm her. Cuddle her. Shush her. The first few days may be rough as she gets used to the new space, but within a week, she will have acclimated. Keep repeating the bedtime ritual.

    If you are not a fan of CIO, for the first nights, stand over the crib with a hand on her. When her breathing gets slow and deep, go. Whatever you do, don’t put her in the crib after she falls asleep in your arms. Otherwise, she won’t know where she is and she’ll wig out.

    If you’re rested, you’ll be happier and that will be better for the both of you. Remember, nothing feels better after a long trip than sleeping in your OWN bed. Why deny her that pleasure?

    My daughter is also a huge fan of her sleep sacks at bedtime. If you’re in a warm climate, try the aden and anais sleep sacks. If you’re in a warm climate, try the halo.

  2. You can follow the thread on dieting with your blood type here.

    A couple of my friends try to run sometimes, we’re going to boil them first, then put them away in the fridge until later.

  3. I used to have a heating pad warming up my sons bed while I would be nursing him and then right before putting him in his crib I would quietly pull it out. It almost always worked. I think co-sleeping is the pits and I have no idea how people are able to do it.

  4. I co-slept with my daughter until she was 7 1/2 months old, and started the PU/PD method (Pick-up/Put-down) and I realized that she was more than ready. I was in exactly the same position, putting her down in the crib never worked until then, and the only pacifier she accepted was me. The first night lasted about 1-2 hours, but the next night she was sleeping after 15 minutes, and now, at 16 months, she has been sleeping every night since then (except the odd night when she wakes up with teething pain.) I think the best tip is to never give-in and feed in the middle of the night, since I was told that after 6 months or 16 lbs babies can go without drinking for the night. Good luck, and hope all goes well!

  5. I agree about co-sleeping for sure. Right now I have a 2 month old, and I'm already looking forward to him being in a crib. I have a beautiful bassinet, but he wakes up and cries every time I put him in it. He wants mommy. And I totally get that. I am happy to be such a comfort to him, but in the morning when I wake up stiff and sore because of not moving all night unless it's to feed him (which I still make little effort to actually move), I feel so ready for him to be in a crib. I know they say it's okay by the 6 month mark to let them cry it out, but with my daughter, who is two, it was close to a year before I could actually work up the courage to let her cry it out. Hopefully I have a stronger will when my little guy reaches that age so that I can start my road back to sleep and sanity a little sooner!

    • I co sleep most of the night too…and little man is 6months old and I dont have the heart to let him cry it out . Ill be miserable and have many many sleeplessness nights but i keep telling myself…one day , he will sleep by himself and all will be right in the world again. Till then I suffer………. come home so we can be sore and sleepless together!!!!

  6. I never co slept with my daughter as I was too scared about it. I have always used music/lullabys to help her sleep. She is 15 months now and she sleeps wonderful with her lullabys :)

  7. I feel the same way you do right now. I've enjoyed co-sleeping and feel my daughter and I have both benefited from it but at 6 months I too feel its time to transition yet have no idea how to do it. Can you say overwhelmed? I'd love some transitioning advice as well.

  8. I did co sleeping with 4of my 5 children and truthfully, some are more tolerable than others to share a bed with for sure! Sounds like your primary problem isn’t the co sleeping, but the boob-as-pacifier dilemma. Transitioning to another soothing technique might alleviate a lot of the problem. Then you could more easily transfer to the crib, rather than removing both the soother and the co-sleeping at the same time. As for your 2year old, most sleep through almost anything!

  9. We co-slept with our oldest. He was really bad at sleeping. It was torture, but as little sleep as we got with him in our bed, we got even less when he wasn’t. Just like Kara, he was attached at the boob, and if he wasn’t, he and anyone with in 100 yards was awake. He’s 7 now and still not an idea sleeper, however, we did soft music AND white noise (fan) at the same time while he was co-sleeping. (did I mention how terrible he was at sleeping?!) When we finally got him out of our bed we moved the same soft music and white noise over with him. He was no longer nursing by the time we moved him, 2 yrs. He still isn’t a great sleeper, he has a very active mind that runs wild at night and it seems that his mind has a hard time tuning out outside noises. Sometimes on rough nights he would move his crib mattress into our room ,beside our bed and hold hands with him until he fell asleep. So, basically, GOOD LUCK, to you and your wolverine!

