Confession 1: Yes, we still co-sleep.
Confession 2: No, I don't always like it…
Confession 3: But it works for us, and there are some things I do love about it.
There. I said it. My son is 3.5 years old and yes, we still co-sleep. Well, to be honest, he was in his cot right until he was two (give and take the early morning shifts into our bed, and the odd night of wanting to sleep with mummy and daddy) but something changed after that and he's never gone back into it. No amount of pleading, coaxing, bribing, making cot into fun toddler bed has done the trick. So far. So as it stands, bed-sharing is the norm in our house at the moment, and while it has its positives, boy are there some negatives too!
1. It is downright uncomfortable!
Co-sleeping with a baby is completely different than sharing a bed with a toddler. Because it's not sharing any more. That little human being takes up more than half the bed, leaving you and your spouse to hold on to the margins for dear life! Not to mention the horizontal position toddlers somehow manage to get into at some point in the night, kicking and shoving you in the back, groin, even the face.
2. Yet, it is the best feeling in the world…
However, despite the lack of space to sprawl about, there is NO better feeling in the world than snuggling up to your baby/ toddler, smelling their hair while you'll cuddle through the night (until you get a foot in your face, that is).
3. It is dangerous
Not so much in the case of toddlers, but with an infant, care MUST be taken when co-sleeping. An infant is not capable of realising he or she cannot breathe if the blanket or sheets happen to cover their face. So be aware that the blanket is not on baby's face while turning and shifting.
Likewise, make sure you don't put your heavy arm (or body) on infant, when in deep sleep.
DO NOT CO-SLEEP WHEN YOU'VE HAD TOO MUCH TO DRINK.
4. But often, it is necessary…
When your child is unwell, there is nothing more comforting and soothing for them than to sleep next to their mummy and daddy. Shower them with that extra love… and sacrifice your personal space!
5. There is NO opportunity for hugging your spouse
If you are bed-sharing, more often than not it means your toddler is plonked right in between you and your spouse. My son, for instance, will NOT allow us to swap places, and oh boy, he will NEVER take the corner! So wave tata to hugging your spouse and sleeping.
6. But it makes bedtime tantrum-free
Now if you're blessed with a toddler who's been sleeping through the night and in his own room since six months,
arghhh I hate you, well done you! But if sleep-training was a disaster and you succumbed, then you will find yourself co-sleeping (like me) well into the toddler years and beyond. But it makes bedtime that much easier when you all go into the same bed!!!
(Read more about my Bedtime Blues if you fancy a laugh at my expense).
7. If it works for you, stick with it. If not, then change it
Like with everything parenting-related, what works for one family will not necessarily work for another. There is no right or wrong. So weigh the pros and cons and decide whether you want to stick with co-sleeping and for how long. Do what works best for YOU!
This well-researched guide to co-sleeping is worth a read too, if you are confused whether to co-sleep or not.
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