Thursday, January 15, 2009

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We're co-sleeping family.

The most recent issue of Mothering Magazine has a few articles about co-sleeping that I've recently been reading. And up until now I never really understood what Co-Sleeping was all about.

Apparently, there is a difference between Co-sleeping and Bedsharing.
Co-sleeping: sleeping in the same room, in close proximity to one's child, but not necessarily in the same bed.
Bedsharing: sleeping in an adult bed with one's child.
According to these definitions we are a 100% Co-sleeping family and I'd say about an 80% Bedsharing family. Jude sleeps in the play yard bassinet next to our bed most of the night but inevitably at some point ends up in our bed.

I'd never considered us to be a co-sleeping family but after some research I've learn that the benefits greatly outweigh the prospect of Jude sleeping through the night by himself in the other room.

Some of the benefits of co-sleeping are:
A lower risk of SIDS
Promotes Breastfeeding
Babies sleep better when they feel secure
More sleep for parents
May positively effect child's self esteem long-term

Co-sleeping is actually alot more common than I suspected. 70 percent of new parents beshared at least occasionally. And the idea that infants should sleep alone in their own room is actually a recent and culturally unique phenomenon. In almost all cultures around the world babies and parents co-sleep. Additionally, I learned that most babies don't sleep through the night and the fact that we expect an infant to have the same sleep patterns as an adult is a source of much misinformation. "Babies do not follow adult patterns of behavior in other areas, such as feeding, motor abilities, and daytime sleep, so it's logical that babies' nighttime sleep patterns will also be unique and evolving."

I'm glad we are a co-sleeping family and I feel that Jude is a secure and happy baby because of it. Sometimes I wish I could have a whole night of uninterupted sleep but I know the time will come when Jude doesn't want to cuddle up next to me in bed so I better enjoy it while I have it.

For more information about the statistics and benefits of co-sleeping and bedsharing checkout articles about Sleep.


Amy said...

I love Mothering! I think the magazine writes very informative articles that are well-written... almost as if we're intelligent women. Hm...

I was thinking about this the other day - most of my friends co-sleep in some way, and many do end up bed sharing at least some of the time. We have an Arm's Reach co-sleeper, but he only uses it a few hours each night (when Mike and I first go to bed).

For us, I firmly believe Micah sleeps best when cuddled up next to me. He's warm, secure, and safe. He sleeps more when he's actually in our bed. And I feel better when I can touch him.

I think NOT co-sleeping is really weird. This tiny person was INSIDE you for 40 weeks, and now we say, "OK, go sleep in a cold, dark room all by yourself. Lie there quietly. See you tomorrow. I'm going to go snuggle up with your dad." Really?

Paige said...

I'm glad it's working out for you and that you are savoring your snuggles

Kim said...

Wait till he's 6 and he still wants to sleep w/ much as I love snuggling and all

Amy said...

Yeah, I decided to pretend he's going to be 2 months old forever and we don't really have to worry about that transition...

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