Touchy Topic: Co-Sleeping

When we first started co-sleeping, it was by complete accident. Conner had been sleeping in a bassinet and we would get up often to nurse through the night. As a new, inexperienced, breastfeeding mom, I would prepare to nurse in bed while James got up with him and changed his diapers. I would place pillows behind me and grab my Boppy.

I giggle now at the memories: worrying about every little detail, having to have things absolutely perfect, and all that sleep we lost.

I’m not sure how many weeks this went on, but I remember that night pretty well. The night we first started co-sleeping. I had nursed Conner, but he would not go back to sleep in his bed. Every time I put him down he would start screaming, even if I had nursed him or rocked him to sleep first.

We are against the “cry-it-out method,” so we had to do something if we were going to get any sleep. So in the bed he came.

It was as if he felt a sudden peace over him and had no problem going to sleep. Not only was he now sleeping, he was sleeping for longer stretches. Ah! This was so nice. Sleep? What is that? Well, we were finally finding out!

I remember other moms talking..

You just need to let him cry.

He needs to learn.

I didn’t understand what they were learning by crying. Learning that I didn’t want to comfort them? Learning that I didn’t care they were crying? What if he is hungry? What if he is scared? What if he just wants to be held? How will he tell me what he wants and needs? Isn’t that what crying is?

As a new mom, it can be overwhelming. There is so much advice out there and so many people telling you what you need to do with your kid.

I also remember being told…

Don’t start that or he will never get out of your bed.

It is going to be a fight to get him in his own bed.

I remember thinking, “How many 16-year-old boys sleep in bed with their parents still?” I really didn’t see that this would be a problem. And, just for the record, Conner is now 2 1/2 and chooses to sleep in his own bed! We didn’t go through stages of fighting with him, and we still allow him in our bed if he is scared or just needs some extra snuggle time. I know one day way too soon, he will not want to snuggle anymore, so bring it on!

While other moms were Facebooking about getting no sleep because the baby was up all night, we were starting to get several hours of uninterrupted sleep. We wondered why more people weren’t doing it, but I have since discovered, I think there are a lot of closet co-sleepers.

People voiced their safety concerns…

There are more SIDS cases in co-sleepers.

You can rollover and kill the baby.

I must express my deepest concern with co-sleeping safely!

Including statistics with those under the influence of drugs or alcohol is unfair to those of us who practice co-sleeping safely. As far as SIDS go, there is a lot of research that actually shows the opposite is true.

As I was researching, I came across Dr. Sears and his list of co-sleeping benefits. I was already loving co-sleeping, but this just encouraged me further.

So why do we love it?

  • More sleep!
  • Nursing while laying down
  • Snuggling with my baby
  • Waking up to see his sweet smile
  • Laughing and giggling at night and in the morning
  • Etc.

So when Elias came home, he was used to sleeping in his own crib at the NICU. He did this for the first few months, especially since he was still on oxygen and monitors, but once everything came off, it wasn’t long. He was up and crying and needed to be nursed. I was tired and in need of rest, so in our bed he came, and we’ve been loving and snuggling ever since.

Do you enjoy co-sleeping? What are the benefits for you?

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10 thoughts on “Touchy Topic: Co-Sleeping

  1. On one hand, I did find it hard to get the oldest out of the bed after giving in to co-sleeping. On the other hand, once while sleeping with middle child, I realized he had stopped breathing. The oldest had apnea and would usually stop breathing again once I nudged him. I nudged the middle boy, no breathing. Nudged and shouted his name. My husband who was sleeping next to us, heard the panic in my voice, grabbed him and started CPR. He was still not breathing after being yanked up, a finger swipe and breath, it took him a bit to come round. Probably saved his life…

  2. I’m with you. On the average, I usually do place our babies back in the bassinet (next to me) once they’re back to sleep. For me….I don’t sleep as well when the baby is right next to me. However, there are many times when I do keep baby in bed…and even when they’re not, they’re ALWAYS right next to me in a bassinet. We keep our little ones with us for quite some time. Our 14 month old is still in our room with us.

    Even as a new mom, I was always against “crying it out”. Baby stage is such a short time of life that it was never worth it to me to ignore their cries…even if just for comfort. I WANT to comfort my babies no matter what time it is. And I can testify that out of my nine children, I’ve never had issues with them getting out of our bed. On occasion, I’ll have a toddler come in in the middle of the night…..but even then, I see as a time to cuddle and comfort. These years don’t last long…I know…..my oldest is married and gone. 🙂 Here’s a blog post I wrote about “The Crowded Bed”.
    http://www.sacredmommyhood.com/2012/02/crowded-bed.html

    • Yeah our babies are still in the same room. This is mainly to do with the fact that we live in a two-story and our bedroom is downstairs and all the rest are up. We also have another couple living up there, so I don’t want my 2 1/2 year old being alone and scared so far away, or bothering the other couple.

      Thank you so much for reading and for your comments! I look forward to reading your blog post too!

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