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Thank F… for Co-Sleeping

 |  Parenting

Confession time: we co-sleep. Shock! Horror! Apparently this is going to cause me to roll onto and murder my child, yadda yadda yadda.

It’s all accidental of course. I didn’t plan to co-sleep, and we didn’t start this way. Still, when you’re feeding a newborn who’s waking every few hours for a feed there’s nothing worse than having to drag your weary arse out of bed, fetch baby — who by this point is wide awake and hungry, and letting you know about it — feed said baby and then get them back to their cot/crib/whatever without waking them up again.

So, I quickly learned that it’s much easier to just stick baby on their side, attach to boob, and go back to sleep. Baby feeds, baby sleeps, no movement or arsing about involved.

Isabel was having a rare disturbed night last night. Waking more frequently than normal and having difficulty settling (she was busy singing and gurgling to herself instead) and I realised that, were we not co-sleeping, I’d have had to get up and down about 8-9 times last night.

It’s no wonder parents of young babies are expected to be exhausted, quivering wrecks. Personally? Couldn’t be better, cheers for asking. ;)

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

16 comments so far

  1. Melissa said:

    I considered co-sleeping when our baby was new, but just having him sleeping in the same room as us for the first few weeks was enough to make me lose sleep! He is such a noisy sleeper, which is why he ended up in his crib in his own room very quickly. I don’t get up and check on him every time I hear a noise, either. I always say that the only advantage to having a fussy baby (thankfully that stage is over) is that you learn to tune a lot of it out. If I were to get up every time he made a noise, I never would have slept or even gotten one thing done during the day!

    I’m glad it’s working out for you. Seems to make sense in your situation.

  2. Katie said:

    I have another friend whose baby co-slept, and it works very well for them too. You’ll be pleased to know that baby has lived to see her first birthday, and Mum and Dad didn’t kill her!

  3. Caasi said:

    That is exactly the same reason we co-slept. It saved my sanity!

    DJ ended up in his cot through the night when he was about 18 months, about the same time as he was weaned.

    It also has helped when DJ has been sick

  4. Elysa said:

    *shrugs* I don’t understand this big Western taboo about co-sleeping with your baby. Women have been sleeping with their babies for centuries around the world without people making a big fuss over "attachment issues" or rolling over and killing your baby… I say, this is one of those instances where culture rightfully triumphs science.

    *goes back to lurking*

  5. Erin said:

    I coslept with both Jas and Cody. However, any visit to the doctors office, I always have to keep silent on this or listen to a half hour rant on how I’ll smother my baby. It’s a huge part of the SIDs campaign.

    I keep Cody’s crib in our room as well so any nights where I am over tired, in he goes. When you sleep with them though, you have a sixth sense and KNOW they are there, even when you are asleep. Kind of like when pets cuddle up at your feet. The parents that roll on their children usually have been medicated, liquored, or are overly tired.

  6. Echo said:

    I think it’s interesting- I read a recently published study on SIDS (sorry, no link) and it claimed over HALF of babies who die from SIDS co-sleep… yet ignored the results of the polls which claimed that anywhere from 46-54% of mothers cosleep. They kept emphasizing over half co-sleep, but never made any emphasis on their findings of how many babies cosleep. Or that ‘nearly HALF of babies who die from SIDS do not cosleep.’ : /

    Angel co-sleeps because he flips his lid the second I lay him down alone. As a newborn he would sleep roughly 15 minutes after I set him down- it has turned into zero seconds. He’s gradually learning to sleep near me rather than on me/in a snuggle, but I’m glad I’ve been able to give him what he needs. It’s sad how so many people want to criticize my habits with my healthy, happy, loved little guy rather than reconsider leaving their own to scream themselves to sleep : ( I was told recently that I need to give him formula and FORCE him to eat more so that I don’t have to nurse so much (he was literally nursing every hour for about two months). I just said, ‘No. It’s worth it.’ *headshake*

