Is the Taboo of Co-Sleeping a Fallacy?


With my first daughter I was bound and determined to do everything by the book and set limits with her to provide a strong foundation for consistency and discipline for both myself and for her.  Even the first night in the hospital I kept putting her back into the bassinet and climbing back into the horribly uncomfortable bed just to get up a few minutes later to calm her screaming once she realized I set her down.  Swaddling didn’t make a difference and I was exhausted and overwhelmed.  Hours after this routine a nurse finally came in and told me to give in because she obviously wanted to be comforted by her mama.  She helped me get comfortable to breastfeed on my side and left us to sleep for the night.  I felt so guilty but reassured myself that the nurse told me it was okay and once we get home and get into a comfortable routine she would start sleeping in her own bed.  Boy was I optimistic!  Little Ava was in our bed for at least 3 months before I was able to get her into her crib and then once she started teething at 5 months she was back in our bed again until she was 9 months old. 

This time around, I again was determined to sleep alone in my bed without the baby – ha! Still not happening.  I bought the Arms Reach Co-sleeper thinking that I could just set her back into her own surface and I could be free to move around in my sleep as I please.  Wrong!  I don’t think my girls have similar personalities at this point but they sure do like sleeping with their mama.  It’s the only way my little Elliana will sleep at night and stay asleep for more than 20 minutes.  She can be so upset and then calm down in minutes once she finds the comfort of my boob.  She doesn’t even have to be eating but she has her little hands snuggled around one of my gigantic football sized (yes, they are huge right now) boobs.  She looks so precious and I wish I had the gumption to take a photo even though I don’t think I would show anyone. 

Now is this really taboo?  It seems most of my mama friends will tell me they co-sleep whether they planned it or not and many of them truly enjoy the bonding time.  I have to say it is so much more convenient while breastfeeding and it really does provide a bonding experience.  I realize it is scary to think that you could roll over on your child because you are so sleep deprived but in my experience, I don’t think it’s possible to be unaware of where your baby is while you co-sleep.  It’s like an innate biological response to wake up the moment you feel or hear anything but quiet or stillness. Of course people will tell you horror stories about someone they know or something they heard but I think if you fall asleep intentionally with your little munchkin and you are not under the influence of substances then there isn’t any danger.  Obviously, take precaution to make sure the sheets are fitted properly, there are no blankets that could smother the baby and you are comfortable with the decision to co-sleep – otherwise don’t do it!

Side-note: I did have the co-sleeper attached to my bed and my daughters both woke up because they were still too far away from me in the night.  I had the crib up against our bed with Ava and this time the co-sleeper with Elliana.  One foot away from me was too far for both of them.  This time we bought a king size bed and make the room for our little one to have extra space around her.

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