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Elisabeth Röhm’s Blog: My Co-Sleeping Conundrum

03/03/2011 at 08:00 AM ET
Adam Hendershot

Elisabeth Röhm, best known for her role as Serena Southerlyn on Law & Order, has a busy 2011 ahead of her.

The actress, 37, can be seen on the big screen in the upcoming films Chlorine, Transit and Abduction, and can be found online on Facebook or @ElisabethRohm on Twitter.

In her latest blog, Röhm — who is mom to 2½-year-old daughter Easton August with fiancé Ron Anthony — is gearing up to get Easton sleeping in her own bed — again!

 

Not so long ago, when Easton was the size of a 6.8 lbs. sweet pea, she changed our world forever and for the better. At the same time of life shifting, we made the decision to co-sleep. It was a gradual decision; one made slowly as the first few months of sleepless nights unfolded.

Of course, we had decorated Easton’s room carefully and lovingly. Placing each letter of her name in swirls of paint above her lavender and lime bedding and ever-so-girlie crib. We had picked out the perfect nursing chair that Mommy and baby E could rock in through those dark hours of the night. Point being, we had not registered for the best co-sleeper on the block. We had not anticipated this decision. At that time we still had visions of maintaining a passionate child-free bed/zone.

Well, that vision quickly came to an end as the days progressed and Mommy’s sleeplessness advanced, making the evening’s trek up and down the stairs somewhat dicey. Not to mention that Daddy’s inability to beat me to the punch left the duties in my court and therefore, I was getting pretty worn out.

It became clear that for our family, cuddling with Easton through the night in our grown-up bed was the most practical, safe and restful of choices. And so that became our new nightly ritual.

Actually looking back, it was such a sweet time and I can still smell the indelible mix of baby freshness and warmth under my nose. I’d pile pillows up around me so that Easton could never roll and was safe. Those long sleeping sessions were so tender and the quiet moments of breastfeeding at night are some of the sweetest memories that bring tears to my eyes just now as I recall that time.

As a side-note, I breastfed for seven months, which was not nearly long enough for my taste. But our bodies have a mind of their own and mine had decided not to produce anymore. I’ll never forget what a nurse/friend said to me at the time: “Just a gentle reminder that you might experience depression when you finish breastfeeding.”

Boy, did I ever. It was postpartum in its fullest form, and I felt a huge loss from that ending. It came as such a shock too because I hadn’t experienced anything like it during my pregnancy or after Easton’s birth. I was working at the time and stress has a way of ending things by drying you up. The two just don’t seem to go hand in hand, at least not for me.

So I’m repeating her advice: just a gentle reminder to you moms out there — it may come as a surprise, as it did for me. Breastfeeding or not breastfeeding or how long you breastfeed for … the whole subject is pretty emotional for us.

Anyway, five months into Easton’s life our family packed up to go shoot a film in Seattle. We had rented a house, but it still felt more like a hotel and there was no other option than the continuation of our co-sleeping, because Easton was not taking to her new room at all. At the time, it was deeply bonding for us all to cuddle through the night in our new surroundings.

Still, we knew that when we returned home to L.A. that it would be time to start pushing into a new frontier with Easton. After all, she was going to be 8-months-old and was eating solids. There was no excuse for it anymore. It had come time for us to part our co-sleeping ways.

Because we had started Easton’s life off with such night-time intimacy, it was like World War III to put her into her crib when we returned home. I must say it was rather scary to see her trying to get out of her crib and weeping, as if abandoned.

I’d rock her to sleep with a bottle and transport her to the crib. Then I’d lay down on the floor where she couldn’t see me, just to make sure she was safe and that her crying jag wouldn’t last more than a short time or become too out of control. We did make it through that time, and a week later Easton was sleeping soundly in her crib.

Until, of course we would hit the road again and throw her off schedule with a visit to her Grammy’s house. We’d find ourselves in the guest bed like three little sausages, all snug and lined up next to each other. Cute? Yes. Comfortable? Not so much. But kids just don’t take to new places in a snap, as you know. As you can imagine and quite possibly relate to, once we’d return home we’d have to start over with helping Easton to re-establish her routine.

Okay, okay, so you get the picture. This has gone on and on because of the fact that we travel so much. To add to it, Easton is tall and strong and at the tender age of 1½, she literally catapulted herself out of her crib. We heard a loud thud and then crying. It was terrifying. It only took one more time for that to come to an end.

Of course, our only safe choice was to allow her to sleep with us for several months as we debated about putting such a young child in a toddler bed. Finally, after some more sleepless nights of Easton tossing and turning in between us (another safety measure), we finally set up a fab ‘big-girl bed’ with safety railings.

Can you imagine? What were we thinking? What were we hoping for? A logical response, of course. Why wouldn’t she want to luxuriate and sleep through the night being able to stretch out in her very own bed? It makes sense, right? I think we actually believed that she would simply embrace it and that we would have our own bed back. No such luck, PEOPLE.com readers.

Once Easton had had her own freedom, she only wanted to sleep with us. Can you blame her? So much of her life had been spent co-sleeping. How were we going to turn this ship around once and for all? We were supposed to be all caught up on sleep at this point! Not!

I reached out to a friend who has older girls — she’s my go-to mom — and read a million books on the subject, like we all do. The answer seemed most articulately stated by my friend rather than the books: “You just have to power through it,” she said. “Keep putting them back in bed at night even if it exhausts you and breaks you down.”

Of course she added that she has had to do this throughout her girls’ young lives based on different phases, needs or fears at any given moment. She basically said that the kids are in and out of your bed forever! Forever?! #@!$#@%$#! That’s a really long time!!! And so the battle for sleep goes on and on in her house, ours and possibly yours as well.

So I took a deep breath, back then, and prepared myself to not give in to my daughter’s spooning efforts. To make the long walk from my room to hers, for however long it took to get as quick of a turn around as possible. These late-night transfers really did the trick and in no time, Easton was sleeping in her room through the night once again.

That is, until we’d disrupt her routine and take a vacation somewhere, visit a relative or leave town for work. And so we’d find ourselves starting from scratch each time we’d return home. But at least a pattern on how to transition had been established, making it a tad easier each time. Just a tad.

I write this now because I am gearing up for another sleepless week as I’ve noticed the pitter-patter of Easton’s feet too often in the night lately. As much as I still love the tender nose-to-nose sleeping, it’s important for her and for us to sleep through the night from time to time without a foot in the rib or the nudging back and forth due to lack of space. I’m tired just thinking of it now!

We will get through it and she will once again be back in her bed for a month or some months and it will be bliss! Ahhhhhhhh! My shoulders relax just thinking of all those hours of rest. (I’ll be missing those late night cuddle sessions, but that’s just between us, ladies!)

It’s part sugar and spice isn’t it, moms?

– Elisabeth Röhm

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Patti Bevans on

Oh, Elisabeth, my boy is about to turn 5 and we started out the exact same way! He slept with us, then I slept with him. We were just having the talk that since hes about to be 5, he needs to fall asleep alone and stay alone all night – you’d think his world had collapsed! He doesn’t want it and I definitely have some saddness about ending it. He’s still my baby afterall and I think about where it all began and how now hes getting so big. Brings a tear to my eye even thinking about it. Good luck to you!

Olivia on

This is beautifully written. We are still bedsharing with our two year old, and we aren’t quite ready to change the situation even with the occasional kick to the ribs. :) I can only hope the transition some day doesn’t cause too much turmoil for us or our daughter.

Jgirl on

Being a mother is so difficult. We encounter so many phases, issues, and circumstances. When I nursed both babies, I kept their crib in our room. They were only a few steps away. When they turned one, the crib moved to their room, and that seemed to work really well for us. It sounds like you have a handle on your daughter, and you seem like a wonderful and loving mother. Thank you for the blogs, they are nice to read!

Jenn on

We didn’t plan to cosleep (or bedshare) either, but after coming home from the hospital, there was no way I could leave my tiny guy away from me… We’re still breastfeeding and sleeping together at 9 months. It is the only way everyone in our family gets sleep and is happy. It also brings some of the most tender bonding moments we have. I just love it. I am dreading the separation and big bed process that Elisabeth chronicles…yikes!

N.S on

Great post! We decided to sleep even before we had our first daughter – and it went great, she slept in our bed soundly for 2.5 years, which was also around the time she self weaned from nursing, at that point we got her a toddler bed and put it right next to ours, and she made the transition very easily. She’s now 3 and still sleeps in her little bed next to ours, and her little sister who is 4.5 months old now sleeps in with us and we hope to have her co-sleep for about the same amount of time. It makes night feeds so easy – so it just makes sense for us. Every family and their experiences are different – but for our family co-sleeping has been a very positive experience, and I really couldn’t imagine doing it differently.

Tina on

UGH! Reading that I felt like it was me who wrote it! My Daughter is 2 1/2 also…same exact problem however we did not travel, but everytime she wasn’t feeling well we would want her with us, now we are here unable to sleep without her…Cheers to all of us trying!

MDmomx5 on

We have 5 kids ages 14-2.5 & we have shared sleep with all of them for different amounts of time depending on their needs. Solo sleeping is just not something I worry about- after 5 I can guarantee they don’t stay there forever. They are little for such a short time, I feel it’s my job as a parent to meet their needs & make them feel secure sleeping. Our motto is what ever sleeping arrangement gets everyone the most amount of sleep- and that can change from night to night. My 5 & 2.5 year old share a bed, but the 2.5 may wake & come into our bed or may start the night in our bed & we will move her later. My 9 & 11 share a room with twin beds but shared a bed till about 5 & 7. Our kids know that the door is always open if they need to come & snuggle. My 14 woke up sobbing at 4 am after a terrible nightmare & asked if she could get in bed next to me- it was the first time in probably 6 years she’d asked & I was happy to oblige.

A wise mom of 10 once told me that if a transition becomes a struggle then the child is not developmentally ready – be it potty training, weaning or solo sleeping- so carefully choose which battles you want to fight.

Terri on

Whatever that is that she is wearing I love it.

Mommy of 2 on

@Tina…I am in the same boat as you. We co-slept with our now 2 year old daughter, and now she cant make it through the night in her bed!! Oh the joys of mommyhood!!!

Kristine on

You should have done it e right way from the start…your poor baby is now paying the price. What a ride you have her on..

Heather on

I’m glad I completely gave up on separate beds when my son was 7 months. I hated the struggle He’s almost 4 and I plan to transition him in the next year or two. My son and I sleep together and my husband sleeps in a different room. It’s been heavenly — for me, my son and my marriage!

I think it’s very sad that mom and dad can’t sleep alone but we make our babies do it sooner than they are comfortable. For what? Sex? Come on people, you can have sex anywhere in your house when the kids are asleep.

mleyes on

While we didn’t share a bed with our baby, now 2.5, we did and do share a room, his crib is next to our bed. We don’t have any sleeping issues with him. He goes down and sleeps through the night–he knows that love and protection is near by through the night.

Our children have all their lives to become “independent,” I’m not sure why there is such a big push to move kids into their own rooms before they are ready. Like another reader commented, if they put up a battle, they probably aren’t ready. When they are (for all those milestones in life) the transition is smooth. Why not put her bed in your room until she is ready?

Jennifer on

I feel badly for the little girl- a child should be in their own bed. My son slept in his crib from day 1, no matter how exhausyting the trek back and forth was.

Cammy on

Re the comment about Elisabeth not doing it “right” and her child “paying the price” is just ridiculous. Many countries/cultures co-sleep, and if you’re breastfeeding it makes sense to have the baby next to you.

The baby/mother bonding is important, and there are those who don’t believe their child should cry it out. The thing here is not to judge.

Her daughter will eventually break the cycle – she is young. And if Elisabeth find methods to create a soothing pattern, (stories/massages) and ways that her daughter can comfort herself (ex. with stuffed animals), then it will eventually be her daughter just coming in the room in the morning….

jessicad on

I also couldn’t stand the thought of my newborn daughter all alone in her room, she had been safe in my belly for 9 months and I had to keep her in my bed. I absolutely loved snuggling up with her and hearing her breathe comforted me. When she developed colic at 5 weeks there was no way she was going in her crib, she’d fall asleep on my shoulder and I would sleep sitting up if I had to!

Once she was over the colic her nightly gabbing and moving kept me up I decided to put her in the crib, she was around 8 or 9 months old. I’m getting so emotional even thinking about it! She’s very independent and took to her crib immediately with no problem, then her toddler bed was a breeze and now she’s in a full size bed at 3! I’m so lucky, but I almost wish she would sneak into my room sometimes:)

I carry a pack and play when we travel and let her take a few of her favorite dolls in there to sleep. For her the new surroundings are the scary part, so I usually stay until she falls asleep and always sleep in the same room!

Elsie on

We co-sleep/be-share and my first son was an avid bed-sharer. We never once tried to put him in his own, bed, though as he got older we had a bed in his room and talked about someday he would sleep there. Then a few months after he turned 4-years-old he asked wanted to sleep in his own bed and never looked back.

He is almost 10 now. For the first several years after he moved into his own room, we would bring him into our bed whenever he was really sick so we could be there for him, and he always went back to his own afterward without a problem. And this is a very snuggly, affectionate needy kiddo. By meeting his needs for closeness early on, and letting him know that he could always come back, helped him transition when HE was ready.

Co-sleeping kids DO leave on their own so never worry that it has to happen at a “certain time”. Most of the world sleeps with their children, it is normal. Don’t ever feel pressured into doing something because “the books” or anyone else tells you, you should. Really those early years go by so fast and can never be gotten back, but the foundation of love, trust, and security you provide during will shape their lives forever.

Emily on

Thank you so much for sharing about post partum depression after weaning. I experienced the same thing with my daughter when I quit nursing her at 13 months. It took me awhile to put it together because it wasn’t in the months after delivery.

My son is finally sleeping in his own bed all night (almost 5)…which is good because my 3 year old now hogs our bed. Whatever works, I say!

Sarah on

I plan to Co-Sleep as long as my son wants. Children belong in bed with their parents.

Emily on

Here is my take on it- I know that most parents love having thier babies and toddlers sleep in the bed with them and some may do it until the child is “ready” to go to thier own bed but….what about the health of your marriage/relationship? Having the night alone with your significant other at least at night (especially when the day is so hectic and you can barely say hi to each other)seems CRITICAL to me. Maintaining that relationship is just as important as the relationship with your baby. And while you may enjoy having your baby in the bed, are you really doing them any favors in the long run? The harsh seperation after a year or so of co-sleeping. The crib from day 1 seems like the way to go for me.

Angela on

Emily, you are so right. I co-slept with my babies for as long as I breastfed them (seven months) because it was easy for me to roll over and nurse. After that point I put them in their crib/bassinet to encourage nighttime sleeping, but also to make sure I maintained my relationship with my husband. There was no anxiety or angst when I put them in their own rooms before the age of one. I hear so many moms cry over their babies sleeping on their own or no longer nursing, and I wonder who’s really suffering – the moms or the babies. We’re meant to nurture them, but we’re also meant to make sure they’re independent, healthy individuals. We need to stop putting our own separation issues on them.

Jennifer on

What Emily and Angela said. And it’s not just about sex. That is the one time of day that my husband I get be together to talk, watch a movie, or just spend some quality quiet time together without the kids. It’s healthy for the entire family for mom and dad to be connected. I’m sorry but you sleeping with your child and your husband in another room is just not right.

Holiday on

We co sleep with our almost 10 month old daughter. She nurses many times a night so its easy to feed her that way. Plus I am not ready for her to be in her own room yet. I coslept with my son for a few years and I will probably do the same with my daughter.

Ashley on

While I admire her for sticking to the parental views that she feels are right, I love the fact that my son has been an independent sleeper from day 1. We tried putting him in a bassinet in our room when he was first born and he didn’t sleep well there (my husband snores…a lot!). Our son did perfect in his crib, with very soft music on. This works for us!