  10. Hi, are you me? That was my experience for a good long time with my youngest. I feel your pain.

  11. I co-slept with my oldest until he was closer to a year old. He had no issues transitioning because he wasn't as dependent on me. My 2nd son co-slept until he was around 7 months and then he was ready to move on. My third child, she never did co-sleep, she was independent from the beginning and slept through the night starting at 6 weeks. I think you have to do it when the child is ready just as much as you are. If you do it before then, it is going to be hard on you both. I found that the easiest way for us both to sleep was for me to have my arm under my baby and that way I couldn't roll over and I had peace of mind. I slept very well this way and so did my sons. You just have to find what works for you and go from there. If you can't continue to co sleep then you are going to have to start acclimating her to her crib during the day for nap time and then move on to night time.

  12. Have you tried the army’s reach co-sleeper? Different binkys? I hear ya on te pacifier boob, luckily my son will take a fake once in a while!

  13. I had to stop reading these comments because I am amazed at the anger and judging of some of these women! We are all mothers and do what we think is best for our child – why judge someone so harshly for making a decision different than yours? I chose not to breastfeed and my milk never came in anyway, and so many women (and at least one man) tried to tell me why what I was doing is wrong. If your parenting decision is not hurting your child or any one else, how can a person feel they have the right to tell you what is right or wrong? We should all just support each other in this journey. I myself don’t quite “get” co-sleeping and my son has always slept in our room but in his crib. However there are times at 5 am when I try to put him back after eating, he wakes right up and wants to play. I’ve tried many different things but the quickest way to get him back to sleep is to put him in bed between my husband and I so he can snuggle with us. I don’t do this for more than a few hours at a time and he still happily sleeps in his own crib so hopefully I won’t have any issues when he’s older. :) But I can understand why it might be easier to co-sleep if you are breastfeeding. I know this is an older post so I hope things have improved for you and your beautiful baby girl!

  14. We did the co-sleeping with my oldest for about 2 months then he went to his crib then my youngest came and he never really slept with us until he was 3 years old. Then was when he started getting up and climbing out of his bed and into ours. He was also diagnosed with autism around that time and we were scared of him getting up and wondering around the house or worse going out of the house without waking us up. So he still sleeps with us and honestly sometimes I wish he would sleep in his own room but then again I wouldn’t get any sleep because I would be worried he was getting up alone.

  15. In answer to the last question on this post: Yes. A thousand times YES! LOL! We’re just phasing our daughter out of co-sleeping and have been putting her to sleep in her crib (in our room). She does well, overall, but watching how she sleeps, it’s no wonder we got no rest! She flips and turns so much it’s a wonder SHE gets any rest! Every now and then she wakes and we try to lull her back to sleep, but sometimes she’s not satisfied until she feels mom or dad against her with her pacifier. It’s all good. I’ll miss these moments when she’s a teenager. ;-)

  16. i feel your pain, I ahve a love/hate relationship with co sleeping, lol. But I have some good news for you….hopefully…I was in almost your same situation 6 months ago. Co sleeping, being a “pacifier” all night but my baby won’t take an actual pacifier. And fast forward to 12 months old, a few days after I weaned and he is magically sleeping most nights, all nights in his crib. I still have some bed sharing moments……but he sleeps fine while next to me now. So hopefully before you know it your baby will be sleeping better. BY the way I slept with all my babies the same way and my first one is a horrible sleeper and the other two seem to be great sleepers, so I don’t know if there’s really a magical secret to this whole sleeping thing, lol.

