Why CoSleep With Your Baby?
Here’s another guest post from Molly W, who wrote on Pregnancy Fitness here, and recently about Elimination Communication here. She and her husband practice co-sleeping with their little 5 month old girl and she shares why it works for her.
“Aren’t you afraid you’re going to roll over on her?” People inquire.
Yes, of course, which is likely the reason I haven’t yet crushed our little daughter who sleeps in our bed with us. You’ve heard of it, and probably have done it lots if you have a new baby since they seem to sleep best on mommy’s chest. I thought cosleeping was kindof weird, for poncho-wearing parents who add chia seeds to their homemade granola. Now I guess I just need to dig up the old baja poncho from ’94 to seal my entry into the club.
We originally bought a mini-armsreach cosleeper. The name is deceiving because it is in fact a bassinet which sidles up along the bed, but is not easy to get baby in and out of if you are laying down. V would toss around in it and only calm down if I put my hand in it and touched her, totally uncomfortable sleeping position for me, but I didn’t want to “train” her to sleep in the bed with us since I feared she would never sleep anywhere else, also that I would roll over on to her.
When she was 2 months old, I was going back to work soon, still sleep deprived because I would get up and nurse her in the rocker every 3 hours, and desperate for a solution. Everything was pointing for me to night wean her and move her to her own crib in her own room. I was contemplating the dreaded cry-it-out method. What can I say, it was a vulnerable period. Then I read this Dr. Sears perspective on the scientific benefits of co-sleeping, here.
That night and every night since V has slept in our bed. I needed to have a scientific rationale for what really felt right. Dr. Sears preaches attachment parenting, but I felt the research on the benefits of cosleeping was a powerful reason to try it out. The result has been great for us in the past 3 months (she’s 5 months old now). I feed her in her sleep if she starts moving around making sucking motions. Once I latch her on, I fall back to sleep. I’m very aware of where she is at any given moment. The reality is that I sleep fairly lightly these days, probably will until V is off to college, or moon school, whatever they are doing in 18 years. But I’m still able to get up early every day and commute to manhattan and work, no naps needed.
And somehow, I feel good, V feels good, and hubby is happy with it too. People also ask me, “But when will she sleep in her crib?” I guess I just don’t know yet. It’s nice not to have everything decided upon in advance.