What the *heck* is co-sleeping?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
What the *heck* is co-sleeping?
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 10:59am
I've read it bunches of times, but I have no idea what it is... well I have a small idea, but if it means the kids sleep in your bed with you, when the heck do you have sex?


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2003
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 3:29pm
I have three children. I "co-slept" with all of them. It is when your child sleeps in the bed with you. If you are BFing it is very convenient. Dr. William and Martha Sears have many excellent parenting books out that deal with the issues of co-sleeping. They give excellent advice because they recognize that not all parenting styles work for all children.

I chose to co-sleep with my first child because she was colicky and I was up every 20-30 minutes with her. Believe me--the cry it out method was not an option for us. So I moved her bassinet into our room and put her in bed with me. If I got too uncomfortable, or she got too squirmy, I put her in the bassinet.

With my son, he came into our bed when the doctor said that he was not thriving well. He was losing weight and getting sick. When I put him in our bed he ate more often and slept better so his little immune system was more effective.

With my DD2, there was just no question. She is still in our bed.

Both of my older children were out of our bed by the time they were 6 months old. My youngest is about 1/2 and 1/2. And you will find time and opportunity for sex if you want it. Six months is not forever! It forced us to be creative for a while--which is just what we needed anyway!

There are a few simple rules if you decide to try co-sleeping:

1. NEVER co-sleep if you are on any medication that can alter your consciousness (painkillers, sleep aids, even some cold/allergy medicines, etc...) or have comsumed any alcohol. Also do not co-sleep if you have any kind of sleep disorder.

2. Don't put the baby in between you and the father. Dads usually sleep a lot heavier.

3. Make sure you don't overdress the baby. Remember, you are a gigantic heater. (a diaper and t-shirt is usually plenty)

4. Put a pillow between you knees to prevent rolling over (This is good for lower back pain too!)

5. Before the baby is rolling over by himself, get a bedrail to keep him from falling out of bed.

6. Have a bassinet or small crib next to the bed in case you or baby needs a break.

7. Don't listen to anyone who says they know the "only right way" or "you'll never get that baby out of your bed".
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 12:08pm
Just love to cuddle up to my darling kids in the same bed, have done now for 13 years and still got a great sex life with my man tho' not at the same time, gotta be creative, but we're happy and it works. In our home everyone feels loved and never alone, we love sleeping together and snuggling close.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Thu, 05-15-2003 - 1:26pm
I co-slept w/ my first dd when me and her father were together. We just never had sex in bed is all (and I find the practice to be a bit...ordinary anyway). I still co-sleep now that I'm single (though I'm moving the girls into their own room over the summer). My youngest has always slept with me (I BF'd and it made it soooo much easier) and my oldest has on and off throughout her 4 years.

I think it's also called having a "family bed." It's just what we've always done. I actually have trouble sleeping w/o my girls in the bed but I'm just going to have to get over that because I want my room back!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2000
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 9:09am
OMG, you sound just like me! I could never, ever sleep with a child in my bed. I've never allowed it. I've tried, when we were away, but it was grueling. Nope, won't ever happen.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 8:43am
Her post was incredibly judgmental, and I don't think co-sleeping is lazy or dangerous, necessarily.

I think the reaction was one that a lot of people share, in a modified form, though. It DOES take more energy to get up and go into the baby's room all night long than to bring them in with you. We forced ourselves to do it because we didn't want the kids to ever come into bed with us. I don't even like sleeping with DH every night!!!! I like my own space. I can truly say that neither of my kids has ever come into bed with us any night, and we wouldn't permit it. In addition, if you aren't raised with co-sleeping, you do find it an unusual practice. That's why the Sleep Training, Gently to Sleep, Attachment Parenting and Family Bed boards exist here - to highlight all of the differences in philosophy on sleep practices.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 9:45pm
why is it so important we teach our children to sleep alone?

my kids always started out in their own beds in their own rooms. gradually, first one would climb in the bed, then another. sometimes all three would end up in the bed. maybe it was laziness, but i for one *need* at least eight hours of sleep, and it was so much easier to roll over and let them in, then try to engage in child psychology, and a battle of the wits at 3am. i've never had energy for *any* kind of interaction in the middle of the night, and was not about to start. i am a better mom during the day with my allotted amount of sleep, and they are better kids with theirs. who cares, its done everywhere all the time. they eventually want their own space, and it does not last forever. personally, i wish i could have those days back. i miss my babies. they are all bigger than me now, and definitly want their own space.

as far as sex, lets just say, if there's a will, there's a way, and *never* with the kids present.

Avatar for biancamami
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 3:27pm
Not only is your post completely offensive and judgmental, it is also plain WRONG. Many parents choose this arrangement for many reasons...in fact, in some countries, putting a baby in a crib (let alone a separate room) is seen as heartless and cruel . Have you even considered that many people don't have a separate room for their children? What about low income families where the whole family sleeps in the same room? What about parents that feel that cosleeping is the most "natural" sleeping arrangement for their children...are they just being lazy too?

"Solitary infant sleeping is a principally western practice which is quite young in terms of human history. The practice of training children to sleep alone through the night is approximately two centuries old. Prior to the late 1700s cosleeping was the norm in all societies (Davies, 1995). Today in many cultures the practice of cosleeping continues, with babies seen as natural extensions of their mothers for the first one or two years of life, spending both waking and sleeping hours by her side. Cosleeping is taken for granted in such cultures as best for both babies and mothers, and the western pattern of placing small infants alone in rooms of their own is seen as aberrant (Thevenin, 1987).

Anthropological evidence of cosleeping societies is abundant. In reviews of literature on cosleeping societies Thevenin (1987) and Lozoff and Brittenham (1979) noted classic studies which included nearly 200 cultures, all of which practiced mother-infant cosleeping even if in some cultures the sleeping location of the father was separate. Examples of cultures included in the studies were the Japanese, the Korean, the Phillipino, the Eskimo Indian, the !Kung San of Africa, and the natives of Okinowa (Lozoff & Brittenham, 1979; Thevenin, 1987). The description of the Okinowan Indian culture included observations both of parent-child cosleeping until the age of six and unrestricted breastfeeding, as well as of characteristics of adult behavior that are very consistent with secure attachment histories (Thevenin, 1987). Cosleeping is the cultural norm for approximately 90% of the world's population (Young, 1998)."

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 1:14pm
And you are an expert on the "laziness" of others? REally? Have you studied this? Have you been in my home, or the homes of others who practice it? Have you been able to discuss the "reasons" for co-sleeping with EVERY family who does it, and then draw an educated conclusion that they are all full of it, and actually very lazy, and THAT is the REAL reason they co-sleep?

Give me a break!

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-04-1997
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 12:55pm
I think you win the award for the most judegemental, knee-jerk, narrow-minded comment of the thread. Congratulations!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 12:52pm
Co-sleeping is when parents are too lazy to teach their children how to sleep on their own.

How they have sex is something I wondered too. I am afraid of the answer as it is probably not truly legal even.