Co-Sleeping by Vanessa

March 2nd, 2010 in About Me

*I wrote this post for but they are taking the blog down and I wanted to save it!

The first experience I had with co-sleeping was while I was pregnant with my first daughter and having lunch at the house of my best friend, who is Brazilian. She was teasing me about how she thought I would have the sleeping arrangements set up, so I could, “Kick that baby out as fast as I could from my room!” She went on to laugh at us “Americans” and how fast we are to sever the ties with our little babies. She can tease me well and I don’t mind.  I just retorted with, “At least I like root beer and don’t smear ketchup and mustard over the top of my pizza.”

I didn’t even know that co-sleeping existed.  Wasn’t that what mothers were doing when they accidentally rolled over their babies, causing them to pass away? None of my family did it and wasn’t it wrong?

When I had my little baby girl I was confused with the feelings to let her sleep with me. Weren’t they…wrong? I held the kid all day long; I could use a break.  I really honestly wasn’t that awe struck with her! Then why did I feel from night #1 that she needed to be curled up right in my arm?

Everyone’s mommy instinct is different.  Co-sleeping can be a very controversial issue.  But I still feel like it was 100% what I was supposed to be doing.

I practiced co-sleeping for about three months with both of my girls when they were brand new. When I was ready to go to bed at 11pm I would lie down with them and nurse us both to sleep. They would wake up once in the middle of the night to nurse and we would both fall right back to sleep.

In the hospital when my second daughter was born, she would choke on her phlegm, stop breathing and turn blue. This mama knew we would be coming home and she would be sleeping right next to my face. Not a hard decision there.

Then came the day when both of them…at exactly the same age starting getting really…squirmy. I mean, it was very apparent that they wanted their own SPACE.  The kicking, screaming and pushing me away gave me a clear sign of this! So off they went to their cribs, leaving me feeling a little down but knowing that now the Mommy Instinct was being replaced by, “Can you not tell I am over this” from my daughter’s instincts. At the same time my husband was also starting to ask if they could sleep on their own. The timing was perfect!

Co-sleeping is not for everyone. In some circles it is starting to become “trendy” or maybe you grew up in a home where it was a practice. That doesn’t mean it is for you.  Listen to yourself.  I really believe that “Mommy knows best” and “Daddy knows best” is the way to go.

Co-Sleeping worked well the way we did it.  Everyone does it differently. I wanted time with my husband withOUT a kid in the bed, which is why I waited until 11pm to grab them to sleep with me. I stopped at three months with both girls and I absolutely loved it.

I still love having “sleepovers” with my girls, although they only last until midnight…when the kicking and pushing start.


1. Babies sleep better–Sleepsharing babies usually go to sleep and stay asleep better. Being parented to sleep at the breast of mother or in the arms of father creates a healthy go-to-sleep attitude.
2. Mothers sleep better–Many mothers and infants are able to achieve nighttime harmony: babies and mothers get their sleep cycles in sync with one another.
3. Breastfeeding is easier–Most veteran breastfeeding mothers have, for survival, learned that sharing sleep makes breastfeeding easier. Breastfeeding mothers find it easier than bottlefeeding mothers to get their sleep cycles in sync with their babies. They often wake up just before the babies awaken for a feeding. By being there and anticipating the feeding, mother can breastfeed baby back to a deep sleep before baby (and often mother) fully awakens.
4. It’s contemporary parenting–Sleepsharing is even more relevant in today’s busy lifestyles. As more and more mothers, out of necessity, are separated from their baby during the day, sleeping with their baby at night allows them to reconnect and make up for missed touch time during the day.
5. Babies thrive better–Over the past thirty years of observing sleepsharing families in our pediatric practice, we have noticed one medical benefit that stands out; these babies thrive . “Thriving” means not only getting bigger, but also growing to your full potential, emotionally, physically, and intellectually.
6. Parents and infants become more connected–Remember that becoming connected is the basis of parenting, and one of your early goals of parenting. In our office, we keep a file entitled “Kids Who Turned Out Well, What Their Parents Did.” We have noticed that infants who sleep with their parents (some or all of the time during those early formative years) not only thrive better, but infants and parents are more connected.
7. Reduces the risk of SIDS–New research is showing what parents the world over have long suspected: infants who sleep safely nestled next to parents are less likely to succumb to the tragedy of SIDS. Yet, because SIDS is so rare (.5 to 1 case per 1,000 infants), this worry should not be a reason to sleep with your baby.

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