If you'd asked me when I was pregnant my views on co-sleeping I would have said it was reckless! Why risk your child's life right? How naive I was.
There were nights where I couldn't even remember sleeping, forcing myself to stay awake until he settled into a deep enough sleep on my chest so I could transfer him into his bed, for him to then wake and do it all over again. I was exhausted.
It got bad when I started to fall asleep winding him, I would wake up and he'd be doubled over on the bed! Big big death risks. We got lucky, the three times this happened I woke up to find him safe, but I was devastated, how could I let that happen!
Then Sophia said to me, why don't you practice safe co-sleeping? "No, it's too dangerous!" I said on my high horse! "Well it's safer that what you're doing now" - that struck a cord but I still tried to fight it, even buying a co-sleeping crib. But the same thing kept happening. He just wanted to be as close as possible to me, so one night, at 4ish weeks, out of sheer desperation I googled how to safely co-sleep, popped him in our bed and since then he has woken up once for a feed, sometimes even sleeping through!
I am now completely converted, I love bed-sharing! I love the bond it has brought between my baby and I and I love being able to sleep! I hold Rory so close I can always sense his breathing and that brings me so much comfort. It's not the ideal situation, but what is better? To keep risking my child due to major sleep deprivation or to take back control and keep us all happy as safely as possible.
Co-sleeping needs to lose the taboo so that more people feel comfortable enough to carry it out and be given the guidelines on how to do it safely!
My tips and advice for co-sleeping:
- Make sure all parties are happy with it, Rich really didn't want us to do it at first, but he now does see it's beneficial.
- Do your research, look at the Lullaby Trust for guidelines on how to carry our bedsharing to reduce the risk of SIDS
- Wear a jumper to bed as you'll need to keep the duvet at waist level
- Invest in sleeping bags and keep baby on top of the duvet to minimise suffocation risks.
Pros of Bed-Sharing:
- Sleep! Newborns want to be as close as possible to their mums and sometimes the only way to settle them is to keep them close.
- Closeness to your baby, I absolutely love the bond its brought. It is something that now feels like the most natural thing in the world. I also like that I can sense his movements so I know when he is about to wake for a feed and can get organised before he does.
Cons of Bed-Sharing:
- It's now a "lifestyle choice" which means that I won't drink any alcohol in the evenings as I don't want to take that risk
- No more starfishing! We have a king sized bed and even then there is significantly less room with Rory in there.
- It can rain on intimacy - let's all face facts!
What are your thoughts on bedsharing?
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