This week I have baby on the brain!
My first baby girl Abby, two days old.
Co-Sleeping is something that I do. But I don’t bring it up in conversation. I don’t proudly wear a “badge” on my sidebar or even admit it to some family members. Why? Oh, because I am a pansy through and through. I’m easily offended and it’s a weirdly sensitive issue with me. What? Just being honest. And you know that judgmental look that gets quickly suppressed by people who love you but you can tell they think it’s a horrible idea? Eh, maybe after having a baby I just don’t have the energy to ignore it.
I have co-slept with both my daughters until they were about three months old when both of them literally started kicking me and it was blatantly obvious they wanted SPACE. By then my husband started feeling the same way and so (a little reluctantly) I moved them to their crib in their room. I probably could have/would have done it longer but if my daughters were telling me time was up AND my husband was telling me the same thing, then I needed to listen. And even if baby girl #3 wants to co-sleep longer but my husband is ready, once again, to have her move out at 3 months, she will have to move on out and I’ll be fine with it.
Why did I co-sleep? Oh, for many selfish reasons. IT SAVED ME. Saved me sleep wise, saved me by helping my girls to sleep through the night at 3/4 months and saved me from worry.
Why did I even decide to do it in the first place?Well, now I can’t remember which child did this, but I had one baby that choked on her own phlegm in the hospital, stopped breathing and turned blue. Oh, now I knew as soon as I went home that no baby monitor or even a bassinet by my bed was going to work. That baby was going to be breathing directly into my face during the night and that was that. The other child had horrible jaundice. After being in one of those light beds for a while, she was in a “light blanket” which had electrical cords that made me nervous. So once again I thought to myself, “No brainer here. This baby is going to be right by my side.” I was not planning on co-sleeping. I never made a before hand “decision” on if it was something that I was or was not going to do. It was something that came naturally to me as their mother. It felt very, very right and worked so well for us. And guess what? I listen to my mommy voice.
How was the set up? Well, my babies never slept between my husband and I…EVER. They would sleep with their head cradled in my arm. I slept on my side towards them. I did have this beautiful bassinet made by my grandfather in the room if I needed to put them down during the night so I didn’t leave them alone on the bed. This time around I have bought a “Snuggle Nest” and want to see if I like the way it works. But you know? If this time around I feel uneasy or not right about co-sleeping…I won’t.
Although, let’s talk about these “Co-Sleeping” myths out there: I feel like some people hear one “myth” or “fake statistic” or even one REAL story and somehow have their minds made up on the whole issue. And then they tell everyone with such passion that they are against co-sleeping when they really don’t know about the issue in the slightest.
Here is *one* good example:
The Consumer Product Safety Commission & the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA, the crib manufacturers’ lobby) launched a campaign to discourage parents from placing infants in adult beds or sleeping with them. They took data from 2,178 cases of unintentional mechanical suffocation of US infants under 13 months old for the period 1980 to 1997. With the data of the autopsies and investigations of where the child died they came up with “numbers” to prove the point they wanted to make. But guess what? The result of the study shows that co-sleeping is actually less than half (42 percent) as risky, or more than twice as safe, for an infant to be in an adult bed than in a crib. You can read the article I am referring to and be linked to the original study here: http://mothering.com/parenting/cosleeping-is-twice-as-safe
Now I am not going to say something as silly as babies sleeping in cribs is unsafe and roll my judgmental eyes when someone tells me that they put their babies in cribs right away to get them sleeping there. You need to do research, have things set up safely and listen to your “Mother Voice” to decide what is right for you. I wouldn’t even ever go as far as recommending to someone that they co-sleep. I would tell them how it worked for us and point them in the direction of a good Family Bed Safety Checklist. Same goes with cribs. If that is the way you want to go, take the time to research how to make those as safe as possible. It’s part of responsible parenting!
What do you think of co-sleeping? What did you do with your babies?