Monday, April 11, 2011

Cosleeping, A Sex Life and All That Jazz

We co-sleep with Ever. We've co-slept with all of our
babies. Shocking fact number 1 for you to digest, getting the goddamn hippie factor right up there in your face-Dakota slept with us until he was seven. Right up until Lola was born. Ian slept with Mr. Curry off and on until about five, when we married. Lola was sleeping in her own bed, then I was sleeping with her for a while. When I write 'was sleeping with us' it's a casual reference. Dakota slept with us off and on would be more correct. It's a flexible situation when our kids our little.

This brings us to shocking goddamn hippie fact number
2: Current sleeping arrangements are as follows

Queen Bed / Myself, Ever, Lola
Small Pottery Barn Sleigh Bed / Mr. Curry
Bunkbeds / boys

After I came home from the hospital with Ever, Lola was in a panic. Unprepared for the swelling, tubes and strangeness of a C-Section ( me too, kid ) she clung to Mr. Curry and I like a rhesus monkey. So we set up the most comforting arrangement we could imagine, and pulled Lola's mattress onto the floor next to our bed. We spent each night snuggled together falling asleep to almost muted Harry Potter DVDs.As we all adjusted, we began to make plans to slowly transition Lola, when Ever became ill with RSV and was hospitalized. When we came home from the hospital, we went right back to our comforting nest and that's the way it is. Mr. Curry is a light sleeper and because of the Bipolar, it's more crucial than the average bear that he get regular, decent sleep. Between my nighttime anxiety ( can't just lie there and fall asleep in the dark, for God's sake! ) reading and T.V., Lola's routine of being read to and reading, and Ever's nursing to sleep intermixed with bouts of fussy, Mr. Curry often sleeps in the room with the kids bed and the crib- you know, the room we made for the kids. The one Mr. Curry painted and assembled the crib and reorganized for me?

Let me reassure you, this is not some accidental, gee we have no idea what's going on in our family and the kids are in control family quark. It's the direct result of our family values, and what we believe really matters when raising small people to become the kind of big people you can stand to talk to at dinner. The most important thing for children to have is love. The most important thing for them to know is that they are loved. The most important thing for them to learn how to do? Put new toilet paper back on the empty roll damnit! No, love, by a small margin, wins again. All the choices we make for our children are defined by two main ideas:

Is this loving?
Does this teach them how to live?

Those two questions, for us, encompass discipline, integrity, compassion, coping mechanisms, perseverance- all of the good stuff. Life stuff. So when we have an 8 year old girl with a predisposition to biologically inherited anxiety ( Sorry, kid ) and truly stress producing circumstances ( C-Section, anxious mom, baby's hospitalization ) we made the choice to keep her where she felt safe and where she felt loved. What makes a person feel loved can be wildly different, as any married person can tell you. For me, it's eye contact, a tone of voice, help with the house. For Mr. Curry it's respecting his need for downtime, sex. For small kids, it's the way we transition them into this world. All of those things have one thing in common: feeling loved comes from being compassionately cared for in the places of our lives where we feel most vulnerable. From weaning to sleep to potty training to sixth grade camp, our kids look to us to be the safe place.

A good marriage, a happy marriage is crucial, and we balance our need for intimacy against the kids need for security and togetherness. Which brings me to shocking fact number 3 : When our kids are babies, we have sex in the room while they are sleeping, sometimes in the same bed. Or we used to. With Ever, this has changed. Whereas Lola used to lie there as an infant, oblivious and snoozing, when we tried to begin making out with Ever on the other side of our bed, we turned our heads to find her staring straight at us, gape mouthed. As Lola would say: awkward. We are a naked kind of family, with our kiddos watching us shower and pee until they are about 6 or 7, whenever they start to become uncomfortable. That is nature's biological signpost for those kind of transitions, the child's discomfort. When they start noticing and feeling embarrassed that they or you are naked, it's time to quit with the natural and get out the robe. Last week, Dakota ( 16 ) walked in the bedroom and I was nursing Ever. I didn't realize but part of my breast was hanging out. Dakota sat down next to me and said ' Mom, your boob is hanging out ' before he launched into a story about something that had happened at school. My kid has a good, healthy comfort level with the human body, male or female, that I think will serve him well for the rest of life.

