Co-Sleeping Ensured My Whole Family Got More Sleep
When I had our second daughter I wasn’t planning on co-sleeping — it just happened and I’m so glad it did. Our second baby had reflux and she couldn’t sleep on her back like advised in case she vomited in the night. I had to keep her on her side to reduce the risk of choking and the only way I could get some sleep as well was if I was laid next to her with a hand resting on her to ensure she stayed on her side. We had a co-sleeping crib installed on the side of our bed so that we could keep her close, ensure she stayed on her side and easily check on her.
She slept very well like this and would only stir for a bit of breastfeeding and then settle back to sleep without the need for anyone getting up and being awake in the night. It was such a difference from the early days with our first baby who slept badly and woke often for feeds and cuddles. At the time, I feared co-sleeping and wanted her to sleep in her own cot as I thought it was safer. I also didn’t want to create “bad” sleeping habits. I kept myself awake for all her night feeds by reading on my Kindle App or by going downstairs to watch some TV while she fed and fell back asleep. Then I would try to put her back in her cot.
I was exhausted and, looking back, I wish I’d known more about co-sleeping back then. I’m sure she would’ve slept much more and better if she’d been close to her parents which is the natural place for a baby to be. Co-sleeping is safe if it’s done the right way – preferably with a co-sleeping crib as this ensure your baby has her/his own space – and for us it’s made such a huge difference. We have all gotten so much more sleep this time around and when it’s time for Baby No. 3, I will definitely co-sleep again. I have my eyes on the gorgeous Knuma Huddle Bedside Crib in Rustic Beech for when the time comes!
There are a few misconceptions about co-sleeping and one is that your baby/child will stay in your bed forever. That’s not true! Children still want their own bed when they get older and enjoy that process too. They might still come in for a cuddle in the mornings but that’s something to be treasured in my opinion. I’m sure all parents will miss that when that stops.
We’re now at a stage where our youngest sleeps in her own cot half of the night most nights, then comes in and sleeps with us. Sometimes, she sleeps in her own bed all night long! Then I miss her and sleep worse because I can’t easily check on her to see that she’s okay.
There are so many benefits to co-sleeping that I’ve experienced first-hand: easy breastfeeding, safer sleep for reflux babies, easy to check on your baby/toddler, longer lie-ins, lots of cuddles and, most importantly, more sleep for the whole family.
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