I got judged so much when I told people I co-slept. Here’s my side of the story.
My children were (and sometimes still are) horrible sleepers. Horrible.
If you are a parent who claims your child slept through from 6 weeks we can no longer be friends.
It was only on the days I brought my babies in our room that they actually slept better.
Before I go on I need to make something clear. At first I co-slept, it wasn’t until later on with my first, and with my second, that my fiancé and I bed-shared with our kids.
Yes, there is a difference.
Co-sleeping is NOT sleeping with your baby in your bed. That is bed-sharing. Co-sleeping is when you sleep with your baby in sensory distance (i.e. most of the time in the same room but a different bed or cot).
The thing was, as soon as I started co-sleeping (not even sharing a bed at this point we just had the cot in our room) I got judged. Boy did I get judged.
“You’ll sleep better if he’s in another room.” No I won’t.
“The baby will sleep better in his own space.” No he didn’t.
“Aren’t you scared you’ll roll on them?” Umm, no, see above.
In recent weeks there have been tragic stories about suffocation deaths in infants that were linked to a form of co-sleeping or bed-sharing. This is horrible and distressing and unimaginably sad for all of those involved but it continues to give co-sleeping and bed-sharing a bad name.
You see, when a baby co-sleeps or bed-shares successfully it doesn’t make the news.
Why would a happy sleeping baby with happy sleeping parents make news?
Because let me tell you. Co-sleeping and bed-sharing is common. WAY more common than you think.
Over my years of research on the topic (because, yes, I too was scared of the dangers so I continue to research it) one quote still sticks in my mind:
“The practice of co-sleeping does not necessarily vary a great deal from culture to culture, but rather that the social acceptance of co-sleeping is what varies.”
At 16, on exchange, I witnessed evidence of this first hand. It was normal in Japan to have a sleeping space in the parent’s room up until the child was around 7 or 8.