How do I keep my children safe?
That’s the first thing I want to know, about any situation that I’m in. If you’re a mother you’ll know exactly what it feels like to want to protect your children. That’s why I use a baby co-sleeper.
To be honest, it’s taken a lot to front up to my sleeping arrangements. For the past two months – almost three now – I’ve been co-sleeping with my youngest.
Now, I know that I’ve mentioned before how good my children are at sleeping. And they are, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s pretty amazing to have a child that only gets up once in the night at three months. Mission – almost? – accomplished.
However, the minute Summer begins to cry, I do what I think is going to be best for my whole family. Instead of spending an hour trying to settle her back down again, I bring her into our bedroom and place her in the bed next to me. This way we both get back to sleep again quickly.
Of course, like anything with babies, this was only a temporary arrangement. But I can’t quite bring myself to leave her to cry one night. Not to mention this would potentially wake up my other sleeping daughter.
Now, I’m painfully aware of the risks involved. I know that the department of health recommends that your child sleep in a bassinet beside your bed due to the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
So, I’m always careful, and cradle her in a way that I feel is going to keep her safe. While I get back to sleep easily, it’s never a deep sleep, so I’m always aware of what position she’s in.
I would like to say that at this point, co-sleeping has worked for us, as it has worked for thousands of other sleep-deprived parents. In fact, the website Gentle Parenting indicates that approximately up to fifty percent of parent’s co-sleep with their children, but are too afraid to admit it for fear of being judged.
In Asian and Latin American countries, it’s normal to co-sleep. Another country on this co-sleeping list is Japan – and they happen to have one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.
While I plan on getting Summer to sleep in her own cot as soon as I am able, when every night comes around again I find myself opting for convenience – not to mention it’s a brilliant chance to bond with my child at this precious stage.
The first time I co-slept with Summer was the first night I had a decent sleep. While I didn’t co-sleep with her since birth – it was around a month – I definitely felt the effects of losing sleep in that time. When I did co-sleep with her, she was able to feed on my breast when she needed it and I was able to shut my eyes without worrying if she was going to wake up everyone else in the house.
Of course, I move the pillows out of the way and make sure the duvet is pulled right down so there’s no risk of it covering her.
Again, I can’t emphasis enough the difference it has made to all of our sleeping patterns. I hesitantly confided in just a few friends at first, but soon realised that I wasn’t alone and was heavily supported.
Naturally, the camp is divided. Childcare consultant Jill Miller says that mothers have been co-sleeping throughout all of time, and it comes as a natural instinct for many parents. After all, as I first mentioned, as mothers we’re genetically programmed to want to keep our children safe and sound.
On the other hand, infant expert Gina Ford is completely against the idea of co-sleeping. Because I’m open-minded, however, I’ve decided to take 2 cents worth of advice from both sides of the argument and come to a comfortable compromise in the middle.
Gina Ford recommends using a baby co-sleeper to keep your baby safe while they’re sleeping next to you. When I first started co-sleeping with Summer, one of the first things I did was to find a natural, safe baby co-sleeper that I could use with her.
I did my research and found one that suited my needs exactly. Askr & Embla make an amazing baby co-sleeper that we’ve loved from the get-go. It’s completely put my mind at ease because now I know that Summer is going to sleep safely beside me and I’ll have a better sleep, too.
The cover of Askr & Embla’s baby co-sleeper is 100% natural organic hemp, which really appealed to me. It also comes with a 100% organic wool mattress which means it’ll breathe while keeping your infant snuggly and warm. Of course, you’ll know by now that what I love most about my co-sleeper is that it’s eco-friendly. I wouldn’t settle for anything less! Check out Askr & Embla’s baby co-sleeper here.
As a bonus, I thought I would include some tips and tricks for getting your baby back to sleeping in their cot – when you’re ready, of course. I know that transition is going to take place for us sometime soon, and while I’m not looking forward to it, I know it must be done.
1. Replace Your Cuddles
Your baby is going to be used to you being near and having an arm on them. That’s why it’s good to replace yourself with something else that will comfort your little one like a blanket or a cuddly toy. Try to use something that smells of you.
2. Make the Environment Familiar
Be in your baby’s bedroom with your baby as much as possible. This will help them to build a sense of familiarity and safety with their room so that your baby will feel comfortable being there.
3. Keep the Routine
Stick to everything else that you do with them around bedtime. Whether it’s a bath or singing and a book, keep it relaxed and familiar while repeating to them that it’s time to sleep.
4. Stick to the Cot
You’ve got to establish clearly that the cot is now their sleeping spot. Remain next to the cot until they’re lying down and sleeping. This isn’t easy but your consistency will pay off.
5. Be Tough on Comfort
After a few days of doing step 4, stay by the cot by remain still and silent without comforting them. This will be hard at first but slowly the time it takes them to get to sleep will become shorter.
Even as I write this I know I’m dreading my own medicine for when I’ll have to do it for Summer. Until then, however, I’m totally okay with using the baby co-sleeper and credit it for helping us all get a better night’s sleep.
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How long have you been co-sleeping with yours? Let me know!