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Pediatrician and Co-sleeping issues

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  • Pediatrician and Co-sleeping issues


    This is my first post, and I am hoping that someone has been thru a similar situation to myself and can help. My son is 6 months old and we have been co-sleeping since he was born. He sleeps in the co sleeper next to me most of the time and when he had a rough day (a shot, or a cold) we'd pull him into bed with us and in the mornings around 5am we'd pull him in as well. We have a big cal king with a firm matress, so it's very cosleeping friendly. I loved this arrangement and my son was a marathon sleeper (9pm-7am) at 4 weeks old.

    As of about 3 weeks ago he came down with some congestion and wasn't sleeping well in the arms reach ********* so I started pulling him in with me at about midnight. The sleeper has always been the best option for us, but we have dogs in our room that snore as well as my husband's snoring and it's waking him up now. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the closeness of cosleeping, and I am an absolute advocate of it and the many benefits it brings. Although for us, it's not quite cutting it. I am waking up all night because of course, the little one wants to nurse all night when he's in bed with me. We've tried the crib thing, because of what a great sleeper he is, but it didn't work. Soon as he wakes up he looks for us and starts wimpering when he sees I am not next to him.

    Today he had his 6 month well baby visit, and the dr (who is pro AP) suggested that he needs to be in his crib by this age or he never will be. Yes, I've heard this before, but I really wasn't ready for this. Also, he told me he firmly believes the only option to get babies adjusted to a crib is the (cringe) CIO method. This SUPRISED me since he claims he "pro" AP. I was planning on buying the Oringinal size sleeper and keeping him in with us til he outgrew it or was clearly ready for his crib in his own room. I was also contemplating switching to a more natural and more AP friendly Ped. Who knows....

    So I am totally confused, we need sleep. I love being close to my son, I wear him throughout our days together and he naps very closely during the day (sometimes pack n play near me, sometimes on our bed if Im near, etc). We have been completely AP up to this new challenge we are facing. Any insight anyone has would be amazingly helpful, as I am at a loss as to what will get us sleep and my little one back to his comfortable and enjoyable sleeping habits he had for 5 wonderful months.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    anyone, pediatrician or not, who suggests CIO is NOT "pro-AP". he/she does not truly understand what AP is. and it is absolutely untrue that if he doesn't go in his crib now, he never will. both of my children slept w/us until at least age 3 (my youngest still does sometimes) and now, at 6 and 3, sleep nearly entirely on their own, in their own room. this transition was THEIR choice. i never forced them into a crib. your child WILL sleep on his own, when he is ready, not when your pediatrician says he should.


    • #3
      Yes, I agree that what ever that Doc labels himself--He is NOT APish!

      So when your baby was sick you slept with him next to you. Then I assume he got better but is now used to being next to you. You feel a need for more space. The simple solution is to get him used to sleeping just out of reach of you again.
      I understand, I like my space too! I like to be able to turn around without waking a child.
      He will have to be convinced of his new sleeping space right next to your bed, as you said you like it. I have done a futon mattress right next to our bed so I can lay with a child then move to my own area. The solution does not have to be drastic and final as that doc suggests.
      Let us know how it goes!


      • #4
        Your ped is right. When your child is 18, he'll go to collage and still come home to sleep in your bed at night.

        I mean really... Never? Come on... In my experience (I've known several people to co-sleep, including myself), the child may sleep with you for a couple years, but the transition into their own bed usually comes much smoother. Babies learn a lot of things from us, and that includes how to sleep. If your child has positive sleep experiences (ie. comfort and security at night), he/she is more likely to sleep better alone, than one forced to do it because "mom or dad says they have to". IMO, all this teaches them is that we're not always there for them, and they learn to give up, rather than being secure in the fact that we're always there for them when they need us. To put that on a 6 month old baby, goes against attachment parenting.

        If you're really concerned about what that transition will be like, you can always do what we did and trade your crib for a twin or double size mattress, and babyproof his room (we also used a babygate on her door), or just put the new bed on the floor of your room. This is what we did with our daughter at around 6 months old. I lay with her until she's near sleep, then sneak out. She is now 13 months old and still calls out for us in the middle of the night, but as soon as she sees me walk into her room (and sees that she's NOT alone), she will crawl back into bed all by herself. A little tuck and kiss is all she needs to get back to sleep, and this way there's no transition from our bedroom into a whole new room when she's ready to sleep alone. It sucks having to get up, but it beats the heck out of using the crib. Babies wake up, and unfortunately mine was a "hold me until I fall asleep, then pray I don't wake up when you put me in my crib" kind of baby. The bed allowed me to sleep with her (if need be), or even nurse her back to sleep if that's what she wanted.

        Sometimes she'll even just sit up and call out, and if I call back "Mama's here baby... go back to sleep", she'll lay back down on her own. I always get up to check on her, but she's usually back down by the time I get to her. A quick kiss and tuck to let her know that I didn't ignore her call works for now, and soon I'm sure I won't have to get up at all. I hope. LOL! This isn't common (usually she crawls to the babygate), but it does happen once and a while. And I suspect that the older she gets, the easier it will be for her to self soothe back to sleep, being secure of the fact that we're right there if she needs us. And once and a while (bad dreams, etc) I'm sure she will.

        But I'll deal with all of that when she's older, and then we can work on techniques on not always relying on us to get back to sleep (although that's kind of what we're doing right now... if not even just setting the groundwork).

