Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mama's thoughts about co-sleeping

Co-sleeping is a dirty word to some and a way of life to others.

If you don't know what co-sleeping is, I will briefly explain:  it's sleeping together with your baby or small child.
Yep, it's that simple.

Why are people opposed to co-sleeping?  It's not safe.  What happens if you roll over onto baby and suffocate him?  What if baby rolls off the side of the bed?  What if you drop baby?  Some people are also opposed because co-sleeping restricts intimacy with a spouse.  Others feel like it's too crowded or that it creates dependency in children instead of teaching them to be independent.

Mama Crum was one of those people.  I read the studies, I knew the "facts", I had no desire to sleep with my babies, because I knew it was not safe.
Baby Monkey
Nearly 3 and a half years ago, Monkey was born.  He wanted to be held - all the time.  He would not sleep if I put him down at night.  He wanted to eat in the middle of the night, every night.  Mama learned that it was easier to indulge him than to ignore him.  Monkey began to nurse in the recliner while mama slept.  Eventually, he began to sleep in the bed next to mama while he ate.  

That was the beginning of the shift for me.  I learned that, for me, we all got better sleep when baby was close. It was easiest for baby to be in bed with us.  I got smarter with Crackers - we got a co-sleeper, you know, one of those beds that attaches to the side of a big bed so baby is right next to you, but still in his own space.  We used it for a while, then Crackers went off to his crib and slept in it by himself, until a month ago - when we started climbing out, and getting in to mommy and daddy's bed.  
Baby Crackers
Once again, we have a baby that wants to be held to sleep.  Baby and mama sleep in the recliner a good portion of the night some nights.  Now, though, the time is split between the recliner with Baby, and the bed with Mr. Crum, Monkey, and Crackers.

Yep.  I co-sleep.  I'm not fully committed to it.  In fact, I would like my boys to spend the nights in their own beds, and they all have their own beds.  I have to admit though that I love snuggling up with my boys.  At nap time I always lay down with one of the big boys to snuggle until he falls asleep - or until I do, depending on the day.
Baby Crum 3
I am not so opposed to co-sleeping as I used to be.  The safety issues?  They are pretty small in my estimation, I can't imagine rolling onto my baby and not noticing.  Maybe I'm just a light sleeper, but when my baby even breathes funny in his sleep, I wake up.

How do you feel about co-sleeping?


  1. Ask me that question on a day when I didn't have a squirmy sleeping ON mommy toddler in my bed from 1am on. :/

    My hubby may disagree, but I'd rather get 4 hours of interrupted sleep with a toddler in the bed than 0 hours of sleep while I try to convince him it's still bedtime. (Hubby sleeps better if I just go take care of toddler in the other room, though.)

  2. We co-sleep. Started in the hospital, in fact... not that it was planned or anything. But my little one (and my oldest, too) wanted to be held all of the time. I didn't even know what co-sleeping was until I woke up after my first full night's sleep with my oldest and found him in bed next to me!

  3. I think co sleeping can be safe or it can be dangerous. I guess it just depends on how you sleep. Some people are more aware of things when they sleep than others. Our baby slept in our bed more often than not. We were careful and neither of us roll around in bed. I think if someone is a heavy sleeper or moves around a lot at night co sleeping might not be the best idea.