But, before you report me to child protective services, let me explain: for the past 7 months we’ve been co-sleeping.
Co-sleep·ing/ˌkōˈslēpiNG/ (noun) – the practice of sleeping in the same bed with one’s infant or young child.
…Which I’ve been vehemently against, because I’m a 220 lb male with ZERO mid-sleep spatial awareness.
Stardate: 10th February, 2016
So, last night it happened: after basically a 17 hour workday, I fell into a very deep sleep. I’d asked my wife not to put our little one between us whilst we slept, and at the start of the night she’d obliged. Somewhere during the night however, she moved Nevaeh to between us though. However I didn’t know this, until about an hour later when I felt a weird pressure under my left elbow… which woke me.
That pressure? The baby.
My elbow was resting on her forehead.
Did I mention that I’m over 220 lbs?
I leapt up!
Jesus H. Christ, did that ever end my night’s ‘rest’. (- I say ‘rest’ because I used to average and be able to function on 2-4 quality hours per night. Presently, there is absolutely no quality to my nights.)
Immediately, I left the bed, and found something to occupy my brain until my alarm went off. That’s been the norm these past 7 months… when I actually attempt to sleep in bed.
Initially, we’d agreed not to co-sleep. There was a lot of conflicting research, as well as the loud “DON’T DO IT”s from my married female friends, whose relationships and quality of life had each been affected by co-sleeping. Some of my friends had pointed out that they’d read the blogs and tried it… and four years later, their children were still finding their way into their beds in the middle of the night.
My wife and her friends had different opinions, and read different blogs though obviously, because it was implemented anyway. We have, for the past two months, been trying to get our infant out of the behaviour however… but there’s been absolutely no progress on that front.
Please note: this isn’t a blame or shame post. I’m not calling out my wife or her people. I’m simply presenting a case for other soon-to-be-new dads and moms out there… from a guy who nearly crushed his beautiful daughter to death in his sleep. (lol – dramatic much?)
So what does the information on co-sleeping say?
- It’s easier to soothe the wee one (- babies go back to sleep more easily as well).
- Encourages breastfeeding.
- Allows mum to get more rest at night (- rather, to sync her sleep patterns to the baby’s).
- More bonding time for mum. Can lead to more intimacy for dad, if dad doesn’t see baby much during the day.
- Less sleep for dad. Way less sleep actually.
- Decreased opportunities for dad and mum to be spontaneous or intimate (- or spontaneously intimate) i.e. marital interference.
- Less sleep for the baby. While those pro-co-sleeping claim that it results in more sleep, those opposed to it claim the opposite. The latter claim that the over-attentiveness (namely soothing every whimper) actually results in babies whimpering more… seeking out, and being rewarded with more attention as a result.
- Terminal night-time dependency: the inability to fall asleep without the parent there; fear of waking up alone… and the like.
Like I said: there’s a lot of conflicting information out there. You, as a new parent, have truly got some reading ahead of you!
My conclusion though?
Co-sleeping isn’t for everyone. There are tons of pros, as well as cons. Research, research, research… communicate, field test, buy some wine, and a sleeping bag.
Did I mention that I bought a sleeping bag? It’s blue. (lol)
Yours in fitness (… and hopefully [still] marriage),
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados