• Jude-Anne Phillip

To co-sleep or not to co-sleep

I recently came across an article about the Constable family of six that co-sleeps in an incredibly massive bed (http://blogs.babycenter.com/life_and_home/co-sleeping-family-bed-11112016-constable-photos/) and I started to think about whether or not  co-sleeping is a good idea.

At the moment my 5 year old still sleeps in between my husband and me (even though he has a perfectly outfitted bedroom of his own) and we recently installed a co-sleeping crib for our 5 month old. So, much like that family of six, my family of four enjoys the "closeness" of co-sleeping.

Although there are reports that advise against co-sleeping, there are also contradictory reports that talk about the benefits of co-sleeping, as well as the fact that the practice is more common than people may think.

As a co-sleeping family there is no denying that we all share a special bond which comes from sharing a bed or a space. Our sleep routine includes lots of hugs and cuddles and believe it or not we all sleep pretty soundly during the night, even with an infant.

As the mother of a breastfeeding infant, co-sleeping has also provided a level of convenience for those middle of the night feedings as both my baby and I, on most nights, tend to fall back to sleep quickly and easily (except for those fussy nights that he refuses to go back to sleep until the alarm goes off). So, on most days, he is not a cranky, tired baby in the morning and I am not a mummy zombie when I go to work.

Apart from being convenient, as a result of co-sleeping my baby mostly tends to stay either on his back or his side during the night because of our positioning, which is one of the cited benefits of co-sleeping since it helps with the reduction of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The Constables, however, have taken co-sleeping a bit further as their children range in ages from 11 to 5 years old. I can't say that I would encourage this level of extended co-sleeping because at some point I would like to experience privacy again and not having to find extra creative ways of being intimate with my husband without scarring my children for life.

However, I will encourage my sons to share their own space, be it a room and/or a bed, at least until they get to a point whereby privacy is absolutely necessary.

But for now, for our family, co-sleeping works and we are closer, happier and well rested (for the most part) because of it.


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