A Million and One Reasons I Love Bedsharing

Breastfeeding symbol

Breastfeeding symbol (Photo credit: Topinambour)

Okay, maybe there aren’t really THAT many reasons that I love to bedshare with our now 5 month old ninjababy ( Five months?  How the heck did that happen?!) but when I open my eyes in the morning to see a huge gummy smile … well, my whole day starts off better.  Here’s a few reasons I love it so much…

I’m lazy.  Really, honestly and truly.  I love my sleep.  I breastfeed partly because I have no desire to get up at 2 am and stumble around my kitchen trying to make a bottle.  In the spirit of laziness, we bedshare.  Heck, I don’t even have to roll over to feed the baby, much less walk to a different room and get him out of a crib.  When the baby is in the bed, and the food is only a head turn away…well, all of us sleep better, and my older kids thank me for not being sleep deprived and grumpy in the morning.

We believe it’s the anthropological norm.  Yes, WE.  Not only is TBA totally on board with bedsharing, he actually has me grab the ninjababy early some nights, well before he’s ready to wake up and bed fed.  “From an anthropological point of view, bed-sharing is the norm and is for 90 per cent of the world’s population,” Young says. “It’s only Western industrialised societies that conceptualise separate sleeping as the norm and that’s really only in the last 200 years. Then you have to look at SIDS rates; in China, for example, they don’t have a word for SIDS in the language.”  (Dr Jeanine Young, a spokeswoman for SIDS and Kids, and nursing director of research at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane) (By the way, those who are interested in studying societal differences in child-rearing might want to check out an Online Concordia masters in public health program.)

Ninjababy is adorable.  Truly.  From sleeping like a starfish and pushing his dad and I out of the bed, to waking up to pokes in the eye and “Da da DA!” at the top of his voice.  Ninjababy learned to roll over while laying between us in an early morning dance party, and he’s totally practicing how to crawl while using his dad as the best practice mountain ever.

It helps keep my milk supply high.  I’m committed to breastfeeding until the wee one weans himself, and on demand night nursing helps make up for some of the booby time that he might be missing during a busy day when grass is WAY more interesting than hanging out with mama on the couch.

Do you co-sleep or bedshare?  Do you love it?

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Have you ever woken in a panic?

     That was me, last night.  At three am.  Because I was suddenly thrown out of a very nice dream and absolutely convinced that Drake was upstairs, suffocating in his bed.  In my defense, I tried not going to check on him.  I told myself all the rational “He’s fine, you silly woman” things that I’m sure you’d say to anyone.  But I couldn’t shake the feeling!

     Now, in my defense, I had given him a good dose of Benadryl before he went to sleep.  And I am always inordinately worried about giving the littles medicines, especially those that can make them tired.  We’ve also just started transitioning him into his “big boy” bed in his “big boy” room on the second story of the house.  We’ve been co-sleeping for almost three years now, and I’m attuned to the breathing and motions of the  little person next to me.  Now that there is no little person to be aware of, it seems my subconscious is punishing me with nightmares of suffocating babies.  I could see him in his little bed, sleeping a drugged sleep, face pressed into a pillow and slowly suffocating…and I flew out of bed.

     My first stop was Drakes room, and he wasn’t in it.  This actually panicked me more, because if he isn’t in his bed, he’s in mine.  I checked his sisters room…nothing.  I peeked in on his older brother, only to find that Gryphon was sleeping alone too!  I ran down the stairs, setting the dogs off into panicked bark mode, shutting off the hall light on my way.  I actually opened my bedroom and turned the light on, just to be certain he wasn’t in bed with me all along!  Half panicked, I stumbled into the living room…

   The husband was asleep in his favorite chair, snoring.  Little man was curled up with Daddy, also snoring.  I actually walked over and touched his chest to reassure myself that YES he is still breathing.  Then I felt like an idiot.

     I laid in bed, alone.  It felt too big, too empty.  Nearly an hour later, I had finally calmed down enough to sleep.

     Everyone told me that transitioning Drake to a big boy bed and out of ours would be an adjustment, something he’d have to get used to.  No one told me that it was going to be such an adjustment for me!  I’m thinking about putting a baby monitor upstairs, just for my peace of mind.  Really, I mean…he could need me, right?

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