Co-sleeping families: are your older kids able to go to sleep without you?

Posted by
By: Sonya GreenCC BY 2.0
I have read plenty of articles on co-sleeping on Offbeat Families, and I understand that many of your readers practice it. I know that you have done the topic ad nauseum, but what I cannot find on your website is information on “bedtimes.”

Let me explain more: I have not yet fallen pregnant, and already I have every mother I know telling me to sleep train. Women who co-sleep are social pariahs, and my family regard the biggest mistake that a mother can make as “taking baby to bed with you.” Friends who have babies who go to sleep at a particular bedtime attribute this to sleep training, and are able to lead fairly pleasant social lives after 7pm because of it. Some women I know even claim that baby sleeps through the night from the get-go with sleep training.

Now, I personally don’t see the importance of sleeping through the night at a young age, but I am secretly afraid of co-sleeping, only to have a toddler that never goes to sleep and all my female relatives tutting their disapproval behind me.

So, I would like to know whether or not families who co-sleep experience difficulties in getting baby to sleep at night that parents who sleep train don’t experience, and if your kids ever have a problem in sleeping without you? — Carmen

Comments on Co-sleeping families: are your older kids able to go to sleep without you?

  1. Another data point for you:

    My first son slept our bed till he was 4. He occasionally slept in his own bed from 2-4 and he slept perfectly fine at sleepovers at Grandma’s, etc. I slept really well, as did my husband, during those years.

    When his brother was born, the rule was “big boys don’t sleep with babies” so he went into his own bed. He also started JK a few months later so it was EASY to get my tired fella into bed at 8pm-ish every night with a book or just a little cuddle. Heck, on weekends when we were distracted and he was allowed to stay up later, he sometimes put himself to bed without even telling us!

    When his little brother was 16mths old, we got a bunk bed. THe little fella LOVED that he got the bottom bunk and immediately and forever after slept there – sometimes he’d crawl in with his brother when older. With the bunk bed double bed time, I started reading Harry Potter to my older son. The younger listened along and was usually fast asleep after a couple pages.

    Now, they are 9 and 6 and we sing a song together (Wonderful by My Morning Jacket) and a song I made up, “Goodnight, goodnight, I hope you sleep tight and have happy dreams. Goodnight goodnight, I hope you sleep tight and smile while you sleep” 🙂 A kiss goodnight and they are straight to sleep.

    If they are sick they can sleep with us. Occasionally we welcome one of them in the middle of the night after a bad dream, but 99% they go to bed with no problems.

    It’s not a universal truth, of course, but for us, switching from co-sleeping family bed to solo sleep in their own beds was totally and completely painless and happened in one night.

    Best advice for a new parent I have: follow your gut. If what you are doing feels right, keep doing it. If what you are doing fills you with anxiety, find a new way to do it better for all of you. 😀

  2. FYI- I’m typing this reply one handed with my 5 year old snuggled in one arm, sleeping next to his 7 year old brother. We have co-slept with both of them for the better part of their lives. We have gone through many phases and transitions during this time (trying to get them to fall asleep without us, laying with them while they fall asleep, a family bed, them sleeping in the same room but not the same bed, the list goes on). I am finally in a place where I will happily lay with my boys and let them sleep wherever they feel most comfortable. I savor these moments where they are peacefully sleeping, snuggling in my arms after a long day of busy family life. I may sacrifice an hour of alone time in the evening, but I wouldn’t trade this for anything.

