Ask Aunty Lactivist – co sleeping

Aunty Lactivist is all of us so if you can help at all with any ideas or share personal experiences please leave a comment.

Dear Aunty Lactivist
I co-sleep with my 17 week old for the fact that he won’t settle in his crib on his own and also because I breast feed.
The only concern I have is that my son doesn’t want to be appart from me, not even for a second.  I love the fact that i am literally the centre of his world, but I do want him to feel complete on his own too.
Do you have any tips or advice?

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Comments

  1. Jonette says

    I’m by no means an expert on infant sleep or baby bonding. What I can tell you is my personal experience and research led me to co-sleep exclusively with my son until 4 months old. I am a Nurse and looked for all kinds of advice and research to try to make the right decision.
    My son is now 22 weeks old. He sleeps most of the night in his room, in his crib. I still co-sleep in the early morning (0430- 0800) and occasional nap times. I find it is easier for breastfeeding and it also gives us bonding time on the days that I have been gone to work over 12 hours. Most everything I’ve read regarding bonding and encouraging independent social growth of the infant actually supported co-sleeping and breastfeeding. They generally pointed to an idea that a well grounded, secure feeling infant- who knew he could trust his parent to be nearby when needed- would explore the world more readily than an infant who did not get close bonding early in life.

    If you really want him to sleep in the crib but he won’t go down there- you could try nursing him to sleep in bed and then after 30 mins or so (so he’s sound asleep) moving him over to the crib. I also found it useful to have him sleep in a co-sleeper/bassinet next to the bed for a couple weeks before moving to the crib in his room. It was a nice intermediate “baby-step” for him and myself.

    Please remember that your baby is still small, has spent more time in you than out in the world, and that it feels warm and secure next to you. He will learn to explore things as soon as he’s ready. You will miss these close cuddles later when he’s crawling and walking away from you to go grab at everything that interests him! I take it day by day and give my son what he seems to want. I haven’t found any research telling me to do otherwise. I hope that helps. Good luck!!

  2. Jonette says

    I’m by no means an expert on infant sleep or baby bonding. What I can tell you is my personal experience and research led me to co-sleep exclusively with my son until 4 months old. I am a Nurse and looked for all kinds of advice and research to try to make the right decision.
    My son is now 22 weeks old. He sleeps most of the night in his room, in his crib. I still co-sleep in the early morning (0430- 0800) and occasional nap times. I find it is easier for breastfeeding and it also gives us bonding time on the days that I have been gone to work over 12 hours. Most everything I’ve read regarding bonding and encouraging independent social growth of the infant actually supported co-sleeping and breastfeeding. They generally pointed to an idea that a well grounded, secure feeling infant- who knew he could trust his parent to be nearby when needed- would explore the world more readily than an infant who did not get close bonding early in life.

    If you really want him to sleep in the crib but he won’t go down there- you could try nursing him to sleep in bed and then after 30 mins or so (so he’s sound asleep) moving him over to the crib. I also found it useful to have him sleep in a co-sleeper/bassinet next to the bed for a couple weeks before moving to the crib in his room. It was a nice intermediate “baby-step” for him and myself.

    Please remember that your baby is still small, has spent more time in you than out in the world, and that it feels warm and secure next to you. He will learn to explore things as soon as he’s ready. You will miss these close cuddles later when he’s crawling and walking away from you to go grab at everything that interests him! I take it day by day and give my son what he seems to want. I haven’t found any research telling me to do otherwise. I hope that helps. Good luck!!

  3. says

    These are some of the replies from the Lactivist facebook group:

    Hey, he is your world and you are his! Relax and enjoy this special time, live for the here and now and do what you feel is right and best. Try not to listen to those giving ‘advice’ about ‘making a rod for your own back’ etc, simply nod and do what you do best, be his mum! xx

    He will feel complete just with you for a longer time than most people in our society think, and when he is ready to move away he will let you know in tiny baby steps, and as your mum you will recognise that. Don’t feel that by doing what is right for you both, that you are wrong because people tell you so. Only you know what makes him and you happy. When they are small they want to be with you and are happiest that way, but many well meaning people says we should force them to stay away, go to nursery or be independant “for their own good”, so “they don’t get spoilt” etc etc. Do what you know is right, not necessarily what everyone around you says you should. Trust your mummy instincts :-)

    17 weeks is still very young, so please dont feel bad. My eldest daughter still sleeps with me (mostly), she is 3, though not still feeding. She is very independant and bright and far beyond her years with regards to nursery etc. My youngest daughter is 13 months, still feeding, and still sleeping with me. She will not settle in her cot and even wakes when I leave her asleep in my bed… she is also a very bright, happy and quite independant (for her age) little girl. Its really hard at times, but I keep telling myself, it wont be forever- I hope! It has also secured a definate bond between me and my girls, so keep at it, im sure you’re doing a fab job!! xx

    Co-sleeping is wonderful when done safely, so don’t feel bad about it at all. Especially when your baby is breastfeeding, it keeps you very in tune with your baby and able to respond to their needs immediately. Co-sleeping, babywearing and all that sort of “attached” parenting actually promotes future independence. Just follow what feels right. You’re doing a great job. x

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