I’ve been a Mom for almost 11 years. And in those 11 years I have heard so many different opinions on so many different things when it comes to parenting and taking care of my kids. It’s natural! I get it. People want to help or judge. It’s usually one of the two. One of the things that I’ve consistently been given advice, judgment or questions on is why I choose to co-sleep. I realize that co-sleeping isn’t for everyone. I get that some people feel like it isn’t safe. But let me tell you why I chose to co-sleep with both of my children and the awesome benefits we gained from doing so.
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Safety of my baby
The main reason I started co-sleeping with my first born was because he absolutely refused to sleep in his bassinet. Even if it was right next to the bed. He would scream until I picked him up. And let me just tell you that I have never been the type of Mom who can let a baby cry it out. (It breaks my heart). So once I put him in our bed, I realized how much more secure I felt in my son’s safety. I felt so good knowing that i was right there next to him, able to make sure he was breathing steadily( I know I’m not the only Mom who listens to their child’s heartbeat every 5 minutes or puts their finger under their baby’s nose to feel for their breath!) I loved knowing that if he woke up he would wake up in my arms or next to me and not feel alone or scared. I was hooked!
It reduces the chance of SIDS
I know a lot of people think that it is dangerous to co-sleep and it can be if done incorrectly. See my article here on how to co-sleep safely. But it also can be quite safe and actually reduce the chance of SIDS. Studies have shown that when a baby co-sleeps that they are able to awaken easier if there life is in danger (if their breathing stops or takes long pauses) due to the state of sleep they go into from sleeping with their parent or parents. Their heart beat is more regular and their temperature is steadier too. The smell of breast milk and the movement that Mom makes while sleeping allows baby to only be in a deep sleep for a short time, thus making it easier for them to wake up and in turn protecting them from SIDS. You also can control how they sleep easier(keeping them on their back) since you are right next to them.
Omg! I can honestly say that with our second son (who is now 8 months old) we tried to attempt to put him in his pack-n-play next to us. Just so we could have the space in the bed. Lol that lasted for like 5 seconds. Maybe he knew somehow that his older brother had slept with us and he just wanted going to be jipped! But he wound up right next to us in the bed. But the best part was we finally got actual…dare I say…SLEEP! Most of the time he would wake up was either to eat or because his binky came out of his mouth. Being right there meant I could pop it right back in or nurse him right there. Also when he was in his own bed and woke up, he would cry because he was alone. But with me right there he would fall right back to sleep or never even wake up to begin with. We started getting sleep through the night after about 2 1/2 months. Which is pretty awesome! Getting actual sleep is so important when taking care of a baby. You need every ounce of energy you can get.
Nursing in the bed
Now this was not as huge a benefit to me as it would be for others because I only nursed sometimes(my son had a hard time latching in the beginning) and most of the time I would feed him my pumped breast milk in a bottle. But, not having to actually get up out of bed and get a bottle ready or get up and go get baby out of their bed to nurse is an exteme convenience you want to have in your life. It makes putting them back to sleep so much easier because you don’t actually have to pick them up and carry them back to bed and run the risk of them waking up the moment you set them down.
Cuddles and bonding
Can I tell you that the cuddles that come with co-sleeping are the BEST! Holding your baby in your arms and smelling their sweet little baby smell and kissing their soft silky hair while they sleep is probably one of the best things in the world. The bond that forms from you being so close is unlike any you will ever have. Enjoy it!
People might try to dissuade you to not co-sleep, but remember that people have been doing this for years. Almost all species sleep with their young. It’s natural and wonderful. And if you don’t want to co-sleep that’s ok too! It doesn’t make you any less of a good Mama. Everyone is different and has different parenting styles. And that’s what make the world so great!
What about you Mamas? Have you every co-slept with your babies? Do you love it? Leave me a comment and tell me about your experience with co-sleeping or not?