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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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January 23, 2013

Co-Sleeping: How to Do It Safely

By Mark Sisson
250 Comments

Co-SleepingLast week, I broached the topic of co-sleeping. The reception was almost unanimously positive, with plenty of you chiming in with your own c0-sleeping success stories. Before you toss the crib, however, realize that co-sleeping isn’t as simple as flopping down in bed with your baby and drifting off to sleep. Co-sleeping is a healthy, effective, and arguably “natural” way to raise independent children, but it must be done safely. Remember those studies I cited last week where co-sleeping was associated with infant deaths? Yeah, when co-sleeping is done poorly or incorrectly or unsafely, it becomes an effective way to harm children. Sadly, most parents no longer have access to the “village,” that treasure trove of knowledge full of parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and infinite cousins with parenting advice for days, so we read books, and articles, and magazines, and blogs for tips and knowledge. These aren’t the same, sure, but they are helpful in their own way. Certainly better than left to fend for ourselves.

So, how does one co-sleep safely?

First off, let’s go over what not to do. Let’s identify unsafe co-sleeping. It may sound like a lot of don’ts, but c’mon – these are our kids!

Co-Sleeping DON’Ts

Do not smoke, drink, or use drugs that affect judgment and awareness (prescription, illegal, or over the counter – think Tylenol PM), especially before bed.

Overlaying (where a sleeping parent absentmindedly rolls over onto the child) is a rare occurrence that pretty much only happens when the parent is too messed up to wake up and realize they’ve just rolled over onto a small human. A sober, alert parent will wake up if it ever happens. Heck, I sometimes have to hide the ball from Buddha (my lab) in bed at night to keep him from pestering me to toss it, and if I roll over onto it, I wake up in a flash. A huge part of the benefit of co-sleeping is the increased awareness of the baby’s position and status, but being inebriated removes that entirely.

Avoid tobacco altogether. 

You know how when a smoker comes into the room, you know it just from sniffing? That smell only lingers because the smoke itself – with all the tars and toxins – lingers on the clothes, in the hair, and on the skin of the person who smokes. Now imagine how much of that smoke the baby will be ingesting, and just how little smoke is needed to hurt the little thing. This goes for mom, dad, and, you know what? Just make the entire house smoke-free and don’t let people smoke around the baby. They’re a lot more sensitive to the stuff than we are.

Don’t let babies sleep next to other children or pets.

As sensitive as your dog is, there’s a good chance he’ll think nothing of walking all over this strange new creature in the night, scratching its tender feet, or laying a fluffy tail across its nasal passageway. Toddlers, who are even less thoughtful than dogs and have opposable thumbs, are probably even worse.

Do not co-sleep on the couch, sofa, loveseat, or recliner.

Couches are plush and cushy, and they have cushions that infant heads slip between all too easily. They’re elevated off the ground and relatively narrow, meaning the baby can easily fall off and crack something. I’ll make an allowance for rickety wooden rocking chairs, but avoid doing so in a room full of cats.

Be careful with very small, very young infants.

By virtue of their diminutive size, very small infants are more susceptible to being smothered, crushed, or otherwise roughly manhandled. Plus, if this is your first kid, or your first attempt at co-sleeping, you’re already going to be nervous about what to do and how to do it and likely sleep-deprived. Consider room-sharing for the first few weeks to months, where the baby sleeps in an adjoining cot or mattress. You can still reach out and touch those cute puffy cheeks, but you won’t worry about making any catastrophic mistakes.

Don’t co-sleep if you’re a heavy sleeper, are excessively sleep deprived, are obese (disregard if you’re a bodybuilder with obese BMI; just cool it on the pec popping) and/or have sleep apnea.

These conditions will all reduce one’s ability to stay apprised of what’s going on in the bed. You need to be sensitive to your child if you’re going to share the bed safely. They may also make any mistakes made all the more damaging. If you’re severely sleep deprived – which will happen fairly often – consider keeping an adjoining cot/bed/crib in the room next to your bed so that you can still room share when necessary.

Don’t use thick bedding.

Huge frothy comforters full of imitation goose down are unnecessary for most people and downright dangerous (suffocation, smothering, overheating risk) for young babies. Even normal pillows and blankets can be excessive for infants; consider that most crib babies are bedded down with minimal bedding, a sheet or light blanket at most. That’s kinda what the adult co-sleeping bed should look like, too.

Don’t use overly soft mattresses.

Don’t use anything that you or the baby can “sink” into, like beanbag mattresses or those really soft beds that some people seem to like. Water beds are out, obviously, and not just because it’s no longer the 1980s.

Don’t co-sleep if not everyone is onboard. 

Co-sleeping is a family event. Both mom and dad need to be up for it for it to work. If there’s major anxiety about the method, I have to think it’s going to manifest as poor sleep (or worse).

Co-Sleeping DOs

Keep the bed low, preferably on the floor.

Make sure the bed is as low as you can manage it. This will make any falls less catastrophic, and as a bonus, it will force you to do more “floor living.” Those with carpeting can get away with higher beds, while those with hardwood flooring are advised to go a bit lower.

Use a firm mattress.

There should be minimal “give” to the sleeping surface. This will reduce the chance of suffocation.

Use a tight-fitting sheet.

Make sure the sheet fits well, without bunching up. Bunched up sheets can be a choking or suffocation hazard.

Breast feed.

Studies show that breast feeding makes for safe co-sleeping, while bottle feeding is associated with SIDS. According to James McKenna, the “breast feeding-bedsharing landscape is highly differentiated from the bottle feeding-bedsharing landscape.” (PDF) In his clinical experience, “breast feeding mothers typically keep their babies away from pillows, position their infants on their backs, placing them below their shoulders, while raising their arms above them,” and they “lay on their sides… in ways that can prevent accidental overlays.”

Put the kid next to mom, not wedged in between mom and dad.

By virtue of not having given birth, the dad is going to be less “connected” to the baby and possibly less aware during the night. Plus, a big advantage of co-sleeping is the ease of breast feeding, and you don’t want your baby getting confused in the middle of the night, reaching for the wrong breast, and ending up with a mouthful of hairy man nipple (although that would definitely establish a connection between father and child).

Place your baby on its back to sleep.

Sleeping in the supine position (on its back) is the safest way for a baby to sleep and reduces the risk of SIDS.

Eliminate any crevasses that the baby could fall into.

If the bed is up against a wall or headboard, make sure it is flush against the surface – no cracks or openings. Some people even pull their bed away from the wall to eliminate the possibility of getting stuck between the bed and the wall. If you can’t eliminate the crevasses, consider pulling the bed away from the wall. Products like these are also helpful for preventing falls or crevasse wedging.

Get a bigger bed.

When it comes to co-sleeping, bigger is usually better, particularly when you start introducing multiple co-sleepers.

Pay close attention to the list of don’ts up above.

Don’t do the don’ts.

I’d highly recommend picking up a copy of James McKenna’s book on the subject, Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping. It’s under $10, it’s a quick read, and it’s written by the premier expert.

And whatever happens, don’t feel like you have to co-sleep. Try room sharing, perhaps, which offers most of the same benefits as bed sharing. Convert cribs into side-cars that sit alongside the adult bed, thereby making it bigger. Just do what works for you and your family.

Now let’s hear from you guys. Co-sleepers: how did you do it? What did you learn? What didn’t you do? How did you determine co-sleeping was right for you? Everyone else: what made you choose the methods you chose? Let’s get a good discussion going. Let’s get our own village established.

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250 Comments on "Co-Sleeping: How to Do It Safely"

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Joy Beer
Joy Beer
3 years 8 months ago

Babeeeeeez. Wonderful tips! Love the picture of the baby and mum at top. There’s a product called the Snuggle Nest that some couples might find useful, too, if they feel worried but want the baby in the bed.

Susie
3 years 8 months ago

I looked up the snuggle nest. Not only can you sleep with your baby in the bed without worry, it apparently allows you to look like a model and sleep with flawless hair and makeup! 😉 joking aside, that looks like a good solution. Has anyone had experience just sharing rooms rather than beds? I’m kind of a roly poly sleeper… I would be anxious about flying squirreling it right over my baby. My hypothetical non-existent baby.

Marcia
Marcia
3 years 8 months ago

our son is in our room in a crib

ponymama
ponymama
3 years 8 months ago

I co-slept with one and room shared with the other.

Stephanie
3 years 8 months ago
We did a combination of bed-sharing and room-sharing with our twins. We had the Arms Reach Full sized co-sleeper and they shared that until about 9 months. One twin usually ended up in the big bed before the night was over. Because tey started to try to crawl out of the co-sleeper we transitioned them to their own cribs still in the same room for a few months. Around 11 months we moved them to their own room. We do not have good sleepers (they take after their Dad) and at 15 months I still wind up bed-sharing with one… Read more »
Hilary
Hilary
3 years 8 months ago

We’ve mostly room-shared. i had her in a cradle next to my bed and would pull her in with me to nurse and then pop her back or keep her with me. now her crib is in our room and she’s over a year old. we actually moved it back from being in her own room more for my mommy anxiety and being able to respond to her quicker in the morning.

Amanda
Amanda
3 years 8 months ago

We co-slept/room shared with both our boys. We each had our own beds- Mom and Dad in a queen, 6 year old in his twin, and 13 month old in his twin all laid side by side on the floor. It worked well as each mattress was just a couple inches taller/shorter than the one next to it so for the most part everyone stayed in their own beds.

Casey
Casey
3 years 8 months ago
For the first year of my daughter’s life, we were in a studio apartment. For four months, she was in a bassinet right up against the bed (in a snuggle nest, too). We would have put her in the bed, but I was worried there wasn’t enough room for the three of us. After 4 months, she was put in a crib on the other side of the room (about 6 feet away). To be honest, I slept horribly through that first year because every sound she made woke me up. She was a great sleeper, but made lots of… Read more »
Jennapher
Jennapher
3 years 7 months ago

I have 16 month old twins (jake and june) who both have cribs in our room. June ALWAYS wakes us up to hop into bed with us but Jake stays in his bed usually and they are both happy, healthy, smart and surprisingly very well behaved. I don’t know if that has anything to do with them sleeping with us but that’s my observation.

John Lozauskas
John Lozauskas
3 years 7 months ago

Susie, don’t you know that all first time and other time moms are supposed to look perfect and the parents are a total FAILURE if they do not.
I sincerely think the most important thing parents can do is to make their decisions for the best good of the child AND to trust their decisions. (Especially of the other parent!)

Tracy
Tracy
1 year 8 days ago

Yes! We love our Snuggle Nest! We tried the crib at first but I couldn’t bare to leave her all alone! My husband was reluctant at first but after 2 nights he loved it. Now we’re dreading when she outgrows it.

Jessica
Jessica
3 years 8 months ago

The Snuggle Nest was great until my son figured out how to wiggle out of it and over to me. Then we had to worry about him wiggling off the bed. We have alternated between having him in the crib and in our bed. At nine months old, he still prefers to sleep touching me.

We had our daughter in our room for three months, but she wouldn’t sleep unless she was alone. Some babies don’t take well to co-sleeping or room sharing.

Amy H.
Amy H.
3 years 8 months ago

Thank you for saying this. I’ve been experiencing some mother-guilt over not co-sleeping with our kids, but none of them ever stopped moving, kicking, or screaming while in bed with us. Once in the crib, though, they settled and slept for hours at a stretch, waking enough to fuss for some food and then return to sleep.

I breastfed all of them and thought co-sleeping would be best to help avoid sleep deprivation, but in our case it only made it worse. The best solution for us was baby in crib (but in our room until 9mo or so).

b2curious
b2curious
3 years 8 months ago
Us moms feel guilty about some of the silliest things, don’t we? (I am right there with you when it comes to the mommy guilt – over other issues.) There are plenty of benefits for room sharing too. And if that didn’t work for you, then there would be nothing wrong with a crib in another room. As long as you went with the best solution for your family, which you did, you’re good. Even when you don’t just remember that there is no such thing as a perfect parent. We are going to make mistakes, but our children will… Read more »
Casey
Casey
3 years 8 months ago

I was told as a baby I was this way too. As an adult, I prefer having my own bed, so maybe it is just how some people are!

Michelle
3 years 8 months ago

You can also get a co-sleeper that attaches to the side of the bed. They keep baby at arms reach without actually having them in the bed

Nicole
Nicole
3 years 8 months ago

My daughter, at 10 days, scooted out of the snuggle nest so she was lying right next to me–which is where she wanted to be! So, that was it for the snuggle nest!

Scott K
Scott K
3 years 8 months ago

Same thing here. Not sure exactly how old but all of our kids snuggled up to us (mainly momma). Right out of the nest.

Gus
Gus
3 years 8 months ago

Co-sleeping can be done safely with just the simple application of common sense. We co-slept with our two daughters for 5 years, and we gradually let them get accustomed to their own beds and now they sleep in their own beds as a preference. On weekends they both jump into our bed when they wake up in the morning. This time is very precious and they are never going to babies again so enjoy it while you can.

Santry
Santry
23 days 4 hours ago

Hi Gus-
I’d love to hear more of your story. We’ve got a 2 1/2 year old who co sleeps with me. Mom sleeps in another room to get a full nights rest. santryrush@gmail.com I’d love some pointers moving into the next year or two

Nancy
Nancy
3 years 8 months ago

sadly, my son who is a city police officer has been first on scene of 3 co-sleeping fatalities in the last 3 years! when they had their baby recently,they used a rock-n-play next to their bed….

Diane
Diane
3 years 8 months ago

Look at all the vpcrib recalls
http://www.cpsc.gov/cgi-bin/cribs.aspx
And crib deaths – over 100 deaths a year. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WomensHealth/study-crib-related-injuries-strike-10k-infants-year/t/story?id=12941401

Cribs are not a magic answer and DO cause harm

Hilary
Hilary
3 years 8 months ago

i imagine they were doing some of the don’ts listed above.

K10
K10
2 years 4 months ago

We co slept with all four of our children. They all weaned around 18 months to 2 years. My husband and I loved the bonding time and happy little face to wake up to.:)

Lesley
Lesley
3 years 8 months ago

We used the Arm’s Reach co-sleeper, which is kind of like a mini-crib that sits alongside the bed. It was very useful when the kids were very small and waking frequently in the night. We did find that the kids outgrew it fairly quickly – probably 3-4 months old, if I remember correctly. After that we found that one of our kids actually slept better in a separate room, and the other didn’t sleep no matter what we did anyway. 🙂

Lauren
Lauren
3 years 7 months ago

I thought of this when I read Mark’s DON’T regarding tiny babies – that’s exactly when cosleeping (with breastfeeding) offers the greatest benefits in protecting against sleep deprivation in the parents. By the motto ‘begin as you intend to continue’ it makes sense to work out how you’re going to sleep early on.
Babies are so primal that feeling and smelling their parents is often key to relaxing enough to sleep. It felt unfair to me to spend all day building connections to my child, only to ask them to enter alone the most vulnerable state for the human body.

Angelique
Angelique
2 years 11 months ago

I agree with Mark on tiny babies. Mine was 5.5 lbs when she was born, I felt she was WAYYY too tiny for cosleeping. She slept in a crib beside my bed. Starting around 4 months I’d let her sleep with me after her early AM feeding, by 7 months we were cosleeping.

Jon
Jon
3 years 8 months ago
We did not co-sleep with our kids. Nor did we sleep in the same room. When our kids were babies, they slept in a crib directly across the hall from our room. Both doors were left open, so they were at most 15 feet away and we could hear anything going on. We’re not opposed to co-sleeping in general, but it just wasn’t for us. My wife has a medical condition that requires prescription medication that can pass through breast milk, meaning we had no choice but to bottle feed. My wife also uses a CPAP machine. Finally, I’m a… Read more »
Amy
Amy
3 years 8 months ago

Jon – It’s really okay. YMMV with co-sleeping and yours is one of those unique situations where co-sleeping is not the answer. I never bought into the idea that there’s some sort of “permanent” damage from co-sleeping or not. I still don’t. It’s about infants and parents getting enough sleep. If it’s happening, it’s all good. 🙂 (At least from my point of view.)

Stephanie
Stephanie
3 years 8 months ago

I agree! Do what’s best for YOUR family!

Selina
Selina
3 years 8 months ago

We started with the arm’s reach cosleeper and managed to get our son into it a few times but usually he slept right next to me. As he’s gotten older we sidecarred crib to a queen sized bed and all of us have plenty of space.

Chelsea
Chelsea
3 years 8 months ago
While he’s sleeping in his own room now (I can’t believe how LOUD babies are when they sleep), wee have co-slept with our 6-week old several times since he was born and slept with him in the same room for the first few weeks after he was born. I’m a fairly heavy sleeper, but I slept on my back with him in between my arm and my side and I felt like I was super aware of what I was doing and was never worried about rolling over on him. We still sometimes cuddle and doze together when he feeds… Read more »
Sara's
Sara's
3 years 8 months ago
Mothers have hormones at the end of her pregnancy and following birth that make her a light sleeper. As mentioned above, this does not happen with dad. We got the snuggle nest (with the plastic looking family in it) and used it half the first night and once when I was over-tired. It’s nice to have, but it defeats the purpose of bed sharing. Having your newborn against you will do several things: regulate temperature, regulate breathing, and it is difficult to nurse in the snuggle nest. I highly recommend safely bedsharing if the parent feel comfortable doing so! Our… Read more »
sara
sara
3 years 8 months ago
Yes, the hormones are crazy! I am 8 months pregnant and all of a sudden EVERYTHING wakes me up! I’m such a light sleeper now. Noises that normally don’t phase me (the heater turning on, wind, the dogs rustling) make me jump out of bed now! We have a white noise machine for when baby arrives but I’m going to try using it for myself tonight (to drown out the small noises that are waking me up too often). I remember being VERY easily woken when my son was an infant too… I would literally jump out of bed if… Read more »
christy kennedy
christy kennedy
3 years 8 months ago

Hormonal changes are amazing. I slept with my babies a lot but didn’t learn until I started having what I thought were hot flashes when my youngest (of four) was sick. Turns out the mother’s breast tissue will heat up as much as 4° (can’t remember where I read this) in response to a baby having a hard time staying warm enough. It would even happen when I had her in a bassinet next to the bed and had just a hand on her.

Rachel
Rachel
3 years 8 months ago

I am still presently co-sleeping with my almost 1 yr. old son. It has been such a wonderful thing for us. Since I nurse him, its hard to imagine him sleeping anywhere else but next to me!! Great tips and co-sleep on!

sally
sally
3 years 8 months ago

we’ve co-slept with all four of our children. i sleep better, they sleep through the night faster, it’s a win-win. we do have a crib for naps.
a giant pool noodle under the bottom sheet is a far cheaper alternative to the amazon product linked above.
yes, children adjust to sleeping alone, but we are the ONLY species that thinks that’s normal. animals ALWAYS sleep with their young, we should too.

lusana
lusana
3 years 8 months ago

I co sleept with all of my children(3) I was always aware and noticed our breating was in sync so even a change would wake me.I slept lightly and never had any accidents.

When the bed became too crowded eithr by the addition of a sibling or the child getting older they moved out,onto the floor or their own bed.

Ok not to everyones taste but it worked for us

Stacey
Stacey
3 years 8 months ago

We coslept with our babies and followed these same “rules” except we did have baby in the middle sometimes (reverse cyclers need to switch boobs in the night, so we flip flopped accordingly)but our bed is HUGE so it wasn’t an issue.

Kristin
Kristin
3 years 8 months ago

Us too, Stacey. We always had our son in the middle – which I suppose could be considered a bad thing if you ignored any of the other precautions. But I wouldn’t have felt safe with him on the other side of me – at the time we lived in a beautiful *old* apartment on the east coast, with equally beautiful *hard*wood floors. I just wouldn’t have chanced it. Anyway he turns 10 at the end of this month, so we made it. 😉

b2curious
b2curious
3 years 8 months ago
We also slept with our daughter in the middle, most of the time. It is a king size bed, which allowed us plenty of space, and she slept closer to me, since I was nursing. I’d move her to the other side whenever I switched breasts. The bed is in a corner, so there was no risk of her falling out, and we kept it snug against the wall. I did break the rule about OTC medication that can affect your awareness. My allergies were crazy bad, and are still problematic, so I took generic Benedryl (diphenhydramine HCl – which… Read more »
b2curious
b2curious
3 years 8 months ago

I almost forgot, we broke the rule about letting animals sleep with the baby as well. Trying to keep the cats out of the bed was useless. During the day, when my daughter napped in her crib, it was not unusual to find a cat curled up in one or more corner of the crib (sometimes all 4). As she got bigger, they’d sleep closer to her, eventually snuggled up against her or laying on top of her.

Mama Miller
Mama Miller
3 years 8 months ago
I coslept with both of my daughters for 4-6 months…usually after the first nightly waking they’d stay in bed thereafter and I’d periodically roll to the other side and give them the other boob each time they woke up. I only started after about 6 weeks because before that they sleep so easily on their own that they could go back into the crib without complaints. I tried the Snuggle Nest for a while, but you still have to take the baby out of it before feeding them (or, my boobs aren’t long enough – lol). So it was not… Read more »
Lior
Lior
3 years 8 months ago

Very useful post!

I think that the issue of infant sleeping position could be examined more closely. The medical institute might be mistaken regarding the added safety of the supine sleeping position.

Maxmilliana
Maxmilliana
3 years 8 months ago

Back in the day when my kids were babies (30 to 40 years ago)the prevailing wisdom was to put the baby on its side, so if it vomited, it wouldn’t choke. Made sense to me then. Still does. I breastfed, but had a cradle next to the bed. When feeding, the baby’s head was on my arm, and I could doze. Later, the baby’s sucking in his/her sleep would wake me, and I’d put them in the cradle so I could go into deeper sleep.

lusana
lusana
3 years 8 months ago

My daughter however did exactly the opposite her baby was left to cry itself to sleep in a separate room.

My babies were content and happy,hers is a bit of a madam who knows if the sleeping affected anything

Victoria
Victoria
3 years 8 months ago

Co-sleeping worked great for us for all sorts of reasons. Never any accidents or incidents. The big benefit now that he’s older is that he never went through the ‘nightmare/boogie man under the bed’ stage that so many children seem to go through. Sleep was always a safe, cozy experience for him, not one wraught with fear and feelings of being abandoned (when tiny). He’s got great sleep habits now. I’d say that’s a huge benefit right there. Thanks for this post – it’s an important one!

Michelle
3 years 8 months ago

I have never considered that complex developing from fears of being alone at night! Thank you for the insight

Nocona
Nocona
3 years 8 months ago

We’ve gone from 4 billion people to 7 billion people in 40 years. How bout we cut way back on the kids so our planet can survive. If the earth is destroyed, there won’t be any kids to sleep, co-sleep, cuddle, etc. Another problem is they keep having shows on countries where there is famine, like Ethiopia…millions starving to death. It’s not that they don’t have lots of food production there, it’s because of way too many people. David Attenborough from England has some chilling info. on the world population.

Amy
Amy
3 years 8 months ago
Well, to begin with I’m pretty sure the *planet* will survive most anything we throw at it. 🙂 There’s been life around for billions of years and it’s survived several catastrophes already (as far as we can tell). I think it’s a tad ego-centric to think we are the final Bringers of Doom for Planet Earth. So it’s really our bacon we need to worry about. As much as I love David Attenborough’s accent, I’m pretty sure that no one really knows what the carrying capacity of the Earth is. It’s all guess work and I betcha noone thought we’d… Read more »
Sheila
3 years 8 months ago
Funny thing — to bring this back on topic — cosleeping increases the effect of lactational amenorrhea. That is to say, if you breastfeed and cosleep, your kids will naturally be spaced further apart. This may be way out in left field — I’ve never heard anyone say it before — but I wonder if the baby boom was caused/increased by people suddenly switching to bottle-feeding instead of breastfeeding and putting kids in cribs in a separate room on the advice of their doctors … both things that have been pretty much unknown for the rest of history. It’s pretty… Read more »
Emma
Emma
3 years 6 months ago

@Sheila,

My parents subscribed to that theory of natural contraception and were still breastfeeding my brother, but I messed it up – there’s only 18 months between us 😉
Clearly I just couldn’t wait that long.

Jon
Jon
3 years 8 months ago

We did not co-sleep with our kids, and neither of them developed the ‘nightmare/boogie man under the bed’ stage either.

Amy
Amy
3 years 8 months ago

My son has never slept well, with occasional night terrors and we co-slept and breastfed him. My eldest daughter falls asleep in 5 minutes flat, never wakes up and we co-slept and breastfed her.

I have had a lot of good with parenting that had absolutely nothing to do with me. 😉

Carlos Morales
3 years 8 months ago

I love the sidecar idea, and when wife and I bring our first child into the world, that’ll probably be the move for us as I think I’m too nervous to share the exact same bed 🙂
This has been my favorite series by you, Mark.

Amy
Amy
3 years 8 months ago

We co-slept in a king for the first two and we’re sidecarring a crib with a queen for the third. We all much prefer the sidecar arrangement. The adults keep the smaller bed, there’s always a “safe” adult free place to keep baby, and if Grandma wants to buy the crib she can do it. 🙂

Liz
3 years 8 months ago
My daughter is 2 1/2, and we’ve been co-sleeping since day one. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach (each parent has a unique situation), but it has worked well for us. I read about it when I was pregnant and thought that I would be too nervous to do it, but once she was born it was the most natural way to go. I had one of those Arm’s Reach Co-sleepers, and I think they’re great, but my baby hated it. She preferred staying in bed with me. This made nighttime feedings a breeze. I was always so warm when she… Read more »
Esther
Esther
3 years 8 months ago

I resisted co-sleeping for a few weeks, because the pediatricians kept saying NO NO NO. We upgraded our bed and started co-sleeping. I got more rest than I ever did when we didn’t co-sleep.

Just a tip, sleep with your arm tucked under your pillow or out, and with a pillow tucked between your legs, it’s almost impossible to roll over.

Happy safe co-sleeping!

