Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Co Sleeping -- Yay or Nay

Do not Co-Sleep with your babies. Period.

Yeah I know warmth of that soft, cuddly body besides you is irresistible, it is comfortable, easy for you, and now studies prove that it makes kids more independent. But take it from a Mom who has been co-sleeping twice over.

Here I am after a hard days work, with baby A on my left, same bed but she is on her own little mattress. There on my right is Big Sis S who insists on certain days of the week that she wants to come in and share the bed with me. that is what comes of co-sleeping with her all these years.I am wedged in a tiny space in-between, trying to get my sleep, which is not easy given that I am allotted so small a space in my own bed in my own bedroom.

The husband has been banished to snooze under a pink & purple Dora comforter on a Dora bedspread.

If I stick to laws of nature I can never ever become a Mommy of 3 and Thank God for that.

Err, so what does that mean, should you Co-sleep or not ?

This study here says -- " In a survey of adult college age subjects, Lewis and Janda (2) report that males who coslept with their parents between birth and five years of age had significantly higher self-esteem, experienced less guilt and anxiety, and reported greater frequency of sex."

Crawford (3) found that women who coslept as children had higher self esteem than those who did not. Indeed, cosleeping appears to promote confidence, self-esteem, and intimacy, possibly by reflecting an attitude of parental acceptance"


Asha said...

Millions of Indian mothers do it even today ie let the babies sleep with them until they are bit older.
We let my daughter sleep with us for 2 yrs and one day, she just went to other room herself to sleep in her own bed. Then few yrs later with my second, my son slept with us for 1 1/2 years before he decided he will share the room with his sister! :D

Both these kids are as independent and strong minded as they can be now, as teenagers.

Yeah, it was a bit uncomfortable while they were in our bed but I never felt like putting them in the other room in the crib though. May be it's just me, but I wanted them to have that comfort for a while they are young.

I don't regret it for a minute but I can understand it would be hard for working(outside home I mean) mothers, need to sleep to be 100% at work place too!

I guess it's up to us ultimately to decide whether they should be with us or in the other room, never mind studies! :D

indosungod said...

DD was in our room till she was 6 yrs but she had a twin bed right next to ours and DD2 now uses that. But if you are sharing your bed with them then you might only get a partial sleep and also kicks and jabs and aches and pains to boot. Look at it this way, lot of American mothers are doing it these days because of studies which say that co-sleeping kids have a better self esteem :)

Cham said...

LOL for the 3rd Sandeepa!
My son was quiet fine in his bed until 2 years! But one day he just wanted to share our bed but it took another 3 years to move on his own bed. He was in the middle of us and I always end up with no blanket, pillow....I finally moved on his blue car blanket to get my sleep.
But he only decide to sleep alone.
Better to keep them away in their room, just for one or two weeks, they might wake up and walk to our room , but sure settle down very fast! Do it right now, it much easier the transaction, the more they grow it is hard to keep them away!

Sandeepa said...

Asha, Indo

Yeah have been doing it for the past 5 years now :D
The 5 year old sleeps in her own room some days but her Dad has to be with her, so she does NOT sleep alone !!!
I do like sleeping with them but one at a time, two together even in the master bed becomes too much


Done that with the older one, got her room painted, got a bed everything but no luck. She is a light sleeper so someone has to be in her room unless we want the entire housedhold to be woken up middle of the night

sra said...

Came over from your other site - laughing so much!

A Childhood Journey said...

Co-sleeping is nice but I can understand how it must be with the two of them.

Well I am enjoying cosleeping with my first one for the moment. And posts like these give you that assurance that there is nothing wrong with co-sleeping and there are others who do that too.

bhagyashri said...

The lesson holds true for even Mommy of 1! at least in my case. My daughter S, is 1 1/2 yrs old now and we have separate cot for her in our bedroom. Funnily she used to sleep alone in that cot till she was about a year old. I was just a hand's length away whenever she needed me, which used to be like at least 2-3 times in the night.

Once she crossed the one year mark we noticed that she started getting up more in the night & that meant I was getting up to put her back to sleep the whole of the night. So to avoid that we joined the cot to our bed & she now sleeps right next to me on my right. So the co sleeping in our case was more out of necessity than following any studies/theory.

She still gets up very frequently and I am still awake most of the night but at least I dont have 'get up' now.

Should you co sleep or not? Well, I wont go into the theory developed about co sleeping, but personally, its a lot of body ache from sleeping on one side, I have developed severe shoulder ache, and then theres the disturbed sleep as well. Since I havent slept properly, I am cranky (& not my daughter!) during the day and sometimes get annoyed on petty things.

I feel that if the kid is Ok with sleeping separately, its better to have it that way. Then, both the mother & the kid get a good night's sleep and the mother is fresh & active the next morning to take better care & give quality time to the kid.

Me, I am just waiting for S to start sleeping on her own.

Raaga said...

I'm not a mother yet, but I wouldn't let my kids share my bed :)

Sheela said...

Sandeepa, such a relevant question, one that has been on my mind a lot... lots of varied opinions here I see :)

On the one hand, I used to think that the shoulder aches and sleeping in awkward positions at night and enduring the jabs and kicks and staying in a semi-awake state all through the night should be endured cheerfully in the name of misplaced sense of affection/love/cuddles/duty/enrichment etc.,

However, once they are asleep, most babies rarely care about anything much except a sense of security and feeding and continuing to sleep as long as they feel like it...

On the other hand, I am now convinced that plenty of quality time during waking hours, reassurance and security via hugs and kisses given freely during waking hours, combined with a consistent and comforting bedtime ritual of bath, jammies, stories/reading, hugs and backrubs for a few minutes to settle them IN THEIR OWN BED does help me remain sane and perhaps cheerful and dare I say a better mommy in general... how does that transfer to the babies? good question! only time can tell.

Now, it might seem to some that letting the babies sleep alone equates to not loving them as much or being selfish somehow... Not sure how mommies come up with that equation!

If I didn't have to go to work the next day, be terribly productive, and if I had the luxury of napping when they nap during daytime, I might subscribe to co-sleeping, I don't know...

There is no real answer, and whatever we choose to do, we mommies are great at feeling guilty, so we would naturally lean towards what we are NOT doing for our kids rather than what we do indeed DO for them!

Wow! This should've been its own post, I guess, sorry, just got carried away...

Trishna said...

your post inspired me to write my own at DMC.
I love Co-sleeping..if only the kicks would stop :)

bird's eye view said...

Yeah, co-sleeping is one of those eternal parenting questions, isn't it? Well, the thing is i need my space in the bed, so once I'm done breastfeeding, I'm happy to kick the baby out...all the way onto a mattress/ crib in our room. Now that we have 3 kids, we really can't we have family sleepover night on Sunday when all five of us crowd into our bedroom...and you know, that kinda my favourite night of the week.