Why We Cosleep

Welcome to the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival
This post was written for inclusion in the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival hosted by Monkey Butt Junction . Our bloggers have written on so many different aspects of cosleeping. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

 I asked That Dad Dominic for his top 3 reasons why we cosleep with our 14 month old daughter. I wanted to take a more personal approach and thought it would be interesting to hear a bit from a dad’s perspective.

You see, ever since I became pregnant, I’ve been the researcher. I borrow books, scour websites, and talk to other mamas about the whys and hows of what they do. I boil it down to a few options and share the details with Dominic. He asks questions, I quote things I’ve learned, and then we come to an agreement together. It’s a pretty good system.

In the beginning we didn’t make a deliberate decision to bedshare. Rather, it is something we fell into. I always knew I wanted to sleep in close proximity to our baby, but I assumed that would be a crib in our room or a cosleeper attachment. In the early days, Jemma would fall asleep nursing and I would carefully transfer her into her cosleeper. When she woke for her mid-night feed I would pull her next to me and side-lie nurse. By this time she had been in her cosleeper for about 4 hours I always noticed how cold her little hands and feet were – even though she was always bundled up warm. As I nursed I would massage her hands and feet to warm her and almost always kept her in bed for the remainder of the night. I couldn’t bear to let her be alone and cold! Soon, Jemma’s cosleeper became a nice storage space for my nursing pads, water bottle, and glasses as she found herself snug in bed with us each night :)

We’ve adjusted our cosleeping technique for each phase of Jemma’s development as it definitely evolved when she learned to roll, crawl, and now walk. Things have changed both for her safety and for our sleep needs, but overall, our sleeping arrangement has been a perfect fit for our family. I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

Back to Dominic’s reasoning – this is what he shared when I asked for his top 3 reasons why he supports cosleeping (explanations by me):

  1. Physical closeness – We’ve noticed that nothing calms Jemma like laying on our chest. Hearing a beating heart seems to be the magical touch for falling back asleep in our house. As I’m sure most mother’s do, I also appreciate hearing/feeling her breathe throughout the night. It’s a quick check to reassure me that all is well.
  2. Bonding -Being close leads to a strong bond. Whether snuggling Jemma to sleep or calming her in the night she knows that her parent’s arms are equal to support, safety, and love. Mother’s experience initial bonding through breastfeeding, but Dominic often commented how he was missing out on that same bonding experience. By bringing Jemma into bed with us, he gets to bond with her in a special way too.
  3. Healthy sleep patterns being created and supported for the child – Jemma knows and understands night time. She has from a very early age. Perhaps we are just lucky that she never got her days and nights mixed up, but I do believe that she has somewhat mimicked our sleep habits like she mimics many other things we do. Being close and seeing us sleeping if she wakes has been a priceless lesson as her sleep process has developed over the last year. On her own accord she has learned to sleep through the night without tears and no nursing. Their is no doubt in my mind that cosleeping played a significant role in this. 

I could add another 10-20 reasons in support of cosleeping and how it has made a positive impact on our family, but I’ll leave you with that – one Dad’s perspective on why cosleeping is both a natural and beneficial avenue for a family to explore.

In addition, here’s a mini collaboration of resources I used when researching cosleeping …

******* Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival
Thanks for reading a post in the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival. On Carnival day, please follow along on Twitter using the #CosleepCar hashtag.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Emotive Co-Sleeping Campaign – Miriam at Diary of an Unconscious Mother talks about her feelings on Milwaukee’s anti-cosleeping crusade and its latest advertising campaign.
  • Why Cosleeping has Always been the Right Choice for My Family – Patti at Jazzy Mama shares how lucky she feels to have the privilege of sleeping with her four children.
  • Cosleeping is a safe, natural and healthy solution parents need to feel good about. – See how Tilly at Silly Blatherings set up a side-car crib configuration to meet her and her families’ needs.
  • Black and White: Race and the Cosleeping Wars – Moorea at Mama Lady: Adventures in Queer Parenting points out the problem of race, class and health when addressing co-sleeping deaths and calls to action better sleep education and breastfeeding support in underprivileged communities.
  • Reflections on Cosleeping – Jenny at I’m a Full Time Mummy shares her thoughts on cosleeping and pictures of her cosleeping beauties.
  • Cosleeping and Transitioning to Own Bed – Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine shares her experiences in moving beyond the family bed.
  • What Works for One FamilyMomma Jorje shares why cosleeping is for her and why she feels it is the natural way to go. She also discusses the actual dangers and explores why it may not be for everyone.
  • Really High Beds, Co-Sleeping Safely, and the Humanity Family Sleeper – Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama gives a quick view of Jennifer’s bed-sharing journey and highlights the Humanity Family Sleeper, something Jennifer could not imagine bed-sharing without.
  • Crying in Our Family Bed – With such a sweet newborn, why has adding Ailia to the family bed made Dionna at Code Name: Mama cry?
  • Dear Mama: – Zoie at TouchstoneZ shares a letter from the viewpoint of her youngest son about cosleeping.
  • Cuddle up, Buttercup! – Nada of The MiniMOMist and her husband Michael have enjoyed cosleeping with their daughter Naomi almost since birth. Nada shares why the phrase “Cuddle up, Buttercup!” has such special significance to her.
  • Co-Sleeping With A Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler – Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares how co-sleeping calls us to trust our inner maternal wisdom and embrace the safety and comfort of the family bed.
  • Fear instead of Facts: An Opportunity Squandered in Milwaukee – Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction discusses Milwaukee’s missed opportunity to educate on safe cosleeping.
  • Cosleeping: A Mini-rant and a Lovely Picture – Siobhan at Res Ipsa Loquitor discusses her conversion to cosleeping and rants a little bit about the Milwaukee Health Department anti-cosleeping campaign.
  • Our Cosleeping Story – Adrienne at Mommying My Way shares her cosleeping story and the many bonus side effects of bedsharing.
  • Cosleeping can be safe and rewarding Christy at Mommy Outnumbered shares how her cosleeping experiences have been good for her family.
  • Adding one more to the family bed Lauren at Hobo Mama discusses the safety logistics of bed sharing with a new baby and a preschooler.
  • The Truth About Bedsharing – Dr. Sarah at Parenting Myths and Facts discusses the research into bedsharing and risk – and explains why it is so often misrepresented.
  • Cosleeping as a parenting survival tool – Melissa V. at Mothers of Change describes how she discovered cosleeping when her first baby was born. Melissa is the editor and a board member for the Canadian birth advocacy group, Mothers of Change.
  • Dear Delilah – Joella at Fine and Fair writes about her family bed and the process of finding the cosleeping arrangements that work best for her family.
  • CoSleeping ROCKS! – Melissa at White Noise talks about the evolution of cosleeping in her family.
  • Safe Sleep is a Choice – Tamara at Pea Wee Baby talks about safe sleep guidelines.
  • 3 Babies Later: The Evolution of our Family Bed – Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment talks about how her family’s cosleeping arrangements evolved as her family grew.
  • Tender MomentsThe Accidental Natural Mama discusses tender cosleeping moments.
  • Cosleeping Experiences – Lindsey at An Unschooling Adventure describes how she ended up co-sleeping with her daughter through necessity, despite having no knowledge of the risks involved and how to minimise them, and wishes more information were made available to help parents co-sleep safely.
  • The early days of bedsharing – Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares her early memories of bedsharing with her then new born and gets excited as she plans including their new arrival into their sleeping arrangements.
  • The Joys of Cosleeping in Pictures – Charise of I Thought I Knew Mama shares pictures of some of her favorite cosleeping moments.
  • Symbiotic Sleep – Mandy at Living Peacefully With Children discusses how the symbiotic cosleeping relationship benefits not only children but also parents.
  • Co-sleeping Barriers: What’s Stopping You? – Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares how she was almost prevented from gaining the benefits of co-sleeping her family currently enjoys.
  • Co-Sleeping with the Family Humanity Sleeper – Erica at ChildOrganics shares a way to make co-sleeping safe, comfortable and more convenient. Check out her post featuring the Humanity Organic Family Sleeper.
  • Why We CosleepThat Mama Gretchen’s husband chimes in on why cosleeping is a benefit to their family.
  • Adding to the Family Bed – Darah at A Girl Named Gus writes about her co-sleeping journey and what happens when a second child comes along.

