Hello, gentle readers:
R, Bram, and I have been happily co-sleeping for about a month now. Before that, Bram was sleeping side-car in a crib, but was still swaddled at night. After we swaddle weaned him, he began waking up CONSTANTLY, so we thought that bringing him into the bed might help to level out his sleep, which (for the most part) it has. He’s still not sleeping through the night (like he was in the swaddle), but we’re all getting pretty adequate zzzs most nights. And co-sleeping means no tears and only one mommy up in the night to do a diaper change (as opposed to getting out of bed to nurse, change, and rock each time he woke up).
Still, we have a few kinks to work out of this system, so I’m wondering if other family bed families might have some sage advice…
1) Has anyone found a way to encourage baby to stay asleep once both parents are out of the bed for the day? I’m up between 5-6am each morning to run and/or get ready for work. R is up between 6-7am. In the interest of a) having time to get ourselves around in the morning, and b) getting Bram at least 10 hours of sleep at night, it would be great if he would sleep until 7-8am. As it stands, though, he’s up once we’re both out of bed. This means that we’re having to trade-off turns with a sleepy baby for up to two hours before I leave for work in the morning. We can tell he’s still tired (yawning, rubbing eyes, et al), but we just can’t seem to get him to resettle once it’s light out and we’re both awake.
2) He wants to eat all.night.long.every.night. I’m starting to get used to it, so that I can actually sleep through the better part of his feedings. Still, I’m noticing that he’s eating less during the day and more at night now, and, in the hopes that he will begin sleeping longer stretches at night, I’d like to curb this new trend. Have any of you found gentle ways of encouraging co-sleeping babies back to sleep without nursing? Obviously, I want to feed the babe when he’s hungry, but my guess is that’s only about 50% of the time that he actually spends on my (now very sore) nipples…
3) We’re planning some family travel this summer and will be staying in hotels and with family and friends en route. How have you handled co-sleeping in strange (and potentially unsafe) beds? We’re thinking of obtaining a pack and play to travel with, but worry that he won’t sleep well if he’s not able to come into bed with us each night.
Any and all thoughts and advices would be greatly appreciated.
Here’s the little guy snoozing away in a sunbeam for inspiration ;-)