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I absolutely love cosleeping. It was not the first thing we decided to do, but, in the end, it was one of the best choices we have ever made when it comes to taking care of myself and our baby.
While many believe it is not safe and good to cosleep with your baby, research now is showing that it is very beneficial and can be safe as well!
What is Cosleeping?
Cosleeping can mean very different things. For one, it can be simply sleeping in the same bedroom as your baby.
It can also mean sleeping in the same bed, or even having a bassinet right next to your bed where your baby sleeps.
Benefits of Cosleeping
Cosleeping is actually super beneficial to both you and your baby. While there is a huge stigma around it, it can be a wonderful experience for you and your baby.
For your baby:
- less stress
- longer sleep
- more independent, self-reliant, and confident
- less likely to have SIDS
- happier babies
How to Have Safe Cosleeping
Couch sharing, is not considered safe. That is because oftentimes the baby gets pushed to the inside of the couch and suffocates from the pillows.
However, all other forms of cosleeping are considered safe, when done properly. You can easily make it safe to cosleep with your baby!
The main thing to be aware of is that you do not roll on your baby. You can put a rolled up towel between you and your baby so when you turn, you know exactly where your child is at.
You also do not want to have loose blankets or pillows close by the baby since they can easily suffocate.
If you are on heavy drugs or overly exhausted, it probably is best not to bedshare with your child. It is not as safe for them when you cannot wake up easily.
It is also not so safe when you have other children sleeping in your bed. You do not want them near the baby. Having them on either side of you works, but never together.
Negatives of Cosleeping
In some rare cases, when not done properly, bedsharing and cosleeping could lead to your baby dying. That is why it is so vital to make sure nothing can harm your baby, including yourself while you are sleeping.
Another negative is that your hair can become wrapped around your baby’s toes or fingers and cut off blood supply. It is more common when you cosleep because your loose hair falls in your bed.
Cosleeping can also put a dent in your relationship with your spouse. The baby might sleep between you two, meaning you have less time to be together.
Of course, there is also the risk that your baby can fall off the bed or in between cracks while they are sleeping with you on your bed. It is just another thing you have to be aware of and safely remove before it becomes an issue.
When we got home from the hospital, we put Abigail in a crib in our room. However, that only lasted for a couple of days, if that. She would wake up every hour to eat, and then never liked being that far away from me.
So, we had a bassinet that sat on our bed that we began to use. It has mesh sides, making it easy to see and check up on her. She felt much safer as she was closer to me.
It was so much easier to feed her and we got so much more sleep because I wasn’t constantly getting out of bed to feed her, I could do it right from the bed.
When she turned 6 months old, she did not fit in the bassinet anymore. So, instead of moving to a crib, we transitioned her into our bed. It was so nice. She slept all through the night, no problem because she could feel me there for her whenever she needed it.
Around 9 months old, she started pulling my hair and constantly hitting my face throughout the night, so I didn’t get much sleep. So, we found a crib and tried her in that.
I expected the transition to be hard; however, we talked it through with her, and she went right away and slept all night in her crib like it was normal! This lasted for a few months.
When she started getting more teeth coming in, she came back into our bed. We have never forced her to sleep in her crib, and we never will. I want her to feel safe and secure while she sleeps, so wherever that is for her, we make it work.
Currently, she has her crib with one side down right next to my side of the bed. She sleeps in her crib, but can easily reach me if she needs some comfort during the night. Again, she sleeps peacefully through the entire night and only comes in my bed every now and then.
Now that we have our new baby, he sleeps in the bassinet on our bed as well. We will continue to cosleep because it works for us! However, that does’t mean it will work for you.
Despite the stigma that cosleeping and bedsharing are bad and not safe, many anthropologists and researchers are actually finding that it is quite beneficial and safe to cosleep with your baby.
Find what works best for you and go with that. For some, it will be having a nursery, for others a crib in your room, but for me, it is cosleeping and I absolutely love it!
These are awesome research papers going more in-depth about cosleeping and all the benefits from it along with why it is in fact safe to cosleep with your baby!
Other Posts on Sleep
Check out my other posts on getting better sleep with your baby!