Author Topic: Sleeping arrangement  (Read 16332 times)

Offline Eric

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Sleeping arrangement
« on: June 12, 2011, 03:29:32 PM »
Anyone co-sleep with your kids?  Looking to share pros/cons/ideas/tips; put 'em here!

Offline Bearso

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Re: Sleeping arrangement
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2011, 04:30:58 PM »
I have a friend that sleeps with his kids (two boys in a king bed)  Started when they were young and they (the boys) now can't sleep without him. His wife has moved into the spare room. 


Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Sleeping arrangement
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2011, 06:16:24 PM »
We've coslept with our daughter Margaret, who will be 3 this month, since birth.  It has mostly worked really well, though I end up sometimes having very limited sleeping space since I'm usually the last to bed.  We do have a California king size bed, and a regular king size bed would have been even better.  Margaret is finally going to get her own toddler bed for her birthday, but she'll be welcome to climb back in with us whenever she wants for the next few years.

Duncan, as the second child, did not get to cosleep with us.  He got a bassinet beside mom's side of the bed until he outgrew that, then went to the crib.  However, he often still ends up in our bed for about half the night in extended nursing sessions.  We may switch him to cosleeping if Margaret takes to the toddler bed well.  He's currently 16 months.

It has worked great for us.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 07:29:07 PM by Warren Dew »

Offline Bearso

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Re: Sleeping arrangement
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2011, 06:32:19 PM »
Oddly enough we sleep with our fur kids.  We have 4 cats and one dog...  Three of the cats sleep in and out of our bed.  The other cat likes it under the bed.  Our dog is still a puppy and sleeps in her crate.  I know fur kids are not flesh babies but still love them the same... Amazing how much room thee cats can take up... I tend to just hang on to the edge of the bed...and do the best I can with sleep....

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Sleeping arrangement
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2011, 09:56:32 PM »
Anyone co-sleep with your kids?  Looking to share pros/cons/ideas/tips; put 'em here!

We sleep with our kids in one big room.


Offline Eric

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Re: Sleeping arrangement
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2011, 08:30:26 PM »
Good to hear.  We kept ours in the bed partially due to me being overprotective, and partially to make breastfeeding/night waking easier.

It's now been a year, and we love having him in bed though sometimes his waking or lack of space can be annoying.  It seems natural though, I doubt caveman put babies the next cave over to sleep so they were more comfortable ;)

It may be time to get a king size mattress though; currently we have our bed hardware in the basement along with the box spring, so the queen mattress is just on the floor.  Doesn't look nice but it's pretty functional

Offline samjohn

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Re: Sleeping arrangement
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2011, 09:16:09 PM »
Does that not cause difficulties for making the beast with two backs?

Offline C C G

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Re: Sleeping arrangement
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2011, 01:38:03 AM »
Does that not cause difficulties for making the beast with two backs?

this was mythought too!

My aunt co-slept with her son...he didn't make it to sleeping in his own bed til he was about 11 years old.

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Sleeping arrangement
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2011, 08:59:37 AM »
Sex after having kids is a myth.  That's why children after the first are always stork delivered.

Seriously, times when the kids can be expected to sleep soundly for long enough aren't that common, no matter where they sleep; sneaking out to a couch isn't a big deal compared to all the other planning we have to do for it.

Of course, real cave men probably just let the kids watch.

Offline samjohn

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Re: Sleeping arrangement
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2011, 10:47:45 AM »
Is your Paleo from birth kid sleeping better than the first one?

I was wondering recently how crying babies would survive back then. Can't hide from predators with a crying baby. So either babies didn't cry so much, or we were the apex predator...

Offline JayJay

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Re: Sleeping arrangement
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2011, 11:55:41 AM »
My wife has what I think is a bad habit of letting our babies (twin 9-month old boys) sleep with her. I disagree with her position on it and therefore have taken up residence in our guest room until she puts an end to this practice. Now, they are becoming dependent on being next to her just to fall asleep, exactly what I was trying to avoid.

I want them to be more independent and to know when it's time to go to sleep, and be comfortable with and enjoy their own space in their own beds (cribs for now). But she's always coddling them and trying to soothe them even when they have no reason to be cranky. And now they've figured this out and are playing her like a violin.

When she isn't here, they don't pull this crap with me. They are calm and relaxed for the most part. We eat, we play, we wind down, we go to sleep in our own beds, and they are fine with that. But when she's around, they won't hear of it. This is going to be a nightmare down the road, but she can't say she wasn't warned. In the mean time, me and the dogs enjoy the peace and quiet in the guest room.

Offline sparrow

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Re: Sleeping arrangement
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2011, 02:38:03 PM »
I plan on co-sleeping if/when I have a baby, and my husband is on board.  One of my anthropology professors does most of his research on co-sleeping, if anyone is interested:
http://nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/guide.html

I was wondering recently how crying babies would survive back then. Can't hide from predators with a crying baby. So either babies didn't cry so much, or we were the apex predator...

I'll need to dig up the study, but cross-cultural comparisons have shown that regardless of culture, babies cry approximately the same number of times.  The duration, however, differs dramatically depending on whether the caregiver responds to the cry (comfort, feeding, whatever), or ignores it.  My guess is that, like most primates, we kept our infants close at all times, so crying would typically be brief.  I'm guessing social groups, tool use, fire, and the whole high intelligence thing probably helped prevent predation as well.

