Before Remington was born I had absolutely no intention of co-sleeping. Davey and I went out and bought a pack 'n play that would be situated next to my side of the bed so baby boy would be at arms reach during the night. I even set it up a month before he was due so I could get used to it being there. Then Remington was born. The first couple nights home we put him to sleep in the pack n' play and like all newborn babies, he woke up every 2 hours to eat. I remember feeling like it was such as hassle to wake up, sit myself up, get the boppy and the baby situated and nurse in bed. (during these times I would always look over at David sound alseep and snoring and shoot imaginary fire darts at him with my eyes. How did he not hear the baby cry? Anyways, moving on...) Remington would always fall back asleep while he eating so It was a feat trying to put him back in his bed without waking him up. Nine times out of ten his big blue eyes would pop open and he would cry as soon as I laid him down. This went on for a week or so before I learned how to nurse Rem while we were both laying down. (aka the side lying pose.) Little did I know this pose would change my life for the better.
It took awhile for me to feel completely comfortable with the side lying pose. But when I did, nursing at night suddenly didn't seem like such as hassle. Rem would wake up, I'd grab him, whip out a boob and we would both drift off to sleep. I remember the first time waking up four hours later and freaking out that he hadn't woken up since his last feeding, only to find hum snuggled up next to me fast asleep. It was then that it dawned one me, nursing Remington in bed = better night sleep. Why had I not thought of this before?
I brought the co-sleeping idea up with David and he freaked. He was a heavy sleeper and was afraid of rolling on top of Rem . The horror stories everyone associated with co-sleeping about babies being strangled and suffocated scared the crap out of me too, but I was desperate for a nights rest. We further discussed the family bed idea and decided to try it out a couple nights. Hallelujah was it an answer to our prayers! I slept better, Remington slept better and we were all happy.
As far as positioning goes, I curled up my body around Remington as he would nurse and made sort of a protective barrier. We both slept on our sides facing each other, his face close to mine. David noticed that Remington would match his breathing to mine. I always woke up feeling refreshed like I had really slept well even though I found myself (un) consciously checking Rem throughout the entire night.
For awhile I felt kind of like a werido when I talked to my peers about our sleeping situation. So I started to do some research and came across this article from Dr. Sears. He shares his personal experience with co-sleeping as well as his findings to the research experiments he conducted. The results are very interesting, especially the physiological effects that co-sleeping has on both mother and baby (read it!)
So the more I looked into this "dangerous" sleeping arrangement the more I was convinced that I was doing the best thing for me and my baby. In lot of ways I feel like it's the most natural thing for us, like primal momma bear instinct. In my research I also learned that humans are the only mammals that expect their offspring to sleep away from them. Crazy huh? Once again I felt grounded in my decision to co-sleep.
Now almost 6 months later Dave and I are starting to rethink this co-sleeping thing. Remington has turned into a beast to sleep with. He grunts, kicks, rolls and pulls on my face all night. This is not going to be acceptable as I'm starting up school again in less than a month. This is my segway into my sleep training post where I'll let you know what we are doing and how it is (
P.S I know that a family bed is not for every one and I want to point out that I am not dissing or discouraging parents who choose to put their babies in cribs. I just wanted to share my experience and how it worked for us in our situation.
Here are links to a couple articles about co-sleeping if you are interested...
...or you could just google search...
(where did my little newborn go?)
(nude colored bra. not a boob. promise.)
(one of my favorites)