When you read about co-sleeping, most articles touch on how bed sharing affects the bond between a mother and her baby. But what is rarely mentioned are the ways co-sleeping affects your marriage, even though there are many possibilities. Depending on the way your relationship works, bringing a baby into or near your bed each night can cause both stresses and successes in your relationship. Although I imagine for most people who make this choice, experiencing a little bit of both is to be expected. (At least that's how it played out in my experience when the littles were snoozing by my side.)
In order to enter into co-sleeping with any chance of being successful, both spouses should agree and commit to the arrangement, according to Pregnancy and Baby. Being on the same page will help you avoid some of the downsides to co-sleeping that can often cause riffs in