For most parents, some (or a lot) of sleep is lost with the birth of a new baby. Every family has unique needs, children and nighttime patterns. As parents, we are bombarded with opinions about the best way to get our babies to sleep and it can be overwhelming to choose the “right” one. Let’s take a look at what co-sleeping has to offer and you can decide if it’s the right choice for your family.
Here are 12 cozy bedtime books for toddlers that can help with their bedtime routine.
Co-sleeping in the broadest sense means sleeping in the same room as your child and is actually recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for the first 6 months to a year since it can reduce the risk of SIDS by 50%. Other types of co-sleeping include separate surface cosleeping- where your baby sleeps in a cradle or crib in your room, near your bed- and same surface co-sleeping/bed-sharing. Bed sharing is what most people think of when they hear talk about co-sleeping.
Dr. Sears, renown attachment parenting guru, has written about and studied cosleeping extensively. Here Are a few of the reasons he recommends co-sleeping:
Any sleep plan that you choose will have its difficulties, things you will sacrifice and inconveniences. A few disadvantages to co-sleeping include:
We have chosen to co-sleep with both of our children and have room-shared for the entire first year of each of our children’s lives. We felt most comfortable bed-sharing after they had good head control and only bed-shared when it resulted in the most sleep for the whole family. Bed sharing has made it easy to nurse on demand and reduced bedtime hassles. When our babies would stir, we would nurse immediately, simultaneously maintaining milk supply.
Not to mention, we loved the nighttime snuggles and the sweetness of sleeping beside our little ones. Our daughter moved into her own room at 14 months and has never looked back (now 3yo). We will see how our second transitions but are feeling optimistic and flexible!
Make sure that whatever approach you take in your nighttime parenting that it is a choice that both you and your spouse feel comfortable and confident about. Take the time to have conversations about your thoughts and feelings about co-sleeping and other sleep solutions. If at any point you feel uncomfortable about your decision, try something new. Listen to your instincts and make a decision with love and compassion, not frustration and desperation.
Here are some other sources for learning about co-sleeping and whether it is right for you: