Adventures in Co-Sleeping…My Love/Hate Relationship and My Destiny to Always be a Mommy Sandwich

We’ve been co-sleeping in our house since Cameron was born.  Since the first night in the hospital he has slept next to me. It was done very intentionally.  I used a lot of attachment parenting techniques with Cameron (I think it was my way of over compensating for not breastfeeding him longer than 6 weeks)  

We’ve gone through a ton of things throughout the years to try and wean him (and perhaps me) off of co-sleeping, including doing cry-it-out or “Ferberizing” when he was a young lad…it soooooo did not work and just made him really pissed and a tad distrustful and left me (and all of our neighbors) NOT sleeping and feeling like crap.

Anyhow, we still co-sleep…with Cam…my BIG and tall and takes-up-a-ton-of-room-in-the-bed, almost five year old. 

I have a love/hate relationship with co-sleeping.  Many nights I love snuggling with my kiddo.  I sleep. He sleeps. And I’ve sorta given up as long as we’re sleeping. 

Anyhow, last night I was sleeping with Cameron, hubby was in the other bedroom (yes…we’re totally like Lucy and Desi and don’t sleep together most nights…we’re ready to start sleeping in the same bed again and operation GET CAM OUT OF THE BED! will be underway soon…see more below)

So back to my story…last night Cam was sleeping, I was sleeping and I heard Leah yelling for me.  I went and grabbed her, got her some milk and went to put her back into her crib but she protested.  She wanted to sleep with Mommy too.  

Now, I have purposefully made it so that Leah is a non-co-sleeping child…I just can’t sleep with two squirmy kids in my bed. And she did get breastfed…for 22 months…maybe I overcompensated with extended breastfeeding since I didn’t co-sleep with her…oh the mommy guilt!

So last night, I gave in and found myself in between two kids, who each had pillows on the outside of them, so they don’t fall off the bed and me in the very tiny spot in the middle….like a Mommy Sandwich.

That lasted for a few minutes when I had to banish myself to the foot of the bed…like a dog that lays at your feet…yeah, I was that dog, laying perpendicular to the bed, my toes hanging off the edge.

I couldn’t sleep.  So instead I sat there looking at my two kids.  Smiling to myself and listening to their breathing patterns.  Watching them both holding their lovies for dear life and sleeping so soundly.  These are the times I LOVE co-sleeping…I get to peek through my tired eyes and see them when they are the most relaxed, comfortable and QUIET!  It melts my heart.

So tonight, Leah WILL be back in her bed and the plan for OPERATION GET CAMERON IN HIS BED will be made soon.  I need to put two kids in one room and have them both sleep…not play or keep one another up…

Have any tips for this mom?  

Did you co-sleep?  Do you co-sleep? 

Got any funny stories?  How did you finally stop?

(one of the worst things for me and co-sleeping is that I find myself waiting to use the bathroom way longer than I should…scared that the bed with creak and I’ll wake up my son who will then yell for me and thus wake up my daughter who will then cry for me and then I will forever be…a Mommy Sandwich…see, I told ya, it’s a love/hate relationship!)

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  1. Aloha Sarah! For some reason, I started my son off in his own bed right from the get-go. I think I was mainly afraid of rolling over him @ night! Sooo… I have a love/hate relationship with his illnesses! Whenever Nate is sick, he needs to sleep in bed with my hubby and I. I absolutely treasure those nights. I always think, “oh no, he might not go back into his own bed after 2-3 nights like this!” But inevitably he does. I have to say, while I love snuggling with him on those occasions, I’m happy to settle back into our regular routine of just hubby and I in the sack as sometimes Nate tends to be a squirmy worm. We’ve both been kicked in the face a few times (good thing he’s so darn cute when he’s sleeping!) One thing I haven’t given up yet is rocking him to sleep (20mo.). I always hear people brag about how their kids go down on their own, but not mine. We rock and snuggle. I’m not a SAHM/WAHM so I just love that little snuggle time we get and melt when he falls asleep in my arms, but then into his own bed he goes for the night. Have you tried a new night-time routine? Tub -> reading -> snuggling -> sneak out of the room!

  2. I sleep in my son’s bed. We were smart enough to get him a big bed because he needs us to lay with him to get to sleep. He’s almost 3. I don’t always go straight into his room at bedtime , sometimes I go to mine but those nights he wakes up finds me and leads me back to his bed. If I just start out in his bed he sleeps through and so do I.

    So no advice- just commiseration !

  3. Oh Jenny, Hubby and I have gone around and around the merry go round of “he needs to get out of our bed!” “but we love having him in” “No really, this time, I mean it, we need to get him in his own bed” “Oh but look at how sweet he is and it’s so nice that we all actually sleep” (sort of)

    I know there there are others like us, I mean me….I mean Cam is almost 5. FIVE! Yeah, time to cute the ties…

    Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting…come back again!!


  4. Hi, I just stumbled upon your site, and saw this post. I was laughing so loud! The same thing happens to me every night. I am embarrassed to tell people that I still co-sleep with my 19 month old, and that he nurses at night still sometimes. He recently had 4 cavities filled, so I think it’s from the night nursing? :( I feel horrible, and I also sleep like a dog at the foot of the bed, but my husband is also in the bed, so I REALLY have no room. I have to curl up to fit, even at the foot of the bed! I think i miss my son a lot since I work during the day, so it’s nice to be with him at night, but I am sooooo ready to move him to his own bed. All of a sudden my husband says, no, I like him in the bed with us. Well sheesh, that’s because you don’t have to sleep at the foot of the bed! Haha. Good luck, and let me know how it goes! :)

  5. I co-sleep – i have with all three of my kids – started with my son almost 8 years ago. Like you – ferberizing DOES NOT WORK!!!!!! This only gave my son a sleep radar that was like not other radar in the universe! My son slept ON TOP OF me for the first 9 months of his life. Literally if his little toosh touched a sheet he was screaming. By 12 months he would sleep with my arm around him. Before his 2nd birthday he sort of had to adjust to sleeping only by me as he had a new baby sister. Who also slept with us, not 100% of the time, but definitely up to 10-12 months (I can’t really recall right now) I moved her into a crib at around 12 months in her own room and this only lasted a couple of months (we moved and the transition sucked). She was in our bed and so was our son. They both slept with us until my son was 5 (almost 6). Once my son started Kind., we told him he had to sleep in his bed on school nights. My husband slept with him for over 6 months(no joke). But I had another baby by that time. So me and the 1st daughter slept in our bed with the baby in the bassinet. New baby decided at 9 months that she wanted in on the King bed action. She still sleeps with me (she is 3 years and 5 months- I nursed her until she was 32 months). My son still comes in about 40-50% of the time half way through the night (in fact, he has already been down here to me at the computer telling me he is going to my bed). My daughter ( 6 years old now) still come in about 50-75% of the time half way through the night. I HAVE to say that after almost 8 years of sleeping with kids – I CAN’T sleep unless my kids are in bed with me!

    Sorry so lon g- once you get it figured out – can you come visit me and help me!!
    .-= Tiaras & Tantrums´s last blog ..I ♥ Faces ~ Halloween Dress-Up =-.

  6. Thanks Leane and Casey! Great ideas!

    We have gotten him a Queen size bed (the one “Desi” is sleeping on at the moment) I think the new sheets/new decor for the room might work…but it’ll have to be sheets that both kids like. Thankfully Leah is way into being just like her brother so I don’t think that’ll be hard. I already started talking the idea up to Cam and he was into it…we shall see!

  7. Love the new layout look.

    We co-slept very shortly with my son when he was about 6 mo old and I loved to hear his every breath, but I also realized I did not sleep very well. I slept better when he was in his bassinet beside our bed, instead of being IN our bed. Eventually we moved the bassinet to his own room, then from the bassinet he went straight into a king sized bed that is on the floor. The bed is huge and comfortable, lined with pillows, blankets, and snuggly stuffed animals. We don’t have to fight about bedtimes or naps! He LOVES his bed!

    Maybe you could try a mattress beside your bed (on the floor) for Cam and then eventually move it into the other room…..

    Best wishes for you and DESI :) (a.k.a. the hubs) in your operation execution!
    .-= Leane´s last blog ..Win, What, Where?!? My Sentiment ExactLee =-.

  8. You could try getting Cam a super-cool big boy bed (or bedding set) and make a HUGE production about how he’s getting so big and is now old enough to sleep in his own bed.

    Or try reverse psychology: Show him some very cool bed or bedding sets online and remark about how cool they are and how much you’d love to buy one for him … if only he were big enough to sleep in his own bed, like a big boy.
    .-= Casey Becher´s last blog ..Win a Wii Family Fun Football Game =-.

  9. We didn’t co-sleep and I must admit I’m a big fan of kid space/parent space for several personal reasons including inability to sleep with a worm (which both of them are!) – however on getting 2 kids to share a room. My 5 and 2 (almost 3) year old share a room. They didn’t always, in fact one of them used to always be in our room, just in their own bed. One son had to do the cry for a 3-5 minutes and pass out the other one just would play with the little one. However – no more! We have their beds in a T shape -so that they aren’t able to look at each other. We tuck them in and lay with each of them for 2 minutes after reading their goo dnight story. Then that’s it! I wish there were more tricks to it but really it just took about a week or reinforcing that it was bedtime and not playtime and they quit trying!

  10. Try putting them both in same double/queen bed with rails (either on one side and bed against wall – put Cam on wall side so Leah doesn’t squirm down the side and get caught) or rails on both sides of the bed – maybe invest in a body pillow for along the bottom of the bed. Or use the body pillow as a lovey for Cam to hug (or you substitute for yourself once he is asleep and you retreat to your own bed). As far as one waking up the other, well, if they are to be sharing a room, they will have to get used to hearing each other and learn to sleep through it or at least awaken to see what’s up and them with some reassurance from Mom and/or Dad, just simply go back to sleep. Remember “white noise” very subtly might also help to get them to adjust to sleeping through noises ie like sibling fussing in the night. Try using some white noise (soft radio static noise or soft lullaby or surf noise – it may lull them to sleep and keep it going through the night- may also suffice as a substitute for your breathing like when you are sleeping with Cam – subsciously he will hear the white noise and hug the body pillow and you can retreat!

  11. Carrie, see it’s those moments that I got to see while my son slept on me that I wouldn’t trade for the world!

    Maybe we’ll try them in the same bed. I’ve thought of doing a trundle bed too.

    Thanks for stopping by…snuggle that little one of yours and enjoy the co-sleeping ride.

    I know one day Cam will be grown up and wanting to be in his own room, with the door closed and a sign on it that says “no parents allowed!” I suppose I should enjoy it while I can :)
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Adventures in Co-Sleeping…My Love/Hate Relationship and My Destiny to Always be a Mommy Sandwich =-.

  12. Hey there!
    Cool story! I cosleep with my 10 month old and understand the love/hate!
    Maybe your kids could share a bed in their room?
    By the way I am laying with my sleeping baby and he just laughed out loud in his sleep, love it;)

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