Before my son was born, I did a lot of reading about childbirth and motherhood. In my research I found that I liked the concept of attachment parenting, especially when it came to co-sleeping. There were endless benefits, but (for me) I realized that involving my partner in the sleeping process was high on that "benefits list." There are so many ways a grown-ass man can help with co-sleeping, and I was more than eager to tackle sleep (or lack thereof) together, with my partner. I mean, we were in this parenting thing together, right?
It's not to say that I wasn't hesitant about having a baby in bed with my partner and I, because I was. Still, I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my newborn son all alone in a room where it might take me longer to hear his small cries, and the decision to put our son in our room ended up manifesting into the decision to put our son in our bed. We've been co-sleeping since our son came home from the hospital, and it's been a decision that my partner not only helped make, but has endlessly supported.
Everyone has different reasons for co-sleeping and every one of those reasons should be valued and respected and never, ever judged. For me, I just felt like the pros of co-sleeping far outweighed the potential cons. When done properly and safely, co-sleeping can have plenty of benefits for both parents and their child. My partner was quick to realize said benefits, and did the following things every grown-ass man does to help with co-sleeping so, even at my most exhausted, I was never made to feel alone.
He Does His Co-Sleeping Research
Grown-ass men know the difference between co-sleeping and bed-sharing (and are open to both if they think they're beneficial and helpful). They also know what’s safe to have on the bed or in the bassinet, what position babies sleep best in, and when they shouldn’t come into the family bed (like after consuming alcohol or smoking cigarettes). By the time baby arrives, he is a connoisseur of co-sleeping.
If He’s A Smoker, He Gives It Up
As previously mentioned, a grown-ass man won’t co-sleep if he’s been smoking cigarettes. In fact, it’s best if a smoking parent not co-sleep at any point. According to Dr. Sears, smoking can increase the risk of SIDS as smoke sticks to the smoker’s clothing and hair, depriving babies of fresh oxygen when they share a bed. If you’re looking for ways to quit smoking, there is plenty of help and resources available to you. Thanks, internet.
He Gets The Space Ready For When Baby Arrives
Remember, co-sleeping means sleeping in close proximity to one another. A grown-ass man will make sure to help ready the room and sleeping area for the new baby, prior to their arrival. This might mean buying a bassinet and setting it up, or buying a mattress protector for his bed and washing all the sheets with baby safe laundry detergent. And if he’s bed-sharing, he’s probably smart enough to invest in a new and larger mattress for everyone’s sake.
He Does Without Blankets For The First Few Weeks/Months
The National Sleep Foundation recommends no blankets or pillows in a baby’s sleeping space. Plush animals are also (basically) out. Grown-ass guys know that these items are a no-go during those first few months of either bed-sharing or co-sleeping, even if they’re used to bundling up at night. Some people might whine about this and, hey, we all like to be comfortable when we're sleeping. However, a grown-ass men will find a way to control the room temperature in other ways, and won't add to a potentially uncomfortable situation by complaining about it.
He Sticks To His Side Of The Bed
Grown-ass men who bed-share know they’ve got one space to sleep in, and deal with it for the sake of their little one. For us, our son usually slept close to the wall, I slept in the middle, and my husband on the end. Sure, there was one occasion where he fell off the bed, but I know if he had to, he’d do it again and without much hesitation. There are plenty of co-sleeping positions to try, and grown-ass men aren’t afraid to test them all in an effort to find the one that works best.
He Doesn’t Complain About Lack Of Sex (He Just Gets Creative)
Co-sleeping can seriously affect your romantic relationships but, then again, you could easily say that about parenthood in general. Grown-ass men know better than to simply whine about not "getting any" (if they know what’s good for them). Instead, they’ll be up for a little romp on the couch while baby naps or maybe a late-night shower rendezvous or even a (highly recommended) afternoon delight. When all else fails, if grandparents can watch the baby for an evening, you can always sneak away to a hotel room for a few hours. Trust me, there are ways of keeping the romance alive, even if you're sharing your bed with a tiny human that poops themselves.
...Or About Lack Of Sleep
We started off by co-sleeping with our son in his bassinet, then graduated by moving his crib next to our bed. When he started sleep regression at 10 months, the only way I could get any sleep was by bringing him into our bed. I would take the brunt of the night shift because my husband had to work long days outside the house. Co-sleeping allows mothers to get more sleep and my husband understood this undeniable fact, and never tried to force our son out of our bed. A grown-ass man will endure the occasional (or frequent) sleeping toddler kick to the face because, hey, that's parenthood, fellas.
He Helps Change The Bedsheets Consistently
Grown-ass men pull their weight around the house, and the family bed is no exception. These guys know that bed sheets should be changed weekly, especially with an infant in the mix. At the very least, he’ll change them every other time.
He Sleeps Elsewhere When Necessary
We were fortunate in that we had an extra room in our home, so my husband could retreat to alternative sleeping spaces when co-sleeping got to be too much. Honestly, I snuck out in the middle of the night and left the boys alone a time or two (or a thousand) myself, especially when I was feeling too touched out. Grown-ass men will take matters into their own hands and escape the family bed when they feel like they need to.
He Participates In Bedtime Routines
Establishing a bedtime routine for your baby is wonderful for the entire family. Granted, it’s not always easy to stick to, especially if everyone has varying schedules, but a grown-ass man understands the importance and tries his best to stick to it. He helps by giving baby a bath, reading bedtime stories, feeding a bottle (or handing him over to mom for nursing time), and getting baby set in their bed.
He Enjoys This New Closeness With His Family
Grown-ass men enjoy co-sleeping just as much as anyone else. They understand that this is just a temporary part of life, one that will end just as quickly as it began. Whenever any parent is getting frustrated by sharp elbows in the ribs and the occasional toddler drool on their pillow, it’s best to remember that it’s worth it in the long haul. In the end, if it’s right for their family, any grown-ass guy will know the benefits to co-sleeping are just too great to ignore, and do his best to facilitate it.