Sunday, June 14, 2009
Co-Sleeping: Yay or Nay?
Co-sleeping...touchy subject I know.
However, in my opinion, co-sleeping with your baby is Heaven. I'm an advocate of it 100%. My son, who will turn three at the end of July, has been sleeping with me since birth. When in the hospital, I chose not to leave him in the nursery. I requested that he be in my room at all times unless otherwise medically necessary.
And when he arrived home, I knew that instinctively I wanted him to be as close to me at all times as humanly possible. Infants are utterly helpless. They need their mother (or care giver) around the clock. Therefore, I thought it was insanely natural to have my son sleep with me, and according to the information I've read on the subject, it is. So much so, that I didn't even purchase a crib. I didn't add a crib to my registry and I instructed all my close family members to not even be on the look out for a crib, I flat out didn't want one.
I enjoy my son being close to me, even now as he gets ready to turn three. He's still helpless and he needs his mommy.
I adore the smell of my son and the way he nestles into the crook of my arm when it's nap time and bedtime. I love crawling into bed at night after I have put my son down and pulling him close to me so that we can cuddle and become as close as safety allows.
If you're a new mother and you may be worried about any dangers associated with co-sleeping, I direct you to Natural Child , Mothering, or CoSleeping.org. Those three websites will give you all the research and statistics associated with the topic.
I can also tell you, as a mother who co-sleeps with their child, that when my son was a newborn I hardly changed positions while sleeping. This wasn't done deliberately. Your natural mothering instincts take precedence. You know your newborn is sleeping next to you, and for me, that was enough to tell my body not to move. It may sound like it was uncomfortable, but I can assure you it was not. I found it amazing that the exact position I went to sleep in, was the same one I woke up in. I'm sure this doesn't happen for all moms, but in my case, it did.
The benefits of co-sleeping are tremendous for me and my son. He was never a sound sleeper and he woke up quite often throughout the night until he was about two, and maybe a little older. He would wake up to eat, or reach for his pacifier that fell out of his mouth, or simply to nuzzle closer to mommy. It was so much easier to lull him back to sleep with him right next to me, and he slept for longer periods of time when he was an infant. And that meant that mommy got to sleep decently as well. Sometimes, we could go up to four hours before he wanted to eat again. And I see that even today, when he wakes, he is extremely well rested from getting a full nights sleep.
While co-sleeping may not appeal to all mothers, it worked for me and my son. If I have another child, I will absolutely co-sleep with them as well. And when I feel the time is right, I will transition my son into his own room and bed. But for now, there's nothing more sublime then taking in the smell of my son, or feeling his drool land on my arm, or even allowing for the faint sound of his little snores to help lull me to sleep.
Please, share your motherly outlook on co-sleeping. I'd love to hear your side of the story.