Liz
3 years 8 months ago

That’s a good tip–you reminded me that this is what I used to do, too. The pillow between your legs and a rolled-up blanket in front of your legs can give you a little more peace of mind.

b2curious
b2curious
3 years 8 months ago
I usually slept with one arm under my daughter’s head and shoulders. That is how I would position her so she could nurse, and since I often fell back asleep while she was nursing, she stayed there. My husband would sometimes awaken and find me more or less wrapped around my daughter. He said it looked like I was almost laying on her, but with her still laying on my arm, I was not. Sleeping with my arm under my pillow just means that later I will pull my arm out from under it. The pillow between my legs usually… Read more »
Maxmilliana
Maxmilliana
3 years 8 months ago

Yes, that’s how I did it also. Worked great.

Rebecca
Rebecca
3 years 8 months ago

We co-slept the first few days because we hadn’t thought about what else to do, but neither of us were feeling rested because we were afraid we’d hurt the baby. After that we had him sleep in a bassinet right next to the bed, and once he was sleeping through the night we moved him to his crib. If my husband or i take a daytime nap we’ll snuggle up with the baby in bed, but for overnight sleep we all do better with the baby in his crib.

Kara
Kara
3 years 8 months ago
A few years back I saw some research done around co-sleeping that showed the risk of baby’s death during co-sleeping was far, far higher if the baby was formula-fed and/or slept with someone other than the mother. The researchers theorized that mothers who are breastfeeding are more attuned and sleeping less deeply, which provides an evolutionary instinct against rolling over or smothering one’s baby. I think the argument for co-sleeping would be much more solid if it included this variable (which certainly Dr. McKenna touches on in the link above). I work in a hospital where medical staff counsels families… Read more »
Madama Butterfry
Madama Butterfry
3 years 8 months ago
Well said. I had no intention of co-sleeping for fear of baby-slaughter, but it happened in spite of the fear and I’m so pleased it did. Waking every two to three hours to get up, take the baby from my husband and sit for five minutes till the baby slept again then staying wired awake in case baby woke again- often for three hours till he DID wake again- was literally killing me. The fatigue hit torture proportions, I remember it well and it hurt to live. The sweet baby hormones kept me going but what hell is sleep deprivation.… Read more »
Hilary
Hilary
3 years 8 months ago

totally agree. the idiots who tell everyone not to cosleep clearly didn’t have a baby screaming to be held all night or needing to nurse every hour. two months was all i could take of getting up to feed her, and i think that’s typical – the 2 month power plod, and then the hormones drop. how is it safer to be so sleep deprived you’re getting into car accidents??

Kari
Kari
3 years 8 months ago
We had a full-sized (think playpen sized) arm’s reach cosleeper that we ended up not using as a cosleeper at all. My daughter coslept in our king sized bed with me and daddy, always next to me with her head and shoulders around my breast level, with me on my side facing towards her. We slept this way for the first several months of her life before her snoring and wiggling encouraged us to transition her to the cosleeper bassinet (used with the wall up as a crib). She shared our room for the first 8-9 months of her life… Read more »
Jon
Jon
3 years 8 months ago
Not disagreeing or disputing anything you said, but just to offer another personal story about co-sleeping and room sharing… My sister-in-law and husband had their second child share a room with them for the first two years of their son’s life. I believe he slept in a crib that was in their bedroom. Anyway, they decided it was time to transition him to his own bedroom. He literally screamed every night for one month straight. They got no sleep. I remember my brother-in-law telling me about how he’d go to his car on his lunch break and sleep for an… Read more »
Kristin
Kristin
3 years 8 months ago

Jon, it sounds to me like it was just a really *abrupt* transition. I’m not sure why people come up with these strict deadlines for themselves – “Okay, at two years we’re moving him across the hall…”. I can understand how that would be sudden and scary for a tiny person who hasn’t known anything else up to that point. We coslept with our son, and it just kind of tapered off on its own. As it invariably will – they really *don’t* want to sleep with us forever. 😉

Jon
Jon
3 years 8 months ago

Yeah, good point. Like I said, I’m sure they could have handled the situation better. They are great, loving parents that probably thought they were doing the right thing. As we parents know, just like everything else in life, hindsight is often 20/20. 🙂

Jon
Jon
3 years 8 months ago

I don’t remember what triggered them to decide when to make the transition, but my “guess” is that it was time to move him from a crib to a bed. Without calling them up and asking, that’s just a guess, but it would make sense and at least explain their thought process.

Stacey
Stacey
3 years 8 months ago

Sounds like NOT cosleeping was the nightmare.

Vanessa
Vanessa
3 years 8 months ago

My hearing was really acute after the babies came home and sleep was a strange mix of listening but having my eyes closed. I barely slept post-partum and finally both boths moved out around five months. Every click, sigh or lip smack was enough to make me look around. But I can’t imagine not having the baby right there to touch – what an amazing reward after everything we had gone through. The picture above reminds me of the delicacy of those days.

Stephanie
Stephanie
3 years 8 months ago
We are accidental cosleepers. We tried an Arm’s Reach sidecar but she couldn’t sleep unless she was right up against me. She’s now 2yo3mo and still sleeping with us, but usually only one of us because of space limits. Our “big” bed is only a queen size. The other parent sleeps alone in the spare room. I think cosleeping guidelines are good in general, but use your own judgement for your own situation as well. For example, my husband and I are both super-aware of her so we didn’t follow some of the guidelines exactly. We have always shared a… Read more »
Anna P
Anna P
3 years 8 months ago

Great article, great comments. I’m not a mother yet but am thinking about co-sleeping a lot. Really enjoyed all the info and stories!

Michelle
3 years 8 months ago

This article came just in time for us! We are getting ready to have our first little one, and I was looking into a co-sleeper bassinet that attaches to the side of the bed. Thanks for the tips.

Madama Butterfry
Madama Butterfry
3 years 8 months ago

Congrats!

Lea
Lea
3 years 8 months ago
I had a co-sleeper that was attached to my bed. After two nights of waking up inside my sons co-sleeper (I was constantly worried if he was breathing – I think a common worry amongst first time mothers), I finally just pulled him in to bed with me, tucked him under my arm and finally slept. It was like second nature to me – to have him close. I would hear him wake and would roll him to his side while I was already on mine so he could nurse and we would both drift off back to sleep. It… Read more »
Cher
Cher
3 years 8 months ago
I co-slept and breastfeed my twin girls for about 18 months. They never slept for more than about 3-4 hours at a stretch, and people would always feel bad for me and would tell me I should have put them in a crib so I could sleep. What they didn’t realize is that I’d barely even notice that i woke up to feed them and feeding them took maybe 5 mins, so I was actually the most well rested mom I knew at the time! When they were 18 months, they stopped nursing, moved into their own beds and room… Read more »
Sarah
Sarah
3 years 8 months ago

We tried co-sleeping and none of us slept! So sad…we all were sweaty and grumpy, so we went back to the crib. Maybe it will be different with our next little one, who knows! Props to everyone who does this successfully! Wish I was in the ranks with you 🙂

b2curious
b2curious
3 years 8 months ago

I am a huge believer in doing what works for you. If co-sleeping did not work for you, then not doing it was the right move. I did not co-sleep with my oldest, which is probably for the best, since I owned a water bed.

