Why I Co-Sleep – Personal Pros and Cons
Inside: are you a co sleeper or against bed sharing? Here’s my personal experience with co-sleeping, pros and cons, and introducing some safety tips.
Which is more relatable to you?:
Do you plop your baby in a crib and tiptoe out to your own bed? What a sweet fantasy of peaceful solo slumber.
Or… Are you covered in all of your children throughout the night? Surrounded by the love and warmth and feet in your face of your dear babies.
Which “camp” are you in?
Are you a co-sleeper or a sleep trainer?
These both sound pretty sweet. And yet just the way that you sleep at night can cause a big chasm of agreements and disagreements. Of course, as with anything, there are benefits and negative aspects to co-sleeping as well as with sleep training. It could be a matter of preference or convenience.
So as you can tell by the title, I am obviously a cosleeper. I knew I would be since I was pregnant with my first. I looked forward to the all-night cuddles and feelings of security and waking up to kisses.
Those are all true and amazing! After all, here I am now writing this while snuggled close to my sleeping baby boy, at times intertwined and nursing, always close and feeling secure.
But I didn’t expect how trapped I would feel once we started this unbreakable habit. Here are some personal advantages and disadvantages I have experienced in my years of cosleeping.
Co-Sleeping Pros and Cons
Your little ones feel safe and sound all through the night.
First off, I have a 3 year old and an almost one year old. If you are wonder how to co-sleep with a toddler and a baby, I just sleep between them. This helps separate the older sibling from doing some crazy night time gymnastics and ending up laying on her baby brother.
Both children have their own needs at night. As newborns, they might have craved sleeping on your chest to fall asleep with the same comfort of your body and heartbeat that they’ve had for the past nine months. As they get older, whether they wake up crying from a bad dream, need some milk or water, or to use the toilet, you are right there for them at all times.
You are there for them at all times.
I mean give me a break sometimes. I have to wait up for the little ones to be fully sound asleep (if I can stay awake..) in order to sneak off and catch some Netflix with hubby and almost-fall-asleep-because-we stayed-up-past-10 time.
But, I can’t just stay with my husband, because I have to get back to the kids. He has a terribly groggy next day at work if the kids wake him up even once (boo hoo.) so we’ve resorted to him having his own room (with our two cats and dog..).
At this point I would totally just let my children sleep alone, but I must return to nurse my little sonny boy, which leads to another set of points.
If you are a nursing mom, then cosleeping is so convenient and a total blessing.
You don’t have to actually get up at all for those night feedings! When baby wakes up to feed at night, you barely even fully wake up yourself. Just roll over, begin the feeding, and you easily drift back to sleep. (Plus, there are plenty of products to make co-sleeping even easier when you’re nursing – *see link in bio below*) And baby loves the pacifier-like action to get back to sleep too.
But it is this feeling of being a human pacifier that really bothers me sometimes.
I would love to at least easily sneak away from between my children after both of my kids are snoozing, and at least my toddler is a heavy sleeper by now.
But my boy keeps on crying every time I try to unlatch my no longer leaky boob. I know he’s just suckling for pleasure after a certain point, and he’s not letting his pacifier get away. It makes me feel like I just want to be free~
However, is there anything better than pulling your little one close to you and cuddling all night?
Just thinking about it makes me want to hug and squeeze my adorable babies more even though I do that all day 🙂
There is no disadvantage side to this!
Come on, I get to wake up to my sweet smiling babies faces! My daughter places her hand on my face, smiles, says good morning Mommy, and everything feels better again.
So maybe my morning routine is at the mercy of my babies wake up times, I may risk my husband and wife alone time for being stuck to a little mommy’s boy, but I mean how long are they this little? Maybe someday they won’t even want to look my way (anyone else already not looking forward to teenage years?) let alone snuggle together for hours and hours.
In the end, I am grateful to have these moments to look forward to and reminisce upon. Together we feel warm, safe, and happy. No cold lonely nights waking up to no one there. Despite the challenges, I cherish our every moment we have together.
So while I fully support sharing a family bed, many have their doubts based on some myths surrounding co-sleeping. Here is a quick and interesting 2 minute video to counter those myths with some truths, and perhaps lead you down a rabbit hole of educating yourself about co-sleeping 😉
But is co-sleeping safe?
A big issue I find that comes up when bringing up co-sleeping is safety.
- Is it safe to co-sleep with a toddler?
- Is it safe to co-sleep with a newborn baby?
- Can co-sleeping cause SIDS?
These are some concerns I receive when someone (for some reason) finds out that we co-sleep. I would be lying if I said that I never worried about rolling over my baby while sleeping or them getting covered with a blanket…
But after some research I realized that mother and baby go through a “nighttime harmony” that actually prevents SIDS as it allows the two to go through similar stages of sleep together so that Mom can sense a change in pattern with her baby. I’ve definitely noticed this as I can manage to wake up right as baby starts to stir for milk and continue sleeping peacefully together.
As with anything, do your own research to find out if it is right for your family. There is plenty of evidence based scientific research and official safety suggestions on co-sleeping that you can inform yourself with.
How long should I co-sleep?
My plan is to “wean” my children from cosleeping once my boy turns around two years old and my daughter turns four. I am looking forward to more time with my husband too. And my kids will have each other to sleep with.
I don’t want anyone to be lonely! That is a scary feeling to me and I don’t want anyone to experience that. Although many babies sleep completely alone and are perfectly fine! Until then, my children and I will night after night snuggle tight.
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So I wonder, what is your experience with your family’s sleeping style? Are you part of a lucky family whose children sleep peacefully on their own? Or a lucky family who sleeps cozy cuddled together? Thank you for reading! I would love to see your opinions 🙂
Hey! I’m Jay. I am a mother to two little ones – a three year old sassy girl and a one year old rowdy boy. You can catch me at ⋆ motherbodysoul.com ⋆
I find joy in sparking a mother body soul connection – nourishing the whole mother – through motherhood, health, and soulful musings. Join me and enjoy some relatable and teachable moments with soul and understanding.
**Related to this article** https://motherbodysoul.com/best-cosleeping-products