  17. I remember when nursing all night was getting really old… I read that they expect to be soothed to sleep throughout the night in the same way that they are put to bed. It made sense so I started putting my daughter to bed without nursing. It was a rough few days but soon she was happy to go to sleep with back patting. She didn’t night-wean straight away, but she did cut down to nursing a couple times a night. White noise helps her sleep longer stretches, and a shirt that smells like me helps her sleep longer in her crib. Good luck! :)

  18. My wife never breast fed with our first (and only), and we never had to co-sleep, kid took to the crib with no problem. Although he did not sleep through the night, my wife would still only put him in the crib for sleep during the day. I worked night shift- 7pm-7am – so on my off days I would stay up all night to keep acclimated to that schedule, and would keep the kid company. He usually slept in the swing, with me nearby doing something quietly while his mom slept. Once he was 2 months, she went back to work and I went to working 2-3 days per month, and since then I have never had a problem with him sleeping through the night IN HIS CRIB only. Go figure!

  19. I feel as if you are describing my life exactly. I am currently having the same battle with my little girl, who is also 6 months. I love her to death, but after taking care of her and my five year old son all day, I feel as if I deserve at least a little quiet time in the evenings.

    Please let me know if you figure out how to get through this without the guilt eating you alive.

    Good luck!

  20. I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old. My first slept in our bed til she was two and she pretty much wanted to be attached to me the whole night. I night weaned her at 18 months, which helped us all sleep a whole lot better. My second is still sleeping with us sort of. Dr. Sears has some good articles about co-sleeping. I can’t remember where I read it, but one thing I read about little ones was super helpful. It was about understanding their sleep patterns. When they’re little, for the first 20 minutes of sleep they are in light sleep, after that they go into deep sleep for maybe half an hour or so, then return to light sleep. If you want to nurse your baby to sleep and then “detach” her, wait until she’s in deep sleep (her breathing will be soft and her limbs will be limp. Then gently slide your finger in her mouth to break suction and pull away. You could just roll over or do like i’ve been doing and go sleep somewhere else. My almost two year old sleeps longer without wanting to nurse if I leave the room. I still get up in the middle of the night with her, but we’re working on it. Here is another very helpful article about night weaning, the author does not recommend using this until at least 15 months, but I think if you are determined to night wean this is a great way to do it, even earlier if that’s what you really need to do! I hope this helps.

  21. Crissy,

    I hate to admit it but my 10.5 year old daughter STILL sleeps with me – gah!

    I let her sleep with me when I was nursing her and being the strong willed child she is she kicked my DH out and he’s been sleeping in her princess bedroom ever since. Occasionally we make her sleep in her bed, but it’s rarely worth the fight that comes with it. Quite frankly I sleep better with her than my husband so I do take credit for not pushing too hard.

    Talk about a skeleton in the closet – my face is red lol!

  22. I co-slept with my son. Still do..sorta. I have to stay with him till he falls asleep then he’s good for the night. When I had my daughter..I swore I wouldn’t co-sleep with her. This one will different! Yeah OK. Both kids…from day one in the hospital, refused to be put down. The minute you put them down..WAHH!! and I was so tired so I would hold them just to get some sleep. They never slept in their crib. I tried the crying it out method…doesn’t work for us. I have stubborn kids who will cry for hours, they don’t stop. My daughter is even worse because like you, she nurses and uses me as a pacifier. My kids kick around and enjoys sleeping in weird positions.

    The only thing that keeps me from tearing my hair out is the thought that they really love me and want to be close to me. I’m their mother and they need me for comfort & security. I’m going to miss this closeness when they are teenagers.

    So while I would like to sleep in bed with my husband again..I’d be happy to just wean and get my daughter off the boob. She’s 15 months old with a mouthful of teeth.

  23. Oh my gosh…reading your post brought me back to having to sleep with my daughter. It was 2 1/2 years of pure exhaustion. She wouldn’t sleep on her own. I was bound and determined to get her into her crib, but it just didn’t work for us. My husband and I were both working and we needed to sleep – so we had to co-sleep. It sucked and when I became pregnant years later, I was determined not to repeat history. Guess what??? We repeated it all over again. But, we did get my son into his crib much faster. I have read people say they don’t “get” co-sleeping. This wasn’t a choice that I wanted to make – I felt like I had no other choice. I tried to put my daughter in her crib to get her used to it. I tried to let her “scream it out” and after two hours of her screaming and not putting herself to sleep, I gave up. I needed to sleep – bottom line. Or the post partum was going to hit HARD. It will get better :))

  24. Oh yes! I co-slept with my third child only daughter. I had not heard of co-sleeping until then. I hated it. Not that I didn’t love my child but honestly I was not happy and to tired to do anything. Not to mention she wanted to be with me every single minute! With my boys they were put in the crib and that was that. I got rest they slept and we were both happy.

