When I was pregnant, I always said that I would never co-sleep or bed-share. I was a very heavy sleeper and always moved around in my sleep. It scared me to even think about allowing my daughter, Sophia to sleep right next to me. What if I were to roll over on her? I took a developmental psychology course while studying psychology and the professor gave us statistics on SIDS/accidental suffocation. One of the main reasons for it was due to co-sleeping, bed-sharing in particular. She talked about how unsafe it was and the risks involved. I wasn’t even pregnant then, but I decided that I would never co-sleep with my future children. While I was pregnant, I planned to use a basinet and then transition Sophia into her beautiful crib.
Sophia slept in the basinet at the hospital when she was born. Once we brought her home, she slept in a travel basinet. That only lasted for the first week. I had a C-section, so it made it really difficult to constantly get up. I found myself exhausted and sore one day. I was nursing my week old daughter and fell asleep with her on my chest. When I woke up, I panicked!
Sophia was still sound asleep on my chest. I didn’t even remember falling asleep! I enjoyed being so close to my daughter after I calmed down. It was that moment when I decided that I wanted to bed-share. I was a lot more careful when it came to bed-sharing, though.
I did my own research and found that bed sharing isn’t as dangerous as some may believe. It’s true that there is a lot of research that suggest the risk of SIDS increases. There are many factors that need to be considered when interpreting that data, though. Many studies showed that suffocation was the main cause of death. That can be due to blankets, parents rolling over in their sleep, baby not positioned properly, over-heating, etc… However, there is a lot of data that shows SIDS is much lower in countries where co-sleeping is the norm than in the U.S.
I made sure that blankets and pillows were out of the way. As I mentioned, I was a very heavy sleeper and moved around a lot in my sleep. It’s hard to describe, but with Sophia in the bed I am much more aware of my surroundings while asleep. I have no problem not moving around all over the bed like a crazy person! I am also not a heavy sleeper anymore since becoming a mother. When Sophia was younger, I made sure she slept on her back. We place her in between us so that there is no chance that she will fall out of bed in the middle of the night. She has plenty of space and is never crowded.
Co-sleeping is not for everyone. I couldn’t imagine allowing my daughter in our bed if I had the same sleep habits that I had before having her. It is definitely an issue that needs careful considerations. My almost 9 month old and I are still bed-sharing and it works for our family. I plan to transition her from our bed to her crib in a couple of months, but we are cherishing these nights for now.
About the Blogger: State of Mommy
Kristina Perrin is a young wife, mother, and undergrad student from rural Oklahoma. Life gets hectic sometimes between homework and diapers! Her motto is to cherish everything because nothing is promised. She enjoys writing about her parenting adventures, marriage, and finances.
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