Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Co-sleeping = Terrifying

"Since mankind's earliest days, parents and babies have slept together for mutual protection, warmth, and to make nighttime feedings convenient.  It wasn't until the turn of the 20th century that U.S. parents were frightened away from co-sleeping.  They were warned it could spread illness, spoil children, or cause them to suffocate.  So, babies were moved to their own cribs and eventually to their own rooms.  Now as we enter the 21st century, this resistance to co-sleeping is slowly changing ... especially as breast-feeding continues to rise in popularity, nursing mothers are realizing the convenience of having their baby nearby.  However, like so many other primitive customs, co-sleeping doesn't always fit the needs and lifestyles of contemporary parents."  - Harvey Karp, M.D., Happiest Baby on the Block, 2003.

I guess it's safe to stay that I'm a "contemporary" parent because co-sleeping DOES NOT fit into my lifestyle ... it actually scares me to death!  For the first two months of GiGi's life I had the same reoccurring nightmare ... I would wake up in the middle of the night and think I had fallen asleep while nursing her and I would frantically start searching our bed for her!  It was always so terrifying and would take me a minute or two to realize that she was sleeping soundly in her bassinet right next to our bed.  One night, I rolled over and touched my husband's hand and thought it was her and I just about died it scared me so bad!      

To this day, I have not let GiGi even nap in our bed nor have I taken a nap with her ... it is simply too scary to me!  But, if bringing your baby to bed with you feels right then PLEASE follow these 10 steps found on page 225 of The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D.:

Ten Ways to Keep Your Baby Safe in Bed With You
Any parent co-sleeping with their infant must protect him/her in the following ways:
1.  Avoid pillows, toys, or loose bedding that could smother your baby.
2.  Never put your baby to sleep on a waterbed.  (Do they still make waterbeds?!?!?!)
3.  Eliminate spaces between the mattress and the wall, or the mattress and the headboard, where your baby's head might get trapped.
4.  Use a co-sleeper attachment on your bed so your baby can't fall off or get rolled on.
         -I have heard of co-sleepers using this one ... 

5.  Don't sleep on the sofa with your baby.
6.  Keep your baby swaddled tightly all night long so that he doesn't move into a dangerous position during the night.
7.  Let your baby sleep only on his back.
8.  Give up smoking! Babies are more likely to die of SIDS if their mom is a smoker.
9.  Always go to bed sober.
10.  Don't sleep with your baby if you are very obese.

This is our sleeping arrangement ... I'm happy with her sleeping right next to me!!!!

Until Next Time,

1 comment:

Michele said...

I had that same recurring nightmare almost every night for at least the first two months of my daughter's life. I still have it periodically. And I never even nursed her in our bed!! I don't understand co-sleeping AT all!

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