He decided at 18 months to sleep in his toddler bed on his own. He climbed out of his crib and I found him asleep in his “big boy” bed several nights in a row. Now that he’s 2 he is wanting to sleep in our bed with us, but we just put him back in his bed. Again, this works for us!

Even though our parenting styles are different, I love reading her blog! It’s nice to see a celeb taking a realistic approaching to parenting and not rely on a full time caretaker. Keep it up girl!

purejuice on

there is a mom on my blogging community who is trying to kick her seven-year-old out of their bed. how they managed to conceive twice more in the reign of this bed tyrant i can’t imagine. it gives me the willies to think about it.

Cara on

Wow, I can’t help but thinking how crazy that is. It’s the difference between parent-directed parenting and child-directed parenting. The book BABYWISE talks about the difference in these two types of parenting and co-sleeping is an example of letting your child run your house. If you start off having your child sleep in their own crib, you don’t drag on the problems of them getting in and out of their beds and screaming during the night.

All three of our boys slept in their cribs and then their own beds from the time they were three months old and we wouldn’t do it any differently. We’re right down the hall if they need us and of course, they come in when they need to go to the bathroom or get a drink but they go right back into their beds and we’re a happier family because we are getting deep sleep. As parents, we can teach our kids their sleep, naptime, eating, and potty training routines right from the start or fight it later.

CoSleepingFamily on

You can co-sleep and still maintain a healthy, intimate physical and non-physical relationship with your spouse! You do so in other rooms of your home once your children go to bed. My hubby and I just meet in our office for “date night” as we have a futon couch/bed in there. Usually we put our kids to bed together in our bed… then once they are sleeping, slip away and meet in the living room for TV, movies and/or conversation and/or meet in our office as I said for “date night”.

I am still nursing my 23mo. old (as we do child-led weaning, full term breastfeeding), so I listen for her on the monitor and go nurse her back down to sleep when she wakes every 1-2 hours until we go to bed with our 2 kids in our family bed. Then I can nurse as needed through the night, although we are working on night-weaning. Most recently our 4 yr. old will start the night in his room; play, read, maybe watch a show before bed and will usually fall asleep in his own room on his own. He will ask us to bring him to our bed so he wakes with us all, so we do. Or he may come into our room/bed in the night on his own. But, he’s transitioning to his own room all on his own at his pace and quite nicely. It’s worked well for us all and everyone feels secure and happy.

As someone else said, they are little for such a short period of time, before we know it they’ll likely have “keep out” signs on their doors. So we’ve just enjoying our time while we have it. As I said, you can make it work and have a healthy relationship as parents, still putting your relationship first and meeting your family needs all while co-sleeping. It’s all a balancing act, and can be done. Just like most everything in parenthood, parents know what is best for their family situation and what works best for some, may not for others.

Claire on

I’m with Emily, Jennifer, and Angela. If both parents are REALLY sure they want to co-sleep and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to do it, then that’s their choice. I’m just sick of hearing all these co-sleeping parents complain endlessly about getting kicked in the middle of the night, not getting enough sleep and having no time alone with their partner. And I haven encountered plenty of dads who “just can’t fit in the bed” with their wife and toddler so they end up unhappy in the guest room or on the couch for months or YEARS! I can totally appreciate having your babies in a crib in your room during the times they are nursing at night, but having your baby in your bed can be a hard habit to break. ***You don’t have to break habits that you don’t start!***

For the record, neither me or my brother ever slept in my parents’ bed – ever. We were sleep trained early and slept 9 hours a night by 4 months. My parents knew that having a good night’s sleep was important for everyone in the family and that, even though it was tough for a little while, the pay-off of not being zombies for years was well worth it. My brother and I are now 30 and 25 and have great relationships with our parents. We always felt that our needs were met and that our parents loved us very much. We have never felt “abandoned” or “psychologically damaged” just because we didn’t share their marital bed. Additionally, my parents are still happily married and we always knew that their marriage was equally as important as their relationship with us. Happy marriage = happy parents = happy children :-)

Sarah on

Seriously People Magazine Editor, Please stop with the almost daily Blog updatdes from ‘Elisabeth Rohm”. Enough already! Seriously! I’m a long-time reader and this is one gal to say, hearing from her once is enough. As a targetted reader, please take note. Best, Sarah

CoSleepingFamily on

A word of caution on the book Babywise… research before considering it. In my humble opinion it is dangerous, unnatural and has lead to failure to thrive situations!

Again, each parent knows what is best for their family and no one choice is better than any other! Learn from others what to do and what not to do, make your own choice and do not judge others for theirs! We’re all just trying to love.

Also, research co-sleeping, it’s the norm for most countries, for most of time. Sleep alone in beds as babies is not the norm. Sometimes getting back to old basics is a good thing.

CC on

I had a very similar situation with my first born and this is how we solved it:

1)Bought a king size bed. That way everybody is a bit more comfortable when we are all sleeping together.

2)Lay down with her on her twin size mattress in her bedroom until she falls asleep. Then go back to master bedroom. If child wakes up in the middle of the night and needs us, they come in to our room. But at least everybody starts off the night in their own beds and gets a few hours of separate sleep. We’re currently in the process of transitioning to just sitting next to her bed and patting until she falls asleep, instead of laying with her.

Yes, child ends up in bed with us often. But not every night. And more and more she sleeps through the night in her own bed.

marykk on

What about letting your 12 yr old child sleep with you because it is easier for her? Believe it or not I know this is happening. Can anyone justify this age?

chelsea on

My son is 19 months old, and we began cosleeping at 6 weeks when I got tired of getting up night after night to get him. I am still breastfeeding and think that my body wouldn’t still be producing milk if it wasn’t meant to. People in third world countries cosleep, and it used to be a tradtional way of bringing up your child.

I agree, babies and small children don’t need to sleep alone in cold, dark rooms. I believe that it is important for attachment for the child to be with the parents. I will stop cosleeping when my child asks me for his own room. However, he does have his own toddler bed in our room if he wants to use it.

Walter on

We have two kids who are now 4 and 2. They were both in their own rooms at 4 months old and my wife breastfed both until they were 1. Yes, it’s easier to breastfeed at night when the kid is 3 inches from you, but once they are that old, it’s once a night and if you pump, the husband can take a shift as well, so both parents can get sleep.

When they’ve been sick or when we travel and have one room for all of us, we’ve tried to have them sleep with us and neither has any desire. It doesn’t mean we’re any less close to our kids than parents that sleep with their kids every night, believe me, there were times we dreaded going down the hall in the middle of the night for late night interventions of one kind or another, but at the end of the day, the kids sleep great and so do we. And we don’t have to deal with transitioning a kid that knows how to stage a strong fight against moving into their own room now.

It all depends on the environment you’re in and how you want to raise your family. There’s no “right” way to do it – it’s whatever works for you, your kids, and your marriage.

blessedwithboys on

#1: Piling pillows around your daughter did not keep her safe. It made her more likely to die by suffocation. Pillows are a no-no for safe co-sleeping.

#2: You didn’t quit nursing at 7 months bc your body gave out. You quit bc you were pumping and bottle feeding, then when you were “too busy” working to pump you were no longer nursing enough to keep up a supply. Age-old story, heard it a million times. You absolutely have the right to wean whenever you want, but just admit that you didn’t do what you needed to do to keep at it, that’s all. Own your choices, don’t play them off like it hit you out of left field. No wonder you got depressed!

#3: Between shipping your baby off to school all day and then psychologically tormenting her all night with your detachment/abandonment “parenting” practices, please make yourself aware of the signs of Reactive Attachment Disorder. You’ll want to get her into counseling as early as possible to lessen the likelihood of mental illness.

For goodness sakes, just let your baby sleep with you until she doesn’t need to anymore. How selfish are some parents? You want your husband in your bed, right? You like cuddling him, right? You are comforted by his presence and probably saddened when for whatever reason you don’t sleep side by side. How do you think your poor baby feels? She probably feels like worthless crap who is unloved by her parents.

Laura on

Elisabeth, welcome to the rest of your life! My Daughter Lily will be 8 this summer, and for her, the treat is sleeping in Mommy’s bed. Although she has always had her own room, own crib, and own bed, once she was mobile and could open her bedroom door, she spent many nights with me. I am a single parent, so there’s always plenty of room in my bed, and to be honest, I enjoy my cuddle time with her.

As she got older, my Mom always insisted she sleep in her own bed, that she’s a big girl now, and capable of sleeping by herself. You know what? She is, but the times she climbs in with me, or goes to bed in with me, that is the time when we can talk and laugh and she is relaxed enough to tell me any of her troubles or shares with me the things she”can’t remember” at the end of the day. Sometimes something is bothering her, and that’s when she will tell me, or she remembers something from school and tells me a long story about it. I cherish those times, I love those moments with her, talking, laughing, giggling, and sometimes her crying if she’s scared. What I love the most thoguh is he always tells me she loves me and that I am the bestest Mommy in the World. How can you go wrong with that?

Enjoy the times while you can, and when she gets older, establish certains days of the week she can snuggle in with you guys, maybe watch a movie in bed or read together. Cherish the moment when she falls asleep and all your hear is her gentle snores. I know I do, no matter what my Mom thinks about it!! They grow up all too fast and those close times ge fewer and fewer between.

momof2 on

Is just me or are those that are against the idea of co-sleeping coming off pretty critical/judgemental here?! Really people whatever works for one family is great and it may not be the right solution for all families…of course not b/c we are all different. Parenting is not a one size fits all approach.

Personally, we have experienced both sleep options w/ our little ones; crib from day one & co-slept as needed and each has worked for one reason or another. Also glad to learn that those who had parents that did not co-sleep etc do not feel psychologically damaged as adults today…whew what a relief (I too did not grow up in a co-sleeping household and I am happy to report that I as well do not feel damaged as an adult!).

Sophia Adelisse on

As I read several of these comments, I’m honestly APPALLED! Have you mothers never heard of SIDS?!?! By co-sleeping you not only increase the risk of such a horrible event tremendously, you ALSO make it harder for the child’s development – whether you are able to see it now or not. Cribs are made for a purpose…a crib mattress is so much more firm than an adults bed. Babies need that firmness to develop properly. If you want the child to be near you, try a bassinet or crib in your room. Don’t put them in your bed! I personally believe a SIDS training course should be mandatory for all parents before leaving the hospital…I can GUARANTEE you, many people wouldn’t do HALF the things they are currently doing. Afterall, it is all about the child’s best interests and SAFETY!

meghan on

@Sarah, It’s a weekly blog. Most of the celebrity blogs on this site are posted weekly. Saying there are daily posts from Elisabeth Rohm is disingenuous. You don’t like it, click on another thread.

@blessedwithboys, could you be nastier?! You may not agree with this woman’s parenting style, but you act like she’s a terrible mom and her kid is doomed. Your attitude is completely uncalled for.

Anonymous on

blessedwithboys. you may be blessed with boys, but your boys are not blessed with you. you are insane.

Kate on

I have a 2 1/2 year old son, and these comments are reminding me of how difficult it was to be a new mother, when so many other mothers expressed to me their strong opinions about how their parenting methods *should* work for me. I am guilty of doing the same sometimes, and then (on a good day) I step back and remember how much I craved someone just listening to me and showing confidence that if I paid attention and let our bond grow, my baby and I would work out how to sleep and etcetera.

Each mother’s body is different, babies are VERY different from each other, and I believe that someone outside that relationship can rarely know with certainty what is right for that mother and baby. I imagine that what most of us are seeking are not easy answers, but company and respect as we make our own way. Thank you, Elisabeth, for making room for the kind of honest and complex conversations these transitions deserve.

Haley on

I have co-slept with all of my kids (we have a total of 5!) from birth until they are ready to leave…or I get pregnant again. Our youngest is five, she has a bed of her own that I put her in each night, but she usually ends up back in our bed at some time during the night. I don’t mind one bit!

I don’t stress myself or my kids about sleeping arrangements, the last time I checked most normal teenagers (mine included) don’t want to sleep in their parents bed, so while some nights I wish I had more than the corner of a blanket, I cherish each moment because I know eventually they will end.

I loved reading an article that promoted co-sleeping by a well known person!

mjmia on

We didn’t plan to co-sleep either. Once she was born, my daughter made it perfectly clear she knew how she was going to sleep – with us. Personally, I do love cuddling with her and one day, when she’s ready to leave our bed, I will probably miss her greatly… even if she’s just in another room.

Our co-sleeping arrangement has helped us while we traveled. If we didn’t co-sleep and if she wasn’t used to being carried, I don’t know how we would have been able to travel around the world with our daughter before she was 2 years old.

Sara on

Wow I can see why so many children are single children these days…

Cheryl F on

Blessed with boys….gee, I thought attachment parents were happy ones! You must need some sleep!

A worthless piece of crap? Woe to your children when they piss you off! They won’t feel so blessed to have you!

jenniferh on

wow!! Poor hubby! I could never let my child sleep with me. I would put my baby in a bassinet then by three months he had his own room. Sometimes he sneeks in my room at night and lays next to me and i feel so uncomfortable. I believe a child should not sleep with the parents. That is like the only alone time with the husband. Watching a movie in bed is fine. that’s probably why some divorces happen!

Sara on

I will preface this by saying I am a mother, and I do not mean the following in a negative or judgmental way. Woman get enough judgement as it is, I do not mean to add to that pile.

That being said, while I respect all the co-sleeping mother’s decisions to co-sleep, I can’t help but feel you bring these situation on yourselves. The main reason I hear of women co-sleeping is its easier for them to feed/tend to the baby when its right there. Forgive me if this sounds judgmental, but isn’t that, for lack of a better word, lazy?

Given the choice between getting up and walking 20 feet to another room to tend to the baby ( leading to healthier, more restful sleep time for the whole family down the line) vs. having the baby sleep with me so I don’t have to get up in the middle of the night (and risk having the baby always in the bed, kicking me, disrupting the intimacy of sleeping with my husband, and having to deal with a toddler down the line who won’t leave the bed), I’m going to grin and bear it and walk that 20 feet.

Although it feels like hell for a few months, that stage truly does pass. Eventually the baby will sleep through the night- just hang in there! And I feel it is extremely important to have a bed for just you and your partner. Sex aside, the intimacy of spending the night together as a couple is an invaluable aspect to a relationship, and with all the changes that come with having a baby, I don’t think this should be overlooked. Just my humble opinons.

mommie to 2 on

I always look forward to reading your baby blog, it is nice to know (even though you are a star & yes I think you are a star!!) you experience the same struggles every mom goes through.

I loved co-sleeping with both of my children but I absolutely understand the need to reclaim the grown-up bed. Our daughter was relocated to her big girl bed when she was almost 3 & that was because her little brother came along & since I was nursing him she needed to move out.

I must say I admire your candid statements about your personal choices with how you & your husband are parenting your daughter. I don’t think anyone has the right to criticize the decisions any parent makes on how to parent their own child. “blessedwith boys” sounds like an awful person, she has no idea who you are or the courage it takes to put your parenting practices out there for millions of strangers to read & just who does she think she is to say such awful things about YOUR choices? I have never understood women/men who think their way is the only way.

Again I applaud you & your beautiful way of putting your journey through this maze of raising a child into words. Your daughter will read this one day & she will appreciate how much effort it takes to raise a child & she will no doubt love reading about the things she did as a child. My mom wrote a journal for each of her daughters about how we were growing up & even thought we are all in out 40’s now, I know all of us treasure our “growing up” book & we love & respect our mom for all of her hard work.

Keep up the funny & touching blogging & even though it doesn’t matter you are doing an amazing job!!!!!!

