To share or not to share….

14 Aug
Sleeping masks (give-aways from airlines)

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I am all for doing whatever works for you as a parent as long as it’s not illegal or harmful. When Sam was about 8 weeks old, I had decided that he needed to be shipped out of our room and gain some “independence” but he obviously had other ideas and its wasn’t long at all (two days later) when I had decided to put him in bed with us since his cot was in the nursery and I was done with pacing the passage and listening to a ticking monitor that irked me no end. To my utter and complete surprise, we all got to sleep more soundly and feeding became a breeze, so much so that I would fall asleep while Sam was still attached. In the evening, he goes to sleep in his cot but after the second waking, I put him in bed with us – safely that is, he sleeps on his side of our queen-sized bed next to the bed rail covered with his own blankets.

A few months later and once the icy grip of winter was slowly fading, I have considered making him spend the entire night in his cot – still in our room though. Once operation Move Out had begun, he’s night waking worsened to the point where I could have easily medicated a healthy child just to get some shut-eye but my conscience wouldn’t let me – I figured that I’d get him used to the cot before we move him to the nursery. The one night he had woken twice before midnight and I wasn’t about to do the midnight tango with him so it was mommy’s bed for him and yet again, we slept like the dead. I made me wonder what special ingredient did parents beds have that made children sleep like there was no tomorrow, I mean really?!

Modern parenting requires that babies sleep in their own room and through the night from 6 weeks of age. I believe that in the end you have to follow your heart where-ever it leads you and do what feels right for your family. My parents just recently told me that while I slept in my cot (in their room) as an infant, I was only moved out of my bed in their room after I had turned three and my brother was nine months old. Their room (more like their bed) was always a place I found comfort when I had a nightmare and I loved to lie between them from time to time without ever feeling shunned. Sleep is a pleasure for me as an adult (not the same after Sam came along), never had a problem falling off to sleep or staying asleep but I do like having someone to lie next to. There was an article I came across citing a study that revealed kids that co-slept were more likely to be calmer as adults and that they should in fact sleep with their parents until they were roughly five.

Attachment Parenting advocates the practice of safe bed-sharing as well as co-sleeping (we do both) because it fosters positive sleep associations. In all honesty, I sleep better with Sam next to me because I can check on him and doze off again in the blink of an eye.

Even though there are those for and against the family bed, Lester and I are both happy to have him with us because we know it won’t last forever but we are moving him into the nursery soon just to see if he’ll sleep better/undisturbed but at this point we are pretty flexible either way. My friends kids (those that have bad sleepers) have slept through the entire night from around two to three years of age so even if we move him out and move him back in, I’m not alone in my night-time parenting as I’m sleepless in South Africa.


5 Responses to “To share or not to share….”

  1. robyn August 15, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    I think everyone loves to feel a warm body next to them – even babies!
    Last night Hannah was up between 1 – 3am, not crying, not ill, just UP! While I have to get up and go to work, she is snoring loudly catching up on her missed ZZZZ’s!
    Great post! Xxx


  2. hotshot bald cop August 31, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    Right on!



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