I remember just after Charlotte was born how we went through the ‘safe sleep’ sheet with our Midwife. I was sat on the bed with both Charlotte, the Midwife & the husband. It was like a test sheet, and I’m pretty sure we failed it from the start, you see the first question was ‘Where will your baby be sleeping?’ and our answer for her was ‘where you are you sitting’. At this point, we hadn’t started co-sleeping, but we had done with our last baby Dylan, we did so for 9 happy months where at that point we put him into a cot in his room where he slept straight through & has continued to do ever since. Those 9 months provided us both with much-needed sleep in a way that suited us both.
Co-sleeping isn’t for everyone, and I know many people are in a position where it cant be done safely. I didn’t do it with my first child at he was formula fed, his brother and sister have been breastfed which has given us a whole different type of bonding. That’s not me saying you can’t bond with a formula fed child because you can, but just imagine how close the baby is to his mother’s body when in that breastfeeding position. We are more tuned to one another in the way of movements and the way we breathe.
Safety wise we were armed with the safe co-sleeping guidelines, most of which were common knowledge when it comes to the life of your baby and safeguarding them. We never drink when we co-sleep, we don’t do drugs but then we also never take prescription drugs like paracetamol or ibuprofen when we co-sleep, we never put them under a duvet or blanket, we don’t and have never smoked whilst co-sleeping, baby is always placed on his back to sleep, pillows are kept well away from them, so heads remained uncovered, our babies were not born premature or had a low birth weight, they are never placed where they could slip in between the bed, we breastfed and most importantly we do what is right by all of us.
Not only did my personal experience confirm that co-sleeping was right for us but so did all the reports that go along co-sleeping. Babies sleep more peacefully than those babies that sleep alone, they’ve spent 9months inside us so of course, it’s more than natural for them to feel safe and in an environment where they can sleep. They have more stable physiology, and studies show that babies who sleep next to their parents have more stable temperatures, regular heart rhythms and fewer long pauses in breathing compared to those babies who sleep alone — all that goes alongside what I said about how our co-sleeping relationship relates to our breastfeeding relationship.
Of course, we are co-sleeping again, Charlotte awoke one night for a feed, and I was too tired, and if I’m honest too lazy to sit up to feed her, so I simply bought her into bed with me and fed while laying down together, we both fell asleep this way. It’s like anything in life, don’t knock it until you try it. But if you do wish to co-sleep, please do make yourself aware of the co-sleeping guidelines.