Julie
Julie
3 years 8 months ago

Co-sleeping didn’t work for us either. Everyone stayed awake. We have a Queen bed and I think it was too small. We went on an Alaskan cruise when my son was 7 months old. We had a King bed in our cabin and co-slept for 7 days. That time it worked out perfectly! Back home we tried to continue but our son just wasn’t having it again. He likes his space!

CW
CW
3 years 8 months ago
We started out co-sleeping the day our first baby was born. No issues whatsoever. We kept our son to my side so that I could nurse throughout the night (in those early days, he would root while I was asleep and I would often wake up to find my boob in his mouth. Very strange). Around two months, my son started kicking and flailing his arms in his sleep. Active sleeper! And it became uncomfortable for us, so we moved him to a bassinet a few feet from our bed. We were very very lucky – he started sleeping 10-12… Read more »
Treespeed
Treespeed
3 years 8 months ago

Just be careful, it’s easy to get the kid into your bed, not so easy to get them to sleep in their own bed once they start to get bigger.

Kari
Kari
3 years 8 months ago

We had zero issues transitioning our daughter to sleeping in her bassinet in-room with us, and then sleeping in her crib in her own room once I was too pregnancysleepdeprived to deal with her waking me up throughout the night. She has a very regular sleep/nap schedule and has been sleeping through the night since 2 weeks. I’m sorry you had a less enjoyable co sleeping experience than my family.

Susie
Susie
3 years 8 months ago

I wonder where you get that from, since none of the successful co-sleepers on this forum mentioned having any problems moving their children to their own beds. Sometimes they make the move after less than a year, sometimes when they’re toddlers. They do whatever works for them and none of them have reported any problems getting the little one to move out.

Hazel
Hazel
3 years 8 months ago

None of the co-sleepers have mentioned whether or not they have had trouble. Doesn’t mean they haven’t had trouble. If something you do works you’re very quick to tell everyone but if it fails spectacularly people tend to keep it to themselves. I work with families who go through hell trying to get children out of heir bed and into their own rooms. There are two sides to this- it works for skins but for many others it ends in tears and endless nights of no sleep for anyone.

Amy
Amy
3 years 8 months ago
Having successfully transitioned children into their own bed beds, it’s shake the idea that it’s the approach to tapering off co-sleeping that’s the issue, not co-sleeping itself. Issues that come to mind with that will cause co-sleeping “weaning” – 1) Artificial deadlines. The kid is 6 months, 18 months, 24 months or whatever and now it’s time to kick the kid out of bed lest they never leave home in another decade and 1/2. So the process is duely begun because someone looked at a calendar rather than what was best for the entire family. 2)Expecting a mature reaction from… Read more »
Julia
Julia
3 years 8 months ago
We did not try to get our kids to leave the family bed. They decided at age 6 for the boys and 3 for the girl. If my husband and I wanted to have sex we went someplace else. Now that my children are adults, I think co-sleeping is part of why they are so centered and why they take responsibility for their choices. We did not have problems with co-sleeping ever. Going through “hell” is what happens when you have an attitude about reality instead of adjusting to reality and making it work well. If any parenting situation feels… Read more »
Allison
Allison
3 years 8 months ago

+1. Many of my friends co-slept with their babies and toddlers, all of them were happy they did it. Every single one of them had trouble transitioning the kid out of their bed until after age four or five.

ibby
ibby
3 years 8 months ago

That’s ok, apparently I’ll still be wearing him in a sling and breastfeeding when he goes to university – so it’ll probably make everything easier 😉

Paula
Paula
3 years 8 months ago

Ha Ha! I only stopped the sling (a Baby Bjorn) when they were physically too heavy for me to carry around. My kids are both bigger than me now, and they still try to sit on my lap. Thank goodness they are not still trying to nurse!

Diane
3 years 8 months ago
We co-slept with both of our children. We tried a bassinet in the room with us at first with our older son, but noticed that after I nursed him to sleep he would wake up as I got up with him to put him back to bed. Putting him down for naps in it didn’t work any better. So we got rid of the bassinet and started co-sleeping with him, then put him in a small bed nestled between ours and the wall when his baby brother was born and co-slept with him. Their father was between both children. Now… Read more »
ShaSha
ShaSha
3 years 8 months ago
I was 18 when my son was born. (He’s a healthy 40 year old now). He was a smallish baby who seemed to get hungry every 3-5 hours and I was much too tired to get up and deal with bottles in the middle of the night, so it seemed natural to feed him myself. I slept on my right side with my son on his back next to me, my right arm sort of curled around behind the back of his head. He only had to turn slightly to his left to nurse whenever he wanted. I would wake… Read more »
Primal Migraneur
Primal Migraneur
3 years 8 months ago
I work for a State Department that deals with infant deaths on a routine basis. Co-sleeping has proven to be very unsafe in many many situations. I agree with Mark that all the things he suggests are NECESSARY to make it safer, but I wouldn’t risk it with my own child after the things I’ve seen. Also be advised that, whether you agree with it or not, parents can be charged with child abuse/neglect if something happens to the child and they violated “safe sleep” guidelines, which is a nightmare no parent should have to face. I would just strongly… Read more »
Megan @ The Ipps
3 years 8 months ago

If you do the research, all the babies that sadly died when co-sleeping were fed formula in a bottle (Formula also causes baby to sleep deeper not waking when needed) Thus, the mothers propped baby on a pillow. In addition when co-sleeping and nursing, the mother is more aware/ baby is positioned correctly to nurse and is not at risk for smothering, rolling, etc. So, instead of harping on co-sleeping being unsafe let’s talk about how giving formula to a co-sleeping baby is dangerous.

Shary
Shary
3 years 8 months ago

Getting huffy and turning a blind eye doesn’t change the facts. Also, your info regarding formula-fed babies is suspect. Where is the “research” you mention? Please provide references.

