Wednesday, June 6, 2012


(Disclaimer: since writing my last post, everything went to hell in a handbasket. We started having latch issues for the first time, and now when I pump I can barely cover the bottom of the bottles. I think we're slowly getting back on track, but just goes to show you can't get too confident.)

So here we are writing the inevitable newborn sleep post.

I had never planned on co-sleeping, yet here we are. Long story short - my baby sleeps so much better in my arms than in his bassinet. And here's the shocker - I sleep better when he's in my arms, too.

When he's in the bassinet, I spend a long time lying there listening for him to fuss. There's nothing more exhausting than when you juuuust fall asleep and then you have to rouse yourself immediately to tend to the baby.

But when he's next to me, I'm so much more in tune with him, I can get better rest because I can tell when he's about to start fussing without lying there awake.

Last night, he slept in his bassinet from 11-1:30, then I fed him (we have gotten better at the side-lying latch, which is great because I hardly had to wake up!), then I went to put him in his bassinet, but he fussed. So I pulled him into bed with me and we slept from 2:15-5:30. Those three hours were my best sleep since I had him.

I am struggling with the co-sleeping thing. I never intended to do it, and I guess I'm having a hard time checking my ego and doing what my baby wants, regardless of my own parenting intentions.

I don't feel like he's in danger when we're sleeping together. I can tell that I'm aware of him even when I'm asleep. There may be evidence that shows it's dangerous, but on a very primal level, I know he's not in danger. So that's not the issue.

It's just that I do, eventually, want him in his crib. And I don't know how long I should allow him to sleep with me before I have to buck up and put in him there. I don't want this to become a lasting habit.

Will something like this help with eventually weaning him to his crib? I don't want to invest $150-$200 in a co-sleeping bassinet when we already have a bassinet.

I'm open to any advice anyone has.


Jesica said...

Just wanted to let you know that co-sleeping while breastfeeding is completely safe. It's co-sleeping with formula fed babies that things get dangerous. So glad to hear you're doing what your instincts tell you =)

I don't have any brilliant suggestions to get baby out of the bed in the future but good luck!

Alex said...

I really struggled with co-sleeping, or at least the idea of co-sleeping, when I had Alex. Prior to her birth, I was adamant that she would not be sleeping in my bed. After... Well she spent quite a bit of time in my bed. But I would feel guilty about it, or worried, or something. For the next baby, I'm going to release the guilt, plan on the baby sleeping in my bed, and I think it will go MUCH better. That being said, this is what I did, and what I plan on doing for the next baby.

For Alex, she slept a lot in my bed until about 8 weeks. During that time, we slept best when she slept on her back or side, swaddled (I think the research will tell you not to swaddle the baby, but I didn't know any better), with me curled up around her. I was afraid of my husband rolling over on her, so I would sleep between the two of them, and Alex was on the edge of the bed. She wasn't rolling over at that point, so I wasn't that concerned about her falling off, but I always had an arm around her so I was holding her and would know if she moved. For the next baby if I do it like this, I will get a bed rail, something like the Dex Products Safe Sleeper Bed Rail Ultra on Amazon.

At 8 weeks, I transitioned her to her crib, and parts of it was hard, I won't lie. I had already established a decent bedtime routine (bath, story, song, bed) so that helped for the first sleeping session of the night. I started with nursing her to sleep, and then putting her in her crib. Later I learned that it's best to put them in the crib when they're more awake so they're not confused when they wake up. But when she would wake up after the first stint, I would bring her back into bed, give her a boob, and she would fall asleep easily while sleeping next to me, sometimes with a boob in her mouth. Super easy, especially when you're exhausted! Over time, this went down, and by the time she was about 4 months old, she slept in her bed about 10-12 hours at a time. You're a long way from there, but my point is you can transition to the crib when you are both ready.

The item you suggested might help if you're afraid of rolling over on your little guy. I have also thought about the arms reach co-sleeper, but it's expensive. And it (and the thing you suggest) doesn't seem conducive to laying on your side and feeding your baby, which definitely helped me get sleep! Alex would use my boob as a pacifier, and we both could sleep well like this. The only problem with this position is I always seemed to have a sore back when I woke up, but tucking a pillow behind my back seemed to help. The one thing that struck me about the item you suggested though was it might help to transition to a crib - you could place your boy in the co-sleeper thing inside his crib, once you were ready. But obviously I don't know for sure...

My overall point is you have to do what makes you comfortable. During those first couple months, it's so very hard, that the way you can get the most amount of sleep is the way you should go. Be safe with it - don't let the hubby drink and sleep in bed with you or anything like that. Be careful with pillows and blankets. But do what feels right. Hang in there!!!

Jem said...

I am co-sleeping with Rosie, too. I found a co-sleeper on Craig'sList and use it mostly for naps during the day. At night she's sleeping by my side (on a pee-proof mat).

Sometime she falls asleep on my chest.

Don't worry. you are doing the right thing.

Stacy said...

You need to do what is best for u and the babie. I co-slept with my son. He was never within a couple inches from his food source!

Nisha said...

I didn't plan to co-sleep either, but we did and we still do from time-to-time. You do what you need to do to get sleep. I always felt safe doing it too--but I'm pretty sure that part about breastfeeding and co-sleeping is a myth. Just an FYI.

And I'd say just go with it. I just kept trying Alice in her bassinet from time to time and then one day she slept in it. She'd often end up in our bed at some point in the night (and still sometimes does), but it came eventually. He's still so young--no need to rush it!