Saturday 31 March 2012

Covert Co-sleeping

Indigo has a cot. It sits in her bedroom with her wardrobe full of clothes, and some toys she doesn't play with much. Truth be told, as lovely as Indigo's room is, with it's psychedelic carpet in varying shades of purple and magenta, she doesn't spend much time in there at all. Most of her toys are in her playroom, a sun room next to the lounge room, which is closer to us, and allows us to multi-task on occasion. We play in her room while I fold her washing and put it away, and sometimes she stands up against her cot, or wants to get in it for a laugh, to see mummy through the side, or over the top. 

The cot is not conducive to sleep.

We tried, oh we tried. We wanted a bit of grown-up space, so although planning for an attachment parenting style, we listened to the warnings about SIDS and co-sleeping, used sleeping bags instead of blankets, trying (in vain) to get Indigo used to being left to fall asleep by herself when she's nodding off, not transporting her to the cot asleep. None of these things worked for us at all.

From day one, Indigo hated her wrappings. She loved having her hands out to touch, to feel. She grew tall so quickly that we had to abandon the snug bassinette, the little grobags. I love holding her little hands while she nurses, and she loves it too, when she's not trying to pinch me

She also still nurses to sleep. At almost ten months, she doesn't suck her thumb or use a pacifier, and being a chronic nail biter and anxiety-freak, this is the best outcome I could possibly imagine. I couldn't care less what "conventional wisdom" has to say about this: if I can help Indigo avoid or cope with the anxiety issues that I have, we will have been successful in a huge way in the parenting-stakes.

For my sanity, little by little, she has been sleeping in with us more and more. It makes breastfeeding so much easier, and I'm never so deepy lasleep that I've rolled-on or squashed her, nor has my par
tner. Not that death from suffocation doesn't happen in some instances, and obviously if under the influence of drugs or alcohol co-sleeping is not an option, but in my experience co-sleeping has changed our lives for the better. 

Dave and Indigo having a snuggle when she was only 2 weeks old <3

I don't talk about it a lot, because the issue attracts such a mixed bag of reactions, but there it is. I think it's important for families to sleep together, at least some of the time, and bathe together too. These are great bonding experiences for dads - we can't forget that dads need special bonding time as much as mums, if not more to make up any shortfall they may feel if they work full time (or if their partner is breastfeeding a clingy baby, like yours truly).

I know there are lots of pros and cons for co-sleeping, both scientific and personal, but this is the choice we have made as a family. We'd love a bigger bed, but otherwise are as happy as can be with our decision to sleep in a family bed.I love special morning snuggles, when a sleepy Indigo wakes up to see me watching her. It's also a lot easier to soothe a crying baby when they are right next to you, and Indigo's favourite natural comforter, the boobie, is right there for her when she needs it (and she quite obviously and vocally needs it, multiple times a night).

I hope you woke up to awesome snuggles in bed this morning, whether you have a baby, lover, child, cat, dog - someone that you love that loves you back!


  1. My sister co sleeps, and loves it for the same reasons you mention here!

    Each to their own, I always say!

    Good luck with the blog : )

    Erin xx

  2. Nobody ever gets any sleep if Abby is in with us! And she's just turned a year old and I still feed her to sleep. It will end when it's meant to xx

  3. I copped a heap about this with m y third from "expert" first time mothers (friends) - like I cared! She fitted in so perfectly into my form and made my slumber so much sweeter...yes I agree, I am better for the co sleeping!