  7. Tanya said:

    Sam sometimes sleeps in our bed, and sometimes in her cot which is next to the bed. If she doesn’t sleep with us, we will usually take her into our bed for a long cuddle in the morning before getting up. We like to take a very relaxed approach to where she sleeps and so far it’s worked really well – she will go to sleep at 11pm and wake between 7 and 8am without waking once during the night and has done so for more than a month now. :)

  8. Jem said:

    @Echo: I think the stats are roughly 50/50 – 50% of SIDs babies are co-sleepers. However, they count babies who have died from suffocation because of falling asleep on the sofa/whatever as co-sleepers, when every co-sleeper I know wouldn’t do something that daft. That means that co-sleeping (the "proper" definition) is in theory safer? I don’t have any sources for that stat though, going on memory from the Three in a Bed book.

  9. Theresa said:

    I have several children and every single one of them have slept with me as an infant. It’s tiring being a new mother, especially a new mother with several other children to tend to as well. So, honestly, fuck what the statistics say, it’s mentally exhausting to not get any sleep and still have to deal with everything else in my life.

    By the way, do those statistics count how many SIDS cases are actually sick bitches who purposely smother their children? Oh wait, I guess the mother would have to fess up to it first for them to officially count it as murder instead of SIDS.

  10. Ana said:

    It’s hard not too..If you can pop her on your feeding arm after she dozes and hold onto her..My youngest son was BF for 18 months using that little secret! It’s very hard not to fall asleep when you have a breastie
    congratulations and keep going-hows the weight loss going? i lost 3 stone without even trying! it’s great!

  11. Ana said:

    brilliant! we’ve all heard the benefits for the baby yada yada yada, but seriously the weight loss was the best part! one word of advice, if you are picking at bits of naughtie foods be cautious when you do stop feeding her because if you forget and continue to eat as you are when you are feeding, it will jmp back on- I gained 9lbs before I realised! I’ve gone on to lose a further six stone since my baby days-they are hard work! opps Mommy Blogging- my bad!

  12. Mumblies said:

    Although I didn’t co-sleep myself, I have no views either way about this, so long as parents don’t drink themselves into a stupour before they go to bed on booze (which of course neither of you do) I don’t see the big deal. The benefits of bonding for both parents is a great thing. Breast fed babies are great, but often Dads can feel a tiny bit surplus to requirements as they can’t feed unless you express etc so being able to snuggle up and cuddle both the baby and the woman they love must be wonderful for them too.
    My normal reaction? YOUR baby, YOUR rules, you bring your own child up how you both decide, don’t let anyone else tell you different!
    Isabel is an intelligent, happy healthy contented baby who rarely cries…obviously you are doing it right or she would let you know about it pretty sharpish. XD

  13. Echo said:

    I agree. They also lump drunk sleepers in there. That is so… : ( That is not what co-sleeping is. It is not when you’re too wasted to put your baby somewhere safe.

    That was what annoyed me so much about the stats- they kept saying over half, but their number was 54%. What’s the margin of error outside the study? 54% is really close to 50%, and if up to 54% of parents in the study were co-sleeping… then it seems like it doesn’t really affect it at all in their study.

    The way my son sleeps, I could almost not possibly roll onto him. My arm sticks out at my side, I would have to drop him first, rearrange myself and then roll over, the process of which would undoubtedly wake me.

  14. Sarah @ OneStarryNight said:

    Yay for co-sleeping! I did it with DS1 and currently with DS2. Seriously, I don’t know how "crib parents" do it. I need my sleep, getting out of bed to tend to a screaming scared child is just… crazy. I avoid all that by co-sleeping and breastfeeding.

    It’s also been proven that it LOWERS the risk of SIDS. Like anything else it’s about doing it PROPERLY. Not getting drunk and passing out on the couch for example.

    OH here is a great article by Dr. Sears http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T071000.asp

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