Lazy Parenting Hack - CO SLEEPING
Yup, I said it. This is how I survived. 4 kids and the total lack of sleep that comes with it for the past 16years.
First off, lets be real, babies & sleep just don’t go together. Ever. It may have to do with the slightly annoying fact that they need to be fed, changed, burped etc. at all hours of the night. And, at just the moment you declare to all those who ask “Is she sleeping through the night”, “Why yes, about 5-6 hrs”, some god-awful tooth decides to try and CUT its way up and though those poor little pink gums or some virus decides to clog up her nose so she can’t breathe. And/or cluster feeds come back—-at 12am, 2am, 4am... UGH!
Now for me, I had mastered the art of “not really waking up” to feed/change baby when she was in my room. I could just kinda sit up (never really mastered nursing lying down) and keep my eyes closed leaning against my headboard. But, actually getting up and out of bed, walking down the hall and doing this all in her room ACTUALLY woke me up and just became so hard to do! I would look over at hubby asleep and think nasty thoughts to myself as I knew only my boobs would do. Bottle feeding was not yet an option those first few months and, let’s face it, he had to drive himself to work the the next day (an hour both ways) and sleep deprivation and motor vehicles do not go well together.
I know that Heath Canada now strongly supports co-sleeping which by their definition means sharing the same room. BUT NOT the same bed. This is because of the risk of suffocation by bedding, crushing by a parent, or entrapment into a crevice. In addition, SIDS is a very real and horrific danger that is even more scary as the cause is unknown. So, of course, your baby’s safety is number one.
As well, I am not a doctor or a nurse and I can only speak to my experience. Please also note that I don’t smoke, do drugs or drink alcohol. I don’t take any kind of medication other than an occasional Tylenol or Advil. You need to be honest with yourself and know how light of a sleeper you are and if you can commit to not having that glass of wine or something else that would make this dangerous for your baby.
Here are 2 links to references on the subject.
Co-sleeping and the family bed are 2 of the parenting decisions we made that I am most thankful for. The time cuddling and bonding with each of my children throughout their childhood (and a large part of this being in the night) are part of the reason I feel our bonds are so close. Learning to read their body cues, their noises and squeaks and squawks made me a better mom. I was able to address their concerns and know better what they wanted/needed and this made things a bit easier.
Now I did have a child who suffered from wicked night terrors and another who had great difficulty falling and staying asleep. It was ROUGH and maybe sleep training would have helped me. But I knew that I didn’t want my children to associate sleeping with crying or something bad. I LOVE and need sleep and wanted the kids all to as well. There is a light at the end and I am now there. I survived. My husband survived. The kids are all excellent sleepers now and go to bed easily. Everyone in my house knows how important sleep is and wants to ensure they get enough of it.
As with all my advice, thoughts and ideas...you must listen to your heart and do what’s right for you. This was what was right for me and my family.
I encourage you to share your stories, challenges and questions below.