More Moms Co-Sleep Than You Think
With Dr Ferber, Weisbluth and all the doctors who have written books telling parents all about the importance of independent sleeping, your grandma, your mom, and the enormous variety of cribs and mobiles and crib bedding sets available in retails stores across the nation, you could be forgiven for thinking that every baby in the world goes in a crib and co-sleeping families are few and far between.
In fact, some studies claim that 70% of parents have co-slept with their child for some or all of the night.
For anyone who’s co-sleeping and thinks she’s the only one, try this experiment: if you are at a playdate with other mom, admit you co-sleep. You might be surprised as to how many other moms do too. I can think of a lot of co-sleeping moms I know, and it’s not all the hippie granola stereotype moms – one is the ex-vice-president of a multinational company, another one is a dentist.
When my son was an infant, he woke up every hour to nurse. He started the night sleeping in a bassinet beside the bed, and by 4 a.m. he was in bed with me so I could get some sleep.
By 12 months, he was sleeping through the night. It was somewhat of a relief to have him sleep all night in his crib, although I did miss having the little wiggly fidgety thing in bed with me.
Then around the time he turned two, major changes happened in our family – a cross country move and his dad leaving the home. He refused to sleep in his crib. So he’s back in bed with me. It’s nice to have him back, although now things are settling down around here I’m planning to get a toddler bed and gently try to have him sleep in there.
So basically, I’ve been flexible about where my son sleeps, and adapted, depending on the circumstances.
So how do you decide what to do? There’s pros and cons of co-sleeping, and the correct place to put your baby to sleep is only something that you can decide. You, your partner, and your baby are the people who should decide where baby should sleep. Partly because it’s you being woken up at night, and partly because you are the one who knows you and your family best, and what is working or not working for you.
If you do decide to co-sleep, here’s a must-read list of safe sleeping practices for co-sleeping families.