why co-sleeping sucks*

*for our family (in the interest of political correctness)

How do you do it? You, you wonderful, lovely reader whose blood boiled upon reading the title of this post. HOW DO YOU DO IT?!

“Them’s fighting words, AllisonO”

I know but it is such a mystery to me how people do this every night and like it. I am fully, even regretfully, aware of the studies and their claims about the greater good that is co-sleeping. I know what it does for secure attachment, I know the benefits of night time nursing, I read about the long term effects of a safe and cuddly sleep environment for baby.

But no one told me about the jabbing. All night. Jabbing. The tiniest, cutest, adorablest hands and feet, but jabbing nonetheless.

I feel like none of the studies mentioned that. Even still I’ve never heard the slightest whisper of how annoying it can be to co-sleep. Is it illegal to let on about these things? Am I breaking some attachment parenting blogosphere protocol? Well, too bad, because I wish someone had told me that maybe, just maybe it wouldn’t be as cuddly and lovable as everyone has made it out to be.

First of all, we are recovering co-sleepers who have gotten back into the habit given OBaby’s recent sleeping patterns (or lack thereof). He was in our bed as a new born for about the first 4 weeks. He was in his own little ‘nest’ on our bed and it all went pretty well. Then, we discovered that he actually slept miraculously long and well in his crib (where there’s no soft ‘bottle’ to turn to every 3 hours, subsequently waking up Mrs. Bottle every. three. hours.). So, OBaby slept exclusively in his crib from 4 weeks old to 3 months old, snug as a bug in a rug, with very, very few hiccups.

And then. There’s always one of those in parenting, isn’t there? An “and then”. Like the time I announced to the world that OBaby isn’t a spitter-upper “and then” he barfed ounces upon ounces of my own hard earned milk right back onto my outfit? Yes, I have come to know and love the “and then”s.

And then OBaby decided he didn’t know how to sleep anymore. A teeny tiny poke up of a tooth compounded with learning to roll over compounded with the time change compounded with WHAT?! WHAT IS IT?! Is the feeling of his hair growing just too much to sleep through?!

DanO and I were at a loss and so help me if I was going to get out of bed 5 times a night. So, for the last two weeks? maybe three? we have had OBaby (almost) exclusively sleep in our bed. This is what I have discovered. When I say that these are the reasons that co-sleeping sucks for us, I know whereof I speak.


2. The ‘let’s pretend my breasts aren’t actually here because you’re not getting them right now so stop rooting.’

3. The clicking, snoring, sighing and cooing noises that I am physically incapable of sleeping over

4. The ‘whatever you do, DON’T MOVE.’

5. The ‘I set him down in the middle, but somehow, now I only have 8 inches of space between me and the edge.’

6.The queen bed + the 6 foot 2 husband + baby who sleeps with his arms outstretched

7. The ‘I can’t sleep anymore but I dare not get out of bed to blog because someone would magically wake up.’

8. The ‘I don’t want to sleep in Daddy’s arms though, Mommy. ONLY IN YOURS.’

9. The sweaty radiator of a baby clinging to me, making me a sweaty radiator of a woman

10. The baby that is, quite literally, getting between my husband and me in bed

I officially grant 20 points and an honorary ‘O My, You Rock!’ award to the families out there who can overcome this list for the sake of the greater good because I sure as heck cannot, regardless of how flippin’ cute this little one is when he sleeps.


16 Responses to “why co-sleeping sucks*”

  1. Shannon

    wow. he really IS super cute in your bed. I have zero experience with this, but .. man o man.. he is one heckuva cute kid.

    but I totally do relate with babies making you sweat. cripes, they can make you SO hot SO fast.

    good luck :\ maybe you can rest tonight knowing that you & DanO have THE cutest OBaby on the face of the earth :)

  2. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    For us? King-sized bed and only 5’8 hubby.

