5 Reasons Co-Sleeping Rocks!
We thought for sure the cry-it-out (CIO) method was for us until we read about the massive development a baby goes through in their early years. Can you imagine only knowing the warmth and security of being wrapped in your mothers womb to being hurled into lights, sharp sounds, oxygen and your limbs moving into a space you aren't familiar with?
As we became new parents we were almost certain we would put our baby in their own bed from day one in their own room. Thankfully, I read more on the topic through science and feeds from real mothers who shared their experiences. One collected study was from Belly Belly on 6 Educated Professionals Who Advise Against the CIO method
“I would be very surprised if any parent continued to use ‘cry it out’ if they knew the full extent of what is happening to their infant’s brain. The infant brain is so vulnerable to stress — after birth, it’s not yet finished! In the first year of life, cells are still moving to where they need to be, a process known as migration. Migration is hugely influenced by uncomforted stress. Then in the first year of life, there are adverse stress-related changes to the gene expression of key emotion chemical systems, that are responsible for emotional well-being and the ability to be calm and handle stress well in later life.
In addition, the level of stress caused to the infant brain by prolonged uncomforted distressed crying is so toxic, it results in: Elevated blood pressure Elevated cerebral pressure Erratic fluctuations of heart rate, breathing, temperature Suppressed immune and digestive systems Suppressed growth hormone Apneas Extreme pressure on the heart, resulting in tachycardia It can even re-establish fetal circulation, as the part of the heart known as the foramen ovale re-opens. We don’t know the long term impact of this on the health of the heart in later life. Science hasn’t got there yet, but who would risk it? Any uncomforted infant mammal will stop crying. So it’s not an achievement when you hear their crying stop. It’s a process known as ‘Protest-Despair-Detachment.’ A resigned, self-protective, giving up.”
Along with several other scientific studies I was convinced the CIO method was simply not an option for us.
Going on to 16 months, I can confidently say our baby is confident in us responding to her needs and comforts while being able to engage with others in confidence and independence. And although sleeping through the night is not her thing, I am there right by her side able to get her quickly back to sleep. This allows me the maximum sleep I can get with peace of knowing she is resting beside me.
Need more reasons to co-sleep?
"Co-sleeping" is something mammals have been safely doing since the beginning of time.
Most mamas are aware of their baby's presence since they carry them for 9 months. Rolling over them is highly unlikely unless under influence of drugs, etc.
You aren't losing more sleep getting up walking back and forth to another room while you should be sleeping.
Helps maintain milk supply for breastfeeding mothers.
According to Dr James McKenna,
"Studies have shown that co-sleeping with a breastfeeding infant promotes bonding, regulates the mother and baby's sleep patterns, plays a role in helping the mother to become more responsive to her baby's cues, and gives both the mother and baby needed rest. The co-sleeping environment also assists mothers in the continuation of breastfeeding on demand, an important step in maintaining the mother's milk supply. "
Photography by Melissa Leslie-Quinones / Baby Romper by Sadie Then Ty / Headband by Turban for Tots / Blanket by MasekBaby
Stand Your Ground Mamas!
Yes there are many well meaning opinions and suggestions that will be hurled your way as a new mom. My husband and I discussed our thoughts, concerns and desires to one another before our baby was even announced to others. We committed our goals to each other and stuck with it as we allowed our instincts, peace and research to lead the way. It greatly helps to have someone who shares your goals as a parent that will stand by you encouraging you, praying for you and even just reading up on your studies to educate themselves as well.
Read positive real life stories, stay in tune with what keeps peace in your heart and mind and keep on doing the amazing job you're doing mamas!