Monday, April 25, 2011

Why bed-sharing is awesome...

 Lucy gets to sleep...


 Mommy does too!

There are A LOT of opinions on bed-sharing, and they are all so very different.  I tend to favor those that are pro bed-sharing.  Go figure.

Our first days as parents were pretty darn sleep deprived; Lucy ate every two hours on the dot, and because of my c-section incision, Casey had to get up with us to change her and bring her to me.  I swore that he wouldn't have to get up with us Sunday through Thursday, once he returned to work (which sucked, because he was back to work 6 days after she was born - ouch!).

We bought this handy dandy bassinet to keep bedside and use throughout the house during the day.  We loved that thing (for about two weeks - three weeks tops).  Well, one night Lucy cried every fifteen minutes.  No matter how much I tried to soothe her or feed her, she would not stay asleep in her bassinet.  Finally, Casey got up and brought her to bed with us.  Lucy fell asleep instantly, and stayed asleep for FOUR hours straight.  Hallelujah!  It was the best night's sleep either of us had had since she was born.  The next night Casey was getting Lucy ready for bed, and he laid her in the bassinet, and I said, "NO way!!!  She's sleeping with us from now on!"

When I told Casey that I wanted to start having Lucy sleep with us, he said that he was worried about the potential SIDS risks.  That is a hard point to argue, but I was so desperate to have another night of nearly uninterrupted I began researching bed-sharing.  I zeroed in on two websites (source and source), but like I said before there are a lot of opinions out there...hence, a lot of websites.  I found both of the websites to be very interesting, and I think anyone considering bed-sharing should check them out.  For now, let me save you some time and give you the highlights:

  • It is believed that bed-sharing reduces the risk of SIDS, because the infant mimics the mother's breathing pattern; the mother acts as a pacemaker for the infant.
  • A study done in 1992 observed a mother and child sleeping independently and sleeping together.  When sleeping independently of each other, the infant stopped breathing 132 times.  When sleeping together, the infant breathed normally throughout the night 

The idea of bed-sharing NEVER occurred to me; I always planned on having Lucy in our room, in the pack-n-play or bassinet, but not actually in our bed.  Not to say that I was ever opposed to bed-sharing, I just literally had never heard of it.  If someone told me a year ago that I'd be a bed-sharing, exclusive breastfeeding, cloth diapering mama, I never would have believed them; but, I couldn't be happier to be all of those things.

Our family gets the best night's sleep possible these days, and its all thanks to Casey!  Nice work, honey!  Since we started bed-sharing, Lucy has slept five and a half hours straight; and I actually woke her that time, because I was starting to worry about her.  We plan on bed-sharing until Lucy sleeps through the night, but plans change; it could be sooner, or it could be later.  I think everyone should try bed-sharing at least once, it does wonders for exhausted parents!

Now if only we opted for the KING SIZE mattress...


  1. I can't lie, E has "climbed" into bed with us once or twice and tends to fall asleep on my chest after her 3am feeding, I elevate and typically fall asleep as well. Do you put her on the bed or do you have one of those little lounge type things for her to lay in on your bed? Do you use a barrier (the first photo looked like pillows) to keep from covering her with your blankets or bumping into her on the bed? (sorry I'm playing through the logistics).

  2. I always used to fall asleep with Lucy on my chest! But I was always afraid of dropping her once I fell asleep, so I would never sleep well. Lucy sleeps directly on our bed, over a towel and burp cloth (we've had two nasty leaks, and learned our lesson!). We don't use any barriers; I read that adults are conscious of the baby's presence (as long as they're not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol). I do put a pillow on the edge of the bed when I'm feeding her, and have to switch sides. You should give it a try! :-)