Co-sleeping, is it right for you? Well after I had my first child, I was on shift work and my husband was on a normal day-shift schedule. This was a very difficult time in my life. The stress of trying to figure out how to be a new mother, a good wife, and working a full-time job was very difficult. In order to not have to pay for childcare, I decided to go to the graveyard shift. Childcare is very expensive in my state. Thus, the grave shift was the only choice for me. As most people know you either love grave shift or you hate grave shift. Well, I definitely did not enjoy it. The people I worked with were awesome, which always makes everything a little easier. Yet, it was a very difficult transition and I felt like I was a zombie most of the time.
Childcare is very expensive
During this time, it was much easier for my husband and me to let my daughter sleep in the same bed as us. There was only one of us in bed at any given time anyway. We were both exhausted from taking care of our daughter on our own. So, this was the best way for each of us to survive by getting some sleep. Over the next two years, this arrangement continued.
Shortly after I had my second child, my husband decided enough was enough. We bought a big girl bed for my daughter and decided it was time. Between a newborn baby boy and my daughter in a new bed/room, neither of us were getting any sleep. My daughter complained that she was scared all the time. One of us would lay down with her until she would fall asleep. Then after a few hours, she would wake up and come crawl into bed with us. This routine continued for a few months. We had to figure out something else or we would continue to get little to no sleep.
Eventually, we got my daughter to sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor beside our bed. To many people, this may seem ridiculous, but to us, it was a huge step in the right direction. This decision was not made lightly. When both parents work full-time high-demanding jobs, there are some things that need to have compromises. At least now all of us will be getting some good sleep.
We never let our son co-sleep with us. My husband never liked co-sleeping because he was afraid of rolling over and squishing/suffocating our children. There are many reasons to co-sleep or not to co-sleep. This is a decision that everyone has to make for themselves. Personally, I see both ways as positive. During this time in our lives, it was the best decision for us. We both cherish sleep. When trying to take care of a family, and working full-time, sleep is a necessity.
Pros to co-sleep:
- Less getting up and down at night. More Sleep!
- Less hassle at bedtime
- Sense of security
- Breastfeeding at night is easier
- Reduces separation anxiety
- You will be able to monitor baby closer
- More bonding time with baby
Cons to co-sleeping:
- Risk of SIDs is increased
- May disrupt mommy and daddy time
- Can disrupt sleep patterns later
- Make the transition to own bed more difficult
- Baby get stuck in sheets
- Baby could overheat
- Kids like to kick, which could mean less sleep
There are lots of reasons to co-sleep and lots of reasons not to co-sleep.
The question is, what is right for you and your family? For my family, co-sleeping was a great experience. It was the right decision at the time and I stand behind it. Being a new mother and working a full-time job was life-changing. Co-sleeping gave me the chance to bond closer with my daughter and actually get a couple hours of sleep. We decided to transition away from co-sleeping when I transitioned to a normal 9-5 job, and I had our second child.