Co-sleeping with babies is perfectly safe under most usual circumstances, despite what the American media would have you believe. Here are a few thoughts:

# mothers don't roll over on their babies under normal circumstances. think about this:
have you ever rolled over on a cat or dog sleeping with you and squished it? probably
not! abnormal circumstances include: obesity, drug or alcohol use, sleep disorders
or other physical problems that would make it less safe.

# a mother's heartbeat helps regulate the infant's entire and incompletely formed
nervous system. a mother's breathing and heartbeat help the infant from getting
into too deep of a sleep and stopping breathing- or SIDS. the mother's movements
and breathing help the baby to lightly arouse while sleeping.

# a mother's heartbeat, breath and scent are comforting to the baby.
babies in the womb are in a tiny, warm space with little or no room to move.
coming out into the big world with cool air and space everywhere is overwhelming.

# why do you want to sleep with your husband? ( or do you? :) outside of sex, it's
the intimacy. a mother and her baby have one of the most intimate relationships
a person will have in a lifetime, and being close together physically is a crucial part
of this. in a country where most of us moms have to work, co-sleeping becomes
the last place in our lives that is just about being together. not accomplishing anything
else other than togetherness and sleep.

Which brings me back to my family, to Mr. Curry and I. We give up our aloneness in bed
when we have a baby because we believe that our marriage is cared for well enough to survive
the temporary sleeping arrangements for the needs of our babies. Sex suffers for the first 3-5 months with every baby, and then heads back to normal territory with relief. We have an awesome sex life. I've heard many people say what about sex in reference to co-sleeping, to which I reply, Ever heard of @ early morning @ midnight @ after the baby falls asleep @ the bathroom @ the shower @ yougettheidea

Although Lola sleeps with us, she goes to Grandma Mary's on Saturday nights often, and other nights she's out on the couch while we lock the door for a while. We make it work. Soon, she'll be back in her bed. Until then, we won't ever look back and wish we'd done it any other way.


BIG MOTHERTRUCKING DISCLAIMER

I know this is one of those issues that can make people feel attacked. Which is why often, moms like me ( who do do the hot button issues like cosleep or extend nurse ) don't talk about it- because we don't want our enthusiasm for our beliefs and family life to be turned into an attack on other moms or other families. I'm not attacking anyone. I know that some babies HATE co-sleeping, that they fuss and fidgit and kick all night when someone else is there, even mom. I know that some people can't cosleep because they literally can't sleep. Etc. Yo. Haters gonna hate, and I'm not a hater. xo











Sara said...

I feel so very much the same way, Maggie. After the divorce, Jonah (at 2) began sleeping with me again, or migrating to my bed every night. At almost 6, I figure he'll get tired of it at some point, desire independence, his own space. He still tucks his feet beneath my hip every night, and it's a quick response to his night terrors and losing-a-parent anxiety to throw my arm over him, rub his back, tell him I'm here and not going anywhere.

Petit fleur said...

"Mom, your boob is hanging out".

I love this. You've raised you up a good man/child, you have.

Great post Maggie.
xo

Brigindo said...

I love co-sleeping. We didn't call it that when I was raising Angel. Instead I would end up falling asleep in his bed after reading and cuddling at bedtime. After a few hours I'd crawl into the big bed and when he woke up and realized I was gone he'd eventually follow me. My ex was never happy with the arrangement but, like you, it seemed the natural and healthy way to be with my child.

clearness said...

I totally LOVE it when someone shares their stories on how and why they do what they do. I love reading how all that you do works for your family and the why's behind all the how's and I applaud you for sharing your story. It's beautiful and everyone should read it!