    Remind me again – how old is OBaby? We moved our girls into their cribs part-time when each was around 4 or 5 months because of, yeah, the sleeping baby gymnastics. But those earliest weeks with a baby snuggled up next to me in bed? HEAVEN. I just got a little Baby Fever surge thinkin’ about it. ;)

  3. Jen

    With all three of my girls they have slept in their OWN bed since birth! No basinett or pack n play in our room or anything EVER! I can’t do it! The noises, stiring, breathing… fear I might wake them up. And in my bed… there just isn’t room! I would be exactly like you! Even when my 4 year old has a bad dream or my two year old has a tooth coming in… they don’t sleep in my bed, maybe on the floor beside my bed, but not IN my bed. :) It is each persons preference… just like breastfeeding… I couldn’t do it but think the ladies out there that can rock! Or like being a stay at home mom, most days I am pretty sure I couldn’t do that either (as I sit here at my full time job), there are just SOME people that can do those things and god bless them (you!).

  4. JenD

    Both our kids slept in their own cribs in their own rooms for ALL of the reasons you listed in your post. We tried having Allie in our room the first night home from the hospital and although she slept for 5 hour stretches at a time, we got absolutely NO sleep because of all of her little noises and movements. Zach was a terrible sleeper at night, so I tried the pack n play in our room (thinking it would help when I’d have to feed him literally all. night. long.), but it just made everyone crabbier. I think, with this issue, it honestly comes down to what works best for each individual household so that all individuals involved are able to SLEEP. I mean, seriously, who cares where you sleep as long as you are actually getting sleep?

  5. Elizabeth

    I have no advice (we moved Joshua to his crib after one night of his noisy sleeping in our room), but wanted to say that OBaby looks like a little angel when he sleeps!

  6. Kelly @ Love Well

    If I was blogging 8 years ago, I would have written this exact post. We experienced the EXACT SAME THING with Natalie. The only difference was, Corey traveled every week for work then (we lived in the Bay Area, he worked in Florida), so four nights a week, the co-sleeping thing worked pretty well, because it was just me and a baby in a queen-sized bed.

    That said, by the time she was six months old or so, I couldn’t even co-sleep then anymore. She would inch her way closer to me all night, rooting. We were BOTH exhausted. So we started transitioning to the crib. It took about six months of sleep training (because we did everything the long way) but eventually, we got her falling asleep, by herself, in her own bed, and staying asleep for most if not all of the night.

  7. Elaine

    I could never do it. I have to have my sleep and I sleep MUCH better when baby is in his or her own crib. Although my babies (including the current one!) have all slept in our room before they started sleeping through the night, it was still in a bassinet. I hope you can find what works best for ALL of you! : )

  8. rebekah

    Co-sleeping is definitely not for everyone. But it definitely is for us! We upgraded to a king mattress and all three of us sleep happily [most of the time].

  9. Nicole Drysdale

    I feel your pain. I am co-sleeping with our 3 1/2 month old son, Theo. I say I because I am the one who is woken up by my boob being sucked on the wrong part and the pain that comes with THAT and every.other. thing. that little babies do to interrupt sleep.

    I keep doing it bc I am too lazy to get out of bed in the night to nurse and my little guy nurses at 230 and 530.

    King might help. Let me know if it does bc we have a queen too(but with a 5’9″ husband), we might upgrade too.

  10. Carri

    We co-slept with my daughter. With my son he was in his crib in a room with my daughter and she could wake up first and then wake me. Mind you she was 2 and wanted to help constantly and always wanted to feed him. I know I am going to sound horrible, but nighttime was her time. She never slept and still wont without the helpful hand of melatonin so she would wake with him and give him his bottle and burp him (when he could hold up his own head of course) and all I had to do was wake hubby because he like my daughter has no need for sleep. Now a days I dont want them in my bed at all though but at 7 and 9 I dont think my bed is a bed for them.

