There is something so special about sleeping next to your baby. It isn’t that I don’t miss deep sleep – because boy do I ever! It’s also not that I love having little room to get comfortable; I’ve learned to permanently stay in a side-lying position all night long for months-on-end!
Beyond these temporary ‘sacrifices’, it’s the pure bliss I feel when I hear our Sweetheart breathing easy that makes it so special. Or when she relatches in the middle of a dream without any assistance from me. It’s also the fact that it allows us to bond closer each and every night through skin to skin contact and on demand breastfeeding.
As a new infant, Jovie wouldn’t sleep well in her bassinet. It took me 6 weeks into her new life to even think of cosleeping as an option and to be completely honest, it was a desperate measure from a place of total exhaustion that I’ve never known before.
My Nursing training had really ingrained in my mind that cosleeping was wrong and completely unsafe. So, of course when I decided to bed share with our newborn, I was mortified with myself. However, after I read many articles (some including this, that & the other), I realized that a mother’s own intuition is the best advice for her to follow.
Since that moment I decided to snuggle her close to sleep for the first time those many months ago, I am absolutely grateful I listened to my own heart. Sleep is a stressful topic for new parents (well, for any parent with young children for that matter!). There are many answers out there and for each family, they may each look very different. What works for one mother-baby dyad may not work for the next.
When the day comes that I return to my Nursing practice, I promise to extend only empathy and compassion to cosleeping families. I will, of course, continue to promote health & help to prevent illness+injury by sharing nonjudgmental information, including how to bed share as safely as possible.
I also commit to never pass harsh judgements on an exhausted mother again (not that I ever purposely did this before becoming a mother, but I sincerely apologize to any mom who may have felt this way by my care before!).
Here’s to a good nights sleep, as I keep my baby comforted all night long, while she bravely fights her first infection.