Let me preface this post by saying that I am not judgmental in any way of co-sleeping. You do whatever works for you, right? But I am curious, I have questions… How does co-sleeping really work?
I was blessed with a baby that sleeps well, so I never had to bring Timothy into our bed. I have always been scared of rolling over the baby, of the baby falling off of the bed, of hurting the baby, of the baby suffocating (just read all those recommendations about not having anything in their cribs – pillows, blankets, not even stuffed toys and look at your own bed). And of not really being able to sleep (and lead normal life later).
So I have never done that.
Well, not entirely true. In the early days, when Timothy was a couple of months old, there were instances when he would wake up to start his day and I would be way too sleepy – so I would bring him into my bed and snooze a bit next to him. But snoozing is not sleeping. And I was not able to fall asleep.
Timothy made noises, he moved, he flailed his arms and legs, kicked me in the ribs, slapped me on the face. And the whole time some part of my brain was not letting go, staying vigilant, making sure he’s okay.
But looking at the way he sleeps now – one second he is on his belly in one corner of his crib, the next he is on his back in the opposite corner, making full rotations and flips…
How do people sleep in the same bed with older babies? How do they sleep without worrying that the baby’s gonna fall off the edge of the bed, onto the floor? How do they sleep without worrying that they’re going to kick them – and hurt them, like elbow kick into a temple? How do they sleep with the constant noises babies make?
I understand that if it’s this kind of sleep versus not sleeping at all with those fussy babies that cannot, for whatever reason, sleep on their own, then this might be more restful. But otherwise it feels like the co-sleeping parents never really sleep.
And what I also don’t understand is the remark that I see over and over “who knows how many times baby nurses in the night”. It just doesn’t make any sense to me, especially if we’re talking about smaller babies – like 4 month old babies. Do they undress moms and nurse, without moms even waking up? How can they, when they’re too small to even roll over? Do moms sleep naked, leaking milk all over the bed? Do moms nurse hardly waking up and that’s why they have no idea how frequently babies nurse? But then it means that babies nurse awfully frequently, somewhat waking up their moms, so moms never really have the deep sleep phases everyone needs? And then what happens when you need to give the other boob – you transfer baby to the other side and suddenly baby is right next to the edge of the bed – surely you cannot sleep now?
Again, I am not being judgmental. I honestly want to understand how this works, having never had to experience this – while I hear other moms talking about it.