(I am a terribly light sleeper and can hear the baby breathing IN his/her crib across the hall! and that keeps ME awake. I need that baby in a different room for my health and ability to sleep......THAT being said...my kids slept next to me for the first few weeks.....I held Joey for the first THREE months all night long. And anytime they have rough nights....Isabella comes in my bed to snuggle with my husband and I and with Joey...I climb into bed with him and snuggle until he's settled.............

You are Awesome...your whole family is great!

NodToStyle said...

and this is why i love your blog. not only is this a flashback to my childhood, but it is also the exact model i hope to raise my children when that day comes. what a joy to read.

Julia said...

Totally with you on all of this. And yes, they can come climb in bed if they've had a bad dream, any time.

pureklass said...

"Haters gonna hate, and I'm not a hater. xo"

This is EXACTLY why I keep reading your blog, even though I don't have kids, am not married, and have very few shared experiences with you. Your beautiful, big heart shines through in everything you write, and your efforts to make your family healthy and happy are the most admirable thing in the world. I don't know you, but I think you're grand.

Carol said...

I love your stories ...don't ever think you are some kind of weird parent. Why do Cats and Dogs sleep with their babies close? I always slept with my babies and when they were in the crib I put my nightgown in with them. It comforted them when I couldn't sleep beside them.

Great story and I loved reading it. So happy you posted it.

Carol

The Beckster said...

I think everything you wrote makes total sense. I was so upset when my pediatrician told me I shouldn't co-sleep. Like all new mothers, I got freaked out and out of "THE FEAR" I put him out of the bed and into his crib. That lasted one night and after much obsessive google searching I found everything online that you mentioned about the very marginal risk factors. We happily co-slept until my son straight up rejected us and demanded his own space. Nothing's better than waking up with a little one snuggled up. I loved this post!

Elizabeth said...

I have a whole chapter in my "book" titled "A History of Sleep." While my circumstances are very different than yours, either my husband or I still sleep with our daughter who is severely disabled and now sixteen years old. Some people think that's awful -- inappropriate -- unhealthy for a marriage -- but we don't. I love your sleeping arrangements -- and I love the forthright manner you've used to describe them.

As an aside, check out the movie "Babies" sometime -- I think you'd love it.

Maggie May said...

I loved that movie, Elizabeth! The African baby life was my favorite. I could watch them all day. And I love that the two of you sleep with Sophie. We'd do the same. xo

Lynley said...

That sounds lovely!!! Good on you for saying out loud something that clearly works so well for you all. I am the complete opposite ... the only time I had to share a room with one of my babies (we had house guests) I put his crib in the walk-in closet. He's 9 now and seems OK :)

Garden Pheenix said...

Yeah, as a fat woman I totally roll over on animals and small children without noticing all the fucking time. The article was great until that piece of non-sense entered in.

Garden Pheenix said...

And by the time I have noticed I've rolled over on these small children and animals the sheer weight has usually already killed them. Fact. Oh wait, is my immense sarcasm font on??

Vashti said...

YES YES YES! All that I have to say. x

esbboston said...

Everyone constantly works (or doesn't) at figuring out how to be a tribe, and which tribe(s) to be a part of. Our needs change and slowly evolve over time.

Michele R said...

Great post! I think you have a great family, and are doing a wonderful job raising your kids. I love how close you and Dakota are, and then he comes in and tells you a story about school.

Ms. Moon said...

Hey- if there's anything on this earth better than sleeping with a nursling, I don't know what it is.
Okay. Sleeping with a nursling and the nursling's papa. Or whatever.
Whatever works for you is what works for you. And your family.

Marion said...

I breastfed and slept with both of my babies. They were not smothered, rolled over on or marked for life. They both grew up to be loving, giving, caring, wonderful women. I'm a firm believer that you cannot ever love a child too much. Good for you and Mr. Curry!!!

Great post, Maggie, and I agree with you, old hippie that I am. LOL!

Blessings,
Marion

Josey said...

I think your philosophy is pretty much exactly how my parents raised me and my siblings! At first it was totally normal...and then I went through a stage where I thought my family was kind of weird...but now I know love and appreciate how my parents raised me and hope to do the same! You two are wonderful parents. :)

Tara At The Sideshow said...

