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co sleeping, co-sleeping, the truth about co- sleeping, the family bed, parenting styles

The Truth about Co-Sleeping

by Deborah Cruz

Time to give you the real truth about Co-Sleeping and more importantly, how to safely co-sleep with your baby. Since I scared you all straight with my earlier post and all the good news the world has to offer, I’ve decided to redeem the day. I’m a half full kind of gal and I refuse to let the cold hard reality of the world change that.

When I became too obsessed with scheduling and time, I removed my watch. I’ve not worn one in about 5 years now. I was seriously about to get carpal tunnel from all the twisting of my wrist to check the time. So, I eliminated it from my day.I’m about to do the same for CNN. Anyways, in the spirit of redeeming myself, I have decided to write about something that is very positive in my life…co-sleeping. We have been safely co-sleeping since our first baby was out of the bassinet and I’d love to share with you how to safely co-sleep with your baby.

co sleeping, co-sleeping, the truth about co- sleeping, the family bed, parenting styles

Co-Sleeping makes us Closer

Oh, yeah. I know some of you are rolling your eyes and tsk-tsking me for committing such an unthinkable crime against parenting dogma but the family bed is where it’s at for us. I know, I come off as somewhat snarkilicious on here, at times. It’s OK. You can say it, I’m fully aware.

READ ALSO: Co-Sleeping is not for Sissies

But when it comes to co-sleeping, I must admit I become completely full on granola; share my life, share my bed with my babies. Crunchy even. I did not plan co-sleeping. I planned on 2 weeks in the bassinet and then a seamless transition to the crib shortly thereafter. But like everything else in motherhood thus far, I was thrown a curve ball.

co sleeping, co-sleeping, the truth about co- sleeping, the family bed, parenting styles

Co-Sleeping is safe if done appropriately

When it came down to it, Bella would fall asleep in my arms after nursing and when I tried to put her back into her bassinet, she would wake up…always. Tired Mommy say what? I did what most exhausted, “so in love with her newborn that she can’t stand to miss a second of this creature’s life, doesn’t truly know where she ends and the baby begins” Mommy would do…I laid her in bed with me. Right there, between my husband and I..in a positioner ( I know those things have since become about as taboo as those unsafe walkers of the Hewlett- Packard commercials). If your child isn’t potty-trained yet, you must always be prepared with items, like those Monogrammed diaper bags.

I can say that in those first few months, sleep was not the sleep that people without children experience. No, my sleep was half-awake, hearing every single noise, breath, fart of the night, being uber aware of any motion in the entire house and the yard, pseudo conscious delirium…at best.

I was terrified that I’d roll on top of my sweet co-sleeper and smother her. I know you were all thinking it. So, in those first few months I never really got any sleep of any benefit. But what I did get was a crazy tight bond. You know the bond you get from breastfeeding? When you co-sleep, for me, the bond is that times two.

READ ALSO: Breastfeeding Sucks

There is something magical and reassuring about waking up and looking over and seeing that little face so peaceful in the middle of the night.The smell of a little next to you, the feel of little gangling arms and legs, surprise hugs and kisses, even the occasional head bunt, reassuring karate chop and rogue face punch have become endearing to me.

By bed-sharing, when my little one wakes in the middle of the night, they put a hand out to find me or the Big Guy and they are reassured and go back to sleep. There is something to be said for being within arms reach. It makes me happy. I  never planned to co-sleep but co-sleeping found me. It took hold and it is one of the best parenting decisions that I have ever made up until this point. I’m just exhausted of people making co-sleeping parents feel like it’s some sort of dirty secret. I think it is natural, beautiful and amazing.

Both girls, ages 3 & 5, are currently still co-sleeping with me during the weekdays, while the Big Guy is out of town. On the weekends,  they sleep in their own bed…at least they start out there. I don’t see a problem with it. I think it is every parent’s decision. It’s more about what works for your family. For ours, we’re doing it the Jolie-Pitt style..for now.

My plan is once we are all back in the same house to put the girls in a bed together and me and the Big Guy in one. What are your thoughts? How old is too old to co-sleep? Are you absolutely against co-sleeping? Why? Why not? Do you do co-sleeping? When did you stop co-sleeping? When will you stop co-sleeping? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on co-sleeping?

Co-Sleeping is Natural

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Teresa 2011/02/08 - 1:54 pm

I ‘m very happy with our decision NOT to co-sleep, but that was what was best for our family and I have no judgement. We need our married-bed time, and my husband doesn’t sleep well and is crazy paranoid. I know for a fact though that if I was alone at night with my kid, ever, I would totally sleep with her.

No judgement. Its beautiful. So is my cuddle time with my husband. Its just whatever works for you.

Truthful Mommy 2011/02/08 - 6:31 pm

Believe me, I miss the cuddle time with my Big Guy. We normally cuddle on the couch after the girls go to bed or in the “conjagulorium” ( their unused bedrooms):) I do miss our cuddle time. We just have to get creative. It works for us, especially with him out of town 5 nights a week.

