17 February 2010

On to the co-sleeping issues I talked about in my last post.....

It's not for all babies.  Some just don't take to co-sleeping and that's okay.  There are also many people who should NOT co-sleep, those who smoke, drink, take any drug that renders you incapable of waking up for long periods of time, and those who are obese.  There are also safety precautions to take, making sure your bed is firm enough, that your house is warm or cool enough so that you're baby can dress comfortably and only use a sheet, limiting your pillow usage etc.


If you CAN co-sleep, it's a good idea too.  If you don't does that make you a bad parent? No, but it CAN help with sleep issues.  There have been so many studies done, by competent pediatricians who will tell you babies who feel secure and trusting in their relationships with their parents are more likely to be more independent than babies who's needs are not being met.  That includes the needs they have at night.  Their need to be loved and comforted does NOT end just because the sun sets.  I know it's not fun to be exhausted and sleep deprived, but you are going to have to sacrifice some things (like sleep) when you have a newborn baby.  Being in bed with you does not mean the child will be in the bed with you forever, you just have to watch for the signs of independence they show and encourage sleeping alone (preferably after the age of 1).  Being in bed, also helps you react to any need your child may have as soon as possible, and this fosters bonding and trust between the baby and parent.

Another thing, expecting your baby to sleep through the night....yea,  more than likely not going to happen and honestly I think it's wrong to try and force a child to sleep through the night before they are ready.  Some children also need nutrition during the night for up to a year.  During the first year babies grow amazingly fast, and to do that they NEED a lot of nutrition, and sometimes that nutrition should come at night, which is the time that babies grow the most.  Also, think about how many times you wake up in the night, it can be quite a lot can't it?  Just moving, readjusting, etc.  Babies just don't always know how to get back to sleep easily that way, or they realize their alone and until they are older don't realize that just because you're gone that you'll be back, or that you're somewhere near.  So they get scared, this can be avoided just by having your child in your bed.

If you don't feel comfortable with in your bed then you can always have a co-sleeper near your bed, instead of bed sharing.  It's just hard for me to understand how people will allow their babies (usually about 18 months and younger) just scream (scream as in SCREAM, not just little whimpers) for hours so that they'll "learn to sleep".  Babies learn by imitation.....what better way to show them how to fall asleep or learn to sleep than by showing them??