Co-sleeping means you sleep close to your baby. Maybe the baby is in bed with you; maybe she is in a bassinette or maybe in a crib, a co-sleeper or basket in the same room. Bed-sharing refers to the specific type of co-sleeping where the baby and you are in the same bed.
There are many types of co-sleeping. Bed-sharing is a type of co-sleeping. The sleeping arrangement in our home was 5 months in the making. Jack slept next to me in his plastic box does that thing have a nice name to cover up what it really is? When he came home he slept in his bassinette next to my side of the bed.
Bed-sharing is downright dangerous. You could fall asleep and roll onto your baby. My Mom told me that I slept in between her and my Dad when I was a baby.
Wow Mom, how could you be so neglectful as to put me in such a dangerous position? I was terrified to even be sitting on the bed while nursing Jack. You gotta be crazy. The plan was to have Jack sleep in our room in his bassinette until he was 6 months old. I felt like I was really pushing the envelope with 6 months. I was going to make people think twice about putting their babies in their cribs in their own rooms so soon.
Six months sounded like a good long time. Jack nursed still nurses many times a night. It was getting difficult to stay awake around the clock.
Stupidest thing I have ever heard. When the hell was I supposed to eat, shower, shit, sit or stare at the wall in disbelief at how small of a thing could cause such great changes in my world?
I started to bring him into the bed and nurse him lying down. I was heavy with guilt day and night. I was putting my baby in such a dangerous situation. I was frustrated that he would only sleep well like this. I wanted him to get sleep, but I knew I was wrong for doing it this way.
She began to tell us how we could get him to sleep through the night. She stumbled over her words a bit as if she were reading from a book.
My husband and I waited for a break in her obnoxious sleep training bit. She assumed he was alone in another room. Fear makes people do unsafe things. Fear makes people ignore their instincts. I was so afraid to fall asleep while nursing in bed that instead I would move to the couch or a rocking chair. These, in fact, are dangerous places to be when sleeping with a baby.
Exhausted people with newborns fall asleep all over the house. Babies die when they slip into the cushions of the couch or into the space between you and the arm rest. They suffocate under fluffy blankets and pillows.
Bed-sharing, in fact, protects against major suspected causes of SIDS. You are much safer when you and your baby just lie down in your bed, nurse, cuddle and sleep.
There is a reason why it feels right, why you sleep better and why you and your baby wake up for less time during the night. This is what your baby was born to do. Mainstream America would prefer that you think bed-sharing causes psychological harm.
Modern western civilization is the ONLY place in the world and in history where bed-sharing is not the norm. So are we to believe that all humans except for Americans in the last half century or so are the only humans without psychological harm?
The reasons for this cultural shift are under analysis as we speak. We have, for some reason, decided that it is best to ignore all maternal instinct, all natural behavior and all child-centered practices. Women and families across the nation and beyond are being shamed for sleeping with their babies.
Are being fed bullshit to make them question the very thing that keeps a mother naturally connected and in tune with her baby. Shame on you misinformed doctors. Shame on you judgmental and ignorant peoples.
Shame on all of you for making me and my fellow mothers feel afraid; for making us lie awake at night; for making us make decisions based on fear. With evolution, history and biology on our side you still spread lies. You still ignore the deep protective connection between a mother and her baby.
The truth-Everyone sleeps better when they feel safe. Nighttime separation anxiety is real. Babies are biologically wired to fear sleeping alone. Babies were born to sleep with their mothers. Sleeping alone as an infant causes long-term sleep issues.
Or suffering from Unexplained Fussy Baby Syndrome. All you have to do is lift your head to see the baby and easily reach if needed. We wouldn't stick a pair of shoes on a kid and leave them outside to learn to walk, or put a plate of food in front of them and leave them unattended to work it out.
Bed-sharing cuts down on bedtime arguments because these children have not learned to fear sleep. Bed-sharing makes it easy to breastfeed and helps maintain milk supply. Bed-sharing is a protective factor against many suspected causes of SIDS. Bed-sharing mothers sleep better than non-bed sharing mothers.
Yes, I said it. Bed-sharing mothers wake more frequently, but these intervals are much shorter than the non-bed sharing mother and therefore she is more rested in the morning. There are, of course, people who should not share a bed with their baby. If you use common sense you can avoid the major risk factors.
Smoking; do not share your bed with your baby if you smoke. Smoking impairs your ability to rouse from sleep. Also, drugs and heavy drinking clearly impair your ability to do most things needed to parent safely.
But that should be obvious to a mother. You are not in touch with your maternal instincts when you are under the influence. Also, ditch the loose bedding and move the pillows. Eliminate spaces between the bed and walls or head board. Breastfeeding is one of the biggest protective factors in bed-sharing. Breastfeeding is the cosmic vessel through which the innate mother-baby connection travels.
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