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My Experience With Co-Sleeping

I am super excited about this post! I have had such a positive experience with co-sleeping and want to share a little bit more about it!

Before I get into it, I will say that I am not an expert and what works for me won't work for everyone. I do not drink, smoke or do drugs. I follow a healthy lifestyle and am a very very light sleeper.

With that out of the way, lets get on with it.

There were so many reasons I wanted to co sleep with my daughter when she was born. Intuitively it just felt right for me. Knowing that my little baby could still be close to me, after her spending nine months inside me was so comforting. The idea of putting her in a different room or even in a crib didn't feel right. After all, other animals sleep with their young close by so why can't we?

Seems like a simple concept right? Well it is....but a lot of people do not see it that way. I have had my fair share of negative comments regarding our sleeping arrangement but there isn't anything to be said that would change my mind. I know what I am doing is the best thing for my baby . period.

In the interests of keeping my thoughts organized I will talk about why we co sleep and also share how it works for us.

Why We Co Sleep

One of the biggest draws to co sleeping was trying to imagine the world through August's eyes. She had spent nine months tucked safely away in my body and now was in a big new place. I simply wanted to make the transition as easy as possible for her. I was the only thing that was familiar to her so making myself available at all times just made sense. If she started to cry , I wanted to be an arms length away to help sooth her.

I am really into the idea of gentle parenting and helping build a Child's confidence through compassion . Co Sleeping just goes hand in hand with this. Another aspect was the practical fact that we both get more sleep this way. If August gets restless during the night I can easily reach over and pull her onto my side of the bed to comfort her . I also believe that her being close, is the reason she was sleeping six hours a night by the time she was a week old. She has never woken up just to "fuss" at night and she always goes right back to sleep after her feeds.

That leads me into the next reason that co sleeping makes sense , which is the breastfeeding factor . If you are a new mom who exclusively breast feeds then chances are you will be feeding every 2-3 hours during those first few days. This means really only 2 hours of sleep at a time . Believe me when I will want to maximize those hours ! having baby close so you can do a quick diaper change then feed them without turning a light on is amazing.

The other factor that allows you to have more sleep is that new mom obsession with making sure your baby is still breathing. Any other moms with me? Those first few days I would wake up just to make sure August was still breathing . Being next to her and able to just hear her made me feel more at ease.

Finally, I love co sleeping just simply because I can savour every cuddle with my baby. Those first few weeks fly by and I know the years will too. August will only want to cuddle with me for so long... so why not maximize that time? I love waking up cuddling her and she loves it too. Every morning she wakes up smiling and happy, these have been some of my favourite moments with her. I can't imagine missing all the sweet smiles and cute sounds she makes.

The setup we have works well for both of us. I will share how we co sleep but I want to stress, that just because this works for us, doesn't mean it's for everyone. Sharing a bed with your baby isn't recommended but with the right set up the "risk" factors aren't an issue. Use your own common sense and intuition.

Our Setup and How We Co Sleep

The setup I created for us is quite simple and constantly evolving to fit new needs. I have a queen sized mattress and boxspring on the floor.

My boyfriend has his own bed in his own room because we all sleep better this way haha. We did this even before having a baby . He's a night owl and I am an early bird so this just works best. He does sleep with her in the bed on occasion and I take his room to get a break.

Since all three of us are never in the bed at the same time the queen size works. I will be moving the bed against the wall soon . The current set up I have is ideal for 0-3 months but not after a baby starts rolling. I also have a SNUGGLE ME ORGANIC lounger for her , which she used as a newborn and again recently. I absolute love this product and would highly recommend! It was great when she was first born because it reassured me she was safe in the bed and comfy in her own space. We haven't gotten a lot of use out of it because she would spit up on her back . She is starting to use it now again, that she can sleep on her back.

At Nightime I pull the duvet back on her side and put one pillow against the bedside table (she doesn't need it there but it makes me feel better). I put her to sleep on her tummy with a light blanket (I feel comfortable with this even though it isn't recommended) to sleep on the other side of the bed. I know it's not recommend for a baby to sleep on their stomach but August spits up if she goes down on her back after a feed. Having her on her tummy is better for her. She would choke on spit up as a newborn but was fine on her stomach . I should mention, that she had incredible head control at two weeks old and had no trouble moving her head side to side .

Normally I will reach over, to flip August half way through the night to her back. If she gets restless I will just cuddle her on my side of the bed. When she sleeps on me I put my arm under her head and turn her sideways or on her back . Neither of us move when she sleeps on me until she wakes up. I have never been worried about rolling over on her and keep the blankets away from her head.

I absolutely love having her close but also enjoy when she sleeps on her side of the bed. I don't use the snuggle me organic at night simply because it limits her to only sleeping on her back. She does use it during the day for naps. So far, this setup has worked for us and everyone enjoys it. Now that she is closer to rolling, Moving the bed against the wall, will be our next step. I am not sure how long we will co sleep but I am in no rush to move her into her own space. We both sleep well and that's all that counts.

The final thing I want to mention is that our dog does sleep in the bed too. He is a Mini Weiner Dog so there is no fear of him crushing August. He normally burrows under the duvet on my side with his feet hanging out anyways.

I know many of the things I have mentioned doing are not recommended but I think the key is to use common sense. I. Its important to realize each situation is different and what might work for some, won't for others .

One last aspect I want to touch on, is the concern that a co sleeping baby will never sleep alone. This simply isn't true. There are plenty of times I put August to bed before I lie down and she sleeps fine. The idea that babies will manipulate you is absurd... they are babies! Just like baby cats, dogs, horses , giraffes and monkeys they want their mamas close.

Keeping them close to you helps build trust and connection. It shows them that you will always be there to support them. They look to you as comfort instead of random objects: blankets, stuffed toys, pacifiers etc.

Trust your intuition and if co sleeping feels right for you then do it! Don't worry about what family or friends will think. If you and your child are thriving then who cares :) Create a safe space for sleep that is comfortable for your situation.

Does my baby sleep with blankets? yep. Are we smart about it and constantly evaluating our choices? Also yep! I am slowly learning not to justify my choices or give the general warnings "oh she doesn't sleep with a blanket". Well guess what? she has a light blanket I put on her at night when its chilly. Deal with it ;)

Like mentioned earlier follow your intuition and common sense . Don't worry about what other people think and enjoy the time with your baby!

Co sleeping has made new parenting so much less complicated for me and I love it! Having my baby close makes both of us happy and allows for more sleep. Again, I am not an expert but I just wanted to share my experience :) I hope it helps give other moms who co sleep out there confidence in their choice! To those considering co sleeping, do your research and give it a try:) Enjoy every second you get to hold them now because one day they will be big and won't want to be held anymore.

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