Why My Son Shouldn’t Sleep in My Bed, But He Does Anyways

Co-sleeping

Babies Should Sleep in the Crib

According to the AAP ( American Academic of Pediatricians) policy for infant sleep was that they should sleep in a crib with nothing other than a firm mattress.  This seemed like common sense. Baby sleeps in the crib, and as a first-time mom, I thought this would be the case.

AAP recommendations on creating a safe sleep environment include:

  • Place the baby on his or her back on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet.
  • Avoid use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys. The crib should be bare.
  • Share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns 1 but at least for the first six months. Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.
  • Avoid baby’s exposure to smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs.

I read all this information and was sure the baby was going to sleep in the crib. No other items in the crib. Which is the opposite of what happened, lots of items ended up in the crib…

but no baby.

 

Week 1 –

This was such a rough week. He slept on my stomach, attached to a boob most the night. Then I would move him to the rock’n play ( I recommend one to every momma). Thinking once I get the hang of this he will move to the crib. 

I spent A LOT of time in bed or on the couch. We did go out to visit people because I am not a homebody. I was about to go crazy being stuck at home. No one expects a one week old to sleep in a crib. So I didn’t worry about it. It will happen I told myself. 

Month 1 –

By month 1 he was still sleeping on my stomach. I would wake just to place boob in his mouth and he would fall back asleep. Thinking once he gets the hang of this he will move to the crib. I tried the sitting up and breastfeeding and then moving him to the side. He took forever to finish nursing, so that didn’t work. When I tried to stay up by playing candy crush on my phone, I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep. Sitting there for two hours, wide awake. Only to fall back asleep minutes before he woke for next feeding. I soon learned this was not the best for my next day sanity.

Month 6 –

Still was beside me, or leaned against me. Usually ended up falling asleep with a boob in his mouth. He did not sleep through the night. Still, to this day, he does not sleep through the night. He would wake for something…then it was pacifier or boobie milk. Now, it’s for pacifier or from night terrors. My body constantly ached as he started to get heavier and heavier weighing down my chest.

I have always been amazed at how I was always so aware of him. Before I was a mom, I was a crazy sleeper! It’s shocking that I would wake up in the same position I fell asleep it. How is that even possible?! Countless mommas have experienced the same thing, but it still amazes me!

I thought, well once he gets over this growth spurt he will move to the crib.sleep

Month 8 –

Finally got him to sleep in the crib for half the night! Although, he would wake up wanting to be nursed half way through the night. When I say “got him to sleep in the crib”, I practically had to sacrifice a goat. He had his music on, pacifier, me patting his back. The works. I had to do this for at LEAST an hour every night. Once we figured out how to put him to sleep without letting him cry it out, we tried that too, he would sleep alright for a few days then he would not want to go to sleep. I was stuck on trying to get him to sleep in the crib, cause that is where he was ” suppose” to sleep.

Month 12-

Finally, we moved the crib beside the bed so I could lay down and pat his back. Still, this took forever for him to go to sleep. He fussed about it mostly. A goat was sacrificed, and finally, he would go to sleep. I was then able to have some time in bed alone. My husband sleeps on the couch, per his choice. We even have another bed, but that is just used for intimate activities.

Most the time I would have to keep my hand on Lincoln’s back in order for him to stay asleep, so getting up to be intimate with husband was a rare feat.

Thinking soon he will be able to sleep on his own.

Month 16 –

Took away crib because it was just taking up space and Lincoln didn’t sleep more than an hour or so in it and usually ended up crying from separation anxiety if awoken. One of the Best decision I made since becoming a mom. We took away his crib, put it up to use for the next baby. That we will probably never use and that’s okay. Now he goes to sleep in 10 minutes instead of 2 hours.

22 Months-

Now he goes to sleep in 10 minutes instead of 2 hours. Says goodnight, sweet dreams to his daddy. Daddy responds with dreams sweats. He sleeps peacefully for hours. I usually get up and hang out with my husband, and watch adult shows. We even get use our other bed! 

Now as I write this he is laying beside me. I would not have it any other way. This momma wishes she spent more time enjoying him lying with me instead of trying to get him to sleep in the crib. So many nights I sat beside the crib as he cried out wanting to be held. I would keep patting his back trying to get him to go to sleep.

What was the rush? I tried so hard to get him to grow up. Why did I want him so independent?

Looking back now I think I wanted my space. Breastfeeding took a lot out of me and by him sleeping in the crib, even for a few hours, got me that space. Now that I am no longer breastfeeding and he is so independent I want to be closer to him. I’m selfish that way. Being with him 24/7 isn’t enough. Give me more time with my baby. Baby Sleep

I will never go through the pain and exhaustion that wasn’t needed. The words of people do not matter. The whispers of judgment because he wasn’t sleeping through the night yet. The judgment because he would be sleeping with me and my husband was on the couch.

How were we to be intimate if he was on the couch?! Oh yes, we were intimate. When we weren’t it wasn’t because we weren’t sleeping together. We are closer because the time we spend together is together, not on a device. Before we had Lincoln we would get mad at each other because the other person was on a device. We wanted device time to relax and play games and we weren’t spending time together.

These voices still crept into my head, blogs and articles about how to get your child to sleep through the night were all I read. I should have read how bedsharing was no longer seen as unsafe.

I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. He is perfectly safe right beside me. He is safer right beside me. I finally found a study that said that new research has supported co-sleeping and bedsharing.

Check out the article by clicking here.

Then I continued to research and learn that bed-sharing and co-sleeping are the secret way for mothers all over the world. Sleeping with your child has the highest percentage rate of decreeing the chance of SIDS. I had done the right thing the whole time… but trying to rewrite myself as a mother whose child slept in a crib.

Bedsharing is amazing. In fact, as soon as I get pregnant again, we are trying now, we are putting both queen size bed and full together to make a huge family bed! There is something magical about waking up next to a beautiful child. It makes you forget all the tossing and turning that has you sleeping at the foot of the bed.

So next time someone tries to judge you for bed-sharing or co-sleeping brush it off or better yet send them the link I posted above. We need to stop judging each other and start supporting each other.

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I want to know… what are your sleeping arrangements?

28 Responses

  1. Katie says:

    I loved this! My experience is very similar to yours, and even after crying it out so they could learn to fall asleep on their own (I did this when they were closer to 2 years old) they still come to sleep with me half way through the night and that is our happy medium

    • Laura Driskell says:

      Glad you love this! We tried the cry it out method for a while! He would get even more worked up to the point of throwing up. I wish people would be more excepting in which ever way you get them to sleep! More excepting with parenting in general, but everyone wants to put in their opinions!
      Once Lincoln gets older we will give him the option to sleep in another room, but also the option to sleep with me. Maybe? Who knows! Either way, I am glad I don’t care what other people think he should be sleeping. You keep doing what you are doing! Rocking it!

  2. Both of my children have bed shared and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My daughter is 4 and STILL ends up in our bed some nights in the early morning hours. My son is 6 months and sleeps right on top of my boob basically. It is whatever works for the individual family. I know my kids won’t want to cuddle me forever, so I take what I can get! I have gotten the negativity from some people about them sleeping on their own and self soothing and being independent…my 4 year old is bull headed and independent as heck, and i co-slept, nursed, all of the attachment parenting things and it worked for us.

    • Laura Driskell says:

      Somehow I feel this is the way it is for most parents, but that its a secret thing for new parents. Which makes new parents feel guilt for their child not sleeping in their bed. Sleeping right on top of the boob makes for easy breastfeeding. My son is more independent than most babies I have come across, maybe it is due to the comfort of nighttime parenting or maybe it is just his personality. I like to think it is because of co-sleeping, makes all the kicks and smooshed sleeping worth it! So glad you could relate to this post and enjoyed reading it!

  3. Amanda says:

    My youngest daughter is 7 months, and she still sleeps in our bed every night (although not all night). When I was nursing and she was just born, she pretty much slept attached to a boob at all times lol! But eventually we switched over to bottles and moved her crib into our room. And once she starting crawling at 5 months, we couldn’t let her sleep in our bed alone! Now she starts off in the crib and sleeps until 4 or 5 am, wakes up for a bottle, and falls asleep again in our bed.
    Theres a lot of flack for co-sleeping, (and I totally understand the dangers of it) but it’s worked really well for us.

    • Laura Driskell says:

      Crawling at 5 months! Wow, that is awesome! I bet you had to babyproof things asap. My son didn’t crawl until 10 months, so we didn’t have to worry about him moving from the spot we left him. So glad it is working for you! We slept for half the night in the crib beside me, but it was such hard work to get him to go to sleep. I hate that I worried so much about it! Keep doing what’s right for your family!

  4. Jasmine says:

    This is like you know my story! For the most part my now 20month old will stay in his crib all night but occasionally Wakes up so i just let him sleep with me. if it works then I’d rather he get proper sleep however possible

    • Laura Driskell says:

      Yes us mommas need our rest! We don’t get enough as it is. Sometimes I wish he slept in a crib when he is kicking me in the side and I end up at the bottom of the bed like a dog. Other times I love it, but I stopped trying to fix things that weren’t really broken. Thank you for sharing a part of your world!

  5. Anna says:

    Ha!!! I had 4 babies in 6 years and learned VERY quickly to do what worked best for me and baby, no matter what someone else thought about it. 😉 You do you, Mama!! Thanks for sharing! Xo

  6. co-sleeping wasn’t in our plans but it just happened with every kid we had. We just had baby number 5 and guess where she is? lol I have a rock-n-play thing that I keep next to the bed that comes in handy but placing her in the crib hasn’t been successful and we aren’t forcing it. Our one year old just got the boot out of our bed lol. I enjoyed your post!

  7. Mothers Labor of Love says:

    I love this article and think it’s so true that we often beat ourselves up because of the fear of being judged when we are actually doing amazing things for ourselves and our babies. No two mothers situations are the same. It’s true, falling asleep next to my baby is a beautiful experience. I sleep trained my first but then co-slept with my second. Thanks for your post!

    • Laura Driskell says:

      Mothers are usually their worst critique. You are right, no two mothers situations are the same but it is so hard to not scroll through social media and the internet comparing yourself to others. Wondering if you are doing the best thing for your child. I am so glad you loved the post and thank you for commenting with a little about you! I love getting to know my readers.

  8. Oh I love this so much, this sounds so similar to our experience with our first. He had an undiagnosed dairy intolerance until he was 9 months and screamed for hours through day and night for the first 9 months of his life. By that point when we finally got an answer on what it was, he was so used to sleeping propped up on someone’s chest (to lessen the acid coming back up and burning his throat!) that trying to get him in his cot was a nightmare. I wish I’d never bothered. We spent months exhausted and miserable.

    With the second, I didn’t stress about it. He sleeps half the night in his cot, my husband and I get to spend some time together, then both kids end up in our bed, and I love it. The only reason I didn’t love it before was I because I was doing what I thought I was meant to be doing. I’m giving up on that now! x

    • Laura Driskell says:

      Yes! I think my son had a dairy intolerance as well but I just thought it was cluster feeding, gas, and normal baby stuff. He would fuss at night and now that he is older he had a strong reaction to milk, cheese, and other dairy products. He also had some other issues that made sleeping in a crib a nightmare but I kept trying so hard because that’s what I thought would be the best for him at the time. So glad we have both decided to stop stressing and started enjoying!

  9. The struggle is real! But as hard as breastfeeding is, I wouldn’t trade that time with my babies for the world. It’s such a precious period we only get to experience a handful of times through out our lives at most. Lol I fed on demand and bed shared and wouldn’t change a thing. I figure you do what works for you and yours!

    • Laura Driskell says:

      Breastfeeding is hard! So much harder than I thought it would be. Fed is best, but I also have a deep love for breastfeeding. I also fed on demand, which was usually every time he got a chance. Recently I found out he had an attached lip, and that he had a dairy intolerance which made breastfeeding harder but I didn’t know that was why it was harder for him to latch. I kept pushing on and he kept feeding, but was fussy a lot! It worked, and I will always wonder what I could of done better…but don’t we all?

  10. Diandra says:

    This is awesome! We bed share and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Time is flying and I love our precious moments together.

  11. Meghna says:

    I exclusively breastfed my baby for first 6 months. I continued to breastfeed her till she turned 2. We bought a co – sleeper crib and later bought a co- sleeping toddler cot. She is 2.5 years old, and we could sleep. And I don’t give a Damn to what research says. She is a happy, healthy child and I have my sanity intact ( I guess) and we are in no hurry to send her to her room.

    • Laura Driskell says:

      Yeah, my sanity is as intact as it is ever going to be! You preach it mamma! Good thing is there is research now that supports cosleeping!

  12. I’ve learned that nothing in motherhood goes the way you expect it to!

  13. Maria says:

    I had/have all three of my children as babies (still have two at 1yr and 2 yr) sleep in the bed with me. Like you, I was always aware..I don’t sleep well because I’m a light sleeper. So this helps with preventing the baby from being squished. For the last two kids, we had them in cribs, but with one side of the bars off so I can still be close enough to them. My two year old sleeps with us still.. and the baby in the crib with one bar off snugged beside our bed. But all the “you’re supposed to” isn’t for everyone. You gotta do what works for you and your family right! It’s nice that baby gets to cuddle you, but yes they eventually get bigger!

  14. Georgiana says:

    So glad you found what works for you! No one else knows what’s best for your child the way you do. My oldest was the worst sleeper EVER, and I’m so glad that all my kids sleep on their own now. LOL!

  15. 🙂 Nothing really goes according to plan, does it? I give huge props to the co-sleeping parents; it wasn’t something I was really into but love the idea of. I tried co-rooming, but I’d wake up at every noise my kids made and my mental health was suffering. I really do think it’s more common than people want to let on 😉 I’m glad to see studies are starting to back up the benefits!

  16. Kassi says:

    I am a huge fan of co sleeping! Yes, we have a crib and yes, it is in our room, but it currently acts as a laundry hamper. It is so important to do what works for you as a family and right now it is bed sharing. My babe is 11 months old and while it might be nice to have a little more space to myself, I wouldn’t trade this for the world

    • Laura Driskell says:

      So Glad you are doing what’s best for your family! And that you don’t feel bad for it! It took me forever to not feel guilty! I am enjoying it now more than ever! It’s a great bonding experience! Thanks for commenting on TWO of my post and enjoying reading them.

  17. I did not bed share, because it really scared me. My daughter slept in a bassinet right beside me for 6 months and then we transitioned her to the crib in her room. However, I have no judgments against people that bed share and can make that work for them. I completely understand why parents would want to. We’ve been through a lot of sleep regressions and difficult periods of developmental leaps, and we will have our daughter sleep with us if she has a bad night or is up too early. I love the closeness as well.

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