What’s your take: Where does your baby sleep

Well, I meant to close this poll long, loooong ago, but since I didn’t, I got a whole bunch of votes.  Here are the results:

The crib-only fans edged into the lead at the last minute, closely followed by those who employ both methods.  Trailing quite a bit behind were the dedicated bed-sharers.

As with many areas of parenting, where your baby sleeps can be a hot-button topic.  I didn’t intend to share my bed with my babies, and, indeed, tried really hard at first to sit upright while doing the nighttime feeds.  I got a big, comfy sitting-up pillow (the kind with the arms, really useful for reading in bed) and I really attempted to stay awake for the feeding and the burping.  It was a total FAIL.  I fell asleep anyways, and then I would awaken with a start, terrified that I had dropped my baby, or inflicted some other harm (G-d forbid).  The only way I could stay awake was if I nursed him in front of the computer, and then I couldn’t fall back asleep.  So I was either insanely sleep-deprived or terrified of dropping my child.

A child sleeping.
this is the goal

Then my doula told me about the magical nursing-while-laying down method, and introduced me to co-sleeping.  And I didn’t look back.

However, when I first mentioned to an acquaintance-type-person that I was sharing my bed with my baby, her horrified reaction indicated that this was not a universally-accepted practice.  So I kept quiet, but, little by little, I found more and more women who also employ this method.

My toddler now sleeps beautifully (bli ayin hara), and my baby (he’s seven months) spends much of the night in his Pack’n’play (we’re going to get a proper crib after we move, IY”H), but still hangs out with me sometimes (like, at 5 a.m.).

I’m in the process of writing a (long-overdue) post about co-sleeping for LadyMama, so if you have any opinions, experiences or information, please email me.  I’d really appreciate it!

Also, check out the new poll in the sidebar!  Can you tell I love exclamation marks?!

11 thoughts on “What’s your take: Where does your baby sleep

  1. Unless I am mistaken, you don’t have definitions to bli ayin hara nor IY”H on your glossary ;)

    that said I just put take these things baby by baby. I don’t personally like cosleep b/c I’m wiggly and toss a lot in bed, but something it’s the only way to get any level of sleep. Whatever works. I really don’t give any care to what anyone else thinks b/c they ain’t with me in the middle of the night trying to get MY baby to sleep ;)

    1. Good catch about the definitions. I have updated the glossary. Thank you!

      I feel the same way about other people’s parenting. Different things work for different people, so I’m not gonna judge. Well, if I judge I’ll at least keep it to myself.

  2. I agree with you and the comment above that it’s really nobody else’s business what works for you as a parent. Not sure why people feel so strongly they need to infringe upon other’s beliefs. Anyway, I never co-sleeped with Sophie when she was young. Not because I was against it, but because she didn’t want to. She prefered her seperate space. But over the last few months, she’s now taken to joining us in the bed in the early mornings. Not sure why this is. I don’t really mind it since it’s not as if she wakes me up at that point; just climbs into bed. I guess I’m just waiting to see how long it goes on for.

  3. I never really had a Rule about whether or not to co-sleep, I don’t really have an opinion on it either way. It depends on what works for you, your husband and your kids. I get more upset at the people who are adamant that THEIR way is the ONLY right way. Most nights my daughter went to sleep while my husband was rocking her, so she started off in the crib. Usually, though, by the 4 am feeding, I’d fall asleep nursing her and she’d end up staying until morning. I didn’t mind her sleeping close to me, but sometimes I liked having my own space. And she didn’t always like to cuddle with me, which worked fine. Probably could have used one of those co-sleeper beds/cribs, but we just used the stroller for the first month.

  4. Our experience with baby #1 was not a good one, she only wanted to sleep on her stomach and would cry otherwise, even bundled up tight. We tried a bassinet and a co-sleeping contraption. Eventually we found that the only thing that worked was when my husband would let her fall asleep on his chest so that he could always check her breathing and he slept in the futon couch so that he was immobilized in the dip. We did this until she could lift her head and turn it to the side, then we started putting her in the crib. However, I probably slept on the floor in the nursery for a week before I was completely comfortable with having her unsupervised even with a baby monitor – 1st time parent paranoia I suppose.

    With baby #2 we bought a co-sleeper that sidles right up to my bed. It was perfect for me. I could do the laying down nursing thing on my side, but could move the baby to the co-sleeper if I needed to change position and was worried about having enough room on my bed. I’m due in June and plan to do the same set up with baby #3.

  5. Thanks for the input, ladies! I think one of the reasons people may get so gung-ho about their particular parenting approach is that everyone wants to feel like they’re doing it right, you know? Parenting is an awesome responsibility, and I think that maybe the pushier opinion-people are just trying to convince themselves that they’re doing the best job they can do. Or maybe they’re just pushy. Dunno

    1. I agree, but the pushy-people seem to forget to take into account that each CHILD is different, so no single parenting approach will work the same way with children from different families, or even siblings. It’s great they feel so strongly in their views, and I’m glad it works for them, but their child is not my child.

  6. I am a mom of seven, all too old for this question. With my first, I tried co-sleeping, but I did not sleep well, so I put him in a bassinet near my bed, where I could reach him. Did the same with all of the others, and it worked out fine for me.The open-sided co-sleeper sounds great, it wasn’t invented yet when I needed it.

    The most important thing is to do what works for you and not apologize for it. If you need your space and a family bed advocate is in your face, lie to her. She’ll never know. Had an epidural, and confronted by a water-birthing devotee? Fib! What’s she going to do, subpeona your hospital records?

    Parenting is a survival marathon, not a competitive sport. Everyone wins.

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