Before Daisy was born I had never really thought much about co-sleeping. I always just thought that babies slept in their cots and that was that. I was a little naive to say the least! Those first few months after Daisy was born I struggled big time. For some reason, being naive again, I just presumed that I’d have a happy sleeping baby that would sleep the majority of the night. Boy, was I wrong?! I did some research after that and found out there is actually a lot that needs to be considered when a baby is trying to sleep. Like did you know that when they hit about 4 months, there’s a thing called a 4 month sleep regression which means that their sleeping pattern changes completely? It was this that made me start to think of co-sleeping. I knew the risks of having a newborn baby sleep in your bed with you, in a way it’s common sense that it may not be the safest of options. I’ve experienced the devastating effect of cot death and losing a family member at 4 months old and so I was always very conscious of Daisy sleeping, so up until she was about 7 months she slept in her moses basket/crib next to my bed.
I thought that when babies got to about six months old that they would stop waking in the night and sleep a good solid 12 hours. Once again I was very, very wrong! Daisy would wake several times for a dummy or for comfort. I found it considerably easier to just put Daisy in the bed with me that way we would both have a better nights sleep. When she began fighting to go to sleep the lazy side of me came out.. If I just put her straight into my bed then i could lay down beside her until she fell asleep… 16 months later and we’re still sharing a bed.
There are pros and cons and in my opinion the pros outweigh the cons. Hence why at 16 months she’s still sleeping in my bed! We have attempted to get her back into her cot but realistically we don’t think this is going to happen until her cot turns into a bed. I’ve had unnecessary comments from people saying how it’s unhealthy but if you research more into co-sleeping then you hear a lot of research that has proven it to be quite the opposite. Here’s my list of the pros and cons of safe co-sleeping.
P R O S:
- Both getting a good nights sleep
- The feeling of being close
- More sleep means a lower stress hormone in mother and baby
- Watching them fall asleep slowly
- The cuddles
- Makes baby feel safe and secure promoting long term emotional health
- Waking up to them poking you in the eye, ear, nose, mouth ect
- Waking up to a -mostly- happy baby
- It’s been said that you breathing stimulates them to breathe too
C O N S:
- Not having the space to spread out
- Having little feet kick you in the back/ribs all night
- If you’re a light sleeper then you might not sleep as well
- If you are too much of a heavy sleeper you need to be careful not to hurt them in your sleep
- Eventually it will need to end and you’ll have to ease out of co-sleeping
K E E P I T S A F E:
- Put baby to sleep on their back
- Have a clean mattress and bedding
- Avoid wearing perfume
- NEVER sleep with your baby in your bed after smoking or drinking
- Avoid sharing altogether if you are a heavy smoker or drinker
- Make sure that if they are to fall out of bed that there’s cushions surrounding the area
- Keep the room cool, don’t let it get too hot
- Don’t sleep in the same bed with your child if you are sleep deprived or on strong medication
As you can see there are so many pros and cons of co-sleeping, it just so happens that for us personally it’s the right option. It’s different for every parent and although people throw in the odd comment of how unhealthy it is, or how i’ve ‘made a rod for my own back’ I really couldn’t care, because we’re happy in our house hold with our routine and we are all for co-sleeping! What are your opinions on co-sleeping? Are there any tips I’ve missed out on?