One of my biggest fears about becoming a parent was how I would survive on so little sleep. I absolutely love my rest, and feel awful when I don't get enough of it. It was just as hard as I expected it would be, but luckily I had one survival method that helped a ton — co-sleeping. It wasn't necessarily something I'd planned on doing indefinitely, but having my baby sleep inches away from me made the countless wake ups so much easier to deal with. There are of course some co-sleeping red flags that parents should watch out for in order to make it work.
It took my daughter almost a year to start sleeping through the night, and it wasn't always easy getting up in the mornings after being woken up so many times. Having her in arm's reach made a huge difference in letting us both get back to sleep as quickly as possible. There were even nights when I wouldn't even realize I'd woken up until I saw an empty bottle that I'd somehow fed her the next morning. I plan to co-sleep with my next baby as well, and I just hope he or she figures out sleeping through the night much sooner.
If you're interested in co-sleeping, here are a few things to be aware of when practicing.
1. You Or Your Partner Smoke
Smoking can increase you child's chance of SIDS, even if you practice the safest sleep methods. When you're sharing a room, you shouldn't smoke near near your little one according to Baby Sleep Advice.
2. You Keep The Room Too Warm Or Too Cold
If you or your partner need the heat cranked up to sleep, having your baby in the same room might not be the best bet. According to Babble, babies should sleep in rooms that are between 65 and 68 degrees to reduce the risk of SIDS.
3. Your Kid Isn't Sleeping Well
Sometimes co-sleeping doesn't work because your baby is too light of a sleeper to tolerate other people in the room. We knew it was time to get my daughter into her nursery at night when the slightest noise or movement from mom or dad would make her grumble.
4. You Or Your Partner Don't Sleep Well
Co-sleeping could help you get more rest at night, but it could just as easily make you sleep even worse. Baby Center pointed out that sleeping next to a kicking and squirming little one doesn't necessarily translate to a peaceful night.
5. Your Relationship Is Suffering
For me, co-sleeping was about sanity. The most pressing need for both myself and my husband at that time was getting more sleep, and co-sleeping got the job done. For other couples, it may not work out the same way. According to What To Expect, co-sleeping can kill the mood for parents looking to get physical. Only you your partner can decide whether the trade off is worth it.