  3. We were cosleepers from day one and it has been the most beautiful and cozy experience for our family of three. That being said, we have our second baby on the way and learning to have independent sleep routine has been a gradual and non-scarring experience for my 2 year old. at 1 1/2 years old we took the front off of the never slept in crib and I nursed him to sleep in it. It takes a little twisting (I mean angling my body to BF) but he was always fell asleep in 5 minutes. Now he is weaned and goes to sleep in his bed with 5 minutes of rocking and 5-10 minutes of laying in his bed with me (or his dad) sitting close by. He still wakes up in the middle of the night and climbs into bed with us but hopefully this will end before the next baby gets here. I absolutely would not trade the cosleeping for anything. Yes, it would be great to have a baby that slept easily and through the night but it is also a magical moment to wake up and see my husband sharing his pillow and spooning with the baby or the sweet “Morning Mama!” accompanied by a gentle pat on my cheek. Also, screw what your family thinks. The proof is in the pudding. When your sweet baby is here and very obviously thriving because of all of the love and 24 hour support you will give him then the naysayers will shut their traps.

  4. Oh, and one more thing. Your family does not need to know every detail of your life. My husband and I made that agreement early on. When people asked for the millionth time how the baby was sleeping (seriously the question never goes away) we always said “Great! He sleeps xx hours of sleep at night and is a happy boy!” No one even asked WHERE he slept and it didn’t matter.

  5. I’m the girlfriend of a 50% parent and sleeping has always been an issue for his daughter as she moves back and forth from Mom’s to Dad’s. I don’t believe they co-slept with her when she was a baby, and for as long as I’ve known her (3 years), she’s had her own bed… but bedtime between the two houses is inconsistent and in the last year, Mom decided to try co-sleeping.

    I can definitely say that introducing co-sleeping to a toddler (4 years old) having never had it before did NOT help her sleep habits. She struggles more now than she used to with falling asleep, she wants her father to sleep with her in her bed (instead of climbing into ours), and she’s started waking up in the middle of the night two and three times.

    We respect that Mom wants this to be a bonding thing for them, but it’s not something my boyfriend really wants to do (and frankly, I don’t either – both Dad and Daughter are Cover Thieves and I can’t take them both on at once). I’ve tried reading to her at night while Dad sits on her bed to try and get her calm enough to sleep on her own and that seems to help — she’s still awake when we leave the room, but she doesn’t pitch a fit like she used to. She’s still getting up over and over again, though :-/

  6. I was co-slept and the transition from my parents to by myself was a little hard on me. Why? Because i got cold and was afraid of the dark. My mom figured this out after a while; left the bathroom light on, got me fluffy blankets and promised that if i ever needed her, she would be there. And she did, laying next to me late at night until i dosed off then sneaking off to her bed unless she fell asleep with me.

  7. We bed shared from day one and my daughter is nearly one year old. Besides my sheer selfishness of not wanting to get up to nurse, bed sharing is great for bonding, longer periods of sleep and especially when they are sick!

    Around 7:30p, we put our daughter to bed (either I nurse her or my husband rockers her) then we can both get up and come to bed later. My husband works 4 nights a week so sometimes I just stay in bed with our daughter and use my phone or laptop until I go to sleep. I expect we’ll put a toddler bed in our room for her in the next 6 months or so and she can sleep in either bed.

    Historically humans slept in close proximity. When wild animals were near, humans slept in groups for safety and warmth. It’s perfectly natural for our babies to feel safe and fall asleep either near their parents.

    Silence (crying then stopping crying and falling asleep) is our body’s way of giving up on getting attention/help and a fear response. Yes, babies will eventually stop crying and fall sleep but that is not the only way.

    Many people are very concerned with being inconvenienced by their child(ren) – that they brought into this world – but at the most its a couple years in comparison to the rest of their (and their children’s) lives.

  8. I co slept with my now 4 year old, and am currently co sleeping with my new baby. I don’t know whether or not the baby sleeps better but I know that I do. if she wakes in the night I barely even have to get more than half awake to start feeding so she will cry less have less gas form crying and be over all less fussy. I have a crib for her and if im going to be up for a wile she sleeps in that. later in life (my older kid)iv not had any issues other than the normal I just don’t want to go to bed and now and then she will wake up because of a bad dream and climb in bed with me the hubby and the baby. but she was very willing to sleep on her own once she was a year old and I started having her go to her own bed a few times a week

  9. First of all, the females around you will tut-tut no matter what you do. Find what works for your family and ignore them.

