Mom Confession: I'm Co-Sleeping with my baby
Ok mamas, I have a confession to make. I co-sleep with my baby. That's right, my baby sleeps in the bed half the night with me and my husband. He starts off in his crib which is in our room and then in the wee hours of the morning he awakes in search of his mommy bottle (the breast). I always cringe a bit on the inside at doctor appointments when his pediatrician asks if he is sleeping in his own bed. I always smile and nod “yup”. Which is a bold face lie, partly. Before you start mom shaming me for my choice let me explain.
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Co-Sleeping with a Newborn
What is Co-sleeping?
Co-Sleeping is when you allow your infant to sleep in the same bed as you which is also referred to as bed sharing, however it also can be when you allow your infant to sleep in the same room as you in their own bed(room sharing) which is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
I practice both room sharing and co-sleeping. Like I said my little one starts off his night in his own crib, which is in my bedroom and then around 3:00am-4:00am he transitions into the bed with me. As a nursing mother bed sharing /co-sleeping is just what truly works for me. In the very beginning having to get up in the middle of the night so often just to nurse was a task all on its own. So having baby as near as possible is perfect for me. I also had a pre term C-section delivery with complications after, so having to walk across the house to his room or consistently getting in and out of bed to get him from his bassinet to tend to a fussy baby was not ideal once he was home from the NICU.
The Risk of Co-Sleeping
By no means am I encouraging you to co-sleep with your baby, however it’s what works for me and my little one. Co-sleeping is said to increase the risks of SIDS. This risk is increased as you or your significant other can possibly roll on top of baby or baby can suffocate in your blankets or pillows. Please keep this in mind before allowing your baby to sleep in your bed if you choose to do so.
If you do choose to co-sleep, fortunately there are some great co-sleeper beds you can purchase to help protect your little one.
This all in one lounger is perfect for those first few months home with baby as it is designed to recreate the womb to give baby a snug and soothing environment. You can use this in your bed or can place inside babies crib. The rounded sides help you safely co-sleep by creating a barrier around baby. The DockATot is also great for tummy time and travel friendly.
This in bed bassinet design is great for those who may be harder sleepers. The mesh design helps you to clearly see baby and the sides make it a lot less likely you’ll roll on top of your baby.
What About Room Sharing?
Room sharing is actually highly recommended by the AAP. Allowing baby to sleep in their own crib, or bassinet helps to reduce the risk of SIDS and claims to allow moms and baby to have a better nights sleep. If room sharing is for you these handy bassinets are great so that you do not have to get out of bed and baby can still be near.
The 360 swivel design makes it easy to navigate around your bed room. The Halo Bassinest makes it super easy to tend to baby with the easy let down walls so you do not have to bend over to get baby but rather have baby right next to the bed and just reach over for your baby easily. It also includes side pockets for easy storage and adjustable height to adjust to all beds.
Designed to give the co-sleeping experience while baby sleeps in their own bed. The side wall comes all the way down so you may sleep snuggled right next to your little one.
Now back to my choice to co-sleep. I chose to co-sleep due to the ease of being able to just pop the breast right out and get it straight to baby so I didn’t have to fully interrupt my sleep or have him waiting to long to have his needs met. I can admit I was being lazy, but, as a mom of a special needs child, with a new baby I was beyond exhausted. Of course I worry about all the risks but I try my very best to be cautious of him in the bed while sleeping. I’m also a pretty light sleeper so this wasn’t hard for me. Very often I see moms who are ashamed to say they co-sleep, don’t worry same here. However you should know there are some great benefits to co-sleeping.
Just by having baby in the same room with you allows baby to fully develop their senses. Babies very early on are introduced to their senses, from birth actually. Smells, noises, touch, temperature change, you name it Baby experiences it. By sleeping in your room you allow baby to further develop an understand of their senses.
Many moms and dads have been choosing to co-sleep. Like I said it’s convenient and especially if you are nursing. Just ask your mom friends, you’d be surprised how many will actually say yes to co-sleeping.
Babies who co-sleep sleep longer
I can honestly say my baby sleeps much longer in our bed then his own even when we are not laying in the bed with him. Which makes sense how many of you can crawl up in your moms bed and take a good nap.
Remember baby just spent 9 months being extremely close to you hearing your heart beat and staying warm. Now they are in the big cold world so a little extra snuggle goes a long way. Baby is able to be comfortable and near their most familiar person, mom.
Maintaining Milk Supply
Feeding on demand helps to maintain your milk supply. You have to think of breastfeeding as a supply and demand. The more baby demands mil and you give it the more supply you will produce.
So now you have the pros and cons to co-sleeping. If you do choose to co-sleep here are a few tips you should follow to keep baby as safe as possible.
Helpful Tips for Co-Sleeping
Have a firm mattress with tight fitted sheets
Ditch the heavy/weighted blankets
Avoid smoking and alcohol -if you are a smoker or intoxicated baby SHOULD NOT sleep in the same bed as you
Bottle fed babies should sleep in their own bed or co sleeping bassinet
Avoid large fluffy pillows
Make sure baby sleeps on their back
Avoid and strings or cords being on or near the bed
Baby should sleep in the middle to avoid falling
So there you have it, I admitted it. Again I’m not encouraging you to co-sleep but I do believe in the benefits. Do what is best for you and your baby. If you have questions consult your pediatrician.
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