Co-Sleeping & Bed-Sharing

Bed-sharing Word CloudAhhh…the ‘controversial’ topic of co-sleeping and bed-sharing. I’m assuming that if you are reading this page, you are either wanting to learn more about the topic or you are a supporter of it. If you are neither, I hope you stickaround to learn some of the basics! :) I’ve included some links throughout, so feel free to click to learn even more!

First, let’s look at the definitions of co-sleeping and bed-sharing because, believe it or not, they ARE different!

Co-sleeping is when parent(s)/caregiver(s)/guardian(s) sleep in close proximity to the child(ren) versus in a separate room. This could be having the baby’s crib/bassinet in the same room or using something like a co-sleeper next to the bed. You can also find co-sleepers that you use in bed with you. Co-sleeping can also include the baby sleeping in the same bed as the parent (without a bassinet), but, I prefer to keep these terms separate.

cosleepers
                Arms Reach Co-Sleeper & The First Years Close and Secure Sleeper

Bed-sharing is when the baby is sleeping in the same bed as the parent(s)/caregiver(s)/guardian(s). No bassinets, no nothin’!

An excellent article about co-sleeping and bed-sharing can be found here. It is written by James McKenna who is extremely knowledgeable in the area and deemed as the leading authority in mother and infant co-sleeping.

McKenna’s website also offers some helpful advice when deciding whether bed-sharing and co-sleeping are right for you.

For our family, we practice attachment parenting. We believe in bed-sharing and it works great for our family.

Our daughter occasionally takes naps in her crib during the day and sometimes she just prefers to nurse and nap next to me on the couch. Some days it prevents me from getting things done, but, it also allows me time to relax and snuggle with my baby before she’s too big! :)

We sometimes put her down in her crib at night if we’re still awake, but, typically she nurses and falls asleep on me. If she wakes up when I put her in her crib, I take it as a sign that she wants to snuggle and be close to me instead.

Bed-sharing is especially amazing for mothers who are breastfeeding because you don’t have to get up to nurse. Bed-sharing saved my sanity…well, most of it…during the first few months of new motherhood. Not only was I nursing our girl every couple hours, I literally got no sleep when she was in the bassinet- constantly checking to make sure she was breathing! After we started bed-sharing exclusively, we ALL got more sleep (and more baby snuggles- WIN!)

Bed-sharing is not always easy and it comes with its own set of challenges (intimacy with your spouse, etc.).

You find ways to make it work!

Check out MotherWise’s post about Intimacy & Co-Sleeping- it might make you blush! ;)

How do you catch Zzz’s with your little ones? Do you bed-share? Co-Sleep? Tell me about it!!

 

Dorian is a wife and stay-at-home mama to a rambunctious 20 month old daughter who finds complete happiness in being able to sneak away to the bathroom at least once a day. Dorian is a breastfeeding mama who still nurses her daughter and practices attachment parenting (most days) and enjoys living in Colorado. You can find her on her blog, Crunchy on the Weekend, or follow all of the weekly craziness on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

About Dorian Vought

Dorian Vought
Hello! I'm Dorian! I'm a Colorado livin', semi-crunchy, babywearin', breastfeedin', bed sharin', homesteadin' mama! :)

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11 comments

  1. Thank you for all your great information. I want to share this beautifully written story by a mother on Maui. It has brought sweet tears to many mothers who can relate to how it feels to completely finish breastfeeding and many mothers have commented on how it has helped them. Mahalo. http://mauimama.com/coming-age-how-we-finished-breastfeeding/

  2. Hi ask anne, have you any info fit brestfeeding a 9 month old and giving table food? If I let my baby girl have to much table food she won’t nurse right.
    Can you help me?
    Thank you,
    MamaA