Our bed is like the communal center of the house. It's freakin' replaced the dinner table as the place where we all convene. Whether sleeping, reading, playing Playstation (eating crumbly can't get it out of the sheets dry cereal in ziploc baggies... told you it replaces the dinner table) our bed is where my husband and our boys roll around like monkeys and where we all feel most at home. Guess that makes us hippies, too! Hippies who play video games and eat processed cereal out of non-biodegradable plastic baggies, that is.

Bethany said...

Wow Maggie, this is really beautiful writing and way of being. It made me cry for some reason. All the talk about the different ways each person feels loved and safe, the line about how feeling loved comes from being compassionatly cared for in the places of our lives where we feel most vulnerable... wow, yes.
Touched some part of me that never got that stuff, still looking for it, not always in the right places.
If all mom's and dad's were like you and Mr C, we'd have a lot less fucked up, needy, scared, anxious, angry people out there.
Horay for you guys.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I think it's up to each parent/set of parents to decide what's right for their family. It's nobody else's damn business.

I love you, my dear.

SB

Maggie May said...

Garden Phoenix I'm sorry that what I wrote obviously hurt you and pissed you off, and I would ask that you not curse at me here. Obesity is a risk factor because when people are morbidly obese, they can smother a baby without realizing. When I was in the hospital with Ever, a morbidly obese man was one of our nurses. While attending to Ever, part of his stomach fell onto my lap and he had no idea. I sat there trying to figure out how to politely point out that his stomach was lying on my lap. This is the reason for that comment.

Chrissy Johnson said...

Can I come over and sleep in your bed, too? It sounds so lovely and warm and cozy. ;)
I think we'd all be a lot better off if we let of society's (especially 'internet society's) pre-prescribed expectations on how we should raise our young. We've let go of our instincts and started listening to the women and men who cluck their tongues at us. And I think this goes both ways! I remember getting flack from my more militant AP friends for even putting my son in a crib SOMETIMES. But really? I was raised with open minded parents, who didn't subscribe to any sort of philosophy or anything - they were just (and still are) kind and understanding. If we had bad dreams as kids we crawled back into their bed; if we were teething or ill as babies they tucked us in with them. Back then no one slapped a label on everything, you know? I love that photo, by the way - so sweet and funny. :)

Therese said...

Love this.

krista said...

i'm jealous.
we couldn't co-sleep for two reasons.
bryan sleeps harder than any human should. he actually did roll over onto finn once and didn't know.
also, whenever i tried sleeping with her, i literally NEVER slept. i woke up every single time she breathed.
i kept trying to initiate the "taking naps together" but she didn't want any part of it. she would only sleep in her crib.
now that she's three....she won't even relax in bed with me, no matter how i try. she'll humor me for a few minutes and then inevitably asks to go to her own bed. but at least she'll let me snuggle in her tiny bed with her at bedtime.

Christine said...

Even without the disclaimer, I didn't feel attacked, so you did well in writing this, Maggie. ;) I only say that because ever since I was blatantly "attacked" by way too "enthusiastic" AP'ers, it's like the way I read things now is forever skewed, and I hate that. I didn't sleep AT ALL when my son slept with me for the first however many weeks of his life. He is still such a light sleeper now that I don't think he could cosleep at 12 months old either. Plus, I'm too much of a tosser/turner/flopper to have us both comfortable. I really wanted to cosleep, and even after fighting so hard to make it work, it just didn't. Why that meant I was a horrible mom to some women, I have no idea. There are extremists out there...I don't think you're one. But I know it's hard not to show enthusiasm for things you find work so well. I'm guilty sometimes with babywearing -- I'm sure for some people I've come across, it relays through the internet in ways I don't intend for it to. But that's why I think it prudent that with not just the hot button issues but ALL issues -- it's what works best for you and your family. We all try our damndest to be good parents and do the best for our kids. There's no one solution for every family.

Allison the Meep said...