Fiddle1 on

So sorry for the crappy commenter above (blessedwithboys). With someone so judgemental, I have to wonder if her boys really are blessed! The more I read it, the more I am convinced it is just a blog troll trying to spice things up. Surely there is no mom out there that is so judgemental. Anyway, good luck with the transitioning.

jen on

“I plan to Co-Sleep as long as my son wants. Children belong in bed with their parents.”

ok, michael jackson.

Pele on

Some comments are so supportive and some are so judgmental. I hope you don’t listen to the judgmental ones (some of them are real nut jobs)!

EVERYONE’S parenting and child situation is different and there is no perfect way for any of us.

We kept a little co-sleeping bassinet next to the bed for the first 5 months. It helped me get through the exhausting first few months of nursing and limited sleep. My mother told me that around 5-6 months, babies becomes much more aware and to try and move our little guy to a crib in another room at that point. Even that young, he seemed a bit aware of the shift, but the transition wasn’t too bad. Looking back, I was glad that we were able to move him. Although this worked for us, I can totally see how you had your own circumstances (a lot of travel, etc) that may have made things difficult. It was travel that got in the way of us potty training our little one at what would have been a rather ideal time, so I totally get your point of view.

Best of luck with all things and I sincerely hope that you and your fiance get all of the sleep you need. Every parent is in the same boat on that one at some point or another! :)

Angi on

Semi-co-sleeping and co-sleeping mom here. Both our kids have shared our bed full time. Now they both have their own beds,but climb into my bed as well. We are also a military family,so our lives change every few years. Whatever works for your family is what is most important. Good luck!

hannyb on

Just want to praise Elisabeth for daring to speak on her own personal experience of co-sleeping. Always seems to be a hot topic with claims of ‘bad parenting’ from either side.

I believe every mother has to follow her own instinct. No one has ever had a child exactly the same as yours and no one else walks in your shoes. Read widely, listen carefully, and then follow your gut. :)

Laura on

Walter –

There are MANY MANY babies who are nursing much more often than just once a night. All of mine have nursed throughout the night (2-5) times well into their second year. Not all babies are the same; not all mothers are the same. For those of us with babies who have high night nursing needs, and for those of us who see this as normal and healthy, it only makes sense to consider continuing co-sleeping into toddlerhood. For those of us opposed to sleep training, and CIO, continued co-sleeping is often a great solution, even if it is inconvenient at times (parenthood is not about convenience). We have 4 children, ages 6 months to 9yo, and I can honestly say that it works really well for us. My husband agrees, and would want it no other way.

Also, I find it odd that a few of you don’t seem to be able to think out of your own little boxes. Does co-sleeping mean I don’t spend valuable couple time with my husband? Uh, no. (geez, we have 4 kids!) I’ve never even been one to hang out in my bed for stuff other than sleep! It’s called a living room. With a big-screen tv for us to watch our favorite shows together and cuddle up on the couch. A kitchen. A guest room. An office. Trust me, my husband and I spend a TON of time together, just the two of us. I don’t see how this is co-sleeping related at all? When it’s time to, ya know, actually, sleep, we sleep separately. Is this really a big deal? He snores, anyway, and I don’t like to sleep spooning or touching. so, when it’s time for sleep, we all sleep best with me and the baby in one space and him in another. It also helps since we have different wake-up schedules.

People really do not get it sometimes.

Laura on

Oh, and I can’t believe that someone brought up Ezzo. The guy has been discredited by every major developmental psychologist, pediatric association, and parenting group nevermind Dobson himself (if you are a Christian and that carries weight with you). He was asked to leave his own church! Even conservative Christian groups – the very groups he appeals to – have spoken out against his horrible advice, both physiological and theological!

Though some babies may endure his methods, they’re risky and may compromise a mother’s milk supply, among other concerns. If you don’t want to be into attachment parenting, fine – read Tracey Hogg or the AAP materials…. but don’t follow Ezzo, the only one out there whose ideas have actually proved DANGEROUS for some families!

Tina on

We put my daughter’s (now 3) crib in her own room after two nights. No problem whatsoever. Our son (now 1) slept in our room the first week after being born, after that we also moved his crib to his own room. Again, no problem.

When we travel, they sleep in their own beds in their own rooms without problems. I breastfed both up till 9 months and cuddled and took afternoon naps with them in our big bed, but our night rest is important to keep us going through the day. Even when she’s sick, my daughter finds it no problem to sleep in her own bed at night, as long as we come to her when she wakes up and doesn’t feel good. But they understand that sleeping is done in one’s own bed.

cosleepingmomma on

Hey blessedwithboys, be blessed and quit being so judgemental I say. I am a co sleeping momma and proud of it!! We are the only mammal who kicks our babies out of the den. Furthermore, it is regional society decision. A lot of non western societies sleep with their children.

If you do not like co sleeping do not do it. But for those of who do, leave us alone and embrace the fact we might be working moms who do not see our babies all day, or we want to bond with them. Important co=sleeping musts: get a cosleeper bed, you can get this a Target etc, never and I mean never, drink when you cosleep or take drugs. Never. To each her/his own, we are amazing moms and dads if we love them care for them dont beat them neglect them, and just love them, cosleeping or sleeping in crib. amen.

redeye on

Elisabeth..thank you for pointing out that ending the breastfeeding can bring on postpartum depression. I experienced it after both of my boys stopped, and since they were 15 months and 2 years, no one could understand why I was suddenly so depressed as I had never shown signs of it earlier. It’s a very real problem and it seems that people are very aware of it immediately following birth, but let a few months or years go by and it’s not quite as understandable!

Your co-sleeping experience is very similar to mine. Our children are so little for such a short time, I am now greatful that I held them as closely as I could for every second! Thanks for sharing.

Christine on

BABYWISE is unsafe. Methods are linked to dehydration and failure to thrive. The AAP does not recommend this book. Look it up.

Whether you cosleep or not, whether you breastfeed or not, please do NOT do BABYWISE. Dangerous stuff.

Mom of Five on

I am kind of blown away by some of the comments that have been made – The bottom line is, Everyone parents there own way – you learn from your own parents – grandparents – friends – neighbors – books – the Internet.

Co-sleeping works for some not for others. There is no right or wrong way it is a personal family choice.

Our family found it to be a great part of our family,that was when our children would talk about there day with us, we would laugh, play,watch movies and sleep together it was some of the best times for our family. Good Luck New Moms do what feels right for you.

Lisa on

I work in Maternal Child Health Care..statistically a majority of our infant deaths are due to suffocation as a result of co-sleeping. We work daily to educate women on the risk of this beautiful yet dangerous practice. Bottom line…parenting is a tough job that requires self discipline on the part of adults. Best time to start is during infancy. You will need this skill as your children age. Get them out of your beds! It will save your marriage, too:)

JM on

i don’t really get the co-sleeping thing either. i mean everyone should do what is best for them and their family obviously. it’s just something i’ve never really understand, particularily past the age of 1. my kids (all 5 of them) are all really good sleepers and we have never had problems with them asking to sleep in our bed. i think it is much healthier to have a stable bed time routine. we take them to bed, read them a story, kisses and cuddles and then they know it’s time to go to sleep. i think the worst thing is staying with your child until they fall asleep. kids don’t need that in fact it is more likely to keep them awake.
i think it’s just important that parents have time to themselves, and that includes the bedtime chats and cuddles before you go to sleep which you just can’t do with a sleeping child in the bed.

as i say, to each their own, i completely agree with that. but like others have said i really don’t get it when co-sleeping parents later complain that their child won’t sleep in their won bed. of course they won’t you’ve taught them not to….

Lilianne on

Well said, Claire. I am 41 and my parents did not co-sleep with me. Or any of my 3 siblings. In fact,my parents did not follow any of the new school parenting ideas and I turned out just fine. :) I did not co-sleep with my children when they were little and would not now if I were to have another child because I feel like kids and parents have SO many things to deal with already and navigate through that adding sleeping problems shouldn’t be one of them. My girls slept in their cribs in their own rooms from about 2 months on. Before that, in bassinets by my bed. They were both sleeping through the night from the time they moved to the cribs, too. I didn’t have sleeping issues because I made sure not to create them. One last thought, please, Moms commenting here, don’t minimize your husband’s need for you. Or yours for him. Your kids should not come first over your relationship with each other. The children will eventually grow up and move away to live their own lives and if you have not nurtured and cared for YOUR relationship(you and spouse) then you will have an empty home and nothing to say to each other. Don’t lose sight of the future for the sake of what is happening right now. Just some advice from someone who has been through it already. :)

Shelby on

Oh, Elisabeth! I SO empathize with your story. My son Charlie didn’t sleep on his own for 2 1/2 years. I’m a 24/7 single mom with an older child.

I had plenty of good reasons for bringing Charlie into my bed: to protect my other son’s sleep from Charlie’s nighttime crying, so as not to disturb the neighbors who lived very close by, for ease in breastfeeding, Charlie was too active to stay in a crib (he did flips in it), and because I was just too exhausted to deal with the whole putting-the-baby-down-and-making-it-stick thing. Long story short: I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for years! I believe I had it before Charlie came along and before the co-sleeping nightmare, but co-sleeping certainly worsened it!!!

While, yes, co-sleeping is sweet and cuddly (and I never did it with my older son, so I never bonded with him in that way), my overriding feeling is that co-sleeping is a recipe for disaster. Any chance I am given to get on my soapbox against co-sleeping I do. Like you, the first attempt at ending it did not work. I had to take a sudden trip away for several days at one point, so I wanted to take the opportunity to wean Charlie from breastfeeding and get him out of my bed. I succeeded with the former but failed with the latter. I guess I can’t blame the little guy for insisting on being by my side after I’d taken away his mommy’s milk.

Anyway, I was so wiped out that I didn’t have the strength to try ending the co-sleeping again for six or so more months. When I tried it then it took six more months to stick! Charlie, then 2 years old, would climb out of his adult twin, step over the bedrails, leave his room, and walk downstairs in the dark to find me. He got me up several times during the night! I was going crazy! At 2 1/2 years, it finally stopped.

But I have to say that Charlie, who is turning 5 this month (which means that I have almost had as many good night sleeps with him as bad night sleeps) is a TERRIFIC sleeper today! Once he decided at 2 1/2 to stay in his bed, he has been a super sleeper. So there is hope at the end of the tunnel!

Hang in there and make it clear to your daughter that it’s not okay to come into your room at night. That’s what worked with me. I would just go crazy when Charlie woke me up, and he finally got the message. Still to this day “Don’t get me up during the night” is the last thing I say to both boys at bedtime.

I have recovered from my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and am a happy person again. Incidentally, pediatricians generally do not recommend co-sleeping, and mine anyway urged me to get Charlie out of my bed by 6 then 9 then 12 months. I hated having to keep reporting that he was still in my bed. Best of luck to you, Shelby.

Nikki on

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I feel a sigh of relief knowing that I am not the only mother who is doing this and still loving it. My husband and I both enjoy this time with our kids. Its always that moment when they are peacefully sleeping that we look at each other and smile and get a good night sleep because our babies are with us.

It did make us move to more creative ways to be alone. Which wasn’t all that bad. But we know this time with them is short compared to life they will lead. So we embrace all the moments we have with them now. Co- sleeping can be dangerous though and I hope all parents listen and use commonsense when they are very little.

@laura- My mom was a single mother too and I slept with her, very similar to your story. I lost my mother in 2009 and I remember those times and it makes me very happy to know I had that extra time with her when I was younger.

Every parent had the right to do what is best for the own children. In this world today, I applaud all parents who give their children a safe, warm and loving home to grow in.

Mom2Five on

What I’m reading in this blog & in the comments is lots of “I”s & “Me”s from all the pro-co-sleeping MOMs(I notice Dads are conspicuously absent–perhaps b/c they’re never consulted???). “I wasn’t ready to give it up.” “I hated getting up at night.” “I love the cuddle time.” “it easy for ME” etc, etc, etc.

In my opinion, co-sleeping(and the attachment issues it creates. And yes, just like a kid can not be attached enough, they can be TOO attached. These are the ones you see screaming & clinging to Mom’s legs when she’s trying to leave them w/ someone else.) is generated out of selfishness, usually on the mother’s part. Yeah, yeah, yeah, lots of cultures do it. Blah, Blah, Blah…how much of those cultures do it b/c the family is living in a one-room hut??? They’re ALL “co-sleeping”–all 22 of them.

I would guess that if the Dad/Husbands were actually consulted(which they usually never are by the “I am woman/goddess/earth-mother, no one tells ME what to do” wife), they would say that THEY would rather not sleep in a bed(however large it may be) w/ a baby and maybe a toddler or three. Or, heaven forbid, be KICKED OUT of their own bed entirely! REALLY?!? THAT’S how you treat your spouse. And we wonder why divorce rate is so high.

And there is no way anyone is going to get me to believe that Mom & Dad are sleeping well w/ a baby/kid in the bed. NOT happening. Been there, done that, & even w/ just me & a 2 year old in the queen-size bed, more often than not, the kid was sleeping ON me, & I WASN’T sleeping. Or, if it was a baby, at best, I was dosing. I knew one co-sleeping mom of 6 who ended up having to have surgery on her rotator cuff b/c of years of sleeping(or rather, laying, b/c even she admitted to not getting much sleep w/ a baby in the bed) on her side w/ her arm over her head so that baby didn’t roll.

As my name says, I am a mom of 5 beautiful, independent, no-issues whatsoever children. My kids are bright, healthy, independent, out-going and not afraid of new things,experiences or people. They’ve slept by themselves since birth. They don’t have issues sleeping in new places either. I didn’t mind getting up in the middle of the night(every 2-3 hours for the entire first year of their lives) for years(my youngest is now 3). Did it mean that “I” didn’t get a lot of sleep? Yep. That’s what it meant. But it also meant that boundaries between my marital relationship & my mothering were maintained. And both are flourishing.

Tarat3232 on

My parent’s bed-shared with all of us. We would stumble in and out of that bed as we please. I still remember the relief when I was getting ready for Kindergarten and they insisted that I sleep in my room all night because they knew we didn’t sleep as well in their bed. I remember the blissful feeling of stretching out and really, really sleeping.

For that memory alone, I will not bed-share with my kids. Maybe I will co-sleep with a nursing infant, I don’t know. But, I will not let my kids get into the habit of ineffectual sleeping that I was raised with.

Anonymous on

As a pediatrician, I can tell you that co-sleeping is proven to not only cause many behavioral issues as Ms. Rohm has discussed but also is extremely dangerous, increasing the risk of SIDS. Co-sleeping with your child is a decision that puts him/her at risk.

Mary on

Oh PLEASE! It’s time to take your lives back and stop letting your kids rule the roost!

My children, now 7 & 3 years old, slept in their own beds when they were 4 months old. Thank GOD! I can’t imagine trying to “Ferberize” a 2 and a half year old that can get out of bed and walk where ever they want. Buy a strong lock to put on their bedroom door and once you put them in at night don’t go back in unless there’s a fire! That means also “baby-proofing”~ take out anything that is breakable or that you don’t want trashed. Give it a week or so and you should be well on the way.

Also don’t schedule any vacations for at least 3 months. You want to form a new habit not give in to an old one. ~ GOOD LUCK!!!

Tara on

To those who say “what a shame, child is paying the price”. Would you rather she neglect her daughter. It seems to me this judgement of others mom is getting out of hand by disproportionate measures.

What is right for you may not be right for some. My son is 26 months, he still sleeps with me and still takes a bottle. He is the most independent, well adjusted, happy child. There is such a rush to push them through everything in life. It’s too much pressure.