Kelli B
Kelli B
2 years 3 months ago

PAEDIATRIC RESPIRATORY REVIEWS (2005) 6, 134–152
REVIEW
Why babies should never sleep alone: A review of the co-sleeping controversy in relation to SIDS, bedsharing and breast feeding
James J. McKenna* and Thomas McDade University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, IN 46556, USA

Amy
Amy
3 years 8 months ago
If you’ve never had kids, it’s hard to know it’s like to face months or even a year or two of midnight feedings and trying sooth a human that’s far more animal than rational. To ask most competent parents to face endless sleepless nights because you’ve seen many of the rare bad apples is not helpful. Lack of sleep also sets children up for other types of abuse or neglect other than smothering. An adult without enough sleep is far less rational and more prone to leaving infants in unsafe situations or outright abuse. An infant without enough rest is… Read more »
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 8 months ago

Amy, Amy, Amy. Don’t you know that regulations are paramount to eliminating risks and hazards? I’m too stupid to think for myself and be responsible for my actions. I am extremely thankful for all the actions taken to eliminate illegal drugs, eliminate obesity, make real healthy foods more available, and the continual issuance of risk free treasury bonds that allows perpetual spending to support these lofty goals…

Jennifer K.
Jennifer K.
3 years 8 months ago
I always did co-sleeping with my babies in the Arms Reach Co-Sleeper, which is a side car that attaches to the bed. Keeps the baby in a safe environment while still being close. There were times when I did fall asleep while feeding the babies while they were in bed with me, and this is certainly a nervous situation if you roll over in your sleep or your spouse does. I do have to say that around the 6 month mark when babies are more sensitive sleepers and if you have a spouse that snores it is usually more beneficial… Read more »
Angela
Angela
3 years 8 months ago
Our third baby just turned six months and we side car the crib to the bed. There is great tips online of how to do it. I am able to nurse whenever necessary during the night. For the flip flopper nursers a secret trick I picked up is to roll yourself more onto your stomach and offer the other breast. Granted my breast size allows for this and it may not work for others, but just a suggestion. We co-slept with the other two but my biggest struggle was my middle child not wanting to wean to her own bed… Read more »
Angela
Angela
3 years 8 months ago

Another thought. My midwife asked me, “when’s the last time you fell out of bed? You’d know if you rolled on your babe.”

deb
deb
3 years 8 months ago

Been co sleeping and exclusively Breastfeeding since our daughter was born (now 6 mos). She’s our first and at age 43 I don’t know if there will be more. I am sure i sleep better with her nearby. We do not drink, smoke or take any medication and my husband has been on board from the start. I work full time and if it weren’t for co sleeping I’d see and snuggle with my little girl a heck of a lot less. I love being close to her and I know she’s safe.

Nix
Nix
3 years 8 months ago
I co-slept with my eldest son from day 1. I sort of instinctively developed a knack for not moving at all during the night! He moved into his own bed of his own accord when he was almost 3. I am now still co-sleeping every night (after the first wake up) with my 18 month old twin boys, and have done almost every night since they were born. We all sleep better, for longer, and nothing quite beats the bonding with your child through the night. It’s the most natural thing in the world, and I wouldn’t change it for… Read more »
Cathy
Cathy
3 years 8 months ago

Fully agree with Treespeed. Never a thought in my mind to have my children in my bed. That’s where Mom and Dad sleep. They slept through the night like champs pretty quickly (10 weeks and yes, I did breastfeed both kids) and they understand that they are not the center of the universe in this house. But then I’m not a fan of Dr. Sears.

Caroline
Caroline
3 years 8 months ago
I co-slept with both my babies from hour one. I had the first in Northern California, where there’s a very baby-friendly culture. The hospital room had a double bed, so the baby slept between me and my husband. I watched the two of them with amazement about 12 hours after he was born – both were asleep, in the same position. When one would move an arm, the other would follow suit. Perfect unison for hours! The second was born in Southern California, but I brought all those crazy hippy Norcal ideas with me. I was one of those high-risk… Read more »
Jo
Jo
3 years 8 months ago
I didn’t plan to co-sleep, but that was just how it played out. With my first child, a few months in, I tried using the crib and room-sharing (caving to outside pressure); I couldn’t sleep. I slept with the first child until the second was born, when my husband took over sleeping with the toddler and I started again with the newborn. I now have an 11-year-old and an 8-year-old, and our family sleeping arrangements remain “loose,” as I like to call them. We sleep in “musical beds,” depending on who feels like they might need company. For years, my… Read more »
Elvia
Elvia
3 years 8 months ago
HI! My three children always slept with us through out their early years, sometimes they seem to still want to stay there! ha ha I enjoyed it so much, you can’t get those years back, they stay little for such a short time. With my youngest, a daughter, she was only 6’8 when she was born, very cold natured. I would bundle her up and still under our covers, she slept well. As they got a little older they moved into the bassinet. Later a toddler bed, and yes still in our room. We didn’t ever push them out. They… Read more »
Sam
3 years 8 months ago

Great tips! We followed the same dos & don’ts and successfully co-slept with our daughter. I miss those days!

When we transitioned her to sleep on her own, it was a rough start but she’s sleeping great on her own now (she’s 18 months) and is a happy, healthy girl & we’re a happy family.

Jessica
Jessica
3 years 8 months ago
I didn’t co sleep with my first but we shared a room. Unfortunately, it was still far enough from me where I had to get up to nurse and it wasn’t working for us. I was exhausted and non-functional. With my second, we co-slept. My husband slept in a different room so he could get enough rest for work. He is also a heavy sleeper and I didn’t want to have to worry about him and his whereabouts in the bed. Honestly, I felt like I slept so much better when I co-slept with my second because I was able… Read more »
Tiffany
Tiffany
3 years 8 months ago

I co-slept and breastfed all 3 of my babies.

From what I understand, tragedies that happen during co-sleeping are almost always due to someone who co-sleeps *by accident.* Meaning, the sleep deprived mom who is up and down several times a night to feed her baby and put him back in the crib and then is so exhausted she falls asleep with him on the couch.

When co-sleeping is done from day one, is intentional and the guidelines (no heavy bedding, mom not under the influence of medication, etc.) are followed, it is safe.

Megan @ The Ipps
3 years 8 months ago

Formula also played a vital roll in the deaths of th babies that co-sleep.

