One of the biggest questions we ask ourselves as Mums when we are expecting is how we are going to approach the issue of sleeping arrangements. As with any baby related question I tend to think back to what we, as humans, must have been doing in the cave to get an idea of our primal, instinctual and natural handling of events.
We are torn between the idea of keeping our sleeping space our own,the idea of creating an independent child and also of making sure baby’s needs are met.
I wasn’t altogether surprised to find that independent, confident babies were often babies who had co-slept. When we consider that the human infant is one of the most vulnerable, contact dependent, slowest developing and dependent primate-mammals of all, there are important questions to ask.
I was also surprised to find that everyone is obsessed with infants and their relationship to sleep. The first question I am often asked it “Does he sleep at night?”, I never know how to answer. Does he sleep in relation to how we sleep? Are you asking me does he sleep through the night like an adult? How many hours does he sleep? I mean when it comes to babies there is nothing set in stone-right?
It’s kind of amazing how little sleep I now operate on. Mother Nature gives with one hand and takes with the other-I feel I have more energy than I’ve ever had in my life whilst simultaneously being more exhausted than I can ever remember.
Why did I decide to co sleep?
-It is the better option for breastfeeding Mums.
-I really like my sleep so, as as a working Mum, co-sleeping is far better for me.
-The kind of people who urged me not to sleep with the baby were also the kind of people who think its weird to let ones dog sleep on the bed but normal to leave the dog outside in the cold all day so yeah…not for me.
-I had a fear of falling and tripping with the baby in my sleep deprived haze that was greater than my fear of suffocating the baby.
-I know my baby feels his needs are better met when he is close to me. This, I feel, creates a safety net for the baby making him more independent as he gains confidence and connects to us better.
-Putting a child in a separate room is a concept that was introduced by the Victorians and I don’t really ‘dig’ much of their ideology! In fact, I don’t dig much of western recommendations on how to care for babies either.
-I’m kind of a deep sleeper so having the baby close to me helps me stay more in tune with his needs.
-Mums can regulate their child’s breathing through their own breathing patterns.
-I love that we are one little family together in the bed, this won’t always be the case so I cherish this special time. (I’ll remind myself of this one when my son’s foot is in my face).
-Lots of research suggests that babies who co-sleep experience less separation anxiety and rely less on transitional objects. These babies also grow up to be happier, less stressed young adults who are less prone to peer pressure and experience fewer behavioural issues.
-Harvard psychiatrist Michael Commons has made a link between co-sleeping babies and a decreased risk of SIDS and other stress disorders.
The Chicco Next2me (silver)
Available in Chicco Dubai Mall
This particular co-sleeper is bigger than most bedside cribs and at 995 dirhams (€200) believe it or not is better value than most. As well as a co sleeper it can also be used as a travel cot (weighing 9kgs) and comes with a handy carry bag. It does come with a mattress.
This bedside crib is tied to my bed and has a fold down option so that it has become an extension of my bed, this is the perfect comprise for me as I can still breastfeed but the baby has his own space and I am not in fear of Daddy or I squashing him. I like the idea of reaching out and sliding the baby over next to me rather than having to get out of bed and risk tripping or waking everyone up. This allows me to tend to babies needs straight away but also having my usual space in the bed too. Of course my little fella still prefers to be tucked under my wing but I am transitioning him more towards the co sleeper.