  11. Casey

    Let me tell you, I couldn’t have written this post any better. We co-sleep with my 5 month old son and lets just say he is the only one that co-SLEEPS!!! And I’m not even sure he sleeps that well anymore either. We used to have a wonderful schedule of nursing before bed, then at 3:00 a.m. and then not again until around 6:30. I could handle that. Now it is every. hour.!! And I am exhausted too. It is frustrating and I am so ready to get a good nights sleep too. But we have tried the crib just as you did last night with the same results. And I have a 3 year old so crying it out just isn’t an option or else she will wake up too! If you find some tricks please pass them on to another mother who is desperate for sleep in South Carolina!! We co-slept with my daughter until she was 4 months old and when she started getting to restless we put her in the crib one night, she slept ALL night and that was the end of midnight wakings! Boy how two children from the same mom and dad can be so different. The reason for our son waking more is b/c we finally quit swaddling him. Sometimes I wish they sold those things in bigger sizes!!

  12. allison

    I clicked over from sortacrunchy…
    I can so hear you on the thrashing jabbing ect. I always wondered why non of the co-sleeping mentioned it either. My oldest two still climb into bed with us, the youngest probably would too, but she’s still in a crin. Even though we bought a king size to accomidate, it’s not big enough. You all just end up in a heap with them on top of you. I get very tired of being hit in the face with a flailing appendge. I literally woke up two days ago with my sons feet in my face! My son in particular had terrible sleeping problemsas a baby. Not only would he wake up if you even THOUGHT about trying to move him, it would take an hour each time to get him back to sleep. I feel your pain.
    Instead of dealing with babies and sleep issues, I’m dealing with young children with fear/nightmare issues. I mentioned to my husband last night that I don’t think it’ll ever end, just morph into something else… like teenagers wanting to have deep conversations at 1 am.

  13. The Mom Venture Blog

    I know this is months late! But I have to say, I’ve never really had a problem with our kids moving around too much when they slept with us. We started out as unintentional co-sleepers with our first child. He had such a hard time going to sleep at night, or any other time, that at about 2 weeks old I read about nursing while laying down so I could get some rest. It was a little awkward at first, but pretty soon we had the hang of it. Then I started laying him down that way at night when he was probably 3 weeks old and O what a nice feeling to actually get some sleep and not have to spend forever when he woke up in the middle of the night to get him back to sleep! We transferred him to a crib when he was about 6 months old(that was real fun, let me tell ya!)

    With our second, he started off sleeping really well in his bassinet. Then one night when he was only about 4 days old, I woke up in the middle of the night and he was still sleeping. I always hate the first month or 2 of babies life because I always worry so much about the whole SIDS thing! Anyway, I couldn’t see or hear him breathing and I freaked a little and tore the blanket off of him, and of course scared him a bit so he took a deep breath and woke up! Anyway, that’s when I decided, “you’re coming in bed with me! We transferred him to his crib when he was around 7 months, first in our room, then we moved the crib into his brothers room and had brother sleep in our room while we did some “sleep training” , although I can’t help but think that he may have slept really well in his bassinet, and then in his crib if I had never started bringing him in bed with us that fatefull night! LOL After that, he was constantly waking up to nurse at night, even once we started putting him in his crib!

    With our 3rd who is now 9 months old, he is still sleeping with us. We now have the crib in our room next to our bed and I’m putting him down in that for nap times and sometimes at night for the first part of the night. I don’t foresee putting him in with the boys though, until he can sleep in a toddler bed. We only have two bedrooms, so he will probably be sharing our room for a while longer! I am, however, at the point where I’m ready to have our bed back to ourselves.

    I have to say, though, that with him it’s been nice because I can put him down to sleep and then get out of bed and he stays asleep! So if I’ve had to get up in the middle of the night for one of the other boys, I’ve never had to worry about him waking up too. He’s been a great baby!

    I Love co-sleeping, BUT, I think 9 months is a little long for us! LOL I need a solid night of sleep one of these days! He was only waking up once, or twice a night to nurse for a little while, but now with the teething and the crawling and the pulling up, he’s been waking up several times a night and sometimes I feel like he’s nursing all night long! LOL


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