Why I changed my views about co-sleeping, and how it saved my sanity
I used to hate the idea of co-sleeping with babies. Not only did the risk of SIDS (Suddent Infant Death Syndrome) terrify me, but I wanted our room to be an adult safe haven from all things baby. I thought it created bad habits and made your baby especially dependent on you. Well it turns out breastfeeding or not, babies just want Mom. I have now been co-sleeping consistently for four months and my baby and I are here to tell you how it saved my sanity, made me a better parent, and her an even happier baby!
The bad sleep habits began when my daughter Meadow was sick, she couldn’t be on her back so my husband and I slept in shifts while we watched her in the mechanical swing. When it was time to go back to the crib she did okay for a while but then we would play the “soothe, put down, wake up” game all.night.long. Neither of us slept, my husband would end up on the couch so she could be in our bed, and we wouldn’t get any of our glorious child-free time. So after a few weeks, we devised our grand plan:
- If we were going to sleep train, she needed to be in her own room
We moved the crib to the nursery across the hall hoping for the best, We also decided we would not use any sort of Ferber/ CIO. I personally believe that CIO/Ferber for young children is cruel and unusual.
- If her own room didn’t work, we would sidecar the crib
You can check out this really cool idea here http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/how-to-side-car-your-crib/
- If all else failed, we would just co-sleep
I tried breaking sleep associations, putting her down drowsy but awake, having my husband put her to bed, putting her down in different positions, white noise, etc. and nothing worked..she kept ending up in our bed or on the couch with us! Until one day I decided, let’s try just putting her down in our bed instead of using the rocking chair… and sure enough, it did the trick! Sometimes when I put her to bed at/around 7, I get 3-4 glorious hours to watch a show, blog, hang out with my husband, whatever I want really.. but if there is a growth spurt or teething I’m not always so lucky. There are nights I end up smooshed in the corner at 8:00 pm playing on my phone because she doesn’t want to be alone, or she winds up watching TV on the couch with us and we have to watch something PG. But there are also nights I get to spend quality time with my husband or even myself. The best part of all of this, everyone gets more sleep! And I get adequate time to recharge.
So at the end of the day, its only a problem if it’s a problem for you. There is nothing wrong with room sharing, sleep training, or night feeding. You must do what is best for you and your family. As selfish as this may sound, ESPECIALLY you. If Mama isn’t happy then no one is. Just like chips on a sandwich, don’t knock it until you try it!
I promise…. co-sleeping isn’t that bad!
For information on safe co-sleeping visit https://www.llli.org/the-safe-sleep-seven/
Disclaimer: Co-Sleeping may increase the risk of SIDS and is not recommended by the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics).
About the Author
My name is Chrissy and I am a Stay at Home Mom in New Hampshire to 9-month-old Meadow, two rescue dogs, and a cat. When I’m not blogging or managing chaos you can find me on a hike with my family, cooking something good, or enjoying a craft beer!
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