  25. Co-sleeping isn’t going well for me either. Like you, I’m also afraid that my 9-month-old is going to wake up her older siblings. I had to resort to her on the bed with me resulting to my sore body. She also had to use her pacifier (my boob) so she could sleep soundly. She’ll wake me up in the middle of the night to latch on again if she realized she let it go. Is that the downside of breastfeeding? I feel tired also and my back aches.

  26. Hopefully writing gives you a little mental reprieve. Nice job momma taking such awesome care of your family, yet have to make sure to have time and rest for you too. The only hint I have as a fellow co-sleeping momma is reach out to Le Leche League for suggestions around the needing-you-for-soothing part. Thankfully I can normally sneak away and convince my daughter to take a pacifier. Hang in there! You are rocking it. :D

  27. Sounds exactly like my experience. :( I kept up with co-sleeping like that until my son was 10 months. Then I started putting him in a travel bed in our room. It took him a long time to get him use to it. I started with naps. I stopped nursing him to sleep, I would rock or pace around the room until he caved, Then lay him down in the travel bed. After a few weeks I started putting him down in the travel bed at night. Eventually he got use to it. The every 30 min night time nursing went to 4 hours finally and I got to sleep comfortably. He is 20 Months now and sleeps in his own room in a toddler bed. I still rock him to sleep for naps and bed time. I haven’t figured out how to stop that yet. Good luck. Co-sleeping isn’t for everyone. It wasn’t for us. But it doesn’t make you a bad mom for not enjoying it or not wanting to do it. Your cute little girl will be happier in the long run with a happy, well rested mama. Sometimes doing the best thing for a long term result is a lot harder then doing the thing that gives immediate results.

  28. For everyone who mentioned there is no point in cosleeping, I guess you’ve never had babies that wanted nothing to do with a crib or bassinet! :) We cosleep and we don’t have any sleeping issues, so please lay off the moms that like to co-sleep and enjoy it! Crying-it-out is definitely not for all families and not for my kids for sure. We love to co-sleep!

    Crissy, I do understand partly how you feel – once in a while, maybe one night a week, my 7 month old seems to want my boob in his mouth all night (can’t imagine doing that all the time though!). But that’s rare, otherwise he sleeps very well without me (next to me). Our 3 y.o. hated the crib, we sold it. For two years she slept right next to me (sidecar crib), kind of miss it! But I got the little one to keep me company now :) We all sleep in one room, on mattresses, we like the convenience of not having beds to bump on and fall off of :)

    You know this, they do grow up so fast! Before you know it you’ll be thinking “That time when we co-slept was precious!”

  29. Oh girl I hear ya loud and clear!!!!! Before I got pregnant I said I would never cosleep ha ha but then well I did not stick to my never!!! I started out nursing Olivia while sitting in a chair, she would nurse and we would both fall asleep, sitting in the chair. Then one night I moved to sitting up in the bed, she would nurse and it was not cosleeping (in my mind) because I was sitting up in bed sleeping. Eventually I was no longer sitting up I had moved into a half sitting half laying position, and that is how our journey of cosleeping began. Now I have a 4 year old in my bed and a 2 year old that is still nursing. It is so funny because my husband says he does not even know the girls are in bed with us…. well that is because he has the whole side of the bed to himself, while I shiver on a slice of the bed with a leech (the 2 year old that is still nursing) and an octopus ( the 4 year old that seems to grow extra limbs during the night) stuck to me like glue. So yup I hear you loud and clear :)

    • LOL!! My kids are exactly the same. My daughter is attached to me in the front and my son is like a backpack clinging on to me. I’m on my side and can’t move sometimes

  30. Seems like you’re not going to get it done in one shot.. you’ll probably have to teach her to not use you as a pacifier before you can teach her to sleep by herself… If it were me, and I know it’s not, I’d just focus on that one thing to make it less overwhelming.