A big thank you to all of the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival participants!

… Oh so many ways to follow along …
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  1. kmcdonald02138 says

    Gretchen, excellent post! I love the dad's point-of-view on things! You are so right that cosleeping provides all that warmth and security and bonding and is such a peaceful state for both mama and baby. Thanks so much for sharing this lovely post!-Kerry @ City Kids Homeschooling

  2. LaurenTummel says

    Gretchen, I have 2 questions…1) what do you when you and dominic have a date night and it goes past bedtime? Does the babysitter put her to bed in your bed alone or does he/she have to get in the bed as well?2) does she ever sleep in her cribs for naps? Or do you have to stay in the bed with her?

  3. Erica @ ChildOrganic says

    I really love how you were able to get dad's view on Co-sleeping.Personally I LOVE to hear a dad shar is opinion on bed sharing, breastfeeding, cloth diapers,etc. It really is a wonderful thing for the whole family to bond together, excellent points!

  4. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Good questions! I totally left those things out …In the evenings Jemma goes to sleep around 8pm, I always rock her to sleep and lay her down in her crib. We don't move her into bed until she wakes up. Sometimes that's when we sneak in at night to go to bed ourselves – sometimes it's 3am, and once or twice it's been morning by the time she wakes. She sleeps in her crib for naps occasionally. Her naps seem to be shorter if I'm not in bed with her so we take it one day at a time. When she naps sometimes I'll rest as well, other times that's when I'll get all my computer work done. Thank the Lord for laptops!!! ________________________________From: Disqus <>To: thatmamagretchen@gmail.comSent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 12:27 PMSubject: [thatmamagretchen] Re: That Mama Gretchen: Why We CosleepDisqus generic email template

  5. Bianca Tarleton says

    Among the many other things you share, thank you for posting up about this! It's almost like anytime I am about to begin to research something, you happen to blog about it and give me all these wonderful resources to check out!

  6. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Totally read the book, Three in a Bed, that was the best resource I found! You can even borrow my copy if you like :) ________________________________From: Disqus <>To: thatmamagretchen@gmail.comSent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 2:20 PMSubject: [thatmamagretchen] Re: That Mama Gretchen: Why We CosleepDisqus generic email template

  7. Dionna @ Code Name: says

    I think my hubby would add to the bonding part that for him, it gives him more time with the LOs after being gone at work all day. It's definitely built in reconnect time!

  8. says

    Thank you for posting this! It's encouraging finding other mamas co-sleeping successfully. It's been an evolving thing for us with our 5-month old and co-sleeping is one of those practices that I seem to need more reassurance that we're doing the right thing as we don't have friends or family that understand. You're resources are awesome!

  9. Darah Hulse says

    We've found the same thing as far as John feeling closer to the kids through co-sleeping. I know there were some tough feelings on his part as far as Guthrie so easily being calmed by nursing that it meant a lot to him that he could provide a good portion of the cuddles at night. Great post!

  10. hobomama says

    I love hearing both your perspectives, and seeing those pictures of a cosleeping dad! I've considered getting a cosleeper but have also wondered if it would just become storage…

  11. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Yes! So true – a perfect time to reconnect!-Gretchen________________________________From: Disqus <>To: thatmamagretchen@gmail.comSent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 5:01 PMSubject: [thatmamagretchen] Re: That Mama Gretchen: Why We CosleepDisqus generic email template

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