Edit:
My source on this was Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent, by Meredith Small.
http://home.comcast.net/~lcpotts/OurBabies.pdf
Scroll down to the box with the title, "The Crying Game," for an excerpt that I believe is in the book as well as this article.

Despite searching, I can't find my copy right now to look up the specific study on crying frequency and duration, but this might be it.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 05:05:06 AM by sparrow »

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Sleeping arrangement
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2011, 04:02:53 PM »
Is your Paleo from birth kid sleeping better than the first one?

I was wondering recently how crying babies would survive back then. Can't hide from predators with a crying baby. So either babies didn't cry so much, or we were the apex predator...

I'd note that babies of even apex predators are not completely safe.  Hyenas are a major threat to lion cubs if protective adults aren't around.

I think I learned more from my first child than from my second in this respect.  If she needed something - too hot, too cold, wet, hungry - she would make a very soft cry - softer than normal conversational level - and since she was a spoiled first child, it was attended to right away.  The only things that made her cry loudly were if we had guests over and someone told a good joke and everyone laughed, which she cried at for a couple of months, or when the central heating/air conditioning came on, which she cried at for about a year.

The central heat/air conditioning sounds a lot like a low growl, like a cave bear or cave lion might make, so while it's anecdotal evidence, I personally think that crying was ingrained - if everyone is asleep in the cave or camp, a cry of alarm in that situation might actually improve a cave baby's survival if the adults could wake up and fight back.  If the adults were just going to flee, of course, it makes less sense, but I'm convinced that we weren't a prey species.  Similar logic might apply to the laughing as to the heating/air conditioning sound, though laughing was less obviously like any dangerous animal sound.

When we put her down and left the room, though, she never cried as a baby.  She only cried when an adult was present.  That lasted until she became mobile, at which point she started crying if she found herself alone, whether it was because we wandered away from her or because she wandered away from us.  That of course makes sense to avoid getting separated from the group - although a prey species would probably just do less wandering.

Our son was quite different, I think mostly because he was a second child.  Before I get into details, I first want to note that I've become convinced that the spacing between our kids - 20 months apart - is not natural.  I really think the 3-4 year spacing seen in hunter gatherers is likely also the spacing of paleolithic humans.    In particular, carrying two toddlers around at a time is so inconvenient it doesn't seem like something people would have put up with.

When our son needed something, he cried a lot louder - and he soon learned to keep crying loudly until he got what he wanted.  I suspect this was partly because we were often busy with our daughter and didn't get to him right away, though.  If he'd been born after our daughter turned 3 or 4, he could have gotten the same immediate attention that our daughter did.  Recently we've been able to get him to cry less by, first, letting him cry it out if he gets started crying, but more importantly, by making a big effort to take care of his needs before he gets fully into the crying mode.  It's been a lot easier to make that effort as our daughter has become less of a toddler and more of a preschooler, so if we had had a more normal spacing, the issue might never have come up.

Also, when our daughter cries, she seems genuinely upset; she needs at least a few seconds of comforting when we get to her.  When our son cries, he doesn't seem upset; he's just getting our attention.  It's possible that the behavior patterns of a second child are more geared towards competition with siblings and are less about pure survival - or it's possible that our son's behaviors are adapted for more of a multiparent situation rather than a nuclear family.  There are also a lot of signs that the presence of a slightly older child makes him think the situation is safe, so he's willing to do things that a single child might not - though again, that could be because he's male and willing to take more risks, or could be just a random personality difference.

Overall, though, I think kids' natural behavior makes more sense for a predator than for a prey species, and that would be especially the case if we had a more natural 3-4 year spacing between children.

Offline Eric

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Re: Sleeping arrangement
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2011, 06:17:40 PM »
We've been following the "attachment parenting" folks who, if nothing else, get more of my respect because they tend to study babies from a wide angle lens and stress breastfeeding's importance along with studying other cultures including hunter/gatherers. 

The two camps seem to be Breastfeeding/Babywearing/Co-sleeping in one and Formula/Strollers/Cribs in the other.  I believe our child is healthier due to breastfeeding, he cried less due to being worn in a sling or wrap on his mother, and is more confident and happy due to co-sleeping with us.

This is only my first child and I'm biased for sure, but babies I see sipping bottles of Formula (complete with HFCS) in strollers all day seem to be overly chubby, sensitive, and whiny.  Parents let them cry until they puke in a crib, which is something we wouldn't stand for.  My #1 job is to be a great parent now, not get 9 hours of sleep in a row.

As for the "coddling/spoiling" arguments against natural/attachment parenting, the research states otherwise.  Things spoil when you leave them sit on a shelf/in a crib, not when you love them.

/end rant?  ;)

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Sleeping arrangement
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2011, 06:33:12 PM »
The two camps seem to be Breastfeeding/Babywearing/Co-sleeping in one and Formula/Strollers/Cribs in the other.  I believe our child is healthier due to breastfeeding, he cried less due to being worn in a sling or wrap on his mother, and is more confident and happy due to co-sleeping with us.

I think there's a very practical reason for the connection between cosleeping and breastfeeding.  With a baby in a crib, the mother has to wake up, get up, and get the baby from the crib to nurse it.  This may be part of why our son is falling a bit behind on the growth curve.  With a cosleeping baby, the mother doesn't really even have to wake up, so it's far more convenient.

I admit we use a stroller, mostly because of the issues with carrying two kids.