As we snuggle up in bed, side by side, I listen to the small suckling sounds my baby boy makes. He continues to gently drink as his eyelids slowly meet and mine only seconds after. He knows its time for sleep as we both drift off together.
He is only weeks old but completely content. He can smell his mummy, feel my warmth and hear my heart beat all night long. It feels natural. It feels normal. I feel rested. It is special.
With our second baby I decided to co-sleep from day one for as long as I deemed beneficial. It has been the best thing we’ve done for him (and me) during these early days. Though he feeds every 2-3 hours through the night, it is simply a matter of moving him to the other side of me, attaching him to the milk bar, scrunching a small blanket for support behind our backs and going back to sleep. I’m getting so much more sleep, which makes me a better mother and wife! It is actually becoming a special memory in our house as most nights our 2 year old dives under the blankets and snuggles next to his daddy as well.
I would love to show you a whole range of gorgeous images of this happening but obviously it’s a bit hard as I’m the one asleep with my young ones.
I’m not a big book reader on parenting to be honest. I just like to listen to my own strong maternal instincts. A baby cries for his mum for survival. A mum hates hearing her baby cry. It is how we are designed to fulfill the needs of our little ones. He doesn’t understand I might be in the room next door or have a monitor to hear him. He just needs to be near me then he knows he is safe and cared for. It won’t last forever and it wont form a bad habit. A friend said to me recently, we spend so much time learning about an infants physical needs but how much time do we spend learning about their emotional needs. Spot on.
Without doing any research on what others have noticed, here are some benefits that I have noticed with co sleeping.
- Baby has more solid and sound sleep
- Much smoother transition from the womb to the world
- Baby figures out days from nights quicker
- Stronger sense of trust and security between baby/mother/father
- Less anxiety for the mother
- Cries less through the night
- Less soiling of nappy at night
- No time at night spent trying to settle him (something that was so hard with my first)
- Mother wakes up more refreshed
- Sleeps in longer in the morning
Enjoy your little one.
Written by Bree Gravener (Birth Photographer).
Disclaimer! Obviously not every night is sweet and blissful, some nights we all ‘play’ bed swapzies to find some space of our own, but co sleeping has sure helped in a huge way for the time being!