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  1. My daughter is STILL in my room. Though she goes to her room once she falls asleep.

    Liked by 2 people

    October 22, 2015
  2. Brenda #

    Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada recommend room sharing for the first six months. 9.5 months later, we still room share but my baby is a quiet sleeper and I don’t feel like I am sleep deprived. I consider myself lucky!

    Liked by 1 person

    October 22, 2015
  3. valoli12 #

    I think it depends on the parents. My husband and I have slept with our son since his first night home. We find that this is a lot easier to wake up and feed. I was scared that my husband and I would hurt our baby while we slept but the truth is we both sleep on the edges of the bed! My son takes up almost all of it. I guess I can say that with us, paternal instincts kicked in and we are grateful. I think it’s also the fact that our baby is such a good baby. In the end, I can only pray to God that I wake up next to my wonderful son giving me his beautiful smiles.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 22, 2015
  4. Annie #

    We bed share, but we did not plan on it. In fact, we were against it initially.

    When we first brought our daughter home from the hospital, our plan was that I would sleep in her room so that my husband can get sleep to be most alert for work. I slept next to her bassinet but I got no sleep! She would fall asleep in my arms but would wake up royally peeved that she was in her bassinet. It would take me forever to get her back to sleep but by that time, I’d be wide awake. The few times I did get sleep, it was when I’d fall asleep nursing my little one in the laid back position, but is freak out because 1) she was asleep on her tummy! And 2) isn’t bed sharing a no-no? In my hormonal sleep deprived state, I broke down a few times in some ugly cries and a couple of weeks later, I moved back into the bedroom with the baby because on top of it all, I missed my hubby and it was the one thing I could fix.

    We finally brought our daughter to the bed when the only way she’d fall asleep was in hubbys arms in bed while he watched television at 2 am in attempt to quiet her down and get tired himself. A few times, he’d fall asleep accidentally but woke up feeling refreshed with a happily sleeping baby in his arms. Eventually, I found that I slept better because I’d wake to feed her by feeling her kicks to my stomach instead of waiting until she worked her way up to screaming cries. And hubby slept better knowing that wife and baby were next to him, happy and sleeping. 🙂

    At this point, I don’t know when we will kick our little one out of the bed or out of our room. I suppose it would depend on how long I plan to breast-feed and when she starts sleeping to the night (she is on the cusp of seven weeks old). I admit that as much as I love having her close to me, I miss sharing a bed with hubby only. But if being enclosed proximity to the baby at night will prevent SIDS, then I’m willing to do the full six months.

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    October 22, 2015
    • I’m sure your story sounds really familiar to many readers! It’s so tricky, especially in those first few weeks when everything is so overwhelming and a little desperate. It can feel like there are so many rules about sleep, and that simple “roomsharing without bedsharing” might feel impossible.

      With bedsharing, there are definitely more safety considerations, especially for really young babies. I wonder if there are some aspects of bedsharing that are protective, because of that close proximity, lighter sleep, more arousals, more feedings, more checks, etc – but unfortunately there is no epidemiological evidence for this. My guess is that there are also risks to bedsharing, and on balance, the way bedsharing is practiced in Western cultures today, those risks end up outweighing the protection. So, I’m sure you know this, but do your best to make it safe. (I don’t agree with everything he writes, but I like James McKenna’s safety recommendations for bedsharing – http://cosleeping.nd.edu/safe-co-sleeping-guidelines/) Regardless, I think you’re absolutely right that bedsharing with all the safety precautions is far safer than you and your husband falling asleep accidentally in unsafe environments with the baby. I’ve been there, and so many of us have! If your goal is to get your baby back in her own bed eventually, you can try to work on this gradually – for example, by putting her in her bassinet for the first sleep period of the night, and maybe the second, and then taking it from there. Best wishes to you and your family!

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      October 22, 2015
  5. Kirsten #

    In The Netherlands they (midwives, doctors, health organisations etc..) recommend 6 months of rooming in. However, not a lot of parents do this and it’s very common here to have the baby in their own room in the first week.

    Rooming in, cosleeping or bedsharing isn’t really talked about openly, because it still forms a bit of a taboo and you’re considered being a complete hippy and helicoptermom.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 22, 2015
    • Very interesting, thanks for sharing this! Is there much emphasis on SIDS prevention in the Netherlands?