    I don’t know if it’ll work for you, but what made our baby learn to relax by herself at bedtime was a Yookidoo Tote Along Musical Mirror Toy… it had 3 lights that blink for 10 minutes (optional music) and she would be hypnotized by that… we rarely had to turn it back on a second time…

    I’m not an expert by far (we have a lot of indoor cats and I was terrified to put baby in our room… plus she loves her sleep and has been sleeping through the night since 1 month)…

  31. Co-sleeping isn’t for every parent or every child. My son slept with me until he was around 9 months old. At that time he was rolling around kind of crazy and he wasn’t sleeping well with me. So we moved him to his crib. And other than a few days of crying, he’s slept in his room ever since. And when he’d cry, I’d sit beside his crib and hold his hand. To this day, he’s not a fan of sleeping with someone else. So I guess we got lucky and don’t have a co-sleeping horror story. As far as nursing goes. I didn’t get to nurse. BUT I did break him from a pacifier. I’d just offer a pacifier in the bed after she goes to sleep, and not give her back your breast until it is time to eat again. I know she’s going to scream and holler and carry on, but she’s going to keep doing that because she knows you’ll give it to her. Eventually she’ll recognize that you won’t give her the breast. (or have you thought of giving her expelled breast milk from here on out from a bottle? That way she doesn’t have the nipple at all, but is still getting breast milk.

  32. I co-slept with my first two and still do some with my third baby, but this time around I have a co-sleeper bassinet that attaches to the side of my bed. He sleeps very well in there and is close enough for comforting or to grab him and feed when he needs it. He also, coincidentally, is the only baby of mine that has ever slept through the night at such an early age (from about 2 months). I’m not ready to put him in a crib in his own bedroom yet, but this is a good compromise for us.

  33. Co sleeping was never an issue when my boys were babies. In fact, having a baby in bed with you was frowned upon because of safety issues with smothering. My sons both had colic so I spend a lot of time in a rocking chair with them and it was quite an effort to get them to sleep but they always went into their crib. Once the colic passed they were happy and content in their own room. I can’t imagine having a baby in bed with you and then after they are used to it banishing them to their own room. That seems much worse then just starting them out in a cradle near your bedside and then transitioning them to their own room. I think that is a more common sense approach. Too many people writing too many books with off the wall, impracticable ideas. Follow your own heart and common sense.

  34. I personally have done co-sleeping with 2 of my kids and 2 I have not and they were all Breastfed. There are pros and cons to everything. I do agree though on the transition to their own beds was a nightmare. Now my oldest who is 8 was a co- sleeper is fine now it took her a bit but we got her to sleep on her own. Then my now 3 year old was my other co-sleeper, she will not sleep in her own bed unless I lay down with her to get her to sleep then take her to her bed but she almost always ends up in our bed or her big sister’s bed. I swore this time with my 4th baby ,who’s 4 months old, that I wouldn’t co-sleep with him and he sleeps through the night in his crib. I think the best thing is to start as young as possible to have them sleep in their own beds. Although, every child is different. I wish I had some totally awesome advice for you but I don’t, all I can say is lots of patiences wish you the best of luck getting your baby to sleep in her crib! Hang in there!

  35. We don’t cc-sleep at all. I’m afraid of laying on the baby or hurting the baby in my sleep, my husband agrees. I think it’s important that mommy and daddy get a good night sleep, it’s tough when there’s an extra person in the bed.

  36. I’ve never done co-sleeping with my kids. My granddaughter also went straight to her own crib. I wish I had some sound advice for how you can transition her. I do know that my friend who did some co-sleeping with her kids… still to this day quite often has her 9 & 12 yr olds crawling into her bed at night. Good luck!!

  37. My first had a rough time transitioning to the crib. I started putting him in there to play and that helped. But my second had a similar approach to co-sleeping. I hated it so much. Sure it’s sweet to have a baby nestled against you… unless you actually want to SLEEP. I found my sleep was so much less deep when I knew she was there, I was always on some level aware of her and I slept so much lighter than usual. She’s now in her crib and even though she’s up every 2 hours (ARGH!) I still feel so much more well rested.