    Second, in all families I have seen who practice co-sleeping, the children at one point insisted on their own room and bed without having to be coaxed. They just grow up and decide this is what they want.

  10. I’m pregnant with my second and the first still sleeps with us. He’s 2 now and let me point out, him sleeping with us does NOT mean that we go to bed at the same time! Right now, it’s almost 3am — Our son went to sleep in our bed around 9pm and hasn’t woken up once since then. Sometimes he does wake up a few times, but there is no real difference between where he is now and him being in his own room. If we wanted to, we COULD put him down in his own room for at least the first half of the night… but I like going to bed with him there. We have plenty of space, it’s not crowded, so why not. I know I’ll miss it someday!

  11. First caveat: every kid is different, every kid will react differently to sleep transitions.

    We coslept with our now-6-yr-old son until he was around one and a half. The transition was long and at times frustrating, but now he is one of the soundest and most secure sleepers I have ever seen.

    One thing we did that helped was that we transitioned him not into a crib or toddler bed, but a twin mattress on the floor. This let us lie down with him until he fell asleep. We got him taking naps independently first. Then he would sleep alone for the first half of the night and climb in with us later, and then later still, until now, he can go to bed completely independently, and on a weekend, he will get up and dressed and head downstairs to play without waking us.

    I’d say the keys, for us, were taking it very very slowly, listening to our instincts, and ignoring any traditional advice*. Your kid is who they are, and they’ll grow up at their own pace, not yours 😉

    *In particular, the traditional advice about “stay with them until they are drowsy but not asleep”. That never ONCE worked for us.

  12. I’m going to give you my own honest thoughts on this, which are a bit conflicted…

    My daughter is 15 months old, and yes, she has a lot of trouble falling asleep on her own. Last night I went out with a friend (leaving her at home with her dad) and it was rough on her… she DID fall asleep with him (on the sofa– he felt that might be easier than getting her to sleep in the bed), but she kept waking up and crying, and looking for me throughout the house. On the other hand, he survived, she survived, and I don’t feel like I have to be a social pariah, but it does make me pick and choose my nights out very carefully. When I’m home on a normal night, it’s hard for her to sleep by herself, so some nights I don’t even get up and just read or work in bed after she goes to sleep. She’ll stay asleep for about 30-60 minutes on her own before waking and crying. (For a bit we were trying to transition her to a crib next to her bed, and after she had cried her way to sleep alone, she would usually sleep for two hours or so independently… until she hit illness/teething, and then it was a half hour of crying to get her to sleep, followed by about a half hour of sleep, followed by more crying, so we decided to just go back to normal co-sleeping.) She also takes all of her naps on me, which I realize many people would think is crazy if I told them, so I don’t. 🙂 The nap situation actually works wonderfully for me, because I work from home via my computer, so I’m stuck on the couch with her as she naps and get a lot done (as opposed to attempting to do 1,000 things during her naps like many of my friends). So that’s the downside… in my opinion, it IS real and this kind of dependence on me for her sleeping IS probably fostered by co-sleeping, because she loves sleeping right next to me and understandably feels less secure if I’m not there.

