“So Happy Together”

30 Mar

Before Abbie was born, Justin and I had so many plans and expectations of what we were/ were not doing as parents. No pacifiers, No bottles, Sleeping in the crib, Set a schedule by 3 months, Vaccinating via our Pediatrician’s recommendation,  Cloth diapers, etc.

Boy, oh boy, has that list changed. I’ll eventually get to each and every one of those topics, but today I want to talk about co-sleeping because as I sit here and type away, Abbie is preciously asleep in my arms (multi-tasking mom for the win!).

I’m not even sure how our co-sleeping adventures began. I’m pretty sure that even when we left the hospital we were thinking Abbie would start out sleeping in her pack and play by our bed, and then eventually move to the crib. She has probably only slept in that pack and play a total of two times, lol.

I think it started out because Abbie would only fall asleep when being held as a newborn. Once we put her down she would wake up about 30 minutes later, I’d nurse, and the whole saga would start over again. But we found that if I nursed her to sleep and laid her next to me, she slept for a few hours at a time! Sleep, glorious sleep! I remember when she was just days old Justin, Abbie, and I would all sleep on the futon in our guest room because the mattress was so firm I wasn’t worried about rolling over onto her lol.

Now that she is three months old, we still co-sleep (although we are in our bedroom now in the King-sized bed) and I love it. She sleeps 6-9 hours every night! I know it is because she is at peace and knows we are near. Sometimes she will stir at night and stretch out like a starfish until one of her limbs touches me and feels that I’m there– could she melt my heart any more?!

I have done a lot of research through websites, books, blogs, etc and here is a list of some benefits of co-sleeping. I got most of the following from Dr. Sears (who I love for the most part. You should read his books. All of them.) :

  • Parents and baby sleep more peacefully– Research shows that co-sleeping infants virtually never startle during sleep and rarely cry during the night, compared to solo sleepers who startle repeatedly throughout the night and spend 4 times the number of minutes crying . Startling and crying releases adrenaline, which increases heart rate and blood pressure, interferes with restful sleep and leads to long-term sleep anxiety.
  • Stable Physiology– Studies show that infants who sleep near to parents have more stable temperatures , regular heart rhythms, and fewer long pauses in breathing compared to babies who sleep alone.
  • Decreases risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome- Worldwide research shows that the SIDS rate is lowest (and even unheard of) in countries where co-sleeping is the norm, rather than the exception. Babies who sleep either in or next to their parents’ bed have a fourfold decrease in the chance of SIDS . Co-sleeping babies actually spend more time sleeping on their back or side which decreases the risk of SIDS. Further research shows that the carbon dioxide exhaled by a parent actually works to stimulate baby’s breathing.
  • Long term emotional health- Co-sleeping babies grow up with a higher self-esteem, less anxiety, become independent sooner, are better behaved in school, and are more comfortable with affection. They also have less psychiatric problems.

If you’re interested in learning more, there’s a good link here here and here

Who wouldn’t love waking up to this? :

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5 Responses to ““So Happy Together””

  1. Jose C Gomez March 31, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Hi Sarah,
    Nice blog, I wanted to comment on the co-sleeping entry because although it is marvelous and sweet and enjoyable if you keep it up for too long you won’t be able to get that baby off that bed.
    When Quincy was little her mom and I decided that we wanted a great sleeper! So we did some research and spoke to the Dr. etc.
    They recommended that we teach them to sooth themselves to sleep in their own room, it took a couple of days of crying baby and sad parents but alas it worked and Quincy has NEVER spent a whole night in our bed, at times he’d fall asleep in the bed with us but we promptly move him to his own. Even when he was just a few months old.
    Today he is almost 5 years old and this is still the trend he goes to bed at 7:30 -8 every night and doesn’t wake up or get up until the morning 8 or so.
    One of the things to watch out for with co-sleeping is how it affects your marriage, with a baby in the middle its hard to be affectionate or intimate and more so when the baby gets older.
    As you probably know we just had our second child and he is sleeping in his crib next to our bed at least for the first 3 months, but soon after that we’ll be kicking his cute butt out of the door and into his own room.

    Just my 2 cents 🙂

    • youngchewymom March 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

      Thanks, Jose! And congrats on your second little boy! We definitely took the whole intimacy aspect into consideration but, without getting too personal on here, we decided we can work around that issue. For us, the “pros” outweigh the “cons” of co-sleeping. But every couple and family is different and you just need to go with your gut as a parent and do what you know is best for your family 🙂

  2. Jessie March 31, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    We went through the same set of thoughts! Funny how life never goes according to your plan. However, waking up next to that sweet little face always starts my day off right. 🙂

  3. Nikki March 31, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    I found this blog on Pinterest… Im looking forward to future posts!
    We had big plans when our first came as well! We ended up just going with the flow though…
    We never thought we would cosleep either and here we are with baby number three in our bed! Crying it out just seems so cruel to me. We all just feel better when baby is with mama! Including my husband, he would be upset if I kicked the baby out of our bed!
    We love Dr. Sears as well, he has shaped much of our parenting and I would be so lost without him! he helped us form our parenting philosophy and that is ” never ask for anyone’s permission to run your own family” if it works for us great! If not, let’s try something else! We used to waver in our decisions because of other people’s opinions and it was killing us!

    Just keep doing what you are doing! I really enjoy this blog so far!

  4. Jessica Waters April 1, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    Hey Sarah! Another co-sleeping lover over here! Yes, Willow still climbs in bed with us some nights but we don’t see the big deal! Obviously, the intimacy thing can be played around with, since we have 2 other babies 🙂 Personally, we would NEVER let our kids cry it out. A baby cries because it needs something, and sometimes that something is mommy and daddy.

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