I lovelovelove co-sleeping. For our family, it feels right. Julian slept in our bed every night until Audrey was born. Then, Wade would sleep in his room spooned up on his tiny twin bed with him most nights after that. And now, after our big scary break-in, Julian's twin bed is pushed up against our King, and all of us are sleeping in the same room next to each other. He's 7.

We've actually just begun talking about him moving back into his room, with of course the comfort of knowing that we will be sleeping in his room next to him if he needs us.

I get that co-sleeping isn't for everyone, and it definitely can throw a huge wrench in one's sleeping patterns. I have thought many times with all the sleeplessness that we've had since Audrey was born that I wish we were the cry-it-out kinds of people who got to sleep soundly in their big bed, while the baby sleeps soundly in hers. But I just don't want to do that. And she's only going to be this tiny once. One day she'll be horrified at the idea of sleeping in between her parents. So for now, I'm really loving this time.

Carrie said...

Wonderful! I love sleeping with my two-year-old son, love waking up to whatever his first words of the day are ("Do ants have ears?" "Can I hop on your back?"), love the sweet sweaty chick smell of his head.

Right now he goes to sleep in his room and my husband and I watch TV, read, or spend some special grownup time together. Sometime between 11-3, my son wakes up and i join him in his bed. We're all sleeping a decent amount and nights are pretty peaceful. My husband struggles sometimes with thinking it's weird or that we have to "get a handle on it" before the new baby arrives this fall, but it seems totally natural to me that babies and kids want to be in the nest with their mama. The new baby will change things, I'm sure, but flux is the nature of this parenting thing. Any time I start to worry if we're strange, I talk to other parents and I'm always amazed that even in homes that wouldn't label themselves "co-sleeping", there's plenty of bedsharing going on.

Thanks for talking about the wheres and hows of post-baby sex. We've also had sex next to a snoozing kiddo many times and it's just the way it goes for a while. And thanks for talking about the respect your family members have for each other - it really made me think about how my husband and I treat each other, how I might make life kinder for him, make him feel more "seen".

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

i couldn't imagine not having our little crumb co-sleep with us. to wake up every morning to her big beautiful smile and sweet kisses, to know she is sleeping soundly beside us for longer periods than she most likely would not by herself, to be able to travel anywhere and not worry about if she will sleep or where she will sleep, and how completely normal and attached, well-behaved, smart, kind, confident, and independent she is thanks to what i believe stems from her strong bond with her mama and papa. always love what you share and how you share it.

See Kate run. said...

Oh, Maggie. I'm glad you posted this. Perhaps I'll be brave enough to do the same. Here I am thinking my little 2-person tribe is in an "extended co-sleeping arrangement"- and my little man is just turning three next week. :) It is a sweet and natural thing. I think honoring our loving, physical selves is so healthy and makes for wonderful bonds.

XO. :)

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Maggie I LOVED this.

We have been and are a co-sleeping family too. Your disclaimer at the bottom TOTALLY says it all as to why so many of us don't always speak up about the way we sleep. The oldest girls (ages 5 and 4) start out sleeping in their own beds at night and wind up with us later. It works for us and our reasons for doing so are the same as yours. We always, always feel like the right answer is to comfort and to snuggle our children when they need that. How can that be wrong?
Excellent, excellent post.

Courtney said...

'the kind of big people you can stand to talk to at dinner'....

I love this!

January Dawn said...

This is beautifully written, as usual. And I am completely for whatever works for every family. My 3 year old makes his way to our bed pretty much every night. I love it. I wonder if our little guy will be the same way....I hope so. :) I figure that's why they make king beds.

Angie Muresan said...

Oh yeah. Both our kids co-slept with us for quite a while. Wouldn't have it any other way.

Maggie May said...

Thank you for all the excellent replies, sharing your bed rituals and stories. I think it's fascinating to hear the ways families work things out.

girlintheroom.com said...

For me, I am selfish about sleep. Yes, during the day I could tell you I co-sleep because I think it is healthy for our daughter but at night I really just do it cause it means more sleep--no getting up in the middle of the night, no crying, etc. Win-win, IMO.