        Edited to add: The only reason we don't co-sleep in our bed is because our bed is too small for the 3 of us. However (personal preference, now that I've done both), I much prefer using her own bed for co-sleeping than having her in ours. I have the option to sleep with her, or help her fall asleep without my help (like sitting at the foot of her bed, rather than cuddling up with her). She still puts up a bit of a fight if I leave the room too soon, but if she's dopey, she'll let me walk right out. I always go back a few minutes later though to check on her, so maybe she knows I'm not leaving for good.
        Last edited by sgmom; 10-28-2009, 07:24 PM.


        • #5
          oh how terribly silly! WE coslept until DS was around 15 months and we decided to move him into his own room as I was pregnant. Well it was incredibly easy and no tears were involved. We had decided that if he really wasnt ready that we were happy to let him stay in with us, but were pleasantly surprised with how well he took to it! Now at 24 month he sleeps all night in a big boy bed in his room. If he isnt feeling well or something upsets him he comes in with us and then when he is feeling better he goes back to his room. Its a load of baloney that they will never sleep on their own! They will do it when they are ready to!


          • #6
            Your ped is the opposite of AP. What a shame that he would say he's pro AP and then suggest CIO. If you think you can find another doctor who really is AP, I would do that.


            • #7
              Today he had his 6 month well baby visit, and the dr (who is pro AP) suggested that he needs to be in his crib by this age or he never will be. Yes, I've heard this before, but I really wasn't ready for this. Also, he told me he firmly believes the only option to get babies adjusted to a crib is the (cringe) CIO method.
              I have been cosleeping with my son since he was 8 wks old, and have heard the same thing from my dr. several times. We tried for 4 mths to transition him from our bed to a crib, and it did not work. We tried (at my husband's insistence) the CIO method, and gave it up after 3 weeks of torture. It didn't work, and was far worse than having to get up every hour to comfort baby in his crib. I know that using CIO will remain a huge regret of mine for years to come, as it went against all of my instincts as a mom, and all of my ideas about what I consider good parenting.

              Like sgmom (it was actually one of her posts that gave me this idea!), we are now using a double mattress in baby's room to put him to sleep. He is sleeping MUCH better, and this also allows me to go to his room and spend some of the night there , while also allowing him to sleep safely alone if I am still awake for a few hrs. after he goes to sleep.

              After reading what seems like every book on the subject of baby sleep, and listening to my dr/mother-in-law/friends etc, what I have discovered is that "traditional" methods of getting your child to sleep don't fit every child, and that if it doesn't make me or my baby happy, then it is not right for us. A doctor is great for medical advice, but is not a parenting expert, YOU are the expert when it comes to your child. Your child will sleep where he/she is happiest, and will let you know when they aren't. I don't believe that crying for hours alone in a crib indicates a happy baby, and likely not a happy mommy either. And if your dr. asks where your baby is sleeping at your next visit, tell him the crib


              • #8
                Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. What I've been realizing over the last few days is that I don't think he will ever be able to cosleep in a co sleeper next to us now that he knows that we are there next to him. He knows he can be cuddled up to a warm body i guess. I think the only option if I dont want him in bed with me, then I'd need to transition him to his crib. If this is the only option that will work for us then I want to do it as gently as possible. The problems we are running into with him co sleeping is No one sleeps as well. My husband has very bad sleep issues and takes ambien (My LO sleeps on my side of the bed for safety) and he still wakes up when LO nurses. I don't sleep well, very restless when he's in bed and my back ends up hurting. So needless to say if co sleeping was comfortable and every one could sleep I'd have no dilemma, but it's just not the case. Does anyone have any suggestions for crib transitioning with love? I know about NCSS, so that's the avenue I think I will go with unless any one has better avenues that have worked. Thanks again!


                • #9
                  Hello mrsalbertson,

                  I think the only option if I dont want him in bed with me, then I'd need to transition him to his crib.
                  Not nessicarily....How old is your child? There are many middle of the road options avalible!


                  • #10
                    he is 6 months old


                    • #11
                      You want your own space to sleep? Correct
                      You feel that your only choice is a crib (a respectable choice but the transition may be more difficult in a child who has already expressed that he likes being close to you)
                      You feel you must pick either/or, one or the other.

                      A few recent threads had brought up the matress on the floor idea. You can lay with/ nurse to sleep your child then move to your own space if you wish. Of course you have to make sure the enviroment is safe for rolling or crawing and you either have to be nearby or have very good monitors! If the child wakes you can go and repeat, giving the closeness he desires yet having the ability to withdrawl to your own area. You also have the option of staying longer during an illness or other tough time because there is enough room for you to be comfortable. This can be in your bedroom or a separate room. I have done both.

                      Other middle of the road options
                      'Sidecar' crib, port a crib....... very low or removed side of the crib pushed up to your bedside. Secured to your bed for safety. When child falls asleep put in crib. Security of you being nearby but you have own space. Keep gently putting child in crib after falling asleep. Always allow back into bed so it does not feel 'forbidden' (and hence more attractive and emotion filled) but gently show that this (the crib) is his sleeping area.

                      A transition to a crib can be more difficult because the physical barrier between you and your child. You are limited in your ability to touch the child and your child is limited in his ability to move. Some children actually don't mind it and are happy with the new space and the novel expectation. So please try if this is what you would like for your nightimes but be sensitive to her requests and feelings about it. Think small, gradual steps for developing a healthy attitude for whatever new arrangement you decide to approach first.