Everybody has their own vision or idea of how their newborn will sleep. This vision starts well before ever having a child. “When I have a kid I’m going to make sure they sleep through the night in their crib!” Welcome to expectation vs reality after your kid is born!
I have spent many sleepless night since day one, trying to get my LO to sleep. Every sleep training method you could think of, we tried.
When she was a newborn we actually had a co-sleeper meant to be placed on the bed and keep us divided. Seemed so smart and like such a beautiful idea.
I demand proof that thats not a doll!
She hatedddd it! Finally I opted to co sleep on the couch with her. I had her propped so there was no risk of her falling below me to where she couldnt breathe and that is how we spent the next couple of months. A friend of mine informed me of a sleep rocker and said it had worked for her friend. The desperate for sleep new mom in me agreed and I finally slept!!!
Her first time in it
I got a solid 2 or 3 months of her getting real sleep in there! Im talking 7-10 STRAIGHT hours at night and 3-5 hr naps. All of which I took for granted come the 4 month regretion. :/
She had pretty much out grown the sleeper and we were transitioning her to her crib. Every sleep training or sleep inducing thing we tried. Even our doctor was at a loss. As soon as mama hokds her though she was out like a light. Well if you cant beat em right?
Shes 7 months old now and some days i have to sleep with her still and some days i have to hold her to sleep or maybe shell sleep on her own. She will always always sleep longer when I’m holding her though.
Here are some pros and cons from my experience of co-sleeping.
- Your child feels secure and safe with you. How can that ever really be a bad thing?? How amazing is it to know that your baby trusts you in their most vulnerable moment? What an honor. I have not actually looked it up but from what I can tell most animals, in general, will sleep with their young. Judging by the fact my daughter is not ready to run away from me out of the womb, I would assume human babies were not meant to sleep away from their mothers for quite some time either.
- Moments you cant get back. This is a time that, even though youre exhausted, will pass quickly and once its gone, its gone forever. Your LO will be little and only want to sleep with you for a short period of time and you will look back on these moments forgetting the exhaustion and only remembering the quiet beautiful moments between you and her.
- If you breastfeed there is also convenience. This will let me stay in bed for extra hours which helps when mommy isnt feeling well or just too tired to fully function. Quick popping out of boob and baby is fed and all is right with the world again!
- Increased milk supply!! If youre worried about your supply than co sleep, baby wear and do skin to skin. Boom! Helloooo milkkkkk!
- Immediately meeting your kids needs. As I held my daughter I heard her nose sound stuffy and I could tell breathing with her pacifier in her mouth was a challenge. I would not have known that if she were in her crib. I unclogged it and she slept great! I have also felt her having a nightmare and I was also able to quickly calm her down and she went right back to sleep.
- It is a lot harder to transition them into their own bed later on, because you are their most comfortable bed, pillow and security blanket. If someone took my favorite matress away from me I would not be a happy camper either!
- Sleeping is a lot harder for you. Waking up to random baby limbs in your face or feeling every body movement is not the best way to get a good nights rest. I also will only sleep on the couch with her, so I usually ended up with a stiff neck or back.
- Its not the safest route. If you are going to co-sleep please, please be veryyyy cautious!! I know I am very aware of my surroundings while sleeping and I am also a very light sleeper. Years of having pet cats sleep all over me had trained me for not being able to roll over in my sleep. I also usually have her propped up so she is somewhat above me and will not slip into, lets say my armpit or something and suffocate. Please make sure there are no pillows blankets or yourself (armpit, chest, breasts) around that may block the babys nose or mouth. My SO is a horrible sleeper and twitches a lot, so I havent trusted him sleeping with her unless he is napping sitting up and I will sleep on the couch with her. Ive taken a few flying elbows from him in his sleep, so I didnt want to risk it. Safe enviroment is key!
- Its also a lot harder to get stuff done when your childs sleep is dependent on you. Good luck getting anything done now. This is where a supportive SO comes in handy to help you around the house or to occupy the baby later on so you can finish your tasks.
- This last one is based purely on my own experience. My mother was a single mom of two kids and did not have a ton of money so we always had only 2 bedroom apartments. If youre good at math you can probably tell this meant my brother had his own room and I coslept with my mother. This was until I was 10 before we moved in with my stepfamily where my stepsister and I shared a room for a few years. As an adult, still I cant sleep comfortably without having someone else there even if it was just my cats. (Also why I had pets in my single adult years) it takes me a very long time if at all to sleep alone. The only way I can really sleep alone is with ambien. Again, this is not based on any research just my own experience.
Dont let any stigmas stop you from doing what you feel is best for your family. If you can sleep train and that works for you then great and if co-sleeping is better for you then do that. Just dont let anyone make you feel like there is a set way to this parenting thing. As long as your child is happy and healthy then you are doing a great job!!!
Do you find co-sleeping works for you?