Thursday, September 16, 2010

Co-Sleeping: The Real Deal

 I admit it - I broke the rule. I have "co-slept" with all of my children since day one. Yes, I did it despite the doctor's chastising, questioning and nagging. I heard all of the reasons why co-sleeping was against the "Good Parenting" rules and I still broke the rule, regardless.

What is Co-Sleeping?

Plain and simple: it's when you allow your children to sleep in your bed with you. At least, that's my take on it.

My last two co-sleepers
Didn't you ever want to climb in bed with your parents when you were little? I know I did. I know I felt safer after a bad dream when I nestled into my parent's bed...and, to be quite honest, I don't remember anywhere else I felt so safe and sound.

Why Did I Break the Rule?

The doctors always asked the half-statement-half-question at the regular check-ups, "And (insert child's name) sleeps in his/her crib?"

My answer way always, "No." Some days, when I simply didn't feel like dealing with the badgering that came after my answer, I would lie, "Why, of course, they sleep in their crib." But, for the most part, I gave the reluctant, "No."

And, the lecture began. SIDS, SIDS, SIDS. Something about rolling over on your baby (Are you serious?) and the lengthy list that they had for reasons not to sleep with your brand new little precious bundle.

Apparently, they didn't convince me. Let's just say that I decided to do my "scientific research" on my own. I'll break down the statistics for you: out of 6 of my kids, I never rolled on any of them while I was asleep. They never got tangled up in the blanket and the pillows. They didn't suddenly stop breathing while they were sleeping.  

None of them had any issues with sleeping in my bed.

As A Matter of Fact...

They all sleep deeper and sounder right next to me where they can hear that heartbeat that was so calm and soothing for the first 9 months of their life. They can hear or feel or at least sense my breathing, too. And, I believe that my warmth next to them is quite soothing as well.

I have tried the other scenario. Put them in their own bed. Yes, and sleep less for it. Especially when they are sick. That's just not for me.

I chose co-sleeping because the little ones feel safer and sleep better than in their own bed. Look at nature. How many animals can you think of that co-sleep? New puppies, new kittens, baby bears...birds even co-sleep in the nest. Most animals are co-sleepers. And, that's not okay for us?

Besides, look at them! If they want to sleep with Mommy and it helps them to sleep better...I see nothing wrong with it. 

I've Said It Before

Read back through my'll see that I state clearly that I'm not a perfect mother. (If you are, I'd LOVE to hear from you! Click on my contact page and send me a note). But, all of these ridiculous "Good Parenting" rules that are placed on us are quite against the feeling and tendencies of nature. It is natural for me to feel like my baby/child feels safer sleeping near me.

If you choose to heed the warnings and pushy and opinionated "advice", go ahead and NOT co-sleep with your children. Go ahead and stick them in that cold and lonely crib. I'm not going to judge you as the doctors and "Good Parents" judge me...

Don't Tell Me They'll Never Move Out

They eventually move out of the bed on their own. I've learned that through my own, there! My research shows that four out of my six children are now completely grown out of my bed, one is very close to being in his own bed, and the last one...well, I'll cherish that for as long as I can. There are no statistics out there that will change that.


  1. Amen! I can't tell you how many people look at me in disgust because we co-sleep. Listen people...If I wanted my kids out of my bed they wouldn't be there!!

    Our days are so chaotic. I work FT and quite honestly our together time is quite limited (what we can squeeze in between baths, dinner, and bedtime routines). Being able to snuggle with my kiddos at night is more precious to me than I can put to words. Thanks for the article!!!:)

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  3. Yes I am guilty too. There is nothing like curling up with your small child. I would not do it now, my son is 15, but when he was a baby and older we both loved curling up together, sometimes reading a book and falling asleep together, sometimes if he was scared by a bad dream, or he was sick and sometimes just because. More power to you Queen Mom. Love your site.

  4. Well I am not a mother but I can certainly say that doctors/child specialists in my country never recommends that a mother should not sleep with her child. In fact, I think, co-sleeping increases the mother - child bond and keeps the kids secure.

  5. Yup, I'll admit it too.. I co-slept with all 4 of mine. From the time they came home from the hospital until they were ready to move into their own beds. To be even more honest, my youngest (4) still crawls into our bed in the early morning hours. :-)

  6. I love it! It's always nice to know that I'm not the only one breaking the rules. Keep cuddling those babies/kids!


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