  3. Hi, your page has been so helpful to me. Thank you! I nursed my almost 5 years old for 17 months.
    We had our daughter at 32 weeks on February 3rd due to pre-eclampsia. She stayed in the NICU for 26 days. She initially learned to bottle feed my expressed milk. She started to latch at 34 weeks. For the first 2 months of her life we nursed, bottle fed to top her off and then I pumped afterwards. Over the last month we have transitioned to all nursing with one bottle of fortified milk a day, given by her dad. She is growing beautifully and even developmental on track with her chronological age (yay for liquid gold)! Over the last 2 weeks she has completely rejected the bottle. She spits it out and pushes it away with her hands. I’ve left the house with our oldest and she still rejects it. We’ve tried Dr. Brown’s, Avent, and Comotomo bottles. We tried different holding positions and locations in the house. Nothing has helped. We’ve contacted the NICU feeding team and local LLL. We’ve tried all their suggestions to no avail. We are stumped. I return to work as a teacher in August and really need her to accept a bottle. Any suggestions would be helpful. We are desperate.

    Thank you!!!!

  4. I absolutely love each and every article on this site! I’m a breastfeeding momma of a soon to be three month old. We bed share and it’s mostly due to me being a single mommy, it makes me feel less alone and also my little snuggle bug sleeps better through night being right against mommy. Unfortunately my milk supply has gone down drastically because of starting a birth control that I was told wouldn’t affect my supply. Sadly it did. I make just enough to get by, I can’t even get anything out when I pump either. Any tips on how to boost my supply? I’ve tried lactation cookies already and they didn’t make a difference at all. I also do drink lots of water. I’m afraid I won’t produce enough to last him through this year that I plan on bf him.

  5. Hi there ! My son has been bed sharing since he was born and is now 1. He is still nursing and very healthy. The only thing we haven’t really mastered is sleeping through the night. He seems to think that he still needs to nurse throughout the evening sometimes waking up as much as every hour, as soon as he gets some milk he goes right back to sleep and turns over but it wakes me up and completely disrupt my sleep cycle. The problem now is that I am eight weeks pregnant and I really need my sleep. Any ideas to help him get through the night and to know that nighttime is for sleeping not eating? Desperately seeking advice and ZZZZZzzzs

  6. Wow!! I am so grateful that I stumbled across this site. My son is 2 and will be turning 3 in March and everyone tells me I need to stop breastfeeding him. So I was trying to stop my milk from producing by using the cabbage leaves and it still produced. My son likes to nurse as soon as I get in the house from work and at night. I agree it is a comfort thing. All the people that tell me I need to stop breastfeeding my last son did not nurse their children so it seems strange to them I guess but it makes me a little upset because they don’t understand I feel that is the ultimate form of child neglect, he wants it, I have it, but you can’t get it. That just doesn’t seem right to me or fair to him. You ladies really inspired me today and I am going to continue to breastfeed my son until he is ready to quit. Thank you and God Bless you.

  7. Hii. This is Manisha. From day one my son is sleeping with me on one bed. Im being nursing him day n night whenever he needs. Now he is of 8 mnths old. I hv started wearing food for him but he doesn’t take it now a days, not even a small bite. I’m being breast feeding him still. I am basically worried avt he not eating outside food. I’m nt in the intention of stopping breast milk. But I am confused as he does not take any outside food in this mouth. Is it fine if I just breast fed him till one year n he not taking outside food?

  8. Hi! I was/am a bed sharing mom to my two kids. My son started sleeping with us when he was older. He just came and got in bed with us. My daughter has been sleeping with us since birth. She’s 8 years old now and still feels uncomfortable sleeping on her own. Most nights she starts off in her bed and ends up with us. She almost never falls asleep without being in my arms. My husband says she’s too big for that, but I love it! The closeness is such an amazing feeling. I love being a mommy!

    • Dorian Vought

      Hi Ryane!

      That is amazing! Good for you! Bed-sharing and/or co-sleeping is definitely unique to each and every family! We still have our almost 2 year old in bed with us- I miss her if she falls asleep in her bed! Keep up the great bonding, mama! :)

      -Dorian
      Crunchy on the Weekend