As far as this who sleep with the child and the husband sleeps in a separate room, that too is a matter of choice. I do not have that problem as my husband and I divorced when my son was a month old ( his choice not mine) and he is no longer a part of either of our lives. But I have a friend who has this same problem and now the husband and she are in counseling,

My point is we need to stop the finger pointing and condemnation. She is not abusing her child, she is not scarring her for life. She is simply giving the child what she needs at this moment in her life, you cannot get the years back.

Elizabeth A. Genge on

….. sniff …. sob….

Oh MAN did your blog ring my bell! Well, okay, I’ll come clean. My little girls, 7 and nearly four, still sleep with us…. okay, I did it, I confess…

Like many mommies out there, I have spent many a night, snuggled with whoever was still nursing, spooned tenderly together, feeling the tiniest little breathing on my shoulder as my baby would fall asleep after an early-morning snack.

This being said, THEY HAVE TO GET OUT OF MY BED!!!! To say nothing of when hubby and I are feeling amorous, where do you suppose there is to go to … you got it, the other rooms in the house. This feels somewhat wrong to me, given that WE pay the mortgage, why are WE being evicted from our sleeping quarters?!

Anyhoo Elisabeth, I can soooo relate. May all of us mamas out there who are dealing with the same issue find a safe and happy resolution.

dsfg on

Claire I have to agree with everything you said! And I know plenty of dads who end up sleeping in the guest room / couch for YEARS because mom insists on having the kids in bed with her!

Trish on

I loved reading this blog, and most of the comments. We often co-sleep with our 3 year old son and often struggle through the transition away from it, so it was nice to see that other parents are having the same issues.

And I was also very interested to read about depression once breastfeeding ends. I didn’t breastfeed my son (he wouldn’t latch) and now my daughter is 6 and 1/2 months and now that I’ve read it, it makes perfect sense, but I probably wouldn’t have thought of it on my own. Thank you!

Julie on

So many people seem to struggle with this issue. I hear of people letting their babies cry for hours and resolving to “remain strong” and get through this. I cringe at that thought! I chose not to listen to anyone else and do what I felt was right in my heart.

We let our children sleep with us for quite a time when they were little. Our son coslept with us until he was 3, and our daughter off and on for about that many years. They were just ready to sleep on their own at that point. But if it’s any comfort to any parents, I’ll share my long term results.

Our kids are now young adults, (19 and 23) and are happy, healthy, and well-adjusted college students and productive members of society. They hold down jobs while in school and both live away from home. It’s okay, you won’t ruin them if they sleep in your bed.

Kacey on

I’m sorry, but this blog just annoys me. I like Elisabeth Rohm’s acting, but in these blogs she just comes across as a self-important know-it-all.

While I understand that some people are all for co-sleeping, I find it absurd. All these commentors state that it is standard globally to co-sleep, but I’m not buying that. Yes, it happens in countries with high poverty levels, simply because many of those families can’t afford extra beds and they co-sleep to provide warmth. But I don’t believe it happens often in European countries, or even that often in USA.

I think that co-sleeping is just a way for the parents to be lazy – oh, I have to get up to take care of my baby, poor poor me. Don’t you change their diapers too when you get up to feed them? Do you do that in your bed also?

I have four teenagers, and we did not co-sleep with any of them. Sure, I was exhausted a lot when they were infants, but that’s normal. I breast fed them all for 6-8 months, and yes, that meant I got out of bed even when I was tired. (and I worked, so by the time each was 8 weeks old, I was getting up to go to work and still handling feeding/changing them in the nursery every night, although my husband would sometimes go change them and bring them to me to nurse). They are all well-adjusted kids that have close relationships with both of us, and yet they have no dependency issues. We bonded during together time, that just didn’t happen to be in the middle of the night.

Please, Elisabeth, stop preaching in your blog – you defend, defend, defend your choices as though you are the only one who knows anything about child-rearing.

Mary Beth on

I loved this story! It brought back sweet memories for me.

My son just turned 6 years old. I cherished the breast feeding and co-sleeping we shared so “long” ago. I weaned him before his 3rd birthday (husband insisted). It was difficult but I know now it was the right time. We continued to co-sleep until a few weeks before he started Kindergarten. My husband was afraid he would be teased. I don’t think that would be an issue but I agreed. It was difficult but I know now it was the right time! We still co-sleep on weekends or when he is not feeling well. My husband and I cherish those nights and mornings spent together. I know they won’t last forever!

Thanks for sharing your story Elisabeth :-)

Beka on

My pediatrician told us from the beginning not to co-sleep because the danagers of rolling on top of our daughter and SIDS. From about 3 days old my daughter was in her own room because she did not sleep well in the bassinet near our bed. There has only been about two times that she has slept in a bed with me and that was when she was so sick that she actually needed me.

Mary Beth on

P.S.
My husband and I have slept in seperate bedrooms since I was pregnant. He traveled a lot and didn’t want to wake me. We tried sleeping together after the baby came but that didn’t work out either. We have been married for 13 years and have a wonderful relationship! We both sleep in peace and take turns cuddling our precious boy on the weekends! I think people should do what feels right to them. It works for us! :-)

alexa on

what is wrong with you parents letting your kids sleep in your beds? both of my boys slept in their cribs in their own rooms from day 1. you are NOT helping your kids and you are certainly destroying your marriage. you’re raising a whiny, clingy kid instead of one who is independent.

SAL on

I think that a lot of parents today are scared to tell their children no or to tell them what to do. It’s okay – you can tell them what to do, you are their parents. I think co-sleeping in bed with parents when childrens are infants is dangerous, no matter how many pillows you put around them. I nursed my son for 9 months and he slept in a basinette beside my bed until he was sleeping through the night at about 4 months. Then he went in his room and has slept there ever since. Mommy needs her sleep and so does he.

mochababe73 on

I can’t relate. Neither one of my children were allowed to sleep in my marital bed. They were both in a bassinet in our bedroom. Then, at around 3 weeks, we put them in their cribs in their own room.

I just don’t get the whole co-sleeping thing. I NEVER wanted to sleep in the same bed as my baby.

Mary Beth on

Wow, It has been a long time since I posted or read anything on a Parenting blog. I’d forgotten how judgemental and nasty people can be. How about we do what feels right to us as parents and let others do the same! My parents didn’t co-sleep with me. They did show me a lot of love and affection. I turned out wonderful!

Just because someone does it “different” doesn’t mean its wrong! I had my son after many years of infertility and at an advanced age. The thought of putting him down the hall in a huge crib alone went against everything in me! WE (my husband and I) did what was right for us. We have a wonderful marriage and an awesome little boy who is social, funny, smart and loves his Mommy and Daddy! What more could we ask for?

Hillary on

Good for you! We have a crib and neither of my daughters used it much. I breast fed both of my girls and, as a mom who worked full time, I found it to be such a gift that co-sleeping allowed me not to have to interrupt my sleep drastically in order to accomodate late night feedings. My baby was right there. So we both fell back to sleep snuggled in that special nursing glow.

My girls are much older now and they are perfectly well-adjusted despite the warnings we got from those who were horrified by our co-sleeping. They both sleep in their own beds and my teen wouldn’t have it any other way. My pre-teen still comes in some mornings after her dad has left and enjoys a few minutes of snuggle time and it’s still one of the best ways to wake up in the morning.

CC P on

Babies/Children belong in their own bed. I highly disagree with co-sleeping. It is both physically and emotionally damaging to children and parents.

Tammy Eickmeyer on

Hi, we have a seven year old. When he was smaller we put a toddler bedin the corner o our room. Later we chenged it to a loveseat now he is seven and has outgrown that and told him he needs to sleep in his own room. We say prayers before going to bed and put on a cd. The first few nites he would come down stairs and I would take him back up but now he says another prayer and will turn his music back on himself. The first few nites he would wake up a couple of times but now he sleeps till about 5am before he wakes up and then will go back to sleep. I give him a special nite now and then to sleep down stairs on the “living room couch” every couple of weeks.

He hasn’t liked sleeping upstairs by himself. He felt to far away from us, but this has finally worked for us.

I know how hard it can be to keep putting them back to bed and how much easier it is to say oh just climb up and go back to sleep.

Best of luck to you!!

tannervandelaar on

as a mom of four(all now teenagers) we co-slept with our first. i admit it was simply done out of laziness and my own indisciplined self. he stayed for 7 years and i didnt sleep in bed with my husband(he usually prferred our sons bed).

number 2 came along and we did a bit better she stayed in our room (in a pack’n play )for the first 2 months , then off to her crib in her own room.

last up were the twins. by now we had learned that co-sleeping was not an option . these 2 have spent their entire lives being the worlds greatest sleepers. they would sleep anywhere. never a peep out of them and from the time they were 6 months until they started kindergarten they were put to bed at 7 pm and we never heard a peep until 7 the next morning. we now know that teaching independence in a child is an invaluable lesson and that starts with sleeping.

p.s. i also disagree with nursing or bottle feeding a baby to sleep.

Karen on

As much as I’d love to co-sleep, the possible dangers scare me too much. I love our bed-side sleeper, I can watch my daughter and reach out to her all night – but she has her own bed. She has been sleeping through the night this way since she was a month old. We will see when she is ready to move into her own room. Each baby has different needs and nothing works across the board.

And Blessed With Boys, try reading a book on breastfeeding. A woman’s supply can decrease and stop for many reasons while the demand is still there. Just restarting your period can make it nose dive. Lactation is again different for every woman, and you are an idiot for trying to make a person seem like a failure because it stopped early for them.

Sara on

Read this story and you won’t feel guilty for co sleeping ever again…

I think there is a lot of judgment from people who choose not to sleep with their children. I think some kids just need to feel that they aren’t alone.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=110126/OklahomaState

Megan on

RELAX!!! Is it terrible when she climbs in bed with you? I’m thinking it’s not BUT you feel like you are not doing something the way the “all knowing parnets” say you should.

I have 4 kids, 19, 8, 6, 5. The oldest slept with me the longest because she was much older before any siblings arrived and because I was working when she was little and too tired too fight every night. People told me she’d be a co-dependent, insecure person. The complete opposite is true, she is the most independent, self reliant, self confident young woman you could ever meet. I’m often in awe of her ability to stand on her own. With all 4 I slept with them in my arms (in bed) from the day they were born until they were sleeping through the night.

They all eventually slept in their own beds, different time frames for each child. BUT the little ones still have different times that they climb in bed with us. The 6yr is most often to do it and if a week goes by where every night she ends up in bed with me I will say something like “are you ever sleeping in your own room?”. We keep it light and let her think it’s her choice to return to her own bed, she feels like she has power but always knows she is welcome to cuddle when she needs a little extra comfort. There have been nights when all 3 little ones climb in our bed – those nights can be difficult and the 8yr old will opt to kick the dog off the sofa in our room so he can sleep near us but away from the crowd. I have found that some nights instead of climbing in with us they climb in with each other – Just this morning I found my boys in one bed and my 6yr old was in the 19yr old’s room (she’s waiting for her sister to come home for spring break)

I can’t get the dogs off my bed so i feel bad kicking the kids out.

I think you have to do what works best for your situation. If it is not affecting your relationship with your husband and your kids feel comforted knowing they can climb in with you when scared what’s the difference.

If people criticize just tell them “in Europe children sleep with their parents” for some reason if you say it’s done in Europe it’s ok ;-) Do what works for your family.

Tracy on

This brings back memories! My oldest is 23, and my two youngest are 18 — and I co-slept with all of them at one time or another in what was considered “The Family Bed”. Even now, if one of the twins is sick, she’ll crawl into my bed to sleep while we’re gone. All three are well-adjusted, intelligent, caring human beings, and while I may have missed out on some much-needed sleep, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Kristi on

I think that every parent should have the right to decide for themselves what is best for their child. My 3 year old son has slept in his own room since day one. Yes, I was breastfeeding. There is nothing more precious than rocking your child in your arms getting those bonding moments with them. I would also sleep on the floor some nights just to make sure he knew we were close. He was sleeping through the night at 2 months. He currently sleeps in his own room 10 hours each night, Mommy and Daddy get to relax and spend time with each other after he goes to bed, and when he wakes up in the morning, we all pile into our bed, and those are the times I will remember most once he grows up. When he is sick, one of us will sleep with him just for the comfort of knowing we are there.

However, from my perspective, I can’t agree with the fact that co-sleeping is the way is has and was always done. Myself and my husband are in our late 30’s, and we never co-slept with our parents. Our parents, who are in their 60’s, also never co-slept with their parents, so I am not sure where co-sleeping is the normal and the way it has always been done. But yet again, that is just my perspective and everyone is different. With that being said, I feel that this decision has to be left up to the parent and what is best for them and they shouldn’t be criticized for their choices.

Katy on

I’m sorry but people need to realize that this is actually very mentally unhealthy for your child. Just look at what it’s caused – people have written saying they have 5 and 7 year olds who can’t sleep on their own. When you become a parent you really need to start thinking about what’s best for your child – and that’s letting them grow up to be independent and self-secure – you shouldn’t be thinking about what’s best for you, i.e. not having to run up and down stairs.

Cee on

I love how the co-sleeping advocates are completely ignoring the simple fact that this is completely unsafe!

emilee on

wow there are some mean and judgemental people out there! we co-sleep with our 13 month old and she loves it, as do i. my father in law is a psychologist and says it really is the best thing for them. he told me to throw away any books i had on crying it out, it can caue severe anxiety in the child throughout their life. i am happy keeping my baby with me as long as she needs and weening her into her own bed when she’s ready.

molly on

Wow, I can’t believe some of these comments towards other moms and the blog post! Women can be so judgemental and catty! As long as it is safe choices, each mother needs to do what is best for their family.

I began with our baby sleeping in a crib next to our bed and then moved him into the bed (feedings at night were easier through the sleepless blur) but ultimately by three months old we moved him to his room right across the hallway because sleeping just wasn’t happening with the fear I had if I had fallen asleep on him….and you know what? For us, he slept through the night that first night (8 full hrs) and we never looked back.

We had some ups and downs for a couple weeks here and there when they throw you a curve ball but we did what worked best for baby to sleep well and mom/dad to do so. I BF him until he was 14mo. old so I used that time to bond and then prompltly put him in his bed where he loved to be because he got used to it and saw it as his special space.

But each child and parent and their relationship is different…what worked for me might not work for others. Respect others and their choices and hopefully they will respect yours…

Jackie on

We have 2 1/2 and 1 year old boys. They BOTH co-sleep with my husband and I. The older boy has a bed and loves to read and play in it during the day but come nighttime it is into the “big bed”. His little brother not only sleeps there too, he also insists on sleeping ON me. Many a sleepless night and sore back for their peace but we would not have it any other way. For as little time as we get during the day it is our bonding time for sure.

Cyndi Frith on

Love co-sleeping. I highly recommend Dr. William Sears book Nighttime Parenting. He says that usually by the age of 3 or so most kids will want their own space/bed.

mommy on

I have three children. All THREE of my kids slept in my bed in my arms until they were 6 months old. NOT ONE of my kids have any sleeping issues. They all transitioned perfectly fine into their crib at 7 months. They all transitioned perfectly into big kid beds from cribs, never once getting out of bed to come sleep with me.

My husband and I made time outside of the bed to be intimate during those 6 months–I mean really is the bed the only place you can show you love someone? NO! There is something to be said for the fact that they are only that little once and if you want to cuddle them all night go for it. I have never had any sleeping issues with any of my kids. They sleep better than most of my friends kids who did not co sleep!

I think if you wait until they are toddlers to get them out of the bed it’s probably more difficult, but 6-7 months of sleeping together didn’t do any damage for my kids. Oh and that whole SIDS thing never worried me. That baby was safer in my arms than in a crib as far as I am concerned. I never once was afraid I would “roll over” on my baby.

