Monday, 17 December 2012
Ok I will admit it..... Poppy sleeps in our bed. This goes against all health visitor advice and she does in fact sleep happily in her cot, So why do it? The reason is that it feels like the most natural thing in the world. It still is the most normal practice in many parts of the world. I feel like a sleepy pride of lions, the big lazy papa lion on the end. The little sleeping cub surrounded by the protective mama lioness. Co-sleeping has an added bonus for breastfeeding mums in that they can feed their baby in bed, even laying down! I simply feed Poppy laying down when she stirs in the night which is much more relaxing for both of us and Dad can sleep undisturbed. People say that its a bad habit to break however I think this is a very Victorian view (along with self soothing). It's important to do what ever feels right and works for you and your baby because every baby is very different.
It is important to note however that co-sleeping is not safe if you have been drinking, taking drugs or smoking. It is also best to do a little research to find the safest way to do it, but trust me mums, you will not roll on to your baby.
There are many benefits of co-sleeping, including bonding and emotional development of your baby. Your baby may also learn how to fall asleep by themselves when close to you. Mums and babies will naturally roll towards each other when its cold and roll away from each other when its hot. I think the biggest benefit is the peaceful environment it can bring as opposed to pacing up and down the stairs in the middle of the night trying to get your baby back to sleep.
If your baby sleeps fine in her cot and is a good littler sleeper I don't suggest changing your routine unless you specifically want to co-sleep but for new parents I urge you to keep this in the back of your mind as an alternative to try if you are very tired and having sleepless nights. It could be the answer for you. This might be especially important for colicky babies which need extra comfort.
Finally, if you are very tired and up a lot in the night it's important to understand that it's very dangerous to fall asleep with your baby in a chair or on the sofa. Lots of people do this because they are told not to sleep with their baby in their bed which is a great shame.
I love waking up to see Poppy's bright smile looking up at me.