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      October 22, 2015
      • Laura B #

        Not really, unfortunately. I am Dutch but live temporary in the United States and had my first baby here last year. Of course I discussed numerous items with my friends and family overseas during and after my pregnancy and fell sometimes like a smarty pants. SIDS was one of those items I fell that not many parents in the Netherlands were as good informed as I was by my OB. My nine month old baby still sleeps in her own crib in our bedroom and we don’t plan to change this until she turns one year. It gave me reassurance the first couple of months and now I just love to see her face popping up when she wakes and stands in her crib!

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        July 31, 2016
  6. Juliane #

    In Germany, for a safe sleep environment the official agency for health recommends roomsharing without bedsharing but they don’t mention for how long. Further, they advise to let the baby sleep in a supine position and to provide a room temperature between 16°C and 18°C (61°-64° F). Above all, they advise to let the babys grow up in a smoke-free environment in order to prevent SIDS.
    Source: https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/377/publikationen/umwelt_und_kindergesundheit.pdf

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    October 23, 2015
  7. Traci #

    I’d really love to see research done on the breathing monitors like angelcare. We used one while room sharing. Yes, it went off when we forgot to turn it off while picking him up in the middle of the night, but that annoyance was a small price to pay for the one time that it went off and he really did have a problem. The warning beep got me up and over to him fast enough to see he wasn’t breathing, but the alarm went off and startled him and he took a breath. It was like he just forgot to breathe for a second (it was literally seconds). Would the monitors allow for the best of both worlds? I think we would need certified installers though because there are a lot of ways that people can mess up the install.

    On a second note. We room-shared with him in a crib until 9 months then switched to cosleeping on a mattress on the floor until 15 months. Then a slow transition to own bed with us in the room and then with us out. At 18 months he’s on his own in a toddler bed, sleeping through the night sometimes…

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    October 23, 2015
  8. Great post, thank you for sharing!

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    October 24, 2015
  9. mt #

    We had the same experience as your reader Katherine. We roomed in, but our son was such a noisy sleeper, that it kept me up. Also, because we were inexperienced with babies, we frequently thought he was awake and needed a nocturnal feed when in fact he was just snorting, sighing, etc., and we actually ended up waking him up by feeding him. Then of course he started waking for food on his own, which he might not have done if we hadn’t kept waking him up!

    Regardless, we moved him out of our room for our own sanity by 3 months, although by that time he would wake and cry for food. Still, it was better than being kept up ALL night!

    Btw, we were in Denmark, and the midwives recommended rooming in with a crib or bassinet but weren’t adamant about it. Because a nurse comes by for regular home visits in the first weeks, s/he can have a look at the sleeping arrangements and make recommendations/answer questions on the spot.

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    October 25, 2015
  10. Wow! Great read. I am no experiencing the consequences of bedsharing with my child. My daughter is 2 years old and has only slept in her own room twice throughout the night. Have been trying to make her room as comfortable for her as possible. I don’t think it would’ve been that much of . an issue had we not shared rooms/beds together since birth. She is a very wild sleeper. Also, you had a lot of good sources to support your claims. I like how you also put parents comments also. All around great read and perfect for me at this point in time 🙂

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    October 25, 2015
  11. maggie #

    I find it interesting that the countries with strong post natal leave polices are also the ones recommending room sharing. Perhaps, if you don’t have to go back to work at 6 weeks, then you can afford to compensate by napping during the day.
    My daughter slept in a cradle in our room during the night until just before I had to return to work. Because her bedroom was downstairs, she slept in her own crib for all naps from the time she was 3 days old. This arrangement made it really easy to transition her to sleeping the night in her crib – it was just a longer nap. We also heavily relied on the video monitor for naps and night sleep. It allowed us to determine if the noises were her being restless or actually waking up. Even though she would wake me up with her snuffling and rolling, I was able to get back to sleep in 5 to 10 minutes.
    I would love to see a follow up on the Israeli study to see what the sleep patterns of the children and mothers are in two years, five years, etc. I wonder if we mothers train ourselves to bad sleep that doesn’t truly go away even as the child leaves for college….