Olivia on

Sophia Adelese, that is completely false! Babies have fewer incidences of SIDS when they co-sleep. http://www.phdinparenting.com/2009/01/11/co-sleeping-safety/

First, co-sleeping doesn’t mean sharing a bed, it means sharing a sleeping space. A baby in a bassinet or crib in the same room as mom is co-sleeping and benefits from hearing his/her mother breathing and picking up those cues. Second, bedsharing done safely, no loose blankets/pillows, no adults drinking/smoking/on narcotics, mother breastfeeding (this on is important, mother’s who don’t breastfeed don’t wake up as easily to their babies movement) reduces SIDS risk. Breastfeeding babies naturally roll on to their back once they finish nursing (Back to Sleep campaign?) and they get natural cues for breathing by hearing and sincronizing with their mother.

If co-sleeping isn’t for you for whatever reason, no problem, but do not spread false information about the practice. Get your facts straight!

As for the people worring about the relationship between parents, all relationships are different. Some may need night alone to keep things healthy, but not all do. Take care of your family as you see fit and let everyone else do the same.

Mallory on

I am due in a few months and we’ve considered co-sleeping, but are waiting to see how things play out with the baby. Some kids need it, some kids don’t. Either way, the nastiness in some of these comments is mind-boggling. Elisabeth is sharing HER story, not inviting every mother out there to judge her family.

And @blessedwithboys? Either you invented parenting, hence the condescension, or you’re legit cra-cra. My money is on the latter.

kirsty on

This is very dangerous! My daughter slept in my room until she was 6 months old and then she went into her crib in her own room! I know someone that rolled over on her baby and the baby died! Why take the risk! I also did not use bumpers on my crib, why because they are dangerous!

Olivia on

JM, co-sleeping parents also have bedtime routines.

Lisa, I’d like to know what contributing factors there were in those suffocation deaths such as drug/alcohol, bottle-feeding, or other neglect. One contributing factor to bedsharing deaths is when a parent does not plan for it, i.e. brings the baby to bed or a couch (totally unsafe!) out of exhaustion and hasn’t properly prepared the bed to be safe.

KH on

I love when a practice like co-sleeping is defended with logic that a) other mammals do it or b) it’s normal in other countries.

Issue A – How many mammals do you know who hunker down for the night with 2-4 or more pillows and cushy blankets in a soft bed? It’s those objects that makes the practice so dangerous to our children. If you can figure out a way to sleep on a hard floor with no blankets on top, you go right ahead and advocate for co-sleeping as a safe practice.

Issue B – Did you happen to see the documentaries Babies? I recall seeing one baby left tied to a bedpost on what amounted to a leash and/or left only in the care of another child who seemed to be around 3 years old. Hey, it seems like that’s working out ok in another country. I guess we might as well all start doing that too.

I don’t really care if you personally want to do this, but I don’t appreciate faulty logic used as a defense.

Side note, I nursed for 13 months until my child self-weaned. I also went back to work full time when she was 12 weeks old. She never slept in our bed, but was in a bassinet next to it for six weeks. She was in her own room full time from there on and had totally cut out night nursing on her own by 12 weeks. It’s amazing how much better she slept once she wasn’t listening to us all night and vice versa.

Olivia on

Kacey, it co-sleeping is common practice in Japan. There is not a high poverty rate in Japan. Check your facts.

Rose on

Thanks for sharing your story! I have a two year old who is just transitioning out of our bed and sometimes I feel so guilty that she was ever in it. But every child is different.

I had NO intention of co-sleeping. But from birth my daughter woke up every two hours and nursed for an hour at a time, meanwhile it took me about an hour to fall back asleep after I woke up. If you do the math you soon discover that I was getting no sleep at all. It was also not uncommon for my daughter to wake up the moment I put her back in her crib and scream. After one very long night when she refused to sleep again I collapsed in tears on the floor next to her crib and sobbed until it occurred to me to try a different way.

At two years old this child still wakes up at least three times a night screaming. (I imagine people are saying to themselves, “there is something wrong with that child”, if so neither I nor our pediatrician has been able to find it.) EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT and every parent is too. We do our best and that really has to be good enough.

And to you mothers whose babies went to sleep in the crib from the moment they were born . . . thank your lucky stars and stop judging the rest of us who didn’t have it so easy.

Constance on

I am with the “all babies and families are different and whatever works for you, works for you” responders, and I’m pretty dissapointed to see all the nastiness about this. If you do not want to cosleep with your baby and have success with that, then great, but one size does not even close to fitting all when it comes to parenting. I had a strong insinct to co-sleep with my daughter, with every saftey precaution taken (appropriate bed-rail, no pillows, enough space for baby etc.), and it worked incredibly well (i.e., the most sleep possible) for the whole family. We coslept for a little over a year until she night-weened and at that point we had three work-on-this nights of transitoning to her crib and she’s been a great crib sleeper ever since. My husband and I made time for each other and have an excellent relationship.

I encourage those who have gut opinions against this to share only facts — personal experiences often seem like the “norm” for everyone, so if you didn’t cosleep and your friends didn’t, then it doesn’t seem common. Regardless of if you are pro or con, multiple studies have shown it is indeed extremely common for families both in and outside the US to cosleep for some amount of time. Also, expressing that cosleeping children are more likely to be clingly and less independent is an assumption or something that seems like it might make sense, but there is no evidence that this is the case – in fact, depending on the data, evidence points to a neutral effect or even a boost in independence.

I also strongly agree with taking appropriate safety precautions and definitely encourage all considering or practicing cosleeping to research safe methods — the statistics on cosleeping infant death and injury almost universally come from unsafe cosleeping OR from situations where sleeping in a crib would not have made a statistical difference. Like everything baby-related, there are safe ways and less safe ways. But, it is not universaly unsafe, as many have pointed out. Cribs also aren’t unversally safe either – dropside cribs were deemed so dangerous they have been taken off the market and if you have a plushy crib bumper, that’s a proven safety concern and is actually banned in several countries, etc.

One last anti-point I really want to dispell is the “this is lazy / selfish” critic. I cannot stress enough how unhelpful and damanging this statement is. I am a researcher and every credible study shows that degree of maternal self-care and support is one of the highest predictors of depression, materal and infant health, and even child neglect and abuse. If it works for you to get up in the middle of the night to feed a child, again, great. But NO parent of an infant is being lazy. That’s impossible – by virtue of caring for an infact you are constantly working. Cosleeping is not lazy — it is a bonding experience, yes, but it is also often a major way to “put on your own oxygen mask first” and there is nothing wrong with that. On the contrary, it is arguably healthier in many instances than parenting with half the amount of sleep – which would be some parents’ reality without cosleeping. Safe cosleeping encourages pratically every element key to infant health – maternal attachement, physical health (sleep, breastfeeding), etc.

This has unintentionally turned into a long post, but I felt a strong need to temper this dicussion with some facts — the more supported a parent feels, particularly of an infant, the healthier that family will be. If safe cosleeping makes them feel rested and supported, that is fantastic. If for whatever reason you don’t like it, that is also just great, but I encourage everyone judge only based on facts and not personal thruths or gut responses.

solegnavarak on

I thought that Elisabeth’s blog was wonderful. I think she is a mom who has tried to make the decisions that are right for her and her family. For those judging that she should have done it from the beginning or think that her daughter will willingly move when she wants to, I just don’t understand Moms’ need to judge each other.

I have never co-slept and my children never cried it out. In fact our daughter’s basinet was actually in her room from day 2 at home. She never had to transition, but that doesn’t mean we don’t cuddle and have an incredible bond.

My husband and I made a commitment to comfort our children in their own rooms. For our son, who delt with chronic ear infections, slept on our shoulders in his rocking chair, but then we never had to tr we slept in his rocker rocking him on the nights he had ear infections and was in pain. He was no less comforted than a child sleeping in my bed. My son is now 3. When he got a stomach virus and was getting sick at bedtime, I asked him if he wanted us to sleep with him, he said, “No Mommy this is my bed.” I am proud that he enjoys having his own space.

Elisabeth also seems to be happy and comfortable with the choices she has made in the interest of her daughter.

CoSleepingFamily on

There have been many recent studies that in fact suggest co-sleeping when following co-sleeping safety rules is not only safe, but also REDUCES SIDS!

Research everything people and decide what is best, safest, etc… for your family and your situation.

There are MANY crib deaths each year too. We all have to do what we feel is best.

Here is just one link, which I like as it provides links to studies. thebabybond.com/Cosleeping&SIDSFactSheet.html

The a few others:
http://www.emaxhealth.com/1275/cribs-playpens-cause-9500-injuries-year
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/t102200.asp
This one shows the difference in numbers:
kidshealth.org/parent/general/sleep/cosleeping.html

Again, research for yourselves and decide what is best for you! Good Luck all us parents out there just trying to do our best for our families!

Victoria on

I co-slept in a bed with my mom until I was 8. My dad slept in the guest bedroom and I have to say that looking back on it, it was the worst thing ever. I can remember being 4 or 5 and my parents bed and I remember hearing my parents argue. My dad wanted to put me in my bed and my mom kept saying no because “I wasn’t ready”. When my dad finally put his foot down when I was 8, it was the most traumatic thing for me. I cried hysterically and even threw a temper tantrum and I had all sorts of weird separation anxiety for a while after I started sleeping in my own room.

While I think it’s important for parents to do what’s best for them, I think that it’s a horrible idea and leads to unnecessary issues down the road. When I was about 10 or so, I remember asking my mom why she allowed me to sleep in the same bed with her for long and she just smiled and said that having the closeness with me while sleeping was important to her. In the end, it really wasn’t about me, it was about my mom.

Granted, this is my experience and mine alone but I think those parents who say that co-sleeping benefits the children is living in some sort of denial. Children will feel loved and cherished as long as you love and cherish them regardless of putting them in their own bed.

CC on

Oh my goodness thank you SO much for this article on co-sleeping. We are in the same predicament and I struggle to put my son in his crib because he just throws himself out! We are thinking now that he is 20 months we are going to get him a toddler bed and see how he does but it was so wonderful to read about another mom in the same boat. I’m only surrounded by moms whose children sleep in their crib, but they didn’t breastfeed and I did plus work full time so those night feedings were just easier in our bed. Best of luck to all who are dealing with this right now!

Tina on

This is typical. All the posts are from women. I guess men wouldn’t read this article in the first place, but I would love to hear from them!

Michelle on

So glad I didn’t do any of this co-sleeping nonsense….My son slept through the night in his own crib after I moved him out of our room at 3 months old. He is 5 – moved in a regular bed at 2 1/2 yrs old (never did a toddler bed, total waste of money – they should go right into a regular big boy bed)and is an awesome sleeper unless he is sick or has to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Comes into our bed on Saturday and Sunday mornings when we aren’t rushed like during the week and we cuddle, but that is in the MORNING after we have all had a really good nights sleep. My pediatrician once told me “you make your own problems”….I am so glad we didn’t in this instance. Kids belong in their own beds…!!

Walter on

Laura – Thanks for writing to me directly, it will give me an opportunity to respond. You’re correct that parenthood “is not about convenience” – you also said “When it’s time to, ya know, actually, sleep, we sleep separately. Is this really a big deal? He snores, anyway, and I don’t like to sleep spooning or touching. so, when it’s time for sleep, we all sleep best with me and the baby in one space and him in another. It also helps since we have different wake-up schedules.”

That seems like kind of a convenient solution looking at it from the outside. So your husband snores – which bothers you, so you removed him from your room, and you don’t like to touch or spoon – lucky him. I’m sure you’ll remain extremely close with your kids over time – not sure about hubby though.

Momof2Boys on

Elisabeth..Though I didn’t cosleep with my first child (very much..I did when he was sick), he started having nightmares when he was 2.5/3 and waking up in the middle of the night. We had our second when he was 2.5 and so he moved into a different bedroom in the front where sometimes the noise from the street wakes him up, I think. My husband used to climb into bed with him for an hour to calm him down as I was getting up with the baby but soon my husband was sleeping a few hours in his room and getting kicked and having a very disrupted sleep.

We were torn as I have a hard time telling a child who’s woken up scared that he has to go back into his own bed in own room alone. Our solution was to buy a mattress that we put into our room and we told him that if he was scared, he could come into Mommy & Daddy’s room and sleep on the mattress beside us..he has to go to sleep in his own bed but in the middle of the night, he was allowed to move. Most of the time we didn’t hear him come in and we got a good night’s sleep.

Lisa on

The whole co-sleeping thing creeps me out. I do not want to be THAT intimate with my child.

Melody on

Our daughter, Amelia, never had an issue sleeping by herself. Sleeping in our bed was something she only did when she was sick.. it was comforting for all of us to have her there if she was nautious or feverish rather than in her own bed dependant on her monitor to let us know if something was amiss.

When she was 13 mths she was diagnosed with cancer so unfortunately alot of her bedtimes were in a hospital crib. It was very uncomfortable for her and for us as we would sleep in the room with her but trust me, those parent beds are NOT the most comfy things.

Just over a year later she lost her battle and now I would give anything to have those moments back where she snuggled in our bed wanting her back rubbed until she fell off to sleep.

Yes it can be crowded and uncomfortable but I would never trade those memories for anything. It’s all any of us really has in the end.

CoSleepingFamily on

- Constance on March 4th, 2011

I couldn’t agree with you more!!!!!

Amy on

Thanks for sharing this story! People are so opinionated and judgmental it takes a certain bravery to share the real, hard, and goofy things we do as a parent (I’ve also hidden in my boy’s room to make sure he fell asleep. I’ve slept with my baby in a chair because I was ‘afraid’ of co-sleeping.)

My husband and I travel for work and family visits and every time we do, we know our boy will start the night in the crib then wake up in the middle of the night disoriented and come to bed with us. that’s ok. it won’t last forever and I’ll cherish it while it lasts.

Anonymous on

Its called being a parent. Of course it is more difficult to actually parent than it is to give in….your job is to teach your child skills to make it in life and one of the most important is self soothing and independent sleeping. That is the problem with kids today….everyone is so worried about them being “uncomfortable”…you are actually showing your love every time you do the right thing, no matter how much they do not like it at the time. Get the book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by DR. Weisbluth and it will open your eyes.

Cec on

@Jenn – The same thing happened to me. I had no intention of sleeping with out little one but we brought her home from the hospital and I couldn’t imagine leaving her in the bassinet alone and wondering if she was warm enough and worried about her. Also it makes breastfeeding so much easier when she is right beside you and you can be alert instantly to her needs.

The blog by Elisabeth has been very well written and appreciated. I do miss snuggling with my hubby though so eventually we have to make the switch.

Kacey on

Olivia – thank you for pointing out that co-sleeping is considered normal in Japan. While there is not a lot of poverty in Japan, they also have one of the lowest birth rates in the world – maybe because they have a child sleeping in the same bed ? I understand that anyone who allows their child to co-sleep wants to believe it’s for the good of the child, but I still disagree. Its lazy to not want to be “bothered” with getting up to take care of them. When they are infants, mother is with them most of the time anyway – sleeping alone or with husband gives worn-out parents a break too.

And no one has answered the question – what about changing diapers ? Is that done in the community bed ? When my kids were infants and I nursed them during the night, they always needed diaper changes either before or after (or both) breastfeeding. So you have to get up for that (or at least I really hope so !)

And I guess I have a problem with the whole theory of the child breastfeeding at will in your bed – how do you set schedules ? As I said, I worked and if a baby slept 4 hours and nursed and then another 4 hours, I could work out a schedule. But with baby in your bed, what if some noise outside woke him/her (dog barking, truck, etc) and he/she woke up outside of schedule ? Chances are your body wouldn’t have produced enough milk yet, and then he/she wakes up again sooner because still hungry.

CoSleepingFamily on

- Olivia on March 4th, 2011 – I totally agree with you too! If you have additional research facts you can share, please do. Reliable information is best here because then people can make an actual educated choice for their family situation.

