10 Realities of Co-sleeping

10 Realities of Co-sleeping

Co-sleeping, (sharing a bed with our son), is our current reality.

As with most mums-to-be, a big part of preparing for the arrival of my little bubba, was to arrange the his cot. I spent ages selecting sheets, blankets and sleeping bags (whilst also reading the pros and cons of cot bumpers and duvets).

Anyway, all that seemed to have been in vain.

We currently co-sleep with our two year old (on most nights). It started out as necessity for me while I was breastfeeding, now it’s almost the norm. I’m not advocating for or against co-sleeping, but I’ve drawn up a list of our experience over the past two years.

A rare use for the cot during an afternoon nap
A rare use for the cot during an afternoon nap

The Pros

1. The night time cuddles

The biggest advantage of co-sleeping is the special closeness I feel towards my son while he sleeps. In the early days and months, I used to watch him sleep all the time. Now, I like when he turns over and reaches for my arm during the night.

2. Ease of breastfeeding

Once I’d settled into the whole breastfeeding thing, the night time feeds were more easier when I had my son next to me. The time taken from waking up to feeding then back to sleeping was shorter and the whole process smoother. Co-sleeping meant I wasn’t constantly getting out of bed to attend to him. (Papa Nate couldn’t help with the night feeds as I stopped expressing early on.)

3. Easier to know when nappies need changing

I didn’t really realise just how frequently babies soiled their nappies throughout the day – and night. Co-sleeping with The Boy meant I didn’t really have to worry about whether he was soiled during the night as I knew. I know babies usually cry when they need changing, but I preferred to change the nappy immediately. Thankfully, this is not an issue now.

4. My boy finds it soothing (which ultimately make me happy)

As we started co-sleeping from an early age, it is unsurprising that my son finds it soothing. I know some would say that it is important for a child to be able to self-soothe and I agree. However, it felt cruel for me to let my child cry and cry.

When Daddy's shoulder makes a good step ladder...
When Daddy’s shoulder makes a good step ladder…

5. Cutest method of contraception (depending on mood)

If you’re trying to avoid making more babies, co-sleeping could be considered a form of family planning. #JustSaying

The Cons

6. Can be a passion killer, see point #5 above

There are definitely times when I just want to cuddle Papa Nate but The Boy is in the middle of us. Some nights we move him to the side so he’s not in between. However, with some creativity and flexibility, it is possible to work around this.

7. Becoming a human pillow and/or footrest

As The Boy has gotten older and longer, co-sleeping has become more challenging because he is taking up more room. Whilst sleeping, he will usually get comfortable by resting his head on his dad’s back and his legs on my head and shoulders. (Or vice versa.) This horizontal stance also includes a dislike for covers. I didn’t know a little person could take up so much space!

Default sleep position = horizontal
Default sleep position = horizontal

8. Creates an expectation for The Boy

There is no doubt that co-sleeping has created an expectation for my son. On most evenings, his bedtime routine starts in our bed then he’s transferred to his bed later – when he’s asleep. However, something about our bed is so inviting that he sometimes wakes in the middle of the night and climbs back in with us. I really can’t be mad at him for this though.

9. Cots and toddler bed gathers dust

After 18 months, my son’s cot was still in excellent condition. We thought the toddler bed would mark a change but it only made it easier for a quick getaway. (He can climb out of that bed in seconds.) Co-sleeping can definitely make separate toddler beds redundant.

10. Can cause sleepless nights 

As I’m no longer in the ‘new mum/baby’ phase, I don’t deal well with interrupted sleep. Now that The Boy is older, I am ready to put an end to the regular co-sleeping. The cons now outweigh pros. I know that consistency will be key and I am looking forward to everyone staying in their own beds.

I’d love to hear your experiences on the realities of co-sleeping. Please leave a comment below.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mama Nate :-)

xXx

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About MamaNate

I'm a London based mother of one. I'm also a wife, daughter, sister and friend. This blog is about how I juggle my different roles.

4 comments:

  1. Co-sleeping is my reality now too! My first was usually fine in her bed – most nights but like you said when she became a toddler she tried her luck more! Now she sleeps better in her room! My son who is 9 months on the other hand has made our bed is his bed! He starts the night in his cot and by 10 has found his way to our bed – I’m looking forward to evicting him too when I stop breastfeeding! But till then we have to manage ourselves!

  2. My child is 3 years old and still very prefers our bed (she actually hates her bed). My reasons for co-sleeping are exactly like yours plus the fact that it’s what my parents did with my younger siblings (a cot existed but never used) but back home, bed are usually handmade so they had plenty of sleeping space????

    Upon all my research, tough love and tips from parents – I’ve put myself through waking up about 10times in a night just to bring her back to bed (i swear i love off adrenaline!); but once she feels unwell or there’s a change in her routine she’s back in with hahahhaha (she’s a light sleeper when in her bed)

    The worst thing is when other parents hear you still co-sleep! I would say take your time with the process, be consistent (so you don’t end up like me lol) and good luck!!!

    1. Hi Temi, thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing your experiences.

      Consistency is definitely key, as with most things with these babies. I’ve started taking small steps though.

      I know what you mean about other people’s reactions, lol, it’s all good though.

      xXx

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