Article: TO SLEEP OR NOT TO SLEEP? CO-SLEEPING, IS THE ANSWER! By Julia Belard
TO SLEEP OR NOT TO SLEEP? CO-SLEEPING, IS THE ANSWER! By Julia Belard
Co-Sleeping – Sleeping next to someone you love makes you fall asleep faster, reduces depression, and helps you live longer.
Today, many studies confirm the advantages and benefits that sleeping with our babies can bring – the famous « co-sleeping » .
Yet, from day one of little ones' lives, we've been told that it's not safe to do so, or that it's simply not convenient or appropriate.
In fact, when babies are very small, co-sleeping is not recommended. I remember asking in the maternity ward: can't I really sleep with Matias by my side? He's so calm when he's clinging to me. And me too. Of course, I was told no, that it could be dangerous. And, they did very well. I confess that I felt very capable and confident but, even so, I preferred not to take any risks.
In fact, whenever I put Matias down in the crib he cried intensely and whenever I put him next to me, he calmed down and slept soundly and I felt more rested. So, months and months went by during which Matias would fall asleep and sleep on my chest, and also many sleepless nights – we all know how it works.
After countless attempts (without any success) to transform the crib and crib bed into a magical and captivating place, and as soon as it became safe to sleep with Matias next to me, I decided to embrace this idea and assume that, for us, this it worked. Matias would cry a lot in his crib or crib, he couldn't fall asleep alone and would wake up countless times, which forced me to get up many more.
There are many fears and anxieties around this topic. In a first phase, the relevant issue of security. Then, the couple's intimacy and, finally, the child's own independence and healthy development. Of course, I'm talking about what my experience was and what worked for us considering our circumstances. Every child is different, parents are different too, and even the environment itself counts. For us, as a couple but, above all, as a family, it made sense. In fact, we became three. Of course, that doesn't mean that we always have to be three in all circumstances, but in this situation it made sense that it was.
As with everything, there are less good parts – the arms and legs that land in our face during the night or that tiny space in the bed where we end up for the night. We accept that it is a phase. And we know that today, several experts consider this proximity to be positive – not only reassuring parents, but also boosting the baby's healthy growth. We ended up extending our bed so that the three of us could fit there.
It is obvious that, many times, I would like Matias to fall asleep alone in his bed and spend the whole night there sleeping peacefully like most children, but I know that one day, this phase – like all the others – will pass and, new challenges will arise.
Attention, I'm not here in a fundamentalist way to defend co-sleeping, I think it's healthy and natural for children to have their own beds and even their little rooms – Matias also has his, which we built with so much love and care – but, Sometimes, I believe that we have to adapt and accept the circumstances, doing what we think is best for our babies and also for ourselves. What works as a family. And that doesn't always have to be what is ideal and socially advised and accepted.
I believe in the benefits that co-sleeping can bring, in a profound way, making the entire sleep process much easier (especially for those who breastfeed). I also believe that it is natural for a baby to be able to sleep with his mother . I am often looking forward to the long awaited night of complete sleep, to be able to travel and have time to be with my husband or simply to be able to watch a movie or do absolutely nothing and, finally, stop wearing «breastfeeding lingerie» but, at the same time, I know that I have my whole life ahead of me and that this is a phase (although it doesn't seem short) that I want to make the most of with my baby.
Do I co-sleep? At the. My kid co-sleeps. I co-lay-awake and get kicked in the spleen.
Some of the reasons to practice co-sleeping :
Breathing Regulation : helps to regulate the baby's breathing.
Pacifying : helps to calm any discomfort that the baby has quickly.
Comfort : causes a feeling of comfort in babies who often fall asleep on their parents' chest, giving them the possibility to hear the heartbeats that calm them down and help them sleep longer.
Healthy Heart : the presence of another person in the room improves the baby's heart rate, heart rate and blood pressure.
Bonding : sleeping with the baby is precious time that encourages closeness.
Happy Bedtimes : baby will associate positive connotations with bedtime.
Sweeter Mornings : waking up with the baby, with his smell and presence in the morning can be a unique experience.
Respiration Facilitation : when sleeping close to another person, the carbon dioxide released will stimulate the baby to breathe.
Temperature Regulation : overheating can be dangerous, however, when sleeping close to the baby, temperature control can be carried out more frequently.
Breastfeeding : it becomes much easier to breastfeed your baby during the night, if he is hungry or thirsty, without having to cry a lot.
Less Anxiety : Separation can be a source of stress for the baby and also for the parents. In this way, sleeping next to the baby can be reassuring.
Independence : contrary to what one might imagine, sleeping with the Mother will make the baby feel safer and, therefore, more independent.
Protective : the fact that we are sleeping next to our babies makes us more aware of possible situations that, being far away, it would not be possible to control.
By Julia Belard
For those interested in co-sleeping, the Maria do Mar team recommends the Co-Sleeper Crib by Oliver funiture , which is evolutionary and leans against the parents' bed in the first few months, and can then be assembled as an independent crib, and finally turned into a small sofa.