We all like sleeping in a bed with no one touching us once in a while. But when you have kids, it’s often hard to convince your kids to let you sleep without them.
Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, even some school-aged kids, like being close to mum all the time, especially at night.
And, let’s be honest, it’s nice to have our kids close by. Or sprawled out on top of us.
Yes, co-sleeping can be a cause for concern if not done properly, especially if your wee one is under the age of two. But, if you follow the co-sleeping guidelines, then it’s deemed safer and even recommended by some health professionals.
Whether you’re a co-sleeper by choice or by necessity, have a look at the reasons why it’s okay to co-sleep with your little one, even if not everyone in society, or your household, is convinced.
1. It gives our kids comfort
Sometimes, having your warm body next to them at night helps children feel safe and get a better night’s sleep.
2. It teaches us how to sleep in any position
And with limited space. It’s basically like yoga. But at night.
3. It means less beds to make and less sheets to wash
One bed takes less time to make and less effort to wash than two or more. No mathematician is going to argue with this logic. Or any mum who hates washing.
4. It eliminates the need to play musical beds every night
Which is pretty much the worst nighttime game in the history of ever.
5. It means you can roll over and feed
If you’re still breastfeeding, co-sleeping is the easiest way to get through those night feeds. Rolling over is much easier than getting up 15 times a night to comfort bub. There are co-sleeping cradles that slot in safely right next to your bed if you prefer to give baby their own space.
6. It lets you wake up to a sweet squishy sleeping face and cheeky grin every morning
Best things to wake up to.
7. It reduces your fear that something is wrong
We’ve all woken up after a decent stint of uninterrupted sleep and immediately assumed the worst. Having your wee one beside you to co-sleep means you can easily check that all is good, roll over and go back to sleep.
8. It promotes closeness and a sense of security
No, you’re not setting your child up to fail by sharing a bed. Many studies actually suggest co-sleeping is helping your child’s development. Then again, many studies suggest the complete opposite.
So ignore ALL the studies. And go with what’s in your heart. Do you feel close to your child when she’s asleep beside you? Does she seem content when she’s asleep beside you?
9. It’s in our nature to do so
You know that motherly instinct to protect your baby, no matter what. It’s a lot easier to keep them protected when they are thisclose to you. Which is why many mums struggle so much with having bub sleep in the other room – it’s in our DNA to want to be with our babies. Day and night.
10. It means the kids actually sleep
And don’t wake up every 45 minutes calling out for you or wandering down the hallway in search of you.
11. Finally, for some families, it just makes sense
Parents don’t usually sleep alone. We co-sleep with our significant others, who probably snore and steal the blankets.
So why are kids expected to sleep alone? Children need the comfort and reassurance that monsters don’t exist, that darkness isn’t bad and that the weird noise outside is just a bird, more so than adults.
To the mums who do choose to co-sleep, keep these thoughts in mind the next time your little one crawls into bed beside you because he is scared. Or accidentally kicks you in the head in his sleep. If it works for you and your kids, then that’s all that matters.
If you looking to slowly wean your wee ones out of your bed, then check out this awesome pop-up bed tent which just may keep your kids in their own beds, all night long.
And if you’re sick of playing tug-of-war with the doona, then here’s a brilliant Sleep Week offer just for Mum Central readers.