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February 25, 2014 / thegirlwhotooktheleap

Mom Confession: We bed-share (safely)

I grew up sleeping next to my parents. It was never a thing anyone batted their eyelashes about in the Philippines. Its very normal and I would say it would be more unusual to find parents who put their baby to sleep in a crib in their own room. Needless to say I was shocked when I became pregnant and started talking to doctors and nurses and got lectures about the dangers of co-sleeping and bed-sharing. I was so scared that it made me get a bassinet and rethink my decision. So before Johnny arrived I decided to co-sleep instead and placed the bassinet next to my bed. Well when he arrived he just wasn’t having it. He was just more comfortable in mommy’s arms and mommy’s chest, and bed-sharing made nights and breastfeeding so much easier. I knew the risks of bed-sharing, and I was not a heavy sleeper and neither was I a smoker and a drinker (some factors of SIDS). Plus Tim was deployed for the first 6 months of Johnny’s life so he had a ton of space in the bed. It felt natural and great. We sleep great. Yes, there are times when I feel jealousy when I hear of other kids who have slept through the night since 2 months old, but well that’s not my Johnny. Johnny is 12 months old and still nurses a couple times a night. He’s just always been that way. Why would I deny him that need? People tell me that he no longer needs to nurse at night and this is just comfort nursing now, then my deny him that comfort? I feel guilty for working during the day and leaving him at daycare, and this is his chance to get more mommy snuggle time. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against those who put their babies in a crib, it just isn’t what works for us. My husband loves having him snuggled with us too, especially since he is still making up for all the time apart they had. What I don’t like is that I am made to feel guilty and forced to lie about our choices. Everytime I come back for a well-visit I get asked “Is he sleeping through the night yet?” and at first I was honest and said no, and I got a long lecture about how he needed to be transitioned to a crib, and we would both sleep so much better and its so much safer etc. I felt so guilty afterwards. The next two visits I had I ended up telling the doctor he was sleeping on a crib.. which technically isn’t a lie because he does sleep in his crib at the daycare. Just not at home. Sometimes I worry about the time when we actually do need to transition him. We have a toddler bed next to our bed which is ready for Johnny. I figure we will start the process when he is about 18 months old, but I will do it slowly. He’s only young once, and I know eventually he will be independent from mommy and daddy, but for now, we shall relish and savor all the snuggles we get from him. 

So what kind of sleeping arrangements do you guys have? And how did you transition your kid into a big bed? I would love to hear other people’s experiences. 🙂 

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3 Comments

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  1. TheAngryAsian / Apr 2 2014 2:44 pm

    Hi, Steph. I can totally understand your situation right now because I am in the same spot. I am also a Filipino, married to an American (he was in the military, too), and we have a 10-month old baby girl. Like you, I was also a little surprised when I learned how they (the Americans) make a big fuss over co-sleeping. It’s the most natural thing in the world, from both anthropological and scientific point of views. Our ancestors held their babies in their arms and slept with them throughout the night to protect them from other marauding tribes. Co-sleeping is also very common in developing countries because of financial struggles. Many parents can’t even have their own room, let alone a room just for a baby!

    Anyway, when I get asked if my baby girl sleeps well through the night, I tell them a solid yes. Yes, she does wake up two or three times at night, but I breastfeed. I just shove (lol) my boob to her and she goes back to sleep RIGHT AWAY. It works for us, it is so much easier to go back to sleep for me and for my husband and for her.

    Also, many people seem to be confused about the causes of SIDS. When they hear you say you are co-sleeping, they seem to think right off the bat, “OMG, SIDSSSSSS!!!!.” Co-sleeping does not causes SIDS. Studies show that s baby can likely die if it is left alone on its own in another room in a crib. And this is not a judgment to parents who put their babies in another room on a crib. If that is what works for them, then they can continue doing so. However, co-sleeping is what works for us, too, like you, guys. We should not be made to feel guilty for our decisions. Sigh.

    I am sorry you are getting long lectures from people. I know they mean well, but damn, lol.

    As for transitioning to bed, I will probably co-sleep until she’s in college! 😉 Just made me remember Shakira’s joke.

    Sorry this is long-winded. I am just saying do not feel guilty or whatever. I support you 100%!

    Love,

    Jingle G.

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Apr 3 2014 10:12 am

      Ohmygosh, we are totally on the same page about this. I agree with you 100% 🙂 I’m glad I’m not the only one 🙂

  2. Aileen / Apr 8 2014 3:12 pm

    I have a 3 year old and 18months old sleeping with mommy and daddy:) We have a room ready for them but I have the same questions too,just like you. I think ill sleep with my baby bears till they feel like they need their own little space away from mom and dad:)maybe when theyre 4 or 5.

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