Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why I co-sleep

Like so many other parenting choices, where your baby or child sleeps seems to be a constant source of controversy.  People are often too embarrassed to admit that their children sleep in their bed even though surveys show that co-sleeping, at least part of the time, is actually more common than not with 68% of parents admitting to co-sleeping with their babies.

Since day one, we have enjoyed co-sleeping with our babies, or bed sharing in our case.  Although often used interchangeably, co-sleeping is technically when a baby shares a room with their parents and bed sharing is when they actually sleep on the same surface.  We bed share in our house, with two huge mattresses side by side so that we can all comfortably sleep together in a giant family bed.

Why Co-sleep?

Everyone sleeps better.  Babies fall asleep and stay asleep better when co-sleeping.  Baby sleeping more equals mom sleeping more which is always a good thing!

Co-sleeping is so convenient!  It makes night time parenting so much easier when baby is close to you.  You will be able to respond much quicker to your baby and get back to sleep that much sooner.

Breastfeeding is easier.  Nursing mothers naturally tune in to their babies and wake up easily when baby shows signs of being ready to eat.  This means mom can nurse her baby without baby needing to fully wake from sleep.  Since neither mom or baby have to get out of bed to nurse, it is much easier for both to get back to sleep.

Co-sleeping is not only safe, but research shows it can actually reduce the rate of SIDS.  Although not a significant enough amount to be the reason to co-sleep if you don't want to, it is nice to know that when done safely, co-sleeping is actually slightly safer than having your baby sleep alone.

But the biggest reason we share our bed with our babies?  WE LOVE IT!!!  We love sleeping with our kids.  Sure, it can be crowded and sometimes we get a foot someplace unpleasant, but it's all worth it.  How could you not enjoy having the last thing you see before you close your eyes be the angelic face of your sleeping child?  It is one of the greatest joys in my life.  That is why we co-sleep.

Life is so busy, babies grow so fast, toddlers are crazy, and pre-schoolers are hard to snuggle with.  But at night, in bed, we all snuggle together as my children are transformed from crazy monkeys into peaceful angels.  No matter what kind of day we've had, in that moment, everything else seems less important and the only thing that matters is how much I love my kids.  Someday my kids will be grown and want a bed of their own.  So for now, we co-sleep and share our bed with our babies, even the big ones!

Dr. Sears: Safe co-sleeping

The Natural Child Project: Cosleeping around the world

Mothering:  How the stats really stack up: Cosleeping is twice as safe


  1. I have to admit im embarrassed about telling people I have my baby in my bed at night. We got her a cot but I ended up getting up every two or three hours. Now we go to bed at 10pm and get to sleep till 6. It's great!! We still have the cot mostly for naps and to keep midwife off our backs hehe..