Princess Katelyn - My Successful VBAC Baby - 09/03/12
Jasper Turbo - Beautiful Booby Boy weaned at 3 - 19/11/08
ok in all honesty I think if you are used to sharing a bed you will always want to.. I slept with my parents as a little kid and as I got older with my brother and cousins etc.. And still with my parents. I still love sleeping in mums bed with her. My little sister in law is 15 and hates sleeping alone!! Kind of how you described. Its only an issue if it bugs you though.
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let's start at the very beginning.. it's a very good place to start
we cosleep, and i coslept as a child, no problems getting me to bed
I think part of it would be personality. With DD1 I didn't "give in" to co-sleeping until around 6 months because I didn't like it and I was petrified all night to sleep with her and squash her. In the end I only stared getting sleep when she slept in bed with me and it was great. At 3, she sleeps in her own bed and will come in, in the morning for cuddles, but she is a bad sleeper natrurally and nothing helps that.
DD2 I co-selpt with from birth. However as soon as she was strong enough she would push away from me! lol. By around 9? months she started being really unsettled in our bed, crying out, pushing us away on the bed etc, and so we set up her cot and she loved it. At 1.5 moved her into the bottom of her sisters bunk and they are really happy sharing. Now that they are 2 and 3.5 they some times play until they fall asleep on the same bed, but pretty quickly get sick of each other and wake up to tell me that their sister is in their bed and to move them lol.
They both still love cuddles in the morning but they love their space at night and need their own beds. I am the same.
I think you might have nailed it when you say her and her Mum rely on each other. DH hasd a 16 year old cousin, and his single mum insisted on him sleeping with her until he was around 10. She hates him not sleeping in bed with him because she needs it for her own comfort, so told us she loves that he comes to sleep in her bed after nightmares or if he needs comfort etc. I think if he was a daughter they would just sleep together every night still becuase it is what they both "need" in a way. She said she never even tried to make him sleep in his own bed because he didn't need to. So that might be what your Aunt and counsin have done? Where co-sleeping turned into your Aunt wanting it more for her comfort too and so now it is a habbit?
What we rely on to get us to sleep is a habbit that can always be cracked though. I would say that your Aunt could stop it if she wanted to, but it might suit them both
Anyway, what I am saying is you set the boundaries in co-sleeping. A lot of co-sleeping parents have the baby fall asleep in their own bed at first so that they can do that, and also because day time naps usually need to be taken alone (and so you get around 4 hours of kid free bed time ) and then the baby wakes and is bought into the bed to feed and co-sleep for the rest of the night .
1. Can you co sleep with a newborn, and if so, how do you make it safe?
Yes you can, i've done it twice now
To make co-sleeping safe is easy. No smoking, drinking, medications that make you drowsy or drugs to be taken by ANY adult who will be sharing the bed space with baby.
No pillows near baby's head (DH and I use a pillow but make sure it's not anywhere near baby's head), we sleep with a light doona (though blankets are considered safer) though this doesn't get used on baby, baby is just dressed warmly, and the doona is kept at waist level on us, we just rug up our top halves in cooler weather. It's also not recommended to wrap a co-sleeping baby, just dressed appropriately. Your mattress should be firm and not too soft, baby (or you) shouldn't 'sink in' to it.
And naturally, bed rails so baby can't roll out or be knocked out. We either have my side of the bed hard against the wall or we use a side-car cot, which is just the cot without the drop side, pushed against my side of the bed, it allows for extra sleep space for baby if needed.
2. Is it more difficult for co sleeping kids to adjust to sleeping in their own beds once they're older, than it is for non co sleeping kids? I hope that makes sense!
In my experience, no.
We didn't co-sleep with our first born. She went straight into a cot in her own room from the day she was born. She was a great sleeper as a baby, but from around 3 years old she would wake every.single.night and call out to DH to hop in to bed with her. She wanted to co-sleep with him, she got to a point where she didn't like sleeping alone. So from the ages for 3-5 years she co-slept with DH. She would go to bed by herself, then wake up from midnight onwards and call out. Then one day just after her 5th Birthday, she decided she was too old and went back to sleeping alone without dramas.
Our second born, DS1, co-slept from birth, then 1 month after his 2nd Birthday (DS2 was 1 month old, for that 1 month, both he and DS1 were co-sleeping with), we suggested to him that he might like to sleep in his own bed in his own room. He was ecstatic at that idea and was absolutely thrilled. So, we got the room ready for him and he went to bed in his own room, in his own bed without ANY fuss and now at almost 4, still sleeps all night in his own bed. He's not once needed to co-sleep again.
Third born, DS2, is now 22 months. He is still in our room, but has recently stopped bed sharing with us in preparation of Babe #4 being born. He sleeps in the cot (drop side on) which is jammed against my side of the bed. He goes to bed and sleeps all night until early morning when he wakes and he climbs into bed with me for a little snuggle and doze until we're ready to wake up. He will be transitioning out of our room before Babe #4 arrives and I have every confidence that it will go smoothly given that he sleeps all night in his own space anyway.
I would definitely say that your Niece is the rare exception. All of our friends co-sleep with their children from birth, and some co-sleep longer than others as it's usually left to the child to decide when they are ready to move out of the family bed. Some stop co-sleeping as toddlers, some slightly older (5-6) but those that have older children (8+) are no longer co-sleeping
Mama of Four
DD - 2006 DS1 - 2008 DS2 - 2010 DS3 - 2012