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I wasn’t prepared for the tremendous sleep deprivation a newborn baby brings. There’s not really words to describe it. I remember it being worst with my first baby because I wasn’t used to it. I would try to sleep, then be jerked awake at the smallest sound of the baby making a noise. I also didn’t know how to get a baby on a sleeping schedule, without having him cry his lungs out, so it was a big mess of dark circles and zombie hair for the first few months.
I was literally trying everything to get my new little bundle to sleep. A swing, crib, swaddling and bouncy chair. Nothing was working, and in pure desperation I started sleeping with him. It was glorious. Hours of sleep. I am not a deep sleeper, and I had him curled up next to me, where I could just shuffle myself to him to nurse, without getting up, rocking, singing, bouncy….I was so happy. We started co-sleeping when my first was just a couple months old. I’ve never stopped since, and I still sleep with my 10-month old now. I was able to train the other boys to sleep all through the night at about a year, when I stopped nursing them.
Let’s start with what I LOVE about co-sleeping.
I can roll over and nurse without opening my eyes. There’s just a sense for me, I know where the baby is, and he knows where I am, so there’s not even a need to sit up and turn lights on or move around. In the beginning we are up just a few times in the night, maybe three. It’s not bad at all.
I wear a great nursing bra with pads because leaking during the night in the beginning is not fun. In the beginning, your milk is coming in and adjusting, and for me there’s too much. My nursing bras have to be comfortable, so I can sleep all night and still wear nursing pads. I love the new Belle Underwire Nursing Bra from Bravado! Super cute, comfortable, soft…everything you want in a nursing bra. I’m wearing the new Belle Underwire Nursing Bra that just launched, as I write this, with the baby sleeping on my chest. The Belle Nursing Bra has a flexible underwire designed to move with mom and provide support and comfort without binding or constriction. The underwire design provides breastfeeding mothers the support they need with the comfort they can’t live or sleep without in a nursing bra. Belle is Bravado’s brand new beautiful underwire nursing bra and the third addition to the Petal-Soft™ Collection. Like Buttercup and Ballet, Belle is crafted in super soft, luxe, Petal-Soft™ fabric and features an incredibly flexible and unique underwire designed to move with mom and provide the ultimate support and comfort without any binding or constriction. The underwire bra design gives breastfeeding moms the support she craves with the comfort and confidence she can’t live without in a bra. Belle is the perfect bra style for the mom who loves to wear an underwire.
Co-sleeping has been the best way for me to get the most rest. I think finding your best way to get rest with a baby really helps prevent depression and anxiety. That’s been a huge benefit for me, as a mom of three, running a busy blog, and attempting to keep my house in a decent condition.
I love the special snuggles. I love knowing the baby is okay, he’s right next to me, rather than relying on a baby monitor. Obviously some of you are hyper concerned about co-sleeping. I’m not, and it’s worked fabulous for all three of my children. If you are concerned about it, by all means don’t do it. I’m not going to advise you one way or the other. I’m just talking about what I love and hate. There are ways to make co-sleeping safe. I also know right away if the baby isn’t feeling well. I wake up knowing they have a fever, before they even know it. That’s peace of mind for me. I can tell immediately if something isn’t right, or they aren’t feeling well.
I also like that when traveling, the baby doesn’t need a special crib or bed. They also don’t get out of sorts because their sleeping situation stays the same-with me. That really alleviates some stress on trips! The other boys, because they are used to their own beds and routine, take a bit to get used to sleeping somewhere else.
Co-sleeping with a baby is one thing. Toddlers is a completely different story, and I’m not to into it it. So, I don’t co-sleep by choice with toddlers. There comes a point for me where I am totally over it, and I train them to sleep in their own bed.
Here’s what I hate about Co-sleeping.
I’m not nearly as productive at night because the baby (or all the boys) are waiting for me to go to sleep too. I like to work at night, when I know I won’t be interrupted. It is so hard to get back up and get to work, after I’ve been laying down and getting everyone else down. I honestly fall asleep more than I’d like to admit.
Co-sleeping and nursing make it difficult to wean the baby from nursing during the night. It becomes habit. The baby wakes up for a habitual snack in the middle of the night. This is not fun to train them out of because you have to take away the nursing in the middle of the night and listen to them fuss a bit. Luckily, I have a way that totally reduces the amount of fussing, but it’s still not fun.
In addition, the baby is dependent on nursing to go to sleep, and it takes some training when they are older to ease them into putting themselves to sleep. This makes it hard for someone else to put the baby to sleep besides me. When I train the baby to go back to sleep in the night without nursing, they usually move past the nursing themselves to sleep, but it’s not fun.
The baby is also dependent on sleeping in my bed, so I have to put guard rails up, or stay working in the bed while he’s asleep. Most of the time it isn’t an issue because I get all my boys to sleep at the same time, so I can work on my computer, but its not something I prefer. Just a part of co-sleeping I have to work around. Obviously there are better ways to do this than the way I do, but with three wild boys and all the things we have going on, sticking to what I know is what works for me now.
I have a method for training my babies to sleep all night on their own once I am ready to push through a couple difficult nights. I’ll have a post up soon about how I get them to stop nursing themselves to sleep at night, and then moved to their own bed for sleeping! Don’t forget to check out Bravado’s Belle Underwire Nursing Bra that is seriously the softest bra ever!
I love this! I too have totally found all the pros listed here to outweigh the cons you also so perfectly nailed. Trying to figure out how to transition our 15 mo the old out of our bed now. Can’t wait for your post on transitioning your boys! Any tips would be awesome!