Still Life With Coffee said...

Oh my goodness I LOVE this post!!!! Apparantly we are of the same parenting/sleeping gene. We huddle like puppies together (like most mammals do) Thanks for being so honest and saying it so well.

Garden Pheenix said...

I wasn't actually swearing at you, I was swearing at what I assumed was info around co-sleeping that I assumed you had picked up from some where. It was your own opinion at what puts a child at risk during co-sleeping? And you added it in because some fat nurse wasn't aware his stomach was in your lap? How does that begin to correlate with fat people some how not noticing they are smothering their child? Jesus what an ignorant leap. NOW I am offended, and irritated to boot. I've read your blog for about a year and have no intention of railing on you after what you've been through but I just lost all interest in reading further.

Garden Pheenix said...

One last thing. I have noticed through your posts that you have an aversion to fat. You dont want to be fat, you love your husband doesn't make you feel fat and when you appreciate your daughter you've made mention of her beautiful THIN body. And all that's fine and personal preference. But when you go around passing off your grand leap of logic based solely on ignorance and assumption about what fat people are or are not likely to do PEOPLE ARE READING THIS. You ARE aware that your fat shaming may cause a mother to not co-sleep with her baby because she somehow assumes, after reading your little factoid, that the adipose tissue in her body has somehow become less sensitive to touch and pressure and she is therefore more likely to smother her baby?

People who sleep incredibly deeply do so regardless of weight. People who are unaware of their surroundings are like that regardless of weight. Altered states of consciousness from substances are not dependent on weight. Whether you post this or not, I do not care, but if you listen to anything I am writing check your biases at the door before you spout off facts to your 1000+ readers because you're words do not exist in a vacuum and in this case they're BULLSHIT.

Maggie May said...

Garden Phoenix

Although your stunning insights into my parenting, fat phobia and intellect are compelling I must regretfully agree that indeed you are in the wrong place, and would like to offer you good luck elsewhere in your genuine attempts to communicate.

Maggie

Rachel_K said...

I've been enjoying your posts for some time now. We didn't co-sleep initially because we had a waterbed at the time. But as soon as we got a real mattress we snuggles up and we had a lovely sleep. I loved nursing and did so for 2 years. J is 6 and a half now and since she started first grade last August she has been in my bed for some part of the night nearly every night since. I still love it. Hubby hates it though so she can't sleep with us all night. He spent three months last spring working out of state and she was in bed with me (and the dog and the cat) every night. You have a beautiful family. Keep writing!!

Mary Potts said...

Our kids slept with us, and amazingly enough we found time to have a sex life... after all, we had four kids so obviously we snuck in a few quickies through the years! Erin slept with me after each of her surgeries, and she was 15 when all that started. There was always room for the 65 lb golden in the bed too! I miss her body next to mine - both as an infant just after I nursed her, and as an 18 year old who I knew was going to leave me soon...

Maggie May said...

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=51747

Maggie May said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-sleeping

Maggie May said...

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/t070600.asp

mosey said...

I think this sounds like the perfect arrangement for your family, and I love hearing how other families function. Plus, as usual, your thoughtful and meaningful way of explaining the choices you make is beautiful.

We didn't co-sleep, although my now 7yo was close by our bed while an infant and still comes to snuggle whenever she wants. She slept better on her own as did we.

Mwa said...

I love this post, even though I'm not a cosleeper myself. Well, I say that but we do have all the children in our room (difft bed) for the first few months (Charlie's still there after eight months), and take them into bed pretty much whenever they ask for it. I like that you take love as your starting point. That's what I am trying so hard to do as well. I never took this as an attack at all. Just a way to talk about your life in a beautiful way.

((We hang a towel over the edge of the crib when we get it on, because I get freaked when I get looked at as well. :-) ))

Kempt said...

darlin. Sometimes when I read your posts I take mental note that they reinforce so much of what I want to believe and want to do, and how I want to have/raise children.
And that makes me so happy, that somebody out there (and the majority of your commenters) think the same way, and live the same way. Thank you for putting it out there. xo

justmakingourway said...