    Good luck!

  38. Been there done that.. how ever I do have a suggestion for you.. try a pacifier with syrup or honey on it.. and let her cry her self to sleep while you sit in a chair next to her crib so she knows your there and you can rub her back and do this while your 2 yr is up and running around…

    • ** It is dangerous for any child under twelve months of age to consume honey. There is a risk of botulism and it should be avoided!

  39. Co-sleeping is not for everyone. I did NOT co-sleep with either of my daughters, and they are FINE. What works for one mother, may not be the best fit for the next.

  40. Heck ya! I co-slept for a little while with both of my kids because I didn’t want to deal with the screaming. Sometimes I love the cuddling, but not all night long. I wake up sore and kinked and usually with a hand in my mouth. Hang in there momma! You will get to the point where enough is enough and that’s when you’ll switch to the crib. You could also put a heating pad in the crib to warm it up and then take it OUT before you put Kara in there.

  41. Yes!! My 3 year old is, and always has been a terrible bed sharer, and I thought his sleeping patterns were terrible. I tried everything, and finally a modified cry it out worked. It took a couple nights, but you hold them over their crib when they are drowsy. Put them down, and if they cry, you pick them back up. You do this for awhile until they are just too tired, but you’re not really letting them cry it out. And all of a sudden too he just started sleeping all night. Unfortunately, that wasnt until he was almost 2 1/2 and I was 8 months pregnant with twins! Now I’m having a terrible time with my very healthy twin. He is still getting up multiple times a night, and I can’t do modified cry it out because the twins share a room and I don’t want two screaming babies. Top it off, both had double ear infections that were first resistent to the antibiotics. I know it sucks, I’m here right with you. The last thought in my head before I try to fall asleep is – one day they will sleep all night, and two hours of sleep will be enough tonight. Maybe not in a year, maybe not in two, but ONE day they will sleep. I say the same thing about potty training my three year old too, he won’t walk down the aisle in a diaper, but somedays it seems like he could!

  42. We co-sleep and while I enjoy some moments, apparently my son finds it more relaxing to sleep horizontal across the bed. I don’t love getting a foot to the face. Of course, the alternative is listening to him scream for hours in his crib. The experts say let him cry it out? Well… I’m not sure I have it in me to listen to it for hour upon hour. He doesn’t stop like the books say he will! So I just snuggle up and remember when he’s 15 he won’t want to snuggle with me!

    • My son does the same thing. It is irritating at times, but they are only babies/toddlers for so long. So you just deal with it for the time being.

  43. Oh girly, I feel for you. We decided from the beginning there would be no kids in our bed. And I like it that way. In fact, I kind of loathe when there are nightmares or leg cramps or anything that results in an extra person in my bed. I don’t even really like sleeping right next to my husband – cuddling for a few is fine but then I want my space. I can only imagine how hard it is to get them out of your bed once they think it’s their bed too. :(

    Does she sleep in her crib for naps? If not, maybe that would be a good place to start getting her used to it and slowly transition. As for the boob-ifier, I sort of had/have that problem too. Neither of my kids took or liked an actual pacifier. It’s rough when they are still little and mostly breastfeeding. I hope it gets easier as you start introducing more solids. I don’t really have any tips for getting out of that situation. My oldest is a thumb sucker so she kind of started substituting that and my second sucks on his blankie but when he wants the boob, he wants the boob.

  44. Oh deep breaths, sweetheart. Don’t feel guilty for being tired and upset about this and not loving this particular phase. It’s an incredibly difficult situation, and lack of sleep just makes it all so much worse.
    It does sound like you need to transition away from co-sleeping and on demand feedings. Not because it’s wrong or bad, but it doesn’t seem like the best thing for you at this time. You have to find a balance between what your baby wants and what you need, and from reading this, it seems like this situation is going only how baby wants.
    I think there are some great suggestions above. I’ve also heard positive things about both Baby Wise and REI/Magda Gerber (though I think they’re very different). I would suggest you do a bit of reading and figure out what makes sense for your family (even if it’s different from what other people around you are doing or recommend). And as at least one person mentioned, the transition will be difficult, but the end result of being able to get some sleep will be worth it.