Nix
Nix
3 years 8 months ago

Hi Megan, I’m genuinely curious as to how formula puts babies at higher risk? My babies were all formula fed due to severe supply issues on my part, but were successfully breastfed for 8 weeks (my eldest) and 6 weeks (my twins) respectively – do you believe that even such short periods of exclusive breastfeeding means they had a better chance as co-sleepers? Just a genuine question, I’ve often seen people mention that formula was problematic under the circumstances, but I’ve never heard why 🙂

Stacie
3 years 8 months ago

I believe someone else said in another comment that formula makes babies sleep deeper and they don’t wake up when they need to, which I assume puts them at higher risk for SIDS. Not vouching for the information, just passing along what someone else had said. =)

Hilary
Hilary
3 years 8 months ago

i think it’s partly the instinct of a nursing mother and partly other factors. nursing mothers will naturally position baby at boob level whereas the bottle feeder might position at face level and then baby gets involved in the pillows. propping a bottle for a sleepy baby/mom is bad news too. we are now weaned but when she comes to bed with me for a short time she’s still at boob level and i’m watchful for her safety.

Maureen
Maureen
3 years 8 months ago

The subtle knocks against those of us that have had problems and couldn’t breastfeed for long (I held on for 6 weeks, but my supply was too low, I was stressing, and my son was hungry!) always get my dander up. And I consider Megan’s constant harping on a point that hasn’t been validated by science a knock against us.

Correlation does not equal causation.

Kristin
Kristin
3 years 8 months ago

I don’t think it’s a knock against formula use in general. I think it’s more to do with those that argue against co-sleeping, suggesting that it’s dangerous – when formula-feeding has been shown to play a role in a few co-sleeping arrangements gone wrong. Co-sleeping isn’t inherently dangerous, just as formula-feeding isn’t inherently dangerous. We all do what can. =)

Hilary
Hilary
3 years 8 months ago

propping bottles probably played a role there too. babies shouldn’t have a propped bottle, they can’t turn their head away, might choke, etc

Megan @ The Ipps
3 years 8 months ago
Hi Everyone, I apologize if it sounded like as I was harping about formula being bad and all. It was more to be aware of the difference between a breastfed and formula fed co-sleeping baby. I only mention formula in one comment if I recall correctly. The other comment was in regards to being more alert to my daughter breathing. With that being said…It’s exactly what Stacie, Kristin, and Hilary said. It’s that baby sleeps deeper, which is linked to SIDS. Also, the propping of baby with a bottle, that baby is usually positioned differently than a breastfed baby against… Read more »
Ian
Ian
3 years 8 months ago

Still co-sleep with my 20month old. She’s getting big enough now and only sleeping perpendicular to mom and dad that it is time to move to her own bed. She has her own bed for naps. She’ll get there eventually. I’m in no rush. I love having her there and don’t mind the occasional kidney kick in the middle of the night. All part of the magic, right? 😀

Tricia
Tricia
3 years 8 months ago
We tried to get our first to sleep in her crib in her room since that was what we were “told” to do and that didn’t work for anyone. She cried all night and had her days and nights completely mixed around for several months. I read more about co-sleeping with my second pregnancy and chose to co-sleep with my son following much of the same advice you post above. It made such a difference and babysitters and visitors would remark at what a good sleeper he was as an infant and toddler. My third child was born this past… Read more »
Casey
Casey
3 years 8 months ago
My husband and I just had our second baby in November. Our first child slept through the night at 7 weeks and still (at almost 2years old) sleeps about 12 hours in his crib. Our little girl is proving to be the opposite. We do not have any bad habits or risk factors that Mark describes as “don’ts” but my husband is an “Active” sleeper. He often acts out his dreams in the middle of the night (I have woken up to him standing on the bed, reaching for the ceiling fan or trying to pick me up out of… Read more »
b2curious
b2curious
3 years 8 months ago
It sounds as if your husband has a form of sleep disorder classified as parasomnia, most specifically, an REM parasomnia, the most notable of which is REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD). (There are a bunch of non-REM [NREM] parasomnias.) In many other cases, there is no known cause; however it can be caused by prescription medication, most notably antidepressants, or alcohol consumption. My husband was watching a show about sleep disorders (I have a few NREM parasomnias) and it mentioned that poor sleep hygiene, sleep deprivation, and stress are all common triggers for parasomnias, though from what I could find,… Read more »
Pamsc
3 years 8 months ago

Google REM sleep behavior disorder. The standard treatment is melatonin and Clonazepam, but you might try just the melatonin and see if that helps. My husband once in his sleep took my hand, brought it to his mouth, and bit it.

Nancy
Nancy
3 years 8 months ago

Also avoid too many clothes. Babies need only a thin cotton onesie when surrounded be body heat. Heavy pajamas cause heat exhaustion.

Laurel
Laurel
3 years 8 months ago
As an experienced co-sleeping mom, I’ll point out a few observations. First, when you’re lying on your side, your legs are usually bent and drawn up. So, it’s physically impossible to roll forward with your legs in that position. (If I wanted to change sides in the night, I would scoot the baby over and get on her other side.) The very first night home with my son (3 days old), I was worried about co-sleeping and breastfeeding. That was until I saw how his flat little nose flared out to the side of the breast. No worries there. The… Read more »
Nix
Nix
3 years 8 months ago
Hi Laurel 🙂 We started slowly with our then-3 year old in bed, we’d read him his story and then say we were just going downstairs to cook, or wash the dishes, or whatever (and “we’re right downstairs if you need us”)… it didn’t work at first, but out of the blue one night my son said to my DH (who reads to him at night) after his story, “I’m going to sleep now dad, you can go and do the dishes, now”… we haven’t looked back since, going on a year now. Puts himself to sleep every night right… Read more »
b2curious
b2curious
3 years 8 months ago

My parents never co-slept with my youngest brother, however once he was in a regular bed, one of them did lay down with him until he fell asleep. I moved out when he was 6, and he still wanted someone to lay down with him until he fell asleep. I have no idea how old he was when that stopped. My 10-yr-old still likes someone to snuggle with her until she falls asleep.

Megan @ The Ipps
3 years 8 months ago
Hehe I am passionate about this topic. I’ve done lots of research, talked to many mamas, and currently co-sleep with my baby (co-slept with all four of my kids). It saved our 4th Baby’s life because she had a difficult time breathing (nose was always stuffed etc.). I was very aware if her breathing pattern changed. In addition, when you co-sleep/wear baby it actually helps Baby regulate her breathing. My husband and I love our arms reach co-sleeper. The fear of Baby rolling off the bed was put to rest. Baby hardly sleeps in it at night, but if she… Read more »
Kerry
Kerry
3 years 8 months ago
With both of our kids, we did a combination of cosleeping and bassinets and cribs. Some nights were crib nights and many nights were definitely cosleeping nights. Despite all the advice, I chuckle now to think about how my son coslept with me: we almost always ended up with me on my back and him lying on his tummy on my chest. It was simply how he slept best and it was very comfortable and felt natural. With both kids, it was so much easier to nurse them on co-sleeping nights – I slept right thru so many nursings –… Read more »
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