Cosleeping Past Infancy

January 19th, 2011 by Dionna | 18 Comments
Posted in Just for Fun/Miscellaneous

This week at Natural Parents Network, we are talking about the “family bed.” I submitted a post on the benefits of cosleeping with your little ones past infancy. Did you know that children who share sleep with their parents are actually more independent and secure than their solo sleeping peers? They also exhibit fewer tantrums and handle stress better.

Who knew?!

Stop by and read more about how beneficial the family bed really is, and stay tuned for more great posts on cosleeping this week on NPN.

p.s. We are ALWAYS looking for great material to feature on Natural Parents Network. If you would like to have your work published on NPN, please read our contributor guidelines and then contact me.

Oh! I also see I have a post up on API Speaks (the blog of API International): Gentle Parenting Ideas Series: Shopping Trips. Please share it with any of your friends who have toddlers/preschoolers.

18 Responses to:
"Cosleeping Past Infancy"

  1. kaila

    We love co sleeping! It seems so peaceful and natural!

  2. Lovely article, Dionna – lots of good information. I shared it on Facebook.

  3. MomAgain@40   karentoittoit

    Great to hear about co-sleeping! Nothing as comforting also with a toddler nestled close to you! For her, but for us as well!

  4. TNmommie

    How do you handle the need for your toddler to go to sleep at 8pm and then you needing to be up and doing work or clean house after they fall asleep? What we do right now is fall asleep with the children around 8-8:30 and then wake up around 11, exhausted and too tired to do anything productive. While this works some nights, my house is a disaster and I’m not getting any work done in the evenings (and I really need to be grading papers or working on grant proposals for work – I’m a tenure-track professor trying very hard to get tenure! I can’t afford any more time away from my kids and I love sleeping with them because we get so little time together during the day. But going to bed at 8pm is not getting everything else done!

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      So it sounds like the problem doesn’t stem from cosleeping, but from you being sleepy ;) Because really – you’d *still* be parenting your child to sleep, even if it was in their own bed, right? I think most parents, regardless of where their children sleep, lay down with them at night – at least with toddlers/preschoolers.
      I would think that the solution doesn’t involve moving the child, but with making sure you don’t fall asleep. That happens to me a lot too, and it’s SO annoying, because I could be up getting stuff done. Sometimes I’ll ask Tom to come wake me up if he hasn’t heard from me for _____ minutes. What if you and your partner laid down with the kids together (for books/snuggles), but then one parent got up, while the other got them to sleep. (You could take turns, if you’re not still nursing the toddler down). Then partner could come wake the other parent up.
      I’ll ask on Facebook – hopefully you’ll get more input there!

      • Jennifer

        I’ll second what Dionna said about having your partner come get you after 20-30 minutes. That works for us when our 2.5 y.o. won’t go to sleep by himself.
        What works for us most of the time is part-time co-sleeping. I nurse him either to sleep or until he’s drowsy, then sit with him until he falls asleep in his crib. (This process of switching from 100% cosleeping to part-time cosleeping took a long time.) Then I can leave him and head downstairs for a few hours. Then at his first waking (sometimes 1 hour later, sometimes 5 hours later), I take him into our bed. This way, he still is comforted to sleep and gets to sleep with us as much as he wants, but I still get some adult time most nights.
        That said, if you are 100% cosleeping, maybe just staying in a more upright position would help you stay awake while you’re nursing or comforting your babe to sleep. Good luck, mama!

  5. Ashley   ashleympoland

    I loved co-sleeping, but I swear we were in the minority of parents with it: our son never slept well, and he tends toward temperamental.

    That said: it was NOTHING compared to when we tried to get him sleeping alone before he was ready. Making the decision to transition him to his crib was a hard one, and we still bring him to bed at 5AM every day when he wakes up to nurse and snuggle. Family snuggle time in bed is pretty much the best part of the day.<3

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Ashley – there were a few people who shared that experience in the comments on the NPN page – about how their little ones simply didn’t sleep as well in the family bed. Everyone is different!

      • Ashley   ashleympoland

        Oh, definitely; almost all of families I know thrived in the family bed, and I’d encourage people to try it, especially if they’re breastfeeding. I’m pretty sure co-sleeping is one of the two things that kept us breastfeeding past that 6 week maternity leave. (I was so convinced that co-sleeping was dangerous before my son was born, lol.)

  6. Chrystal @ Happy Mothering   HappyMothering

    We still co-sleep with our 2 1/2 year old and our 11 month old. It definitely gets more complicated when you have 2 little ones!

  7. melia

    we have the same problem, with one or both of us falling asleep as i nurse the 6m old babe down and dad lies next to the 3yo till they are both asleep. if i manage to stay awake i wake him up and we sneak out of the room, but i always thought about how if i had a pager or a cell phone with a vibrate option that is what i’d use, because sometimes me sneaking back into the room to get dad wakes them both up..that way i could just call him and wake him up!

  8. The ArtsyMama   The_ArtsyMama

    @TNMommie I’ve had the same problem. I decided to leave the house cleaning until the weekend and will just straighten up as we go during the week. I bring a laptop with a privacy screen to bed to work. I also try to get as much of my grading done before I get home. Another thing may be to sleep longer and wake earlier for the day.

  9. kim

    @tnmommie falling asleep like that annoys me too…. Sometimes. Sometimes uprobably really do need the rest. Things that gave helped me is having my hubby come check on me in 10 min, before I have time to fall asleep, having a cell phone to play with, or having a book with a small bookmark reading light.

  10. Kristi

    @TNmommy: I went through that as well… I found that an iPod with a book on tape helps!! Load it up with a good book and listen while nursing! If you’re exhausted, you’ll still fall asleep, bit if you’re only a little tired, the book will keep your focus :)

  11. Holly

    Thanks Dionna for another great article. :) We didn’t start bed sharing with our daughter until 7 months (she was in a pack n play beside me before then) and have just recently moved her to her own bed (22 months at the time). I still lay down with her at night even though she doesn’t nurse really to sleep anymore and if she wakes in the night I go to her room to sleep the rest of the night. I think she just likes to have me close. I love snuggling with her too. :) I also don’t know anyone who cosleeps although I highly recommend after doing it myself especially as a working mom who BF. It made the night wakings much easier. I will second the struggle with falling asleep after my daughter goes to sleep and will definitely have to try having my husband come get me after a certain amount of time in case I fall asleep.

  12. Karyn   kloppenmum

    We have three children, one who is nine and still co-sleepign with us – so we have a team-tag approach. I go to bed with our highly sensitive five year old, while hubby watches the other two,then he lies with the nine year old, then I put the toddler to bed. This depends on when the toddler has had his last sleep, of course…sometimes all of us are in the bedroom together. If hubby puts both older boys to bed I always go in at 8.30pm and wake him up

  13. Karyn   kloppenmum

    And, it took our eldest 6 months to stop being restless in bed with us.

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