    That said, there are also a lot of upsides to this for me. For example, because *I* am her sleep association– not a crib in her nursery, or a special noisemaking machine, or a stuffed animal, or whatever– she sleeps great anywhere I happen to be, whether this is in the ergo (a great way not to be a social pariah at family events when she was a bit littler– I would just pop her in the ergo and wear a wrap around my shoulders so she can nurse and go to sleep), in my lap in a plane, in a strange bed on vacation, on a park bench, wherever. 🙂 I’ve read more in the last year than I actually did pre-kid… while I was pretty likely to spend my evenings watching TV before, now I’m more likely to spend a few hours in the evening reading a book. It does mean I see my husband a bit less in the evenings (though, ahem, she’s a really deep sleeper in the middle of the nights with the lights off…), but I think he actually likes to have some alone time in the evening too. More and more, I AM able to get up and leave her alone in bed, so I do see progress in the right direction. I also get more sleep because I’m less tempted to pack in a bunch of things to do after she goes to sleep. Am I a little jealous of my friends who can go out in the evenings and hire babysitters to do nothing whatsoever? Yes, sure! But at the same time, I absolutely love the closeness I feel with my daughter, I love the lack of stress in our bedtime routine, and I actually love the rhythm this gives to my life. Now that she’s older, we deal with late family events by letting her stay up past her bedtime, and I deal with intrusive family questions through half-truths… yes, we have a crib in our room for our daughter! She sleeps great at night!

    I’m honestly not sure what I’ll do with our next kid, but right now, this is what “works for us” looks like.

    • Oh, one more plus: I feel I sleep a lot better because we cosleep. This was definitely true when she was younger, and it would be true now during a sleep-training transition… she still nurses a bit throughout the night, but I barely have to wake up when she does, and it’s easy to deal with the ebb and flow of her night-nursing as she goes through teething and such. Of course, she might be sleeping through the night on her own now if we didn’t co-sleep, so I could be trading short-term benefit for long-term gains, but this is probably my biggest motivation to keep cosleeping, if I’m honest about it. Plus, I think I think I like sleeping better with a toddler to cuddle with… I might need to get a transitional object if she goes into the crib!

  13. I have a backwards co-sleep example. I have 3 daughters – all of which we did not co-sleep with as babies. They slept in their cribs and i nursed them and put them back in their cribs. For every child when it came time to transition them to beds they were fine going down and would naturally wake in the night (always at the same time) and make their way to our bed. They all did this from about 2.5 years thru’ 4/5 years. Then they seemed to grow out of it. However, all of them will sleep with us when they are sick – they want to be close as we do to them. My youngest is the only anomaly with respect to going down to sleep. She likes to start sleeping in our bed with me lying down with her. She is asleep within 5 minutes. When we go to bed we move her to her bed. She stays there for 95% of the time through the night. She wanders to us if she wakes or if she is sick. Last night I had one sick kid and 1 wanderer in our bed. It works fine and as I say it can often be ‘musical beds’ – but we do what we need to do for kids to feel safe, parents to feel they have kids close when needed and everyone to get sleep.

  14. We slept with all four of our children and all of them sleep on their own now except for our youngest. (She goes to bed in her bed but still climbs in with us every night, she is 5.) I loved every second but I spent the first year of my oldest childs life feeling guilty and worried that I was messing her up for life. Then we were able to get her to sleep on her own before the next baby came relatively easy and I knew all the haters were wrong. Follow your instincts about what is best for you and your family.

  15. The best advice I ever received about parenting (but via a sleep related question) was “Do what works for you until it doesn’t work anymore, then try something else.”

    I never planned on co-sleeping – was afraid of roll-overs, etc. But around the 5/6 month mark I started falling asleep with my daughter next to me (after having gotten her for a nursing) and guess what?!? Lo and behold she and I both started getting more/longer stretches of sleep at night. At that point I was all about more sleep.

    She’s now 3 and we’ve gradually worked toward the point we’re at now which is me nursing her (down to 30 sec. on each side), laying with her til she falls asleep and then me going to bed (whenever that is) in our bedroom across the hall. She usually sleeps about 8 hours alone then calls out for me around 5am when I go back in with her and lay down for another 1.5/2 hours until we get up.

    We started this whole process by me doing the first part (nursing, laying with her til sleep, moving to my room) and me going in to lay down with her whenever she called (maybe 1 hour into sleep time). I then tried saying to her “I’m coming…” and then waiting to see if she’d fall back to sleep. Sometimes she did, sometimes she didn’t. She then progressed to falling asleep more often than not the first time she called out. This gradually worked down to where we are now. Occassionally she sleeps the WHOLE night through without calling out for me.

