Today I'm writing about sleep. Specifically, co-sleeping with children and the many misconceptions that surround this idea. I've included some additional resources at the bottom of this post.
1. Co-sleeping and bedsharing are not the same thing. Co-sleeping simply means sleeping in the same area/room. This could be bedsharing (i.e., on the same sleeping surface, in the same bed), but it could also be a mattress on the floor, a bassinet nearby, a co-sleeper attached to the side of the bed, or even a completely separate bed in the same room.
|All three Agents sick with the flu (February 2011)|
3. What about sex? Yes, what about it? Sex after children is always a matter of logistics: they pretty much need to be out of the house or sound asleep. Even if your children sleep in a separate room, they would still need to be asleep. And they still might wake up and interrupt you. If you are worried about them hearing you, move somewhere else. (I don't know about yours, but our house is really super cool in that it has more than one room.)
4. Children need to sleep alone. Why? Do you like sleeping alone? Do you see many other mammals sleeping alone? Exactly what "skill" does sleeping by yourself foster?
5. But they'll never be independent. Are you really concerned about your newborn being dependent on you for comfort and security? or your toddler? or your five-year-old? Because if so, you have way bigger issues than co-sleeping vs. separate sleeping.
|Sleepy Agents J and A|
7. Children should not "bother" you at night. It makes my heart sad when I read articles (or friends' status updates) where folks say they are "done" parenting at the end of the day. I understand the need for everyone to rest. I understand the need to have balance and time to yourself. But, parenting is a 24-hour-a-day gig. Period. You can't put your children away in the evening and take them back out the next morning. (This is true even if you're not co-sleeping, but I thought I'd throw it out there.)
8. If baby sleeps next to mom he/she will want to nurse all night long. This one may be true. Or not. Breastfed babies who sleep right next to the "source" may nurse more at night. Or, they might feel so comfy and secure next to mom that they may sleep longer stretches without nursing. All babies are different!
9. Parents (mom especially) won't get enough sleep if the baby is in the room all night. Personally, I've found the opposite to be true. I can respond to baby's needs quickly and quietly before anyone is even fully awake. The few nights I've had to haul myself out of bed with a sick baby/toddler, who wanted to nurse sitting up or just be held upright, I thought I would about perish from exhaustion the next day.
|E and J snuggled up|
Have you co-slept with your children? What has your experience been like? What would you add to this list?