Where Does Your Baby Sleep?0
As I get closer and closer to meeting my second baby I’m reminded of the things that are important to me as a mother. I’m finding that the second time around there are certain things that really resonate with me even stronger. I guess I have a bit of the ‘been there done that’ attitude of second time mothering. Not to say I know all the answers because I truly don’t, but I have the experience of a first child to help me solidify some of my mothering beliefs around babies.
There are a few baby raising topics that I’m super passionate about, and there are lots of parenting topics that I believe have more than one right answer. I also think that each baby has specific needs that require different parenting, and so I don’t ever want to have one firm way of raising each baby.
I actually had no plans of co-sleeping with Ben for as long as I did, but it was what he truly needed and in the end I loved it. I have a midwife friend who really wanted to co-sleep with her son for as long as possible, but once he was past a year old he would not sleep with other people around. She was heart broken to have to move him into his own crib in another room, mostly because it was not part of her original parenting philosophy. This is a great example of adapting to what your baby needs as they grow. Some need to be right next to mama as they get older and some don’t.
One of my early parenting passion is, where the baby sleeps from newborn to at least 6 months old. Even before I had Ben I knew he would be sleeping in our room in a bassinet for at least his first 6 months. Why the magic number of 6 months? Because I planned to exclusively breastfeed him until 6 months and breastfeeding is much easier when baby is close to their food supply.
The decision to share a room may have come from my own personal feelings, but it was also based around the standard of care from the Canadian Pediatric Society around room sharing for the first 6 months of life.
Sharing a room with Ben felt very natural to me, whereas it felt very unnatural to separate him into another room. It is a very North American practice to place an infant into a nursery alone. If you look at cultures all over the world, the baby sleeps close to the mother. This makes breastfeeding one hundred times easier and also has many direct benefits for the baby.
Through research we know that sharing a room with your baby helps to further reduce the risk of SIDS. For me, the biggest advantage was the ease of night time parenting and nursing.
There was no cold shuffle out the bedroom to pick up my baby and no falling asleep sitting up in a rocking chair as I nursed. We did all of that in the warm coziness of my bedroom. Eventually, as Ben grew we safely co-slept together in my bed. I became educated about safe co-sleeping and made the decision that worked best for us. I would be in my bed for 9 hours straight laying down the entire time. Dr. Sears provides some great education about what it means to safely co-sleep. Don’t be confused about safe co-sleeping versus having your baby getting lost among all of your bedsheets.
Some great resources to help you make your own decision about where your baby safely sleeps: