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Does co-sleeping/bedsharing cause wakefulness

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  • Does co-sleeping/bedsharing cause wakefulness

    Hi all: A friend of mine and I who have very wakeful babies at 10 months old- My daughter wakes up anywhere between 4-6 times per night and my friend's baby has started waking every hour again (she was sleeping up to 1.5 hours at a time). We were wondering if anyone one who has bed-shared had a baby start sleeping better or longer early on in life (i.e 3 months or so). We can't seem to find any parents who have bed-shared who are getting a good night sleep and it seems like some parents who don't bed-share but have not cried it out seem to have babies who sleep better. If anyone has an experience with a baby who sleeps "well" and has bed-shared we would love to hear it because it's starting to feel like it may be the bed-sharing. I would hate to have that be the case, but wondering what other's experiences have been.

  • #2
    My 10 mo old (and my first child when he was a baby) sleep at least part of the night on a separate surface right next to my bed. I like to be untouched at least part of the night, and it seems my boys are OK with it too. This "room-sharing" is still considered co-sleeping as we are all together. Some children do need their own space, that is true, and it is our job to be responsive to that if our child's temperament leans that direction. I don't believe any statement that expresses that ALL babies or parents sleep better/ touching someone or not touching someone.
    There may be MANY issues causing wakefulness-
    it's starting to feel like it may be the bed-sharing.
    It could be teething, something going on with the parents (baby's are aware of things we may not think they are) growth period, gas, developmental stage etc.

    Try the sidecar arrangement or larger bed solution to give the baby more space but still the closeness. If you are really curious see how your babies like a totally separate space? Who knows what will happen. ALL babies will not react the same way. Mine likes being close and would not enjoy the separateness!

    My daughter wakes up anywhere between 4-6 times per night
    My 10mo old son does too, but he is teething really hardcore AND is excited about crawling and clapping and has a lot going on. Sleep can be very different depending on how your child was wired, not necessarily on sleeping location.
    Keep us updated!
    Last edited by naomifrederickmd; 08-12-2008, 12:28 PM. Reason: Forgot to speelcheck :)


    • #3
      I agree that no blanket statement can fit any parent-child relationship. I am just wondering if parents who do bed-share also have babies who are not so wakeful. Thank you for your response Naomi.


      • #4
        your questions is does bedsharing CAUSE wakefulness. i suppose to find out, you'd have to be able to eliminate CIO as an element to successful crib sleeping. i'm not sure that there are any studies on this. API's position is that routine night-waking is normal behavior for ALL children, to varying degrees. so i'm not sure that your question can be answered, especially since crib sleeping is probably uncommon here.

        now, the different question of whether those who cosleep also have children who sleep through the night, well, i won't be of any help there, either. i seem to give birth to children who are on the extreme end of nightwaking. even if there are plenty of parents here who have kids who STTN and bedshare, i don't think you could make a direct correlation there, either. nightwaking could be attributed to so many other things, bfing (hunger), teething, developmental milestones, normal sleep cycles, etc.


        • #5
          I think it really depends on what you mean by "waking". I am doing Elimination Communication and I potty my son through the night 3 or 4 times, but I wouldn't really consider this "waking" because he goes straight back down after a potty or a feed. Sometimes he will roll over in the middle of a sleep but he isn't really "waking up" to roll over. Because he's not alone he never gets to the point where he would rouse himself and cry out.

          Some people I have spoken to say that babies who are B/fed throughout the night tend to wake more often to get a comfort suck, but children who have pacifiers and sleep in separate rooms may well have a similar soothing need and just not make enough noise to alert their parents to respond to that need, so they would be considered "not waking" despite showing similar behaviours. Just a thought.


          • #6
            This is a good point, however my daughter wakes up enough that she does cry if I don't nurse her back to sleep pretty soon after. Sometimes I can just pat her or "ssshhh" her down, but mostly it's nursing back to sleep.

            So I am getting the sense that people who bed-share mostly don't have babies who sleep for periods as long as those who don't bed-share (or at least babies who don't bed-share may SEEM to sleep for longer periods of time). This could be because we are there and more likely to hear them if they wake up.

            I guess for us, most of the time it's that my daughter is definitely waking up- it's not just that she is rolling over or changing positions- I think she has a very hard time staying sleep when she comes into a light sleep cycle (because it happens mostly in a time pattern- every 1hour to 1.5 hours); sometimes it's gas as she wakes up and after nursing is able to expel it.

            So I guess for most parents and babes who bed-share there is a lot of waking up at night - that's the sense I am getting...


            • #7
              My 6 mo old will sleep for 12 hours a night. straight through, 12 hours a night. However it is because I respond to her within seconds. whether she is in her bed waiting for me to go to bed and bring her with me or she's wiggling to nurse while we're in bed together. She is easily hushed with a soothie in an instant if she's not hungry and if she is hungry she eats in her sleep. I can even rock her back down if she is sleeping restlessly without her eyes even opening.. She rarely actually wakes up because I am immediately available. so I don't sleep soundly at all to be sure I am right there to attend to her and keep her asleep so that I have to wake up and be up with her all night. It sounds like a vicious cycle that keeps her happy and me sleep deprived However my body just flows with her sleep pattern and really most days I wake up feeling just fine. I don't know if that counts as her sleeping through the night because I don't but that's us. and actually the last two nights she's only wiggled to nurse two or three times.


              • #8
                My daughter sleeps part of the night in the bassinet next to us and then with us the rest of the night. Usually she falls asleep in our arms and we put her down to get ready for bed and she'll end up sleeping in the bassinet next to me. She's 7 1/2 weeks and makes these little monster noises all night long (seriously, she sounds like a baby monster with her squeaks and spits and's very cute), but when she starts stirring to eat (which usually happens at least twice a night) I pick her up and nurse her before she totally wakes up. She usually goes between 2-3 hours, but when gassy, will wake up about every 1.5 hours. Sometimes she gets restless when she sleeps with me, and at times it's because she does want to sleep somewhere else (like next to my husband or in her bassinet solo). Even though she may be sleeping, I constantly wake up to any noise that she makes that sounds like she needs me, even if she doesn't.