Mommy Nani Booboo 2011/02/08 - 2:15 pm

We sleep trained my son, and by 6 months he was falling asleep on his own in his crib without any problem, and sleeping through the night.
A friend is an actual infant/toddler sleep specialist, so we totally lucked out. Sleep problems can cause a lot of behavioral problems in little ones.
According to the “expert”, co sleeping is NOT considered a problem. The transition to their own beds may be sticky for a few days- but that’s it!
Co sleeping was not an option for us- but I say, “Crunch on, lady!” Get your snuggles on while you can… I steal em’ every chance I get. The “family bed” has been around for ages, and if done properly, can be totally safe. Looking at those sweet pictures… I’m a little jealous.

Truthful Mommy 2011/02/09 - 11:33 am

I’m sure there are pluses on both sides. For us this is what works. I do love the snuggles. You are right they grow up so fast, I want to get in as many snuggles as I possibly can now:)

ChristineJargick 2011/02/08 - 3:24 pm

I did, also out of a necessity for sleep. Also because I had read that people in third world countries co-sleep and there was less incidence of SIDS amongst the population. Not exactly scientific but I am a real world kina girl anyway. Even after we stopped co-sleeping (the bed was just too small) I spent many hours dozing in my kid’s beds while I put them to bed at night. I think that this finally ended about 2 years ago. my youngest is 12 now…..

Truthful Mommy 2011/02/09 - 11:34 am

Viva Co Sleeping:)LOL Oh yeah, when we do put them in their own bed…many times one of us end up dozing off in the girls beds:) Thank God they have full sized ones now, it was pretty comical seeing my 6’5″ Big Guy scrunched up in the toddler bed with my little girl:)

Bruna 2011/02/08 - 3:38 pm

I always said I wouldn’t do the co-sleep thing but with my last child, I had no choice. She was such a fussy sleeper and I just couldn’t handle the lack of sleep on my part any longer. It was making me into a mean, grumpy old Mama towards my other daughters and husband. So for the first 8 months of Little H’s life, she slept with me on and off. I did what I had to do. Every Mama deserves that right.

I love the pic of your hubs and your daughter co-sleeping. It’s so darn precious!

Truthful Mommy 2011/02/09 - 11:36 am

Thanks. I love that picture too. I agree . It should totally be every Mama’s choice. I’ve seen woman who breastfeed until the kid was like four..I;d never do it. BUt hey, that’s their choice. I;d prefer they didn’t do it in the middle of library story time but I don;t judge the decision.SO, I don;t see why its so hard for some people to understand co-sleeping. Live and let live, right? Happy MOthering!

Jenn (mommiecouture) 2011/02/08 - 4:27 pm

Initially I didn’t plan on co-sleeping but my husband and I have decided that when our LO is born (in just a few short weeks) we’ll be co-sleeping with using a Snuggle Nest. Even before seeing his little face I just know I won’t be able to bare him being out of my sight (the bassinet is just too far.) I’m glad to hear such a reassuring and refreshing take on co-sleeping as people can be extremely judgmental about it at first.

Truthful Mommy 2011/02/09 - 11:45 am

You will love it. It is a little nerve wrecking in the beginning ( if they are actually in the bed between you…not bad at all with the snuggle nest) but once you all get used to one another…it really is magical when you can just look over and see your baby. I know with my first baby, the day I came home I slept with the ceiling fan light turned on..I should say “we” did because we were so afraid something was going to happen that we wouldn’t see. In fact, the bassinet (right next to my bed) just seemed too far away.Her nursery felt like a world away. Co-sleeping felt natural for us.I won’t lie, now that they are 3 & 5, I do enjoy the weekends when they sleep in their own bed and I am not scrunched up in a corner of the bed and I can actually see my Big Guys sweet face:) But I still enjoy ,rolling over during the weekdays and seeing their sweet little faces in the middle of the night.

parentingadabsurdum 2011/02/08 - 10:07 pm

Oh my, the snuggliness of it all!! Delicious.

Truthful Mommy 2011/02/09 - 11:46 am

It is so wonderfully delicious..the snuggles. Of course, use of the “conjugalorium” has kept us on our toes. I call it the best of both worlds:)

Marisa 2011/02/09 - 11:01 am

We co-sleep and I LOVE it! I don’t believe in sleep training and for me this was what worked for her and for us. The hubs and I find other ways and times to have our “time” together. I wouldn’t change one bit of it for the world.

Truthful Mommy 2011/02/09 - 11:32 am

I am in complete agreement. We’ve had to get a little inventive in our “Adult” time but its no problem. It keeps the spice in our love life:)LOL None of that same old boring in our bed stuff:) The bond we have with our girls is priceless and irreplaceable. I know its not for everyone and all kids don’t like it, but for us…it was perfect.

Jess@Straight Talk 2011/02/15 - 11:53 am

I did the exact same thing for the exact same reasons. And we loved it!

Truthful Mommy 2011/02/15 - 2:39 pm

Co-sleeping rocks my socks off.I’m just tired of being made to feel like I’m doing a disservice to my girls. WE love it, they love it….it’s all LOVE!

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