Kacey on

Constance – I have to disagree with you. All your arguments do nothing to convince me that co sleeping is little more than the easy way out for laziness. I have four kids and we did our bonding during hours other than in bed at night. You can bond just as well with your kids during daylight as at night, and you can develop schedules when your child is not just breastfeeding at will.

In addition, another thing mentioned in this article is that Elisabeth put the baby in the middle of the bed surrounded by pillows to “protect” her. Has she not read reports for the past 15 years saying you don’t put pillows around a baby ??!!

Claire on

@ Victoria – Wow, thank you for sharing your story! While I know people have been co-sleeping for centuries, it seems to have been a “hot topic” only recently and I’ve been wondering how all these kids are going to feel years down the road. Now I know how at least one feels! It’s good to get the perspective of someone who went through it as a child and knows that it’s not healthy for anyone.

@ Christine – If you’re going to point out that the AAP does not recommend the book, “On Becoming Babywise,” then you must also acknowledge that the AAP does not recommend having your baby sleep in your bed!

I can’t help but remember Elisabeth’s blog from several weeks ago where she admitted that she let Easton dictate her diet and had created a very picky eater in doing so. Does anyone else see the correlation here? The CHILD tells the PARENTS what she’ll be eating, the CHILD tells the PARENTS where she’ll be sleeping. Several years down the road when the child is a coddled, spoiled, entitled brat, the parents will wonder where they lost control. Bad habits are hard to break, but easy to prevent if you establish yourself as the family leader from day one! My parents never let ME tell THEM what was what. Yes, of course I had choices and a voice in the family, but for major stuff, my parents knew better than I did what would help me to be healthy and they enforced it!

YOU are the parents, people! Establishing boundaries, rules, and discipline is not “mean,” “cruel,” or “psychologically damaging.” Back before we worried about our children not liking us it was called PARENTING!

JJ on

I didn’t want to get into co-sleeping arrangements with my daughter. So, we set up a routine for bedtime. No matter where we were, the routine was always the same. Additionally, once she was old enough to know the difference, she had a favorite toy and blanket that were always with her at bedtime and naptime. It didn’t matter where she slept, she had her comforters right there with her. You can provide some normalcy even in the midst of upheaval. It just takes a little creativity on your part. :) Good luck to all, and remember: Put down the books and get to know your babies!

Shawn Elyce on

I’m just about sick of people thinking that co-sleeping and long-term breastfeeding are somehow “not right” or “sick” or “inappropriate”. Way to be brainwashed by our sick and unattached culture, ladies.

And for those of you who think the book Babywise has the answers…do your research. The American Pediatric Association has made recommendations AGAINST that book because people who follow it’s suggestions sometimes end up with children who are malnourished, dehydrated and sick. Anyone who says you need to put a newborn on a schedule needs their friggin head examined.

Shelley on

I had no intentions of co-sleeping with my son, but it happened. I was a single mother, with a house to run, 2 dogs, a cat, working full-time and fighting with my son’s father in the court system for more than 2 years. It started out innocently enough…I’d lie there while my son had his last sippy cup of milk, and fall asleep myself with minutes from exhaustion. I tried off and on over the years, to get him to sleep by himself but I couldn’t handle it. My son can easily stay up till after 10:00 every night, without a nap, while I could barely keep my eyes open till 9:00. I cried at my daycare, begging them to stop giving him naps when he was still only 2 years old…but they couldn’t due to the laws.

We moved about 3 months ago, and I told my son that when he got his new room, he was going to sleep there. He was about to turn 5 yrs old and it was time. He was a bit uncomfortable with the idea but also seemed more receptive than he had been. Well, at the same time, he became obsessed with the concept of death and that one day, he was going to be alone. He became more clingy than ever at night, and even started holding my arm (his “cuddle arm”) rather than a stuffed toy, in order to go to sleep.

We seemed to have moved past the death thing – thank goodness! So, on March 1st I decided it was time to try again. I guess the timing was right, because with the simple promise of a new $5 Pokemon if he slept there till Saturday, we have made it through 3 nights without him even waking once. Granted, he’s still going to bed around 10:00 (so he’s tired), but I’m only sitting in the doorway of his room for less than 5 mins and he’s out like a light. No debate, no discussion, no tears…and in the morning, he’s so proud of himself. My son’s a good boy and blissfully low-maintenance (especially for a single-mom), and I’ve never really had to turn to the reward system. I would never have agreed to a gift per night but he’s definitely earned this treat this week. In fact, this morning he said, “I should sleep here EVERY night!”.

I took a lot of grief from people for co-sleeping, but it worked for me. I needed sleep to cope, so that I could be a good mom and do my day-job well etc. And, as a single mother, nobody was losing any quality time in my bed ;o) And the best part was ALL the quality time I had snuggling with my son. Truth be told, in my heart, 5 years of co-sleeping was not enough and I’m looking forward to the time where I can invite him to join me as a “treat” while we watch a movie or read till we fall asleep and then wake-up and watch Saturday morning cartoons, and he won’t think it’s a return to how things were.

Do what works for you…and when the time is right to change things up, you’ll know.

Susan on

Elisabeth….wow, like the breastfeeding you talk about the choice to co-sleep is also very emotional. I did not co-sleep with my first daughter but she was always such an awesome sleeper. My second would not sleep at all unless she was craddled in my arms. That turned into many months of co-sleeping. And I loved every minute of it. It was a huge struggle to get her to sleep alone in her room but it happened. My daughter is not harmed by this cuddle time.

I don’t think every family should co-sleep and I don’t think that it is cruel to put a baby alone in his or her own room but I don’t think anyone who doesn’t co-sleep should then turn around and criticize the co-sleepers. We are ALL trying to do what is best for our own families.

Regina on

I appreciate the comments from both sides above– I think it’s wonderful to see parenting come in such a variety of loving forms. However, as a Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist (and believer in strong bonding and attachment), I absolutely must take a moment to resound that BED SHARING is incredibly dangerous and one of the most significant risk factors for infants dying during sleep.

However, wonderful CO-SLEEPING cribs are available if your family decides to co-sleep. I really cannot resound this enough to both sides of the argument– co-sleeping and BED SHARING are not the same. Utilizing a co-sleeping crib preserves bonding and attachment, makes breast feeding easy but above all– keeps your baby safe! The ABCs of safe sleep: Alone, on their Back, and in a Crib!

Good luck to all the families!!

Leigh on

Great Blog! Now I don’t feel so bad!!!!

Kacey on

JJ – love your comments. You are so right. Give your child certain “comfort” items to always have at bedtime or naptime and they’ll be able to sleep anywhere. Did this with all 4 of mine and they easily adapted to places (like 2 sets of grandparents, various aunts and uncles, and vacation hotels/condos) as long as the same baby doll or stuffed animal and “blankie” was with them.

And as several other people pointed out, YOU, as parent, are the boss, and your child should not dictate when/where they will sleep or what they will eat, or what they will or will not do.

Jamie on

Thank you for putting into words the challenge that so many moms (and dads)have experienced! Reading this encouraged me not to fear that I am dealing with this problem alone…and, of course, it’s nice to know that celebrities struggle with the same issues we all do!

amy on

My husband and I co-sleep with our 20 month old. I am also still breastfeeding. There is plenty of time for her to be independent. To say it is causing her damage is laughable…she’s fantastic, smart, charming, kind and loving.

As for all of the safety concerns, have you read the stories accompanying the infant deaths? Nine times out of ten, the mother/caregiver was drunk/high and/or obese. Clearly, there are safety concerns in those situations with co-sleeping (or passing out on your baby!).

My daughter will always know that when she needs me, I’m there. Frankly, I wish my mother had snuggled with me!

Olivia on

Kacey, diaper changes happen less frequently than breastfeeding, and after a few months my daughter remained dry overnight so that question is moot. And your ascertaion that the Japanese frequently have only one child because of co-sleeping is ludicris. Just on this thread there have been several commenters who co-sleep and have more than one child. If it’s not for you, that’s fine, but calling co-sleeping families lazy and selfish will not change anybodies mind.

Also, since it has been brought up, my husband is fully on board with co-sleeping as is most fathers I know who share a bed with their children.

Olivia on

Oops, posted too soon.

Kacey, look up “breastfeeding on demand” at kellymom.com. Scheduling nursing sessions works against breastfeeding. I went back to work full-time when my daughter was 5 weeks old and we did not need to set a schedule for breastfeeding. I pumped at work and fed her whenever she gave me cues she wanted to nurse when I was at home. It was actually preferable for her to nurse often at night to establish breastfeeding well in the early weeks and to ensure she received what she needed.

Kacey on

Shawn Elyce – anger issues much? I don’t believe there is anything wrong with breastfeeding but when a kid can walk and talk and still sucks at your breast, it’s probably not for the best for the child or the parent. At that point, I believe pumping and using a bottle is probably better for everyone involved.

I firmly believe in a woman’s right to breastfeed, in public if done discreetly, but there is a point at which it becomes distinctly uncomfortable for onlookers. And in responses to this article, there have been people saying they still breastfeed at 3 years !!! Sorry, but that is insane – what do these kids tell their playmates – “excuse me while I go suck my mom’s boob?” or are they kept at home so mom can keep her “bonding” secret?

Also, I don’t think anyone is saying a newborn should be on a schedule, but within a couple months, yes, you can easily establish a schedule that works for everyone in the family.

Lilianne on

I guess I should have my head examined according to Shawn. :) I had both my girls on schedules from birth. Neither ended up dehydrated, malnourished or more sick than was common. I am not saying it works for everyone but I would never presume to tell others that are against such ideas that they “need their heads examined”.

Anonymous on

Elisabeth is creating anxiety for her child. I’m not a practitioner of co-sleeping, but if you do so, then finally wean your child to sleeping in her/his own room, why the heck are you going on trips and not making arrangements in the hotel to have your child remain sleeping separately???

Why bring the child back into the bed when traveling? She doesn’t have to be in a separate room in a hotel, but she also doesn’t have to be in your bed. If she’s renting a home during a shoot, the kid should be in her own room there.

It’s her own fault for putting the child back in the bed with them, messing up the kid’s sleep schedule, and then seemingly flustered and unable to realize that there’s going to be continued issues when she gets back home. Regardless of if you think co-sleeping is fine or not, this inconsistent parenting is not helping her or her child settle in.

Lilianne on

I should qualify my statement with this addition: I didn’t have my daughters on a strict schedule from the day they were born….denying them meals if they were hungry and it wasn’t “time” to eat. It has been a while since those days but I can remember many nights of getting up to feed them when they cried when they were first born. It took a few months to establish a routine that worked.

Olivia on

Kacey, you are by far the most ignorant commenter on this thread. Whatever your personal beliefs are about parenting, they simply do not apply to all parents. Your feelings about co-sleeping and breastfeeding are not based in fact or research.

Kacey on

Lilianne – thank you !! While I didn’t have any of my 4 kids on real schedules til 8 weeks or so, I don’t see any reason to not try to set up a schedule.

Olivia – Obviously as newborns my kids nursed more frequently – but how does trying to implement a schedule of feeding times counteract breastfeeding? They still get the nutrients. I’m not saying a tight schedule down to the minute, but I am saying that using nursing-on- demand as a pacifier doesn’t help the kid or the parent. There are other ways to comfort a child. And none of my kids were ever dehydrated or starved – they were very healthy, and never had a problem gaining weight.

By about 6 weeks old though, I just tried to distract them when they got cranky to get the breastfeeding to a loose but manageable schedule (about every 3-4 hours). That way I could go to work and not have to run and pump every hour. Its really very simple to do – they don’t need a nipple in their mouths all day.

Lilianne on

I don’t think its ok to call someone ignorant because their opinions don’t match up to yours. :/ I think its just two different camps here…the attachment/co-sleeping/child runs the show parents vs. the we love our kids too but don’t let them dictate everything parents.

Stef on

I absolutely hate the idea of co-sleeping. I understand if the child is sick or has had a bad nightmare but I think it’s more detrimental than anything else if it is done on a regular basis. Aside from the risk of SIDS, you need time alone with your significant other. I’m not even talking about sex, I’m talking about discussing the day, watching a movie, or even just cuddling.

I think a lot of times co-sleeping goes on so long because the parents just don’t want to let go. Not only do parents need alone time, kids do too. It fosters a sense of independence. I’m not judging anyone who co-sleeps, I know it’s a big thing in a lot of cultures, but personally I think it’s a terrible idea.

Olivia on

And Kacey, that is what worked for YOU. I didn’t schedule and that worked for ME. That’s the whole point of this post. Elisabeth shared her experience and did not say it was the right way for everybody, unlike you who thinks anyone not parenting they way you do is insane/selfish/lazy/gross.

Olivia on

Lilliane, I didn’t call her ignorant for having a different opinion. I called her ignorant (and probably should have just call her remarks ignorant) because of the actual mis-information she is spouting. Not knowing facts and yet writing as if her OPINIONS are the absolute truth is ignorant.

I see you aren’t bothered by Kacey calling mother’s insane, lazy, or selfish for simply having a different opinion than hers.

Bobbie on

A brilliant, experienced mom friend of mine gave me a fabulous idea that works wonderfully – the scardy bed. We set up a pallet of blankets and a pillow on the floor at the foot of our bed. The rules are – our daughter can come in anytime she likes, but she must come in quietly and not wake us unless she is ill or there is an emergency. Some mornings, there’s a blonde head in it and sometimes not for months on end. She’s 8 now so it’s getting less and less. This way everyone sleeps, and there’s a safety net.

Thanks for a well-written, non-preachy article.

Lilianne on

Olivia, thanks for clearing that up. I stand corrected. I didn’t take it that Kacey was stating her OPINIONS as FACTS. Or that she is spouting mis-information. And I probably didn’t take exception to her calling certain behaviors as lazy, selfish, or insane because I kind of agree. Not getting out of bed to feed your baby is taking the easy way. Not getting up to help your child back to sleep is taking the easy way. As for the breastfeeding a 3 year old? I can’t even IMAGINE the uproar that would come from a 3 year old still taking a bottle!! But those same that would point their finger at that think its different if its a breast?

Parents today don’t want to say no. They don’t want to do the hard stuff. Its easier to let little Emily or Jacob decide where they will sleep and when they will eat and what they will eat and what they will wear and if they will brush their teeth or wear a hat in winter and on and ON, because it means that the parent doesn’t have to actually PARENT.

I wouldn’t choose to use such words as insane, lazy and selfish though because I often feel that you won’t get others to see your point if you insult them or their choices and Kacey could have chosen her words more carefully but I feel her underlying point has merit. I am sorry it doesn’t match up to yours though.

I know parenting young children is hard. I do get that. I run a daycare in my home and I deal with little ones every day(well, not Fridays. And most of my kids here have SO many problems and are hard to deal with because they have parents a lot like those posting here. That is my experience and my opinion. :)

Kacey on

Olivia – my statements are based on as much fact and research as yours are. I’ve read many articles in parenting magazines and on-line and doctors contradict each other on these theories all the time – just a matter of whose opinion you choose to believe. You are the one who feels that if we don’t agree with you, we are ignorant. As you quoted to me “Whatever your personal beliefs are about parenting, they simply do not apply to all parents.” Listen to your own words.

Elsie on

Most of human history and most cultures today sleep with their kids until they are in double digits even. Using the law of averages alone makes it the norm for humans. Separations from parents in early life is not the norm and based on the reasoning others are making could be considered “unnatural”. Anyone who says it is damaging to kids has not done their research.

The Western idea of forced independence early on is a relatively new phenomenon in human history.

As for SIDS it is pretty clear that the greatest risk factor in co-sleeping is formula feeding, and in fact co-sleeping should not be done with a young baby without breastfeeding. There are also many other ways to co-sleep safely (if not humans never would have survived.) Look into Dr. John McKenna’s research.