    I think this gradual process got her used to sleeping on her own and knowing that if she kept calling for me I’d come in to her. Every once in awhile she asks me where I am at night and I let her know where I sleep and that if she needs me I’ll come to her.

    I think it’s helped make her more secure overall. Also, just to note I’m a working mom so am not home during the day and feel like our time at night somewhat makes up for when she misses me – she knows I come home after work, knows I’ll be with her to go to sleep.

    And basically what everone else has said – you just have to figure out what works for YOU and YOUR child and go with that. If co-sleeping isn’t working, try moving them to their own bed. If having them sleep on their own isn’t working, try co-sleeping.

    The only other caveat I’d put in there is to research SAFE co-sleeping to ensure your child’s health. I think that’s what most caring family members/friends are worried about is the safety/health of the child when they “dis” co-sleeping.

  16. I sleep trained (CiO) with my first, because I didn’t know any better. He went to sleep at 8 in his own room, would wake once or twice at night for a feeding, and stay in his crib until 8 the next morning. It was pretty convenient that I always knew when he went to bed and could plan social type things after that.

    My second one co-sleeps. In general, he’s been a much needier baby, but he just sleeps better when I’m around. I can indeed get frustrating that I have to be there to put him to sleep (most of the time) and that my social life has to revolve around his light sleeping and needing to cuddle, but honestly, it’s SO worth it. I’m SO much closer to him than I ever was to his brother. He is more outgoing, despite being needier (which I think is a personality difference, not a nurturing difference) than his brother.

    I honestly can’t tell you which is better, and I’m sure it differs greatly depending on each parent and each baby. What is good for one family, won’t work for another. What is good for one baby might not work with the next. I just wanted to give you my experience with both.

  17. My own experience was one of off-and-on co-sleeping during my son’s first year. Nobody is paying me to say this, but I had a great, wonderful experience with once he was 14 months old and became impossible to sleep with or near or to sleep at all. It was hard for me at first, because they customized a plan for us that was nice and mellow but still had “sleep training” elements.

    Basically? With my particular child, it turned out that his changing sleep needs meant that he was needing more space, privacy, and independence for solid and long sleeps. Keeping up with co-sleeping for us would have been a matter of selfishness for *me*. (Not implying that that is the case with other parents.) We did go back to co-sleeping for a while, age 20 months, when his dad ended up in the hospital for several months. Even then, when my son and I really needed each other so much, I could tell that my being in close proximity, even sleeping next to his crib but not *with* him, was making him wake up earlier every day.

    So for us? Our co-sleeping stages earlier on did not result in forever-co-sleeping. It was hard to make the transitions, but I ended up feeling happy about them. And I genuinely believe it was harder on me than on my son. I just had to stick with it the first week and then watch him start getting really good sleep.

  18. I have no problem with co-sleeping, do what works for each kid.
    The problem is here in Milwaukee we have had an average of one baby squished in bed to death by the mother every five weeks since January 2009. The latest died at four days old. His mom took percoset with vodka, woke up when the daddy handed him to her to nurse five hours later. The dad found the baby dead between the mom and the couch two hours later.
    So, if you value your child less than booze and drugs…

  19. I think it is a decision you have to make after you have a baby, you never know what your child’s personality is going to be like or what issues may arise once your little on comes along. I was totally against cosleeping when I got pregnant, I wanted my freedom and told by every woman I met co-sleep will ruin your life. Well My little girl is 6 weeks old now and I am cosleeping, it was the best decision I ever made! The first 2 weeks of her life were hell for me. She had a tounge tie that was overlooked by the doctors so she had a latch problem that left her hungry and cranky and eating constantly because I refused to formula feed or bottle feed. So sleeping with her made her less cranky and both of us much less tired.It was actually one night in bed with her i noticed something was wrong with her tounge. I think you have to go with your gut if it feels right do it! As for all the haters they aren’t the ones dealing with your baby at 3 am so they have no say lol.