  45. I feel ya! It’s as if I was writing this blog myself. My youngest now 18 months, was just like your little one. Everything you have written is my daughter to a T at that time. She is now sleeping in her own bed for a 2-3 hour nap and sleeping through the night about 11-12 hours. Do you know if your little one has any food allergies? Is she gaining weight well, does she look like she has shiners under her eyes, does she poo normally? All these things can mean food allergies or she could have no symptoms at all except crying unless she isn’t attached all the time. My daughter has a milk/soy protein allergy. She didn’t gain weight well, had shiners, didn’t poo well, had mucous when she did poo or sometimes her little bottom would bleed, she cried anytime I put her down, would not sleep without her pacifier (me), wouldn’t sleep in her bed, and if I even thought of putting my boob away while we slept at night it was like someone kicked her dog. I felt like I never slept and it was so hard. I have to say I miss the snuggles a little now days, but she is very cuddly during the day, so i’m good with not having her in my bed. We were able to get her to nap in her crib around 6-7 months and then in her bed to sleep at night by 9 months. Seriously consider food allergies as the cause it changed our lives in a good way once we figured out our daughter had them. A change in her diet was all it took and now she is the best sleeper! Hope you get it all figured out and if you ever need any advice on living with food allergies feel free to email me. grices_girl@ hot mail .com

  46. We co sleep with our daughter, but she sleeps in a co sleeper beside our bed, not in our bed. I figure we will gradually move it farther away from our bed as she gets older. I am far too tired at 3 am to walk to a different room to nurse her, so for n ow it is working for us.

  47. I hate co-sleeping.

    I started bed-sharing/co-sleeping with my daughter at around 4 months. At first, it was great! She slept better, which meant this mommy did, too. But then she got bigger. And started to kick. And turned into the biggest cover hog EVER. But when I tried to transition her to her comfy little crib, she wouldn’t have it. We tried for months and the tantrums got worse. And believe me when I say, my adorable daughter can cry for a really, REALLY long time.

    She’s a couple months away from her 2nd birthday and she still spends half the night in our bed. Or, as she likes to call it “MINE bed”. I’ve been told that no 15 year old still sleeps in their parent’s bed…but there’s a lot of years between 2 and 15. *sigh*

    I hate co-sleeping.

  48. It was a different experience with each of my kids. My oldest would move to the bassinet after nursing; my second son was difficult to co-sleep with and was more content in his crib; my daughter co-slept until 7 months and had a little difficulty making the move to the crib, and my youngest would probably still sleep with me if I allowed it. I had to wean him into his crib by doing the supernanny trick and sitting next to the crib, moving a little further away each night.

  49. We got Emily out of our bed for good around 4 months. We bought what I would say was our saving grace, The Woombie. I don’t know that it works for everybody like it does us, but it’s been magic. I finally got to stop holding her for naps & was able to lay her in her crib instead of rocking her the entire time. We used to pull her in bed at around 4-5am so we could get more sleep but now she won’t even come to bed for that (which I kind of miss). But now when she wakes I pull her in bed and we cuddle for 30 minutes or so while mommy wakes up completely. I love that time way more than the middle of the night cuddles. I didn’t breastfeed so I never became her pacifier so that part I don’t have much experience with & I have heard that can be more difficult to break away from. My sister had a lot of that with her 3rd because she was colic so she was almost a year before she was out of the bed completely.

    And from the beginning we always tried to put her in her bed first. Even if it meant an hour later she came to bed with us she at least started in her own bed. We figured the better she slept the better she would do in her crib so when her sleep stretches got to 3 hours then 4 and so forth.

  50. 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.

  51. 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

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

      • 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.

  52. 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!

  53. 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.

  54. 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!!

  55. 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 :)

    • 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.

  56. 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!

    • 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’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. :)

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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!

    • 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!

  59. 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:)

  60. 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…

    • 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!

    • 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.

      • 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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

  64. 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!

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