Bravo.

Lora said...

I think co-sleeping is crucial. In my line of work, I see lots of dead babies, and none of them have been the result of a normal weight, sober mother crushing her baby.

Blankets, fathers, and crib bumpers are prime smothering offenders.

Mothers are so in tune with their babies, and we are biologically made to sleep with one another.

My 5 year old might fall asleep in his bed most nights, but he always wakes up and comes in mine. Sex happens early while he is in his own bed or later when we leave him in ours and sneak off somewhere else.

And we are a naked family of open-door pee-ers too. When Jake is grossed out by it, we'll stop. Until then, he is learning that human bodies and everything they do are natural and beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of.

Middle Child said...

My husband said he had to sleep with his arm braced against the wall so he didn't fall out, because we all slept in our bed - whenever they wanted to - and you know my own mum and dad in the 50's and 60's allowed any of us to come in whenever we wanted to...one time there were four kids in their bed and all seemed to sleep okay

Lo Lo said...

Maggie-
Thanks for putting the mother back in motherhood, yo. I feel like so many parents fear their intuition (and isn't it intuitive to want to protect, snuggle, co-sleep with, comfort, etc. your kids?). You, on the other hand, follow your every natural and informed instinct and you have a tight-knit, BEAUTIFUL loving and caring family to show for it. I wish more parents would ignore the "mandates" set forth by doctors (which, I believe are subconsciously informed by our money-hungry culture) and listen to what their children need instead. How much more well adjusted we all might be...

DaniR said...

Hi, I just came across your blog while researching Co-sleeping. I am wanting to co-sleep with my baby due in January. I have a pillow-top mattress, so it is super soft(too soft!). I am unsure if I am supposed to buy one of those co-sleeping nests things, which only fit baby for a few months, or if maybe if I bought a firming pad for my mattress, it would be fine without some sort of contraption. I am a little nervous with all the talk about SIDS and rolling over, etc, but feel very strongly that I want to sleep with baby. Do you have any advice on how to start co-sleeping with a newborn and what I need to buy, if anything, to safely do so?

Maggie May said...

Hi Dani! I tried to email you but your profile has no contact. I'd get a firming mattress pad first. Then make sure your pillows are not super fluffy and the pillow cases are tight and don't have tassels, etc. Your comforter should be more like a flat blanket, and no sheets. When my babies are infants I wear warm pj's to bed if it's cold. I put the baby in warm footie jammies, and the baby stays warm cuddled up next to you all night, too.

Make sure there are no gaps between the bed and the wall or the bedframe. We use only our mattress on boxspring and no frame, so mattress is close to ground. Mothers ( unless they have unusual concerns, like sleep disorder, heavy drinking, medications that 'drug' you at night, etc. ) sleep very aware of their babies and wake when the baby wakes. Fathers can or cannot be like this, you'll have to see what your husband is like. You two know how your husband sleeps so take that into consideration. If he's a 'normal' sleeper it should be OK, but if he thrashes around a lot you might want to practice with naps first to see how he does.

Otherwise, it's really easy and safe. As infants they don't move an inch. They just wake and start to fuss a little and if you are nursing, you will start to nurse the baby who will nurse him or herself right back to sleep.

If your baby has problems nursing, like gagging or spitting up or crying, try expelling some milk before the baby nurses, because sometimes the milk comes out so fast the baby struggles to gulp it. The other cause of crying and gas and gagging could be if the baby is intolerant to something you are eating, dairy and chocolate being the most usual issues.

Good luck!!!

Penelope Rock said...

"The most important thing for children to have is love. The most important thing for them to know is that they are loved."

I definitely agree. The family is one of the greatest factor of child's development or who he or she may be in the future. Love is also the basic factor of a healthy individual. Well said, eh.

Thanks for sharing,
Peny@discount scrubs

ginny said...

my husband and I fight for who is going to snuggle our son when we all co-sleep in our bed. it's something we never planned, I never even considered that we co-sleep until someone else pointed it out, but we all love it.

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