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Find Peace of Mind with Co-sleeping

There was absolutely no way I was going to put my newborn baby in a room all by himself; my maternal instinct insisted it was so lonely and wrong to have our baby in a big room all alone. So I set up a bassinet next to our bed to keep him close enough for me to easily respond to any nighttime needs. And that’s where it went horribly wrong. I had no idea babies were such noisy sleepers. And like many first time parents, I felt the need to constantly check on our first son anytime I heard a noise – just to make sure he was OK. I would pretty much wake up to every little sound he made, and once I was awake, I couldn’t get back to sleep until I actually got up and looked at him. After a couple weeks of waking up nearly every hour to check on him, I was desperate for sleep.

That’s how we started co-sleeping with our son. I started breastfeeding him in our bed instead of sitting in the rocking chair to get a few extra minutes of sleep. I just never got up to take him back to his crib after he was done feeding. With the little guy next to me, I was much more at ease and no longer woke up at every little sound he made. I loved it! And I finally, I got enough sleep to make it through the day. It even made breastfeeding easier since I didn’t have to get out of bed to feed him; I just had to latch the little one on while I dozed. But the best part was cuddling with my baby and waking up every morning to the most precious happy baby smile I’ve ever seen.

I initially worried about the pediatricians’ recommendations against co-sleeping. But once I discovered a large portion of the world’s population co-sleep for years, I started to change my mind on the subject. Then a conversation with my mom, who co-slept with us as babies, was all I needed to happily embrace the change in sleeping arrangements.

I made a couple of modifications to our bed to create a perfect space for our baby to co-sleep. I replaced the big overstuffed pillows with smaller throw pillows and kept the blankets pushed down to my waist to greatly reduce the chance of him suffocating with the bedding. Rolling on top of him was not an issue for me since I don’t sleep on my stomach. If I did roll during the night, it would have been onto my back and away from our son. Though mom contends if you are co-sleeping with a baby, you know he’s there and are highly unlikely to roll on top of him under normal circumstances, regardless of what position you sleep in.

When to stop co-sleeping is totally up to each parent and depends on what is right for the family. We co-slept with our first son for over a year. I would have loved have him in bed with us for years, but he was just too wiggly. His constant turning and repositioning was disturbing everyone’s sleep – including his. It was time to get him into his own bed; he obviously needed the extra space. That became our pattern. We co-slept with the next two boys until I started waking up multiple times during the night to dig an elbow out of my belly or move a foot off my face. Seriously, I am amazed at how much our boys move around while they sleep.

Even though our boys share their own room now, the first thing they do in the morning is run into our room, climb into bed and cuddle in the blankets with us. It’s my favorite part of the day – the whole family lounging in bed while my husband and I snooze for as long as possible. Eventually the kids declare they’re hungry, and that’s my cue to finally roll out of bed, hug all the boys, and start a new day.