I never thought I would be a co-sleeping mom. In fact, you can file co-sleeping under ‘things I said I would never do as a mother’. This topic makes me giggle and roll my eyes at my pre-mom self because there is such a learning curve that comes with motherhood. But that’s a post for another day.
I have learned to love co-sleeping. I never intended to c0-sleep with Chet but it just happened and it worked so incredibly well for our family. When August came along, I knew we were going to co-sleep with him and I knew we just had to have a Dock-a-Tot for that reason. It’s one of those ‘to die for’ baby items that has been on my list for a long time. It makes our lives easier in so many ways and I recommend it to every mom.
We use our Dock-a-Tot for:
-At night in our bed, obviously.
-During play time with Chet. I just put August in the Dock-a-Tot so we can all play together and he’s as happy as a clam in it
-Traveling. This is such a lifesaver! It’s so easy to throw in the car and it’s so light and easy to bring with you. We just got back from a 1 week road trip and it came in so handy. Plus it comes with a carrying case which is great for plane rides.
-Outside! It’s summer and we LOVE going outside. I love putting A in his dock-a-tot on the grass instead of just a blanket.
-Date nights. We have yet to leave August with a babysitter, because the boy loves to nurse, but eventually we will. And when we do, I know it will be so nice to bring the Dock-a-Tot along for an easy nap time!
A few things that I love about the Dock-a-Tot are:
-It’s very portable.
-It’s designed to offer a snug and soothing environment for babies.
-It’s made with breathable, hygienic, and hypo-allergenic fabrics that do not harbor heat.
-It promotes tummy time.
-It’s OEKO-TEX certified.
-It’s machine washable and free of harmful substances and materials.
-It provides a comfortable microclimate- the space directly affecting their surroundings.
Whether you plan to co-sleep or not… I think all mamas need a Dock-A-Tot!
So… back to co-sleeping. Before I was a mom, I never really understood why people co-slept. Now here we are and honestly, I LOVE co-sleeping! It’s actually something that’s very very special to me and the moments I am in bed with my babies are some of my favorite moments I’ve had ever, really. I will cherish them forever.
10 Reasons Why We Co-Sleep
- Because Everyone is Doing It.Okay I am not one to give into peer pressure. But let’s look at history and the rest of the world, shall we? If you look at cultures across the globe in modern and ancient times, co-sleeping is the norm. And honestly, it makes sense! Babies love to be close to their mamas. They spend 9 months inside their mother’s bellies and they still want to be close to them once they are earth side. Can we blame them? They love the warmth, the comfort, and the protection. Babies are meant to be close to their mamas and it just seems like such a natural thing to me.
- It Stimulates Your Baby’s Breathing.Studies show that newborn babies can have 15-20 second pauses between breathing while asleep. However, the CO2 that is exhaled in a mama’s breath can stimulates a baby’s breathing while asleep.
- It Helps Babies and Mothers Sleep Better.The nice thing about co-sleeping is that if a baby starts stirring and waking up in the middle of the night, you can quickly readjust them or latch them onto the breast before they wake up. This also means that when you feed them, you can do so in a safe side-lying position, which will help you as the mother to sleep better too. Many experts also say that this is a whole lot safer than being up and down all night, walking around with a baby because you are not fully awake and aware of what you are doing- which can actually be a hazard. And if we are being honest… I will just say that if I had to get up every single time my baby needed to eat in the night, I wouldn’t even be able to function during the daytime. Mama needs her sleep too!
- C0-sleeping Regulates Body Temperature.When August was in the NICU, one of the things the nurses recommended was skin to skin as much as possible- this is because it stimulates the babies temperature and helps rate and blood pressure at healthy levels. So it makes sense that this has benefits for all babies, no matter their age.
- It Provides a Sense of Security for Babies.Many expert studies show that babies feel more secure and comforted when they co-sleep and are close to their caretaker. I’ve experienced this first hand with my babies. With both Chet and August, they have not liked sleeping alone and when they did sleep alone, they woke frequently and were constantly unsettled. This is a big reason why we co-sleep because it simply makes our babies happier. In fact, many babies actually feel very stressed out when they are separated from their mother before they are ready and this eliminates that issue.
- It Gives You Bonding Time with Your Baby.
This may be purely my own opinion, but I will take all the time I can get with my babies. The time goes by so fast and they won’t be little forever. The bond the co-sleeping gives my babies and I is very special and it’s something that I personally don’t want to give up before it’s time.
- It Supports Neurological and Cognitive Development.When a baby is born, its body systems are not fully developed and sleeping close to its mother can help compensate and allow for you to quickly respond to their needs.
- It Decreases Chances of Sids.One of the biggest questions that comes up with co-sleeping is if it’s safe. This is one reason why we do choose co-sleeping. According to Dr. Sears, “Worldwide research shows that the SIDS rate is lowest in countries where co-sleeping is the norm, rather than the exception. Babies who sleep either in or next to their parents’ bed have a fourfold decrease in the chance of SIDS. Co-sleeping babies actually spend more time sleeping on their back or side, which decreases the risk of SIDS. Further research shows that the carbon dioxide exhaled by a parent actually works to stimulate baby’s breathing.” More research here.
- It Teaches Early Independence.Sometimes people make assumptions about co-sleeping without first researching it. Believe it or not, co-sleeping with your children doesn’t mean they’ll be in your bed until college 🙂 In our house, we are really big fans of the ‘Montessori’ approach. We love teaching our kids to be independent and we like to adopt things that can help achieve this learning style. I’m a firm believer that if we can use tools that help our children learn independence, it’s a whole lot better than us simply telling our children to ‘be independent’. Research shows that children who co-sleep and bed share generally have less anxiety and gain more confidence as children, in addition to having well developed problem solving skills. From Dr. McKenna: “Some people confuse an infant’s willingness to sooth itself back to sleep as a sign of ‘independence’, autonomy and/or a life long sense of conscience. But life long self sufficiency and/or confidence (and trust, for that matter) has absolutely nothing to do with the age at which an infant puts itself to sleep without a parent or loved one to ‘self soothe’.” Thus, co-sleeping does not hinder independence, but has the opposite effect. More research here.
- It Supports a Healthy Breastfeeding Relationship.As mentioned earlier, nighttime feedings can be made so much easier when co-sleeping. When baby is close to the mother through the night, it improves breast milk production, increases the amount of milk an infant consumes, helps the mother avoid plugged ducts and mastitis, and makes nighttime nursing easier. Many doctors have gone on to say that nighttime nursing is imperative for a successful breastfeeding relationship.*Disclaimer: If you’re reading this and thinking that co-sleeping isn’t for you, that is OKAY. Every mama does things a little different. I never want anyone who reads this blog to feel judged in any way. Just know, I am sharing my heart here on why we co-sleep and I hope this knowledge can benefit someone else like it benefits our family.