I’ve seen a few bits and pieces in the news lately about co-sleeping and it has really bugged me, especially this one about a woman who was arrested for ‘overlaying’ and causing a death to her newborn Grandson. The ‘scandalous’ article gives you very little details but insists we all need to know how terribly dangerous this co-sleeping business is. Well, I call bullshit.
We are what you would call ‘unintentional co sleepers’. I didn’t plan to co-sleep, I never did it with the boys however I do with Edie. Why? Because I will take sleep in any form I can get thank you very much! Edith is a little clinger – read my post about how much of a velcro baby she is here if you like – and as such it makes it insanely hard to put her down for a nap, to bed, anything. Just putting her down in the evening is something that takes the skill of a ninjago samurai, and I’m not exaggerating. She will usually go into her own bed at about 6.30pm until about 9-10pm… ok 8pm… 7.45pm… well, our patterns are very up and down but she will spend SOME time in her own bed at the beginning of the night. Some. When she wakes up for a feed I usually try to feed her in the rocking chair in her bedroom, if that isn’t working I will take her into our bedroom and feed her to sleep in our bed. If by some miracle she stays asleep between 6.30pm and my bedtime of 11.30/12am then I will go to bed without her and bring her into our bed when she wakes up.
I do it for a few reasons, but the main one is that I firmly and unequivocally believe that a happy mummy makes for a happy baby. I am happy when I sleep. I am desperately unhappy when I don’t – my family would call me a total bitch but I prefer to think of myself as an aggressive protestor of sleep deprivation. Do you see what I’m getting at?
There are some rules when it comes to co-sleeping and I’ll be honest, we ignore most of them. I do sleep with pillows, but they are kept away from Edith, who sleeps on an angle, usually part way into ager snuzpod. She sleeps under the duvet with me, but only her feet or if it is cold. The general advice for co-sleeping is no pillows, no duvet and certainly no medication, alcohol, recreational drugs or over tiredness. The last one is bull because if you can show me a parent that isn’t overtired I’ll give you a cookie (not really… maybe a virtual one?) but the rest of the points are just common sense.
Co-sleeping is not the devil, it doesn’t kill more babies than sleeping in a cot. It grasps the attention of the media more than SIDs because there is nothing more horrific than a baby dying at the hands of a parent, and quite frankly, it sells papers and generates clicks. We need to stop being so aggressive about it all – sleep how you choose to sleep and leave others alone. I read one comment from one woman on a co-sleeping debate that stated ‘I don’t care about other countries, it’s not safe!!’ but the truth is our lifestyle and the way we sleep is what makes it less safe than say in Japan where it is the norm and their infant death rates are super low. Did you know co-sleepers have actually got a lower risk of SIDs than those sleeping in a cot – provided it is done safely? Get educated and learn your statistics before you make sweeping statements about how dangerous it is. It isn’t.
Lastly, one of the less important (to me anyway, Adam might disagree…) arguments against co-sleeping is that it ruins your sex life. My only answer to that is that if your sex life consists exclusively around a bed, it’s already ruined… but high five to you for being energised enough to care!
What are your thoughts on co-sleeping? Do you do it?