So You’re Sleeping Together?

Friday morning, I took part in a focus group put on by the State of Alaska Division of Public Health. The focus was on co-sleeping. The State and its marketing group define co-sleeping as an infant sharing a bed with mom, dad or siblings. I have co-slept with my kids. Still do. In exchange for a $50 gift card to Target, a group of us moms told the researcher our take on co-sleeping.

The researcher explained to us why the State wanted to study the subject: in Alaska one in four infant deaths happened while co-sleeping in an unsafe situation. Unsafe could mean mom or dad were drunk of high, or under the influence of prescription drugs. It could also mean there was not some sort of safety device, like a barrier, to keep the baby from falling out of the bed. It also means the baby could have suffocated on a pillow, blanket or stuffed animal.

The group explained to the researcher the main reasons for co-sleeping: easy access nursing, bonding and knowing the baby is safe. But, there are always drawbacks, mainly a real ding to the sex life.

I listened to these moms talk about why they like sleeping in the same bed as their babies. I originally began bed sharing as a way to keep a bond with my baby when I was working full-time. You work all day and get such a small window at night. I wanted to take full advantage. Of course, now that I’m home most of the time, I’d love to get my bed back! But, I love snuggling with my little one. And, if it wasn’t him, it would be one of the other kids. It’s safe to assume six nights a week, there’s more than one kid in my bed. Good thing we upgraded to the King a few years back…

Do you co-sleep with your children? Why or why not?

 

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kalleyc
    Sep 17, 2011 @ 23:48:11

    I also co-sleep with my daughter. At first I did it so that I don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to breastfeed her. Now that we’ve been doing it for 2 years, it just seems normal for her to sleep in our bed.

    I would like to have my bed back, but like you I like to snuggle with her at night time.

    For the first year and a half, I didn’t keep pillows on my bed, and blankets were not to be used above the waist. As for barriers, that is what my husband’s body and my body was for. it worked for us, and I was always aware when she rolled around or woke up.

    Reply

  2. Alcie
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 07:03:31

    We co-slept with our kids. We realized it was more natural. Animals sleep with their young. Cave people did too. You don’t have a baby and throw it in the next cave at night. That would be crazy but for some reason we’re trained to think that is the right thing to do that with our babies.

    Reply

  3. Momx5kidz
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 22:36:45

    I guess I was lucky. My birth daughter was so independent, from birth, she refused to sleep with me. I tried when she was sick to keep a watch for fevers. She wanted none of it!

    My other 4 are adopted. Even though we brought the 3 boys home straight from the hospital (by that time the bio-Mom was well known at both hospitals, my kids are 4 of a sibling group of 7) As babies, all preemies, they had major health issues (breathing, sleep disorders, severe reflux, etc) so they slept in a cradle right next to me as infants.

    My middle son was 9 (still functions at 3rd grade level at age 19) slept on the floor, next to the bed for a long time after my husband died. He finally decided to sleep back in his own bed when we moved. The Doc said it was “seperation” anxiety. I was thrilled when it ended because I got tired of stepping on him!!

    Reply

  4. Maria
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 23:24:58

    Yep, I co-slept with the babies. At about 4, they each moved into their own room, own bed. Then we had a little divorce, and it sent everyone back into my bed (king size). Now, the kids (10, 8 and 6) get to sleep with me ONE day on the weekend, but I’ll usually wake up to find one, or three kids have snuck into my room on any given weeknight in the middle of the night. As long as it doesn’t bother anyone, I think it’s fine. If I had a spouse, I can see where it’d get tricky, but since it’s just me, I don’t care. Sooner or later they’ll want their own beds, they’ll lock their doors, and keep me out. I’m holding on to this time.

    Reply

  5. ana
    Sep 23, 2011 @ 23:31:57

    We wanted to have our baby close but not in bed so we used a Chicco play yard in our room but with the MamaDoo Kids mattress topper because we were having sleep problems (the mattress that comes with play yards is hard as a rock). We bought the play yard because it is portable and we could bring it to visit friends or when traveling. The topper too as it folds in 3.

    Reply

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