For those of you unfamiliar, co-sleeping is the practice of sharing your bed with your child. This usually starts from day one of the child’s life and can continue on for as long as a parent wishes.
Many people swear by the practice. It is supposed to promote bonding, make night feedings easier, help control baby’s breathing, and give mom and dad more rest.
However, there are as many dissenters for this practice as there are advocates. Those opposed preach the dangers of co-sleeping: a parent may roll over onto baby, baby can be smothered in blankets, baby can fall from bed, etc.
With such wonderful benefits and such horrific dangers, how is a mom to decide what to do?
The idea of more sleep is so wonderful to me. Ellen sleeps so well when attached to me. We love our Infantino carrier for this reason. I can get so much done during the day while she just snoozes on me and wakes for the occasional feeding and changing. During the night, she eats and then crashes on my chest. She is out cold, people! It’s adorable and tempting…I just want to let her stay! Not only would I get more sleep, but I just love the cuddle time. I could cuddle this kid all day…and I often do! Doesn’t everyone wish they could just snuggle up with their baby all night long like a teddy bear?
Of course, on the flip side, I just can’t being myself to do this because of the dangers. If anything poses a threat to my baby, the protector in me just can’t be ok with the idea. Now, I have to admit, when we first brought her home from the hospital, I was not used to this “no sleep” thing. During one of our night feedings, I fell asleep with her on my chest. When I woke up a couple hours later, all was ok. As a matter of fact, Ellen was still sleeping! But, I cried and cried and cried. I couldn’t believe that I had put my baby in danger.
So, in our home, Ellen sleeps in our room right next to the bed. She sleeps in her pack-n-play all swaddled up with white noise in the background. I try to mimic the womb as close as I can without having her curled up on me. I still think about co-sleeping all the time. I reason with myself that studies show that mothers who feel attached to their children and are in good health do not roll over on their babies. At the same time, what if? What if??
With this being such a hot topic right now, read about it for yourself 1. here, 2. here, 3. here and 4. here, and tell me what you think in the comment section below.
3. Dr. Sears
4. Dr. Sears