As for husband’s relationship, we found that co-sleeping made our sex life more exciting because we felt like “teen-agers’ having to seize other opportunities (and use other rooms of the house!). It inspired more adventure and fun. It kept us from getting “lazy” and falling into a rut since we had to be more creative.

Co-sleeping makes perfect evolutionary and psychological sense. Babies and toddlers are at the greatest risk of accidents, cannot regulate their actions or body temperatures as well as a host other things that make them extremely vulnerable and they need their parents for not just physical safety but emotional security as well. Who wouldn’t want to sleep snuggled up to the people you love most it the world? I liked the closeness, the safety (if there was a fire or earthquake, baby was right there) and hubby loved the bonding with the kids since he was away all day at work.

Our 10-year-old former co-sleeper (who chose to move into his own bed and room at 4 on his own) is a confidently intelligent, secure happy individual. Our second is 2-years-old and happily still co-sleeping and we are cherishing this time since we know from experience how quickly it goes by. (And the reason for the large gap in kids is not because of lack of opportunity as some insinuate, it is because we made the financial choice best for us as a family)

Co-sleeping isn’t for everyone. Every family needs to decide what is best for them. Why judge and put down others for their sleep choices? Parenthood is hard enough as it is.

Elsie on

Oops, I meant Dr. James McKenna. Check out his research here: http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/

Amy on

Thank you for a beautifully written article about the joys and sleepless nights we all as mothers face! One of the most challenging parts that I faced in co-sleeping was that my bedtime was their bedtime. Sometimes I wanted to stay awake with my husband, have a glass of wine or stay up with friends visiting. My youngest (now 10) would NOT go to bed until I did…I remember laying down with him till he fell asleep with the idea of getting back up again, well, usually it was lights out for me, too! Things changed with time and maturity and I laugh remembering it all. It is all too fleeting!

Kacey on

Lilianne – THANK YOU again !! I appreciate your comments. I should not have said insane, but I truly do believe that some of the theories that some moms cling to (co-sleeping, in this case because of the article) are ones that make it easier for themselves rather than for their children.

Elsie on

Co-sleeping safety takes planning and work. Being there a responding to babies’ needs, while also getting good sleep as a family isn’t laziness, it is smart.

annette on

thanks goodness for bassinets back in the day – such an easy transition from bassinet in our room to crib in their own once they started sleeping all nite – they didn’t care where we put them . . . when we put them down

Indira on

I co-slept with my parents. It’s weird that there’s actually a term for it. Anyway, when they finally kicked me out of their bed it wasn’t a big deal. I slept with them regularly until about 6, me and my brother. It was a tight squeeze. When they finally kicked us out it wasn’t a big deal. We were still more than welcome when we had nightmares.

My father is from the middle-east and my mother is from the Caribbean where it is pretty standard to share a bed with your parents or grandparents. I don’t really appreciate the assertion that this is lazy parenting. What exactly is the purpose of having your days old baby in a different room from you? Or a child who feels more comfortable knowing their parents in the same room?

Lilianne on

Kacey..we agree again. I think most attachment issues are more about the parent than the child. I have dealt with many mothers who seem upset when their children don’t cry when left with me at my daycare. Or upset when they call to ask how the little one is doing with the separation and when I say they only cried for a few seconds they seem offended by that. Like they WANT their child to cry for a long time because it must mean they love Mommy more?? I don’t understand that mentality. Shouldn’t you want your child to be well-adjusted and secure enough in your love that they can adapt well to any situation?

Gaia and labans mom on

Japan has one of the,highest education rates and theres a correlation between education level and fertility rates, kacey.

My babies both went from bassinet to crib with plenty of co-sleeping nights in between. My girl has her own room but goes back and forth. I really have to laugh at the idea that a sleeping arrangement can establish a child’s independence. If that were the case you could look at adults and just tell. It doesn’t make much sense. You don’t have to teach autonomy to a child anyone with a child over two knows that much.

What if co-sleeping with a newborn is convienent? Making your life more difficult doesn’t make you a better mom. Are there any forty year olds sleeping with their parents still? No, like potty training some do it at ten months some do it at three yrs but, it gets done and after a while it makes no difference.

Some of you need to stop equating the bedroom with sex! Its bizarre for me to hear this practice describe as creepy. Its unfortunate really because a big chunk of the world co-sleeps.

Lastly, I agree with melody. Even if my kids co-slept with me and my hubby until seven thats such a small chunk of time that I won’t get back. I kinda hope they don’t tho, theyre some lanky kids.

Holiday on

Elsie I agree with every word you said! What I dont get is why some of you are in a rush to make your newborns and very young babies so independent? That is said ALL the time on here, how sleeping, or being with your baby all the time will make them not independent.

Jj on

I really don’t think that anybody commenting has the right to judge anybody elses choices. Parents do what is right for them and their baby. After I had my daughter, I was amazed at how people felt that they could judge me and my decisions. I have a happy and healthy daughter and that’s all that matters. People should make the decisions that are right for their family, not what somebody else thinks is right.

EA on

I don’t think it about having time alone with your husband/partner, I think it’s about having time alone WITH YOURSELF.
Both of mt breast fed babies slept in their own beds. My 5 year-old since she was 5 days old and with the door closed. At 13 months she was in a toddler bed with the door locked so she couldn’t open it and get out. My 3 yo was in his own bed at 6 months. I hear him right now, playing in his room with door closed before he puts himself to bed when he’s tired. AND they both sleep for 12-13 hours, have since they were 9-12 months. Nothing feels better than crawling into your own bed for some peace and quiet at the end of the day, even when your two.

momoftwins on

My kids were early and stayed in the NICU for a month, they slept better there than anywhere for the next several months. When we brought them home, we tried to have them sleep in our room, and after about 2 nights they were in a crib, and I’m a chick who is very used to noise while she sleeps. I’ve nursed them now almost 8 months and plan to do so till they hit a year, but they sleep in their bed, sometimes they cry- it never lasts longer than 5 minutes, but they go to bed and it doesn’t kill me or them in the process (it also allows me and the hubby to have some time away from them every once in a while). If they cry longer than that it’s usually them being hungry and we address that- they now sleep at least 12 hrs a night and have been doing so for a few months.

I don’t really understand the co-bedding, there were a few times it happened by accident when I was so tired after nursing for a total of 1.5 hrs in the middle of the night and it scared the living crap out of me. I don’t know why anyone would want to risk it or have that fear over their heads. Co-bedding with my hubby was hard enough to get used to, in fact its why we got a king sized bed and for the first while I had to take sleeping pills to even fall asleep with someone else with me.

I remember a few times when I was young, having nightmares and going to my parents bed, but that never lasted longer than a half an hour and they put me back to bed, and I turned out just fine. I like to be the ruler of my life, one day my kids will get to be the ruler of their own and I’m sure they’ll understand, in the meantime, I’m sure my kids know I love them. One of my favorite things is when my babies reach out for me- which I don’t see happening if they were with me the whole time anyways.

Melissa on

Great post. My daughter was born at 30 weeks and spent the first 10 weeks of her life in an incubator at the NICU. When I was finally able to bring her home I decided to have her sleep with us because I was desperate to make up for lost time. She never learned how to breast feed and I could barely hold her at the hospital without all the swaddling and pic lines and tubes so I just wanted that cuddle time. Well, needless to say neither of us got much sleep.

Finally at 8 months old, after yet another sleepless night I put her in her crib and lo and behold she slept for 12 straight hours! It dawned on me then that this kid needed to be alone in her crib because that’s all she knew from birth. She is now 3 and has always slept in her own bed for naps and at night and looking back I can say it’s a good thing.

Sophia Adelisse on

Olivia, I spread no falsehood. When someone hears the term “co-sleep” they often connote a child sleeping in the parental bed…essentially, yes “bed-sharing.” However, the general public see it as one and the same; therefore, THAT is the term I used.

If you actually use your eyes and read, you would have seen that I suggested a child be put in a bassinet or crib within the parent’s room. Also, look at the source of your website…here’s another and there are many more.http://www.marchofdimes.com/baby/care_sleeping.html You are increasing your child’s risk by placing them in your bed. You say “oh if you breastfeed, it’s ok.” Seriously?!?! Think of how many cases there are where a mother suffocated her child during breastfeeding? Don’t use that as your logic. Actually come up with facts.

Of course there are plenty of ways to safely “bed-share.” But the majority of parents aren’t doing so and therefore increasing their risks out of ignorance. You face a mother that has lost her child due to SIDS…they’ll tell you the same thing…Trust me, I’ve spoken to many and it’s always the same answer.

violetdks on

I don’t ever see a reason for a baby “to need to sleep with the parents,” as some of you are waiting until they are born to make the decision. If your child needs to be near you for a medical reason, put them in their own bed in your room, for many reasons, their safety being the biggest.

My sons slept in their crib in their room from the first night home, and a good 7 hour sleep at that. I never had the battle for them to “learn” to put themselves to sleep, I didn’t have to get them to sleep to sneak them into their cribs, and heavens, we could travel and their sleep patterns were never disturbed, they slept in their cribs at Grama’s, in hotels, at friends, where ever we went.

They got their rest and so did I. Once in a while as they got a bit older we would have special fall asleep with Mommy nights, but then I would put them back in their room once asleep. If they were sick I would sleep on a chair that made into a bed in their room, it being better for their breathing if they weren’t so confined in a bed with me and all my covers, etc. And I was right there if they needed me.

I don’t think this co sleeping is healthy for the child in any way, Mom’s are simply using it as an excuse when they are too tired and lazy to get up for their baby at night, or “afraid” the baby will need them. What do you think they make all of these state of the art monitors for???? I could hear them breathing like a snore over them 23 years ago and go in to check and they were breathing so quietly I had to put my hand in front of their nose to feel the air, that’s how sensitive they are. You have just “made your own bed” so to speak, only nobody is getting to sleep in it. And your child isn’t being helped to grow up or be healthy by the lack of sleep every time you decide its time for a change. You must all be a sleepy crabby bunch, and then decide you can’t do it again and make your child an only child. What a shame!

Jacqui on

Blessedwithboys, you really think Elisabeth should just plan on her child having RAD? Have you actually researched RAD? You have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re just plain hateful. Your comment is actually so venomous it’s shocking.

M on

We all have our struggles but after reading this blog and comments I’m really glad my son started sleeping in his own room at 10 days old. He’s been a great sleeper since! Of course it may help we have a smaller house so running to his room didn’t tire me out :-P

Rachel S on

I feel for you. My soon to be 3 year old, refuses to sleep anywhere else. My oldest son who is 20, is moving back to Alaska for work, and the time has come to get Lydia out of our bed and into hers.

I appreciate the advice you give. This kicking her out of the night nest is the hardest thing ever! She is potty trained, off the bottle since age 1, and those came easily. This bed situation, is really at the top of my list for hard things to do.

Mina on

It’s funny to me how once a label is invented, like “co-sleeping”, a behavior is legitimized and stamped as an official procedure.

I was raised in the 1950’s. My parents were grownups and I was not. I found security in knowing that I was being cared for by grownups. It would have been crossing a boundary to sleep in their bed and terribly inappropriate to invade their private world. I sure didn’t want to! Eeeoow!

But we didn’t sleep alone. No one had their own room. My brothers and sister and I all slept in the same room until elementary school. Then the girls slept in their room and the boys in their room. Throughout most of history, children never had their own bedrooms or even their own beds. So they weren’t alone at night.

As an older person seeing lots of changes over the years, I see parents becoming more and more dependent on their children and worried about being too parenty.

Everyone my age is shocked comparing our childhoods to the present day. We remember running around outside playing all day long with gangs of other children, exciting, creative, exuberant play, everyday a new “Let’s pretend that –” adventure. Moms appeared to call us in for lunch. We didn’t know they were watching us out the windows. We thought we were on our own – and we loved it.

I think the answer is to have the crib in your room for a little while, with a new baby, and then for kids to share bedrooms so they aren’t alone but let the grownups be the grownups and have boundaries that the children learn to respect. But parents don’t want that anymore.

Melissa on

The point of being a parent is to PARENT, not give into your childrens every whim. YOU are the adult, they are not. Therefore, you make the rules, they do not.

I didn’t even know people shared beds with their babies until I was an adult because that’s just an option at all in my family. No one does that and we all turned out just fine!

that’s not saying that if I had a nightmare or something, that I was never allowed to sleep in my parents bed. But their bed was just that. THEIRS. It was never mine, and it never was a question in my head about that.

Your job is to impose rules and create structure for your child, otherwise the world is chaos.

Children are greedy, because they don’t know any better! I really don’t get why people can’t see that being a “mean” parent is actually better in the long run. Then you don’t end up with a spoiled needy child who has no idea that the world does not revolve around them!

Amanda on

Great info, thank you for sharing!

MN on

We are co-sleeping with our 14 month old daughter and I still breastfeed as well. I find it the most natural solution -still- and in my heart I just know my daughter is such a confident, (always) happy and trusting child partly due to the night time closeness. I’m also a stay-at-home mum for now and thus practically spend 24 hours a day with her (except for the occasional trip to the gym or a dinner with friends). For us these were choices we made already when I was pregnant.

However, despite making these choices and standing behind them, I also have a bad day (or night) at times when I feel exhausted, tired and worn. I’m expecting that when the day will come that we’ll start to think about moving her into her own bed, I will be torn and conflicted about it. I expect us to have to go through different stages to accomplish that and to have setbacks at first.

Thus I find nothing unusual about this mum’s story; I don’t think motherhood is a straight road. You have to navigate your own way and listen to yourself as well as your kid. Letting out steam or finding support or advise from others is allowed, even if you brought on this situation by your own choice.

There is nothing unstructured or chaotic about co-sleeping. Nor would I ever call a child’s instinctive need for intimacy with a parent ‘greediness’. I slept with my parents as did my five siblings (each up until we felt ready to sleep on our own). And we all turned out well-rounded, balanced and ‘un-needy’.

One look at children’ psychology would also tell you that neediness actually is a sign of a child who has not gotten enough closeness with a parent. Also, the more closeness a child gets at a very early age, the more independent they grow up to be.

MN on

Sophia Adelisse, the so-called truth that it would be risky to sleep with your child is not true simply because it’s written in most parenting websites. The idea of co-sleeping is so alien to our western societies that it’s simply approached with a lot of suspicion. In reality many of the unfortunate deaths of suffocation happen when the parent is under the influence of alcohol or medicines.

Psychological studies are mostly on the side of sleeping with your child. That is after all how we have developed as species. For a baby being alone means danger and she can not yet logically think that mum is in the next room. Their world limited to their immediate surroundings. I also should mention that the number of SID are shown in many studies to be smaller amongst babies sleeping with their parents.

Sophia Adelisse on

MN – Again, read what you wrote…read what I wrote…never did I say “sleeping with your child” is risk because it is in a parenting website. Putting your child into your bed at night is RISKY because of several reasons – when you sleep, you often move around. That is where suffocation can occur. If the parent needs the child to be near them, put them in a crib or bassinet in their room. No psychology problems? Really now? Studies have proven that when the child reaches school-aged levels, the child tends to be more reserved, have bad sleeping habits, and so much more. SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – there’s an S in there) studes have also shown that infants need to be on a flat, hard mattress for back support and to encourage growth.

Jessica on

Are you people aware the co-bedding/co-sleeping is one of the biggest risks for SIDS? Should do your research before you decide where your baby should sleep. Of course baby should be in your room for 4-6 months but in your bed there are so many risks of suffocation from pillows, heavy blankets and Mom and Dad themselves.