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    October 26, 2015
    • I hope they follow this cohort later into childhood, too! Also, we somehow survive without a video monitor, but I have the feeling that it is the kind of thing where once you have it, you can’t imagine life without it. I often want to check on M but am afraid I’ll wake him up. I can turn up the monitor loud enough to hear him breathing, though:)

      Interesting to wonder about the relationship with family leave, although it’s hard to compare since few countries have policies as poor as the U.S.! And roomsharing is recommended here, it just doesn’t seem to be emphasized much.

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      October 26, 2015
  12. My son had his crib in my room, yet I would find myself placing him in my bed with me and when he reached about the age of 3, I placed his toddler bed into his own room. He still finds his way into my room every single night and sleeps in my bed, meaning this momma doesn’t get any sleep 🙂

    Though with my current studies on infancy and toddlerhood, studies suggest that co-sleeping helps nurture the child and provide security for the child.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 26, 2015
    • I think that roomsharing often leads to at least partial bedsharing. That works find in some families, and in others not so much. But I also think that children’s needs at night can evolve. We went through a period with Cee when she was 3 and she came in our room a lot at night (after sleeping in her own room just fine since she was an infant). I couldn’t sleep well when she was in bed with me, so we made a cozy pallet on the floor for her and told her she was welcome to move there during the night if she wanted to be closer. She used it for a while and then eventually stayed in her own bed again. It helps to be flexible, while also considering the needs of both the child and the parents!

      There actually aren’t good studies that show that cosleeping in necessarily better for emotional development of the child. That’s a common assumption, but it’s probably true in some families and not others. What’s most important is that you find an arrangement that works well for the family. For example, if a parent is cosleeping because she thinks it will increase her bond with the child or make him feel safer, but she’s so sleep-deprived that it is affecting her mental health and ability to nurture the child throughout the day and night, then it probably isn’t the best choice!

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      October 26, 2015
  13. I used to have my son sleep in the same room with us but in his own bed but at 6 months i decided to co-sleep so that we could bond. Now I know that it will be a hustle to make him sleep in his own bed and room. He is now 15 months old!

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    October 30, 2015
  14. Inmara #

    Thank you for this post! I just started to wonder how we will proceed with sleep arrangement later when baby won’t wake up for night feedings. At the moment we’re shy of 3 months and roomsharing – baby’s crib is placed at our bed with one railing off so in fact it’s like extension of our bed, thus I can pat him or shush him during the night without getting up, and start to arrange diaper change and feeding before he’s worked up himself to crying. The downside, of course, is that I’m waking up more often than necessary when he’s grunting and squirming but not actually awake.Then I check the clock and see whether it’s time for his night feeding or not (he’s combo fed and has 2 night feedings – one with breastmilk only, one with breast and bottle).
    We had a few bedsharing episodes in first weeks when I was desperately trying to nurse him to sleep and passed out myself, waking up in horrible feeling that baby is under my blanket (he was not, what I thought to be baby’s head was actually my engorged breast…). This scenario repeated a few times until pediatric nurse advised to get a pacifier or I will regret it later. It worked like a charm, and now we’re able to put him in bed easily, sometimes even without pacifier.
    Now I’m worried that we’re not with him during his first deep sleep phase which could be a risk for SIDS but he’s getting to bed at 7 PM and we have things to do during those few hours until we’re going to bed too. Have bought monitor but not used it yet because we keep our bedroom very dark and monitor would not pick up quiet sounds anyway. If we’re going to put baby in separate room we’ll work on that.

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    October 30, 2015
  15. All else being equal… But all else is never equal in parenting

    I LOVE this line. Nothing sums it up better for me. We roomshared with our first three for about 3-4 months, but always moved them into their own rooms about the time I was heading back to work. That was when the sleep for mommy balance began to come into play. We plan to do the same with the one we are expecting this month. I enjoyed reading this post- as always! It makes me feel like I’m not alone, and that the decisions that are right for me are still ok even though they may not be right for others. Thank You!

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    November 1, 2015
  16. jillian #

    Thank you for the article. I’m at about 8 months and still trying to figure out what to do once little man comes! Thanks for the research-based food for thought. :o)

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    November 11, 2015
  17. thanks for the good articel. Actually I Used to bedsharing in the night, bud changing roomsharing in the noon. I Argue, the bedsharing is better than roomsharing for the baby

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    November 18, 2015
  18. alison #

    We only roomshared for the first 5 or 6 weeks. Due to constrained space, however, we converted our master closet into a mini-nursery. In many ways it is the best of both worlds because he is close enough that we can hear just about everything, but there is also a door to close so everyone immediately started sleeping better once he moved into the nursery (closet).

    At 3 months, our baby is sleeping an 8-11 hour stretch every night so it is usually us waking up to check on him rather than him waking us up… I do think the little bit of separation allowed him to learn to self-sooth very early. He also developed his own version of cluster feeding where starting at about 4 pm, he begins nursing frequently until he goes to bed. As if he is getting ready not to eat for a long period.I can’t discount genetics and temperament, though – according to my mother-in-law, my husband was an amazing sleeper as an infant. Her second son was just the opposite.

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    November 19, 2015
  19. I found this to be a very interesting read.

    Before my son was born, we always said he would have his own room from one month old.
    However, due to his illness in the first 3 months, this did not happen. Once his dietary intolerances where discovered and he started to get better, he went to the nursery. Initially this was great, but after about 2 weeks, I was exhausted! I found it very difficult to drag myself out of bed and to his nursery; and due to my hubby sleeping right through, I was on my own for this!
    So, I persevered and kept telling myself that he will sleep through soon! … still waiting for those through nights (a myth I am sure) at 6 Months, and having moments of insanity rocking myself on the bedroom floor, Alan decided it was time to move the cot to our room!
    Alan still sleeps through Charlie’s wakes, but I find myself to be far more rested as I only have to walk 2 meters to assist Charlie… not to mention the fact that I can now get to him before he wakes up properly so it is far easier to get him settled again!

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    November 20, 2015
  20. Megan #

    We chose to room share till 7 months. We wanted to move him at around 5 months due to sleep deprivation but we had just bought a house so we waited till we moved and were settled in which was right around 7 months. All of us including baby are getting much better sleep. He is now 8 months old. My next baby I plan on moving around 5 months but he or she could be different so we’ll see! Btw, my cousin is Amber Yui and she recommended your blog. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts!

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    January 24, 2016
  21. Stella #

    It seemed to me that I slept better with my son in his own room from day one, but I am planning to try having my new baby with me at least for the first month. Let’s see…

    Since you asked your international readers to comment – cosleeping (sharing the room) in many countries is not necessarily a choice but a necessity. Many European apartments are fairly small and having a luxury of multiple children each designated to their own room is not something many can afford.

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    February 21, 2016
  22. Amber #

    My daughter is now 12 months old. In the beginning we had a bednest- the best of all worlds! or so we thought. She absolutely REFUSED to be put down for the first 12-16 weeks or so. The birth was traumatic and left her head feeling quite ouchy I think. So I ended up holding her 24/7 (except for when my hubby would give me a break) for those first 3-4 months, which meant bedsharing (right next to the lovely bednest! She just wouldn’t be out of arms, no matter how close. She eventually moved to sleeping in the middle of our bed and no longer in arms. At around 5 months she started to have some success sleeping in the bednest with the help of a Sleepyhead (god bless it!), and she would sleep about half the night in her own space and then come into bed with us. Then at 6 months she moved to a cot still with the sleepyhead, and by 7 months had outgrown the sleepyhead. She would come into our bed around 3am most nights, and when she started nursery at 9 months she ended up back in bed with us full time for about 6 weeks (loads of fevers and attachment issues with starting nursery.) Then, MAGICALLY, around 11 months old she started sleeping full time in her cot (which is right next to our bed). It’s been about 4 weeks now without bedsharing.

    I should note that she has been breastfed the whole time, and is still offered night feeds when needed. The first 6 months or so she would feed through the night while sleeping next to me.

    I don’t regret any of the bedsharing. I think it made her feel safest, and allowed the family to get the most sleep possible. She moved to her own space when she was ready, and I’m glad I never forced her.

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    March 15, 2016
  23. Ashly #

    Maybe you talk about this somewhere else on your blog, but….I didn’t know formula fed babies sleep deeper than breastfed babies. Do you know why that is?

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    April 22, 2016
  24. Kate Costello #

    In Ireland health professionals recommend rooming in for a MINIMUM of 6 months. The majority of parents do this with many sharing for up to a year or more.

    Our little girl is 7 months and is still in with us.

    Like

    July 5, 2016

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