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7 monthes and co-sleeping

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  • 7 monthes and co-sleeping

    Hi all. Our daughter is 7 months. We have a crib next to the bed and we start her off sleeping in it every night, then she invariably ends up in the bed with us at some point in the middle of the night and remains there until morning. She's a good sleeper but wakes usually 2 or 3 times each night and wants to feed from mama before she goes back. Does she really need the milk? Did we condition her to do this and is it a healthy habit? And lastly, when is a preferred age for the transition to her own room/bed? We're pretty comfortable with our co-sleeping situation and we all 3 sleep well generally, I just want to do the right thing for healthy developement and haven't talked to many people about it. Any insight would be great. Thanks

  • #2
    Hi Nate. Those are all great, legitimate questions.

    Let’s start with "Does she really need the milk?"

    Doctors tend to look at night nursing only from a nutritional standpoint, but this is only part of the story. After the first few months, your baby will begin to associate the breast with far more than just a way to satisfy hunger and thirst. It becomes a place of comfort, security, warmth, closeness, and familiarity. The act of nursing is not just nourishing; it is nurturing. Keep in mind that these needs are every bit as real as baby's physical ones, and having them met is every bit as needful to baby's overall development.
    "Did we condition her to do this and is it a healthy habit?"
    The sleep issue is not merely a matter of good versus bad habits. It is much more an issue of culture and lifestyle and expectations.
    It is normal, natural and healthy for your baby to fall asleep nursing. Nursing babies fall asleep so quickly - how can anything so perfectly designed be worrisome?
    There are many babies who have been nursed to sleep and nursed during the night from birth who eventually learn to fall asleep on their own without the breast. You don't have to teach them to do this. They reach this as a milestone - when they're physically, developmentally, and emotionally ready to.
    Kellymom is a great evidence based breastfeeding site to find this information.
    I am assuming that you are the father and you are asking on behalf of your wife or another relative. How does your wife feel about night nursing? If she is OK with it? If she is I would let this subject rest.

    “when is a preferred age for the transition to her own room/bed?"
    This differs for each child! I transitioned my child to a low toddler bed in our room at about a year and a half and then to a single mattress on the floor in his room 6m later. I still need to do nighttime parenting but he is much more independent and is a great sleeper.

    Hope that helps... any more questions?


    • #3
      Thanks for the thoughtful response, that's what I needed. Yes I'm the father, and I suppose I was looking for some confirmation. My wife is fine with the situation, so I'll leave it alone and continue to trust our instincts.