The other day I got asked by a friend in my mama tribe if I have ever written a blog post on co-sleeping. My reply was no. When asked why I didn’t really have a good answer.
Maybe because I wasn’t sure if anybody cared.
Maybe because I’m a nurse and “you’re not supposed to co-sleep”, what message does that send?
Or maybe it’s because it’s something that happens so natural to me that I don’t even think twice about it.
It’s no secret:
If you have been following me on Instagram since Tater Tot was born then you know that sleep was our biggest struggle. Heck who am I kidding, it still totally is. Constant wake periods throughout the night, inability to lay down with any independence, and the worse was absolutely zero long stretch periods if he was alone. It was definitely a struggle.
I have co slept with Tate since he was the age of: birth. And I mean first day in the hospital birth. I mean honestly, it was easiest for me.
What originally started off due to my c-section and our bed set up being too high to keep getting up and down, later turned into a means of survival for anyone in the household to get any sleep and function like a human being, to now being a means of comfort and self care.
Let me stop before I get ahead of myself and insert my totally real medical experience here.
According to the latest 2018 research about 3700 babies die each year in the US as a result of accidents where parents share their bed with their infant. Since working in the emergency room for the past year, the vast majority of code/ emergent cases we get that require life saving interference is due to parents waking in the middle of the night in the bed with their child and finding them unresponsive in the early hours of the morning.
The honest truth for me, is if I would have been working in the emergency room at the beginning of Tate’s first year of life, it probably would have deterred me from co sleeping. The facts are brutal and scary.
But, I wasn’t working there. And at the time, I did what was best for me and my family just as you have to do whatever is best for you, your family and your beliefs.
Co sleeping wasn’t something I planned to do.
In fact, it was the one piece of advice that sticks out during my pregnancy that was harped on.
“Whatever you do don’t let you baby sleep with you”.
“Trust me, when you get them in your bed you won’t be able to get them out”.
“When you get married your husband isn’t going to want to sleep with all them kids”.
And the list could go on.
I’m not sure if this piece of advice stood out to me as a way to foreshadow my life or what. All I know is it did.
But, you have baby. You’re exhausted. Your partners exhausted. The baby’s exhausted (which trust me is much worse then anyone else being exhausted). And one thing just takes after another and it’s a snowball effect.
You’re in the bed with your baby.
To this day Tate will ask whoever is putting him to sleep to lay down next to him. Luckily everyone else gets to walk out later. But not mama.
Once I lay him down I find him having rare moments throughout the night reaching out for me and drawing himself closer.
And if I’m being honest, these moments have come to mean everything to me.
It’s become a part of my self care.
Yes, I may not get as much space in the bed as I need.
Yes, sometimes theres a foot in my face, or back, or stomach.
And yes, sometimes it’s so hot it feels like the Sahara desert under the covers.
But the cuddle moments truly trump all that for me.
To me it symbolizes I am my son’s sense of security.
No amount of bed space can take away from that.
You know what they say,
The days are long but the years are short.
Make the most of them in whatever way you want.
And as always…
Take care of you too mama,