I am not your typical co-sleeping with baby advocate. In fact, I’ve heard far too many stories of mothers accidentally suffocating their infant by co-sleeping incorrectly. It only took one tragic story from my husband, who works in police dispatch, about a mother waking up next to her blue newborn baby to scare me forever.
However, I understand that there are safe ways to co-sleep with your baby. Companies sell co-sleeper bed attachments, rails, pillows and bedside bassinets to accommodate mothers who want to keep their baby near them at all times. I used a traditional bassinet for my babies and kept them close for as long as possible, until they ran out of wiggle room. Other than that, my babies easily transferred to a crib in their own bedroom around four months of age.
Thanks to my never-ending, exhaustive experience last night, I now see one reason why mothers desire to co-sleep with their babies longer. The pure comfort of being with mommy is enough to soothe any troubling aches and pains.
Last night, my 13 month old stayed up screaming relentlessly from 2:00-4:00am.
Typically, I have to nurse him back to sleep once every night. This time, it did not happen so gracefully. I nursed him extremely well two times, changed his diaper, and rocked him over and over without any luck of soothing him. I assumed his sleep schedule was just messed up from our recent vacation and that he wanted to stay awake and play…
After placing him back in and out of his crib for two hours, I gave up and decided to bring him into bed with me. He has had the luxury of sleeping with me during naps only a handful of times. Co-sleeping gives me too much anxiety and since I still breastfeed him around the clock, I figured that he gets more than enough one-on-one mommy time. Last night, I couldn’t help ignoring my concerns though. I made a quick judgement call and decided that my walking, running, rolling, climbing, jumping, babbling baby would be okay to share my queen bed with me.
Sure enough, a miracle happened.
The instant we plopped into bed, my son sprawled out his legs and cozied up into my arms and fell asleep. After two hours of battling him, I covered us up with just the sheet and past out as well.
This morning I realized my poor baby boy has a new tooth cutting through his gums! NO WONDER he was so upset last night! Poor thing. I’m so thankful I was able to comfort him just by letting him sleep on me. I will be sure to default to co-sleeping next painful teething session. One benefit of having a husband who works third shift is there is plenty of extra room in our bed for situations just like this one!
It’s beautiful how a mother and baby are able to form such a powerful bond! <3
How do you feel about co-sleeping with your children?