  20. I have had 3 co sleepers n 1 child who loved her crib. I personally prefer co sleeping, the closeness, not having to get out of bed for a late night feeding. All kids however were on a schedule. All had a route teen bed time (which was not my bed time) and route teen nap schedule. A baby will clue you in were they are most comfortable sleeping. My daughter who used the crib was forced in our bed for first 6 weeks while her brother (15 mo older) was forced in the crib because of the new baby. Needless to say neither were happy and no one slept til one night I switched them. My son returned to our bed and my little baby slept the best she ever had in the crib. And we didn’t turn back. Our last started in the crib but it was obvious that was not her comfy spot. At 3 is when I switched them out of our room. Even our crib sleeper slept in our room til 3. The switch was a slow process which started with a toddler bed next to our bed. Then after they got used to that I would “clean” and rearrange the room a little so the bed was closer to the door. When that was comfortable it was time to introduce the big kid room with a new big bed just for them. Usually they were so excited that the transition went smoothly. Alot of cultures around the world sleep with thier children, its not new, and it seems more natural than letting baby be in another room while you pet is on your bed. I dont know why it has such a stigma in the US . But as a parent you learn to let those opions of others go and follow your own heart. For it really knows whats best for you baby.

  21. I am still co-sleeping with my 2 year old. There have been times when it’s been frustrating, but we worked through it because co-sleeping was important to us and my son needed it. E always needed my touch to settle when he was a newborn and still does need to, occasionally, reach out his hand and make sure I’m still in the vicinity at night. I still have to put him to bed at night, but that’s not a problem. I don’t have a kid who is crying and begging not to go to bed, he happily snuggles in and we read a story then I lay next to him while he falls asleep. Then I ninja-roll off the bed and have a few hours to myself. Of course, it’s evolved into this. There were many nights when he was tiny when I couldn’t leave the bed, but I wouldn’t change a thing about it. He still wakes up at night sometimes but there is no way to prove he wouldn’t be if I did things differently.

    Anyway, like most people said, it really just depends on the individual needs of your child. Some babies don’t like it from day one, some change after a few months. I don’t care if my son sleeps in the bed til he’s 4, but that’s just me! People will judge your parenting up and down no matter what you do, so you might has well just do it your way!

  22. When my daughter was born, we co-slept. I received mixed reactions, and a lot of those horror stories of having a teenager unable to sleep in her own bed. Maybe I got lucky in having an independent child who can sleep anywhere, I don’t know. All I know is that co-sleeping was much easier than hauling my weary self to my daughters nursery every two hours. And when she started sleeping six full hours, my husband and I started talking about putting her in her crib. Which she hated. We started to think we made a mistake, but decided to just use the crib for overnights at grandmas house (which she’s okay with) and turn her nursery into one big crib. She was eight months old. We put a comfy futon mattress on the floor (she can crawl off of it without bonking her head), covered it in soft blankets, often piled up to make a sleeping nest, and lined the wall around it with body pillows and stuffed animals. We put her dresser and heater behind a baby gate and have toys all over the place. She’ll either play or drink herself to sleep and will typically wake up and play for about an hour before she cries for us.

    That being said, take everyone elses experiences with a grain of salt. Every baby is different. Just do whatever feels right for you and your family.

  23. My son has never been a good sleeper. When he was an infant he was up every 90 minutes to feed around the clock. The sleep deprivation was awful. I switched from breast feeding to formula at around 2 months against everyone’s advice, but it allowed him to sleep in 3 hour cycles which was a miracle for me. At the time, I would try to put him to sleep in his crib, but usually brought him into my bed by the second time he woke up. As he got older, I tried really hard to sleep train. I tried everything to get him to go to bed, but he would stay up crying for hours. He still woke up twice a night for the first two years. My pediatrician would tell me to let him cry it out and he would eventually start sleeping better, but my son is so stubborn he would cry for hours without even laying down. Our neighbors yelled at me. My family was incredibly unsupportive. When he would stay with family, they would co-sleep with him, even though I asked them not too. It was horrible. Eventually, I started putting my son in his crib and sat with him until he fell asleep. Then when he woke up at night, I would bring him in my bed.