KMO on

While I love cuddling with my little ones, 3 and 5, I need sleep and so does daddy; our solution, the GoodNite Lite. We got it when our oldest was 2, and it has been wonderful. My 3 y/o, doesn’t “wait til the sun is on” as much as I’d like, but we’re working on it, and I have to admit, it’s mostly my fault for not getting up and taking her back to bed all the time. I loved co-sleeping, especially when it meant I could get more sleep, but after a while, you just want your bed back, no matter how big it is. We still get our morning cuddle time in, but at least it’s at whatever time I set the night light to change, not before the sun comes up!

MN on

Sophia Adelisse, the childrens psychology really does side with co-sleeping. I think the studies you have read are not very scientific or are pretty ‘old-school’. Also many other childcare professionals hold on to the opposite view. A very well-known and respected Scandinavian psychiatrist has written several books about early childhood and one of his most important themes in that co-sleeping is the most natural way for a young child to sleep.

There are several ways to co-sleep safely. Needless to say that our mattress is pretty hard. Secondly our bed is very large. The co-sleeping families I know have found great ways to make their beds even larger, for example by adding an extra futon bed next to their already large one. My child does not have blanket and mine is also small and light, mostly not on my upper body. There no extra pllows on the bed. Also, sleeping with your child, I can tell you that you never relax and move around as you would when you sleep alone. I’m all the time aware of her on some level and thus move around very little in my sleep. I wake up several times and always find myself in the same position (yet I manage to sleep OK). To keep this awareness you should never sleep next to your baby under the influence of alcohol or for example sleep medication.

Also, actually many, many studies have shown that co-sleeping reduces SIDS. I have actually done my research in this topic. Please read what for example Dr. Sears has to say about his research on the topic: ‘Don’t worry; continue co-sleeping. I have thoroughly researched this common concern and written two books on the subject, The Baby Sleep Book and SIDS: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding and Preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, I feel that I can confidently advise you on this subject. In the SIDS book, you’ll find more than 250 scientific references to support the information provided on sleep and breathing patterns, and safe sleeping arrangements.’

http://www.parenting.com/article/ask-dr-sears-co-sleeping-a-sids-danger

A very interesting article which goes on to explain why co-sleeping is good for preventing SIDS.

Olivia on

Jessica, that is why safe co-sleeping guidelines include not having heavy blankets and pillows near/on the baby. Those of us who choose to bedshare have done our research.

Here is what bedsharing ususally looks like:

http://www.hobomama.com/2010/06/how-to-cosleep-safely-tutorial-in.html

Elizabeth on

Fascinating blog and debate for even a non-mom like me to read. My mom was adamant we stayed in our own rooms — even when we were sick — so the concept of co-sleep is admittedly foreign to me. But it’s certainly thought provoking to see different opinions, so thanks everybody! :)

Sharron on

Before posters start talking about the dangers of co-sleeping, perhaps you should read the attached article printed in a scientific journal about how co-sleeping can reduce the risks of SIDS . . . I am by no means suggesting that co-sleeping is for everyone, but don’t disregard it on dated information that says it is dangerous.

Also, I often find that some posters take the word of a pediatrician as though they were the end-all on the subject . . . educated people can disagree. I have a SIL and BIL that are both doctors, if you were to ask them both the same medical question, you would likely get two different answers. Pediatrician are just people and cannot help but to be influenced by their own beliefs . . . i.e., whether co-sleeping spoils a child or whether co-sleeping promotes child health and security.

It is important to find a pediatrician that is an advocate of the way you want to raise your child, difficult as it may be, or to find a way to educate yourself (I’m not suggesting that you ignore sound medical advice, but much of what pediatricians advice is behavioral and not medical).

Sharron on

Oops, I forgot to post the link to the article . . .

http://www.naturalchild.org/james_mckenna/cosleeping.pdf

Tiffany on

We have been co-sleeping for 18 months now, and my daughter is also nursing. She chose co-sleeping, not me, her first night in the hospital. She would not sleep in her little plastic bed, so I held her all night long. I was beyond exhausted, and so scared I would drop her that I didn’t sleep.

We planned for her to sleep in her pack n play in our room, but she had other plans! At the time, I felt like I was doing the wrong thing because of societal pressures, but I refused to let her cry, as the ped advised me. I learned to sleep sitting up, holding her. At 6 weeks, we discovered she had severe acid reflux and a milk and soy allergy. No wonder my baby was so upset! She was sick!

Then and there, I stopped listening to anyone else and trusted my instincts. When she cries, I always respond. I realized that babies are complex little humans who have great needs and have no ability to communicate or fill those needs by themselves. As the adults in our family, my husband and I compromise on our needs to fulfill those of our daughter’s. She comes first.

Gradually, her sleeping has changed. I no longer have to hold her for naps, and she sleeps most of the night through. It all came on its own, with no pressure or training from us. I know she will someday move to her own bed. And these oh so precious years will be a distant memory. But she will have the security of knowing mama and papa are there for her for forever.

And by the way, my husband and I make sure to carve out time for ourselves. That’s what the guest bedroom is for!

Kerri on

I have 7 children and we co-slept. My oldest lives in her own home & is in her first year of getting her Nursing Degree. My second is working on a career involving horses. My third and fouth are in high-school and my fifth & sixth (identical twins) along with all the older siblings no longer co-sleep. My 7 year old turns up on occasion!

The way we gently encouraged out kids into their own beds (notice I didn’t say “out of ours”) was to have snuggle time with them at night. They had their own bed (single) and we would read, put on some music and then snuggle. At first I would snuggle until they fell asleep. Then I would leave their room. If they woke up, they could come back into our bed, if they so chose. Gradually over time they were less likely to end up in our bed at night. At night I gradually left the bed sooner so that they were awake when I left. I would tell them I had to go do the dishes, or fold laundry etc. (I ALWAYS made sure I was telling them something I really was doing, not lying to them). I would tell them I would be back in a few minutes. I would then in fact go back, so they trusted that in fact I would come back.

Over time they fell asleep &/or over time they would fall asleep more quickly so I needed to return less often. Also when I returned I would let them know I had folded laundry, but now needed to put in another load, or needed to wash the pots or mop the floor, etc. I was left to cry it out & I remember it. My younger brother was as well & I remember crawling into his crib to calm him down & go to sleep. Even when he was older (still under school age) he would climb into my bed (he had night terrors). After he fell asleep I would go sleep alone in his bed as he flopped around so much!

I didn’t want my kids to feel “abandoned” like I did. I am not saying every kid feels like that, but I know I did.

Jen on

@ blessedwithboys

Who are you to judge this woman on how or why she had to stop breastfeeding. There are MANY cases of women who cannot breastfeed from the beginning and cases where the body has stopped producing enough milk for the baby to be well nurished (even early than 7 months!) It can also be a very emotional thing to not be able to breastfeed, so shame on you for making such RUDE comments!

mom2be on

point of order: bed sharing and co-sleeping are two different things. co-sleeping is not physically harmful or increase a child’s risk of SIDS.

Cate on

Ohhh, a hot topic with lots of differing opinions. And I am in the anti-co-sleeping camp on this one. I work for a Children’s Hospital, and we vehemently dissuade new mothers, or any mothers, from taking up co-sleeping. The testing is not old and outdated. Babies DIE all the time from co-sleeping. It happens in the city I live in a few times per month. Personally, I can’t ever have imagined co-sleeping with my infant. She slept in her crib from the get-go, I would go in to nurse her as needed, and put her right back down. I truly believe that because I did this, she is a wonderful sleeper as a toddler. She loves her bed, she loves going to bed, she actually hates our bed! We put her in bed with us the other night before we went to sleep because she had a bad cough, and we thought perhaps being near us would comfort her. Nope! She insisted we put her back in her own bed.

Read this blog to further educate yourself on the dangers of co-sleeping. I am not being judgmental. I just firmly believe people are misinformed. http://www.chhsblog.com/2009/10/safe-sleep-for-babies/

Lilianne on

Thanks for the link to that blog, Cate. I think it is important to have this kind of information available for people since there are SO many links on this page that are pro co-sleeping. The fact is that for every parent who has done the research and seeks to make a safe co-sleeping experience for their baby there are probably 5 parents who don’t do that. And it is also naive to say that ALL deaths from co-sleeping/bedsharing come from the parents being under the influence of something. Pretty much everything I have read from mothers who co-sleep indicates they are doing it because they are nursing and it is easier for them to feed their baby because they don’t even have to move to do it..the baby is right there. I am sorry, but I find this a poor reason to do something that could potentially harm your infant…because it is easier for YOU. :/ And I am sorry too, but you can BOND with your baby without sleeping with it and without breastfeeding it. Obviously breastfeeding is better for the baby so please don’t jump on me for saying that. I just mean that bonding doesn’t only come from breastfeeding. Otherwise, fathers, grandparents, siblings would never bond with an infant.

9107128882300590819290

Lilianne on

Sorry about the numbers at the bottom of that last post of mine. Was trying to post a link and it didn’t work. :/

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5091.html

Cate on

Right on, Lilianne. All of the studies show that the really good bonding happens when baby and mom are both alert and awake, smiling at each other, making eye contact, etc. Not when both are trying desperately to get the much needed sleep they both need.

Co-sleeping IS physically harmful. I’m not sure where everyone is getting their information, but there is a lot of bad information on this blog posting. Do your homework. Do what’s best for your baby, not for YOU.

familyofjoys on

What a sweet journey. We have two little girls and we have co-slept with both. We recently moved and ended our co-sleeping with our 3 year old. She sleeps in her own room and we have a bed in there for hubby to go resettle her (and catch some sleep) if she gets scared. I still sleep with our 19mos old. She starts out the night with her big sister and then comes and joins me in the “big bed” around the middle of the night. I get the best of both worlds…A few hours of peaceful (solo) sleep and a few hours of night time cuddles. When her older sister turned one we brought in an extra bed and she moved to that bed…She was still in the room with us but we all had SPACE…It was lovely and I really think being so laid back and open to giving her time to move out made the transition…peaceful.

Best of luck with the transitions…It’s so funny how many times you have to cycle through the same thing with littles.

Randy on

I think it’s kind of creepy the way some moms are so attached to their children. Good sleeping habits start in the newborn period. Learning to self soothe and get to sleep by yourself is a skill all babies need to learn for a good life long habit. Everyone gets a much better, less interrupted night’s sleep when they are in their own beds. Yes, children need the love and guidance from their parents but they also need to learn how to function as separate human beings.

Denise on

My daughter is almost 8 and starts bedtime with us. We pray, read and fall asleep. One of us, eventually, wakes and carries her to her own bed. She has a lovely antique high poster mahogany bed with a great mattress and fabulous soft sheets, but she loves the comfort of being with us. One day, she will outgrow this behavior. For now, I have no problem with this arrangement. Children grow so fast. Parents need to savor these precious moments; they don’t last. My older boys are 15 and 18; they enjoyed sleeping with us, too but like all children, one night, they said they were too old to sleep with us.

Jen on

I think I sort of agree with Randy… Most of the people that have commented have talked about how THEY want their child close… It has been all about the parent and not the child. I know I would not sleep well with my child in my bed for fear of rolling over on the baby or maybe them falling out of the bed some how…

Olivia on

Jen, of course it’s parents talking about how they like co-sleeping. I’m sure like mine, their children aren’t hanging out on a blog for parents.

Cate on

Olivia, I think what Jen is saying is that all of the parents on this blog basically are saying that the co-sleeping comforts THEM. They aren’t saying, I know this is better for my child. I don’t think Olivia is saying she needs to here from a baby on this blog.

Melody on

As much as I miss snuggling with my daughter, I’m quite glad that she slept in her own bed. When we brought her home she was in our room but in a bassinette so it was easier for breastfeeding. Once she was sleeping through the night (about 12 weeks) she went into her own room and slept in her crib. On the occasional night that she woke for a feeding, I went to her room, fed her, cuddled in the rocking chair, put her down and climbed back to my own bed.

The only times she was ever in our bed were when she was sick. Even then, she went to her own bed first and if she awaoke during the night we brought her in with us. 9 times out of 10 she’d ask to back to her room.

Our snuggle time was in the mornings before work. She would always wake earlier than we needed to be up so we’d get her a drink or a bottle and she would climb in our bed and just cuddle. That was our special time.

I understand that parents do whatever works best for them but I don’t see how it’s safer to have the baby in bed with you. The few times we all slept in bed together it was hot and uncomfortable for everyone. We all ended up being tired and cranky the next day. My husband was always a deep sleeper and moved around alt. I would never have been comfortable with our infant child in the bed like that.. I would never have slept!

I also think that parents need their own “alone” time and intimacy. Bringing a new baby home is incredibly rewarding but also stressful and tiresome – especially when you’re a new mom. I think it’s important to take the time and be together as a couple should be. That would be extremely difficult with a little one already in the bed :)

laurie on

Just wanted to thank user “MDMomx5″ for what she wrote:
“A wise mom of 10 once told me that if a transition becomes a struggle then the child is not developmentally ready – be it potty training, weaning or solo sleeping- so carefully choose which battles you want to fight.”

What a great piece of advice, I am going to have to remind myself of this daily!! :)

Lucy on

I think this blog and the amount of comments is a reminder that as moms, we are all just trying to do our best. What works for one family may not work for others, and we should be supportive of each other’s decisions.

I appreciate the mention of depression after weaning from breastfeeding. I experienced this when I weaned my child at 11 months, and was totally unprepared for the emotions, since I did not experience any post-partum depression previous to this. It is important for women to be aware of this possibility.

sandra on

This was so well said. I have been in the mids of just letting my youngest start the solo night sleep with the early Am cosleep and early am nursing. I do understand it is hard to not. It is way better to allow. For mom or baby and family is happier in the long run. I would say happy family is better less stress.

Eugene on

Okay, when my daughter was just the tiniest infant she would wake up any time my wife would try to put her in the crib–no matter how gently or quietly she did it. Eventually, it was just easier to co-sleep. One note here, my daughter is an aspergers child, so in addition she has some insomnia problems if left alone now. Now my daughter is 8, and she still cosleeps. We are divorced, so I stay in the bed with my daughter until she falls asleep, and then sneak into the second bed to sleep (ironically, it is supposed to be my daughter’s bed). I have read a lot on the subject, and find that most who disapprove do not have anything really substantive to back up their objections. One of the silliest is that it will not be cute when she gets to be older, well, that is probably true and she has her own bed to sleep in when that times comes. It is more of a cultural, rather than medical aversion. Personally, I sleep better after I move to the other bed.

Gary on

Both our children slept with us until they were 3 years old. They are 14 and 18 now. Both children were breast fed also. My wife quit breast feeding our son at 18 mos and he had a hard time taking the bottle even with my wife pumpiing and formula. He got very anemic. with our Daughter, she breast fed her until she pulled away from the breast naturally then went to the bottle – no problesm what so ever with her. Once they were on the bottle – it was easier to move them to the crib We had the crib in our bedroom and at the age of 3 for my daughter and 2 for my son they were moved to the crib and stayed in the room with up until they were 4 then we gradually moved them to their room. This seemed to work for us. Even at one year everyone was saying they need to be taking a bottle and be off the breast but several old ladies from our church told us that when they are ready – they will pull away. Also we learned in potty training both ours – were were told again by some of the older women of our church to sit them backwards facing the toiled tank and it was a breeze to potty train them this way. Something the Dr’s or the books never tell you. They thought we were stupid – but it worked for us.

J on

I agree with Sarah. After Elisabeth’s most recent whining post and her snide commoents that she reads everything and she feels attacked, please just make her go away. Nobody attacked her, she insulted another child and their family and then got fussy when readers commented on how they werent happy with how she insulted that family. Grow up Elisabeth. People, surely you can find less whiny celebs to blog here. People who post more than neurotic complaints every time they add a blog?

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