Struggling with the co-sleeping decision
There has been a lot of blog and Twitter chatter lately about co-sleeping with a baby since the Milwaukee Wisconsin Health Department came out with this controversial ad. The co-sleeping debate is not new – there has always been those in support of co-sleeping, those against it, and those (like me) who are frankly confused and baffled about the whole thing.
Many would think that I fall naturally into the “pro” co-sleeping camp. I had a drug-free delivery, I own more than one sling, I breastfeed even though it’s the hardest thing in the world for me. And I do – sort of. I support any mom and dad’s decision when it comes to their child and this issue of co-sleeping.
But I’m scared to death of SIDS. I mean really paranoid about it. And I know there is a difference between SIDS and smothering a baby but, in my mind, it is too closely related. So when Owen came home with us a month ago and would only sleep on or next to me I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have this issue with my daughter who always insisted upon her own sleep space.
So I made the decision to allow Owen to sleep next to me after his middle of the night feeding when he was having a hard time settling back down. I took all of the precautions co-sleeping supporters recommend. About this same time the ad came out along with news coverage of a handful of infant deaths resulting from co-sleeping. I admit – I let it scare me even though my rational side knew that these isolated incidents were only part of the story. I had to go to Twitter to hear the hundreds of stories of successful co-sleeping.
I honestly did not know what to do.
Then we lost power during Snowtober and I ended up sleeping on an air mattress (a co-sleeping no-no) for a week at my sister’s house. Owen slept in a bassinet that week. When we returned home, my husband pulled out the down comforter for our bed and I knew my days of co-sleeping at night were over. And it was a bit of a relief for me. Especially because my daily lack of sleep was making me sleep more soundly than before. And I was actually enjoying my own sleep space without constantly being on the “rolling over” alert.
Owen continues to sleep in a bassinet next to our bed snuggled up in his swaddle. My husband and I snuggle under our down comforter. We all get a sound sleep (save for my 2-3 nightly “breath” checks) and that’s what works for our family.
And, by the way, I think the ad is overboard but am glad that the debate is out in the public again because, as a new mom again, I like that there were best practices on co-sleeping (even for the week we did it). I would love to hear how you approach(ed) the co-sleeping dilemma.