    My son is 5 now, and he still is a terrible sleeper. My fiance and I lay down with him until he falls asleep, which usually takes about an hour. Then he wakes up and comes into our bed during the night. He usually wakes up a few times while in our bed as well. I’m still completely sleep-deprived. It has its ups and downs. I was a single mom for his first three years and the sleep deprivation was almost unbearable. Now, it really helps to have a partner to trade off laying down with him and waking up with him. I miss sleeping through the night. All of our moods can take a turn for the worse when we’ve been up. I also get sad sometimes when my fiance falls asleep while waiting for the kid to fall asleep, because that means I don’t get any one-on-one time with him. I also get sad when one of us has to get out of bed in the middle of the night just to get a few solid hours of sleep before work. Then again, there is nothing better than waking up and immediately looking at my kids eyes. When he smiles and says good morning, my heart melts. It’s also really comforting to me to feel his warmth, and feel his little body curled up next to me at night. There is no better feeling in the world.
    A few months ago, I was asked to have his tonsils removed. The ENT doctor thought his tonsils were causing him to have sleep apnea. We had his tonsils removed, and he still doesn’t sleep. (He does eat much much better though.) After that, the ENT told me that some kids are just like that. It doesn’t matter if you co-sleep, sleep train, stand on your head, whatever, they just don’t sleep. I have friends who co-slept, and friends that sleep trained and have kids that have slept 6 to 8 hours a night since they were infants. I honestly believe a lot of it is luck of the draw. Do what’s best for you and your kids. You are the only person in the world that knows what that is. Good luck!!!

  24. I ascribe to the following rule, which I’ve heard from both childcare specialists and other parents: whatever situation provides for the best sleep for everyone in the house is what’s going to be best for you and your family. In our case, co-sleeping with our daughter until she was about four months old was a lifesaver for my own sleep, because I could easily breastfeed her before she even woke up. However, as she got older and slept longer in the night, every time she adjusted in her sleep I was up, even if she wasn’t actually waking up. I finally had to move her to her bedroom so I could get a better night’s sleep. She still woke up once or twice every night until she was about 13 months old, and I always went in to feed her and comfort her (she’s now two years old). I think she and I both slept/sleep better with the situation we have had than co-sleeping, but I know plenty of other moms that feel more at ease with a co-sleeping arrangement.

  25. We have a five year old, who was just always a brilliant sleeper, and a two year old, who isn’t. With our two year old we have had all sorts of arrangements for all sorts of phases. We have nothing against the idea of co-sleeping (but I don’t usually sleep well with someone close beside me and wiggling) So we have co-slept when it has been needed. Often the arrangement was that she went to sleep in her cot in the evening, and later when me and her Dad came to bed she would wake and come into bed with us. Recently she has moved into a big bed, and she must have been ready because her sleep has gotten so much better. But a couple of times a week me or her Dad still end up climbing into her bed and staying there to help her sleep 🙂

    As for other people judging, and disapproving. Well, admittedly that has happened. I never got to find out wether when she was co-sleeping she would go to sleep for other relatives. Noone would help me seeing as I had ‘brought it upon myself’. However she is still quite high needs at night and my Mum will sometimes (if grudgingly) babysit. It has been tough sometimes with little help and alot of dissaproval, but I am so proud I didn’t give in, and really pleased I have done this for her.

    Also, I think the best advice I have heard about sleep is the arrangement where everyone gets the most sleep and is happiest is the best arrangement. So really do whatever works for your family at the time!

Read more comments

Join the Conversation