Is co sleeping right for you?
Some people already know what feels right when it comes to co sleeping. But for other families it can be a difficult decision. So here are some simple questions to ask yourself to help you figure out if its right for you.
Question 1 – Why?
Why are you doing it and who is co sleeping about? Is it because your little one wont sleep anywhere else? Is it easier for feeding? Do you perhaps as the parent love the cuddles and keeping your little one close? There are many reasons why families choose to co sleep and sometimes it just happens without a parent really thinking about why they are doing it. So listing out these reasons for why is a great place to start.
Question 2 – Do you ALL sleep well in the bed together?
What is a typical night scene like in your household? Is your child blissfully lying star shaped in the middle of the bed while parents cling onto the edge for dear life? Does your little one wriggle around, kick or bump you in the night? Or are you all snoring your heads off together in dreamland all night?
Question 3 – Is safety a concern?
Co sleeping safety is a very important issue to address and can be reason enough for whether to do it or not in the first place. How you approach co sleeping safety will change as your baby grows and develops. If you are confident that you are co sleeping safely then its an easy item to tick off your list. But if you are loosing sleep because you are worrying about rolling onto your child – that is reason enough to stop co sleeping immediately.
Question 4 – Are you consistent?
Think of it a being very black and white. Its either allowed or its not. That will be the clearest and kindest message to your child. Regardless of what you decide consistency with this decision is key. If you allow co sleeping at 5am for example (as you think its nearly morning so its ok) what you are doing is giving your child a green light that co sleeping is ok, but you have placed conditions around it. A child however will not cognitively be able to understand those conditions and can be forgiven for expecting it also at 2am, 3am or any other waking as well. So to avoid any confusion and inevitable night time battles choose your side and stick with it. No matter how much your child protests. If you allow it just once after you say its not allowed…ouch – it’s a very slippery slope from there!
Do it guilt free!
Having asked yourself the questions above decide what is the best approach for your family. Once you have made this decision, enjoy it and do it guilt free. Don’t compare your family to other families and don’t feel guilty if you co sleep your friends don’t or if you send your kiddo back to bed when your friends let them stay. It’s a personal decision and there is no right or wrong. The only answer is what feels right for you.
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