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5.09.2017

Co-sleeping, We Love It. So What's the Big Deal?



 I love our little family all snuggled up against one another in our bed. I love to hear the sound of my baby sleeping and I love the cuddles he gives me as he rests easy and feels the security of mommy and daddy being with him. He feels loved and I can see it as I watch him peacefully sleep. But I also love that he has now grown some independence and is able to sleep in his own crib and still feel safe and loved.

My little guy is finally sleeping in his own bed. We are a family of co-sleepers and I honestly thought this day would never come. This time around has definitely been a bit different and I know it's not over yet. Co-sleeping seems to be such a divided topic among us parents. Some seem to be totally against it and when you tell them you do it, they look at you like you're cheating on a test or doing something that is a big no no. Some treat it like it's a taboo subject and although they do it, they just don't talk about it or they whisper it like they're saying a dirty word. So what's the big deal?

With our older son, when he was a baby, we co-slept. Some family members raised eyebrows at us and claimed they could never. But we did it and we were fine with it. He would lie there perfectly still and sleep so peacefully. He would sleep in his bed as a toddler and then somewhere in the wee hours of the morning he would end up in our bedroom, standing by my side of the bed in the darkness just staring at me. No matter the fact that he did this pretty much every night it scared the crap out of me and after my mini heart attack I would scoop him up and snuggle him in the center with us. Co-sleeping worked for us. 

When Caleb is asleep in our bed, there is no doubt that he is there.  In fact, somehow his tiny body takes up the entire bed. I end up lying on my side hanging onto the edge of the bed for dear life.  I would sometimes look up to check on my husband because I thought maybe he was taking up more than his fair share, but no, my poor husband was usually in a worse place than I was with half his body hanging off the bed. It was my little munchkin who would be spread out in the middle of our bed. One foot pushing dad and an arm slapping me in the face occasionally. There are times where his little bum ends up right smack in my face. I'm not going to lie, co-sleeping with a toddler can get a little crazy. Our bed becomes a midnight circus with teddy bears flying around, blanky's being kicked off and individuals helping themselves to whatever snacks are around. My nights usually involve the occasional nibble at my nipple. Sometimes I'm so tired that I find myself waking up  with someone attached to my breast. But, we love it and wouldn't have it any other way. 

I am no expert, but what I have learned with situations like this is really to each his own. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these types of sleeping arrangements as long as everyone is on board and baby is safe in bed. Other than that, are we concerned that this will damage our little people and turn them into horrible adults one day who can't sleep alone? Am I worried that my boys will choose cheap and easy women to lie in bed with them because they can never sleep alone? I don't even remember where I heard that from but someone said that years ago to us about our first son, I swear I want to say it was one of our pediatricians but for some reason that just doesn't sound like something that would come out of a doctors mouth. Either way, NO! I'm not concerned.

My first stopped sleeping in our bed around three years old. I have this sneaky suspicion that our second will probably stay in bed with us until around four or five or sixteen, who knows. I love being a co-sleeping family because it brings us closer together. Snuggling is not a bad thing in our household and there is lots of it to go around and I usually get the most of it of course. 

What's interesting though, is that as Ian got older, and no longer slept with us, more and more people have started to open up about it, and it turns out, it's really not the worst thing in the world. In fact, at first, it seemed more of a cultural thing. People in other cultures around the world think co-sleeping is the most normal thing to do with your little ones. The more I started to hear it's normal all over from Japan to Europe to South America, I began to feel like some cool trend setting parent who raises her children in a cultured, worldly manner.

Now, with our second child, I hear even more people talking about co-sleeping with their kids. It seems to be quite popular among the millennials. So what's the big deal? Nothing and everything. As infants, this really helped with nursing. But something changes when they become toddlers. Look, we all have to choose what is comfortable for us as a family. I understand that sometimes things are not smooth sailing, but you made your choices because you know that's what works for you.

I've read different things that are actually in support and positive about co sleeping. Children feel safer and more secure. This helps to create a more gentle way to ease them into sleeping in their own beds. And this worked. Both times. Even though they are totally different children. We are not ones to put our kids in the crib and just let them scream it out. Caleb knows and understands exactly where we are in the house.

I wanted to share this in case there were some people sitting on the fence on whether or not to co-sleep. Remember, they do grow up and it's not forever. For those who are concerned about the safety of the baby in the bed, we used a Baby Delight Snuggle Nest. But there are so many other products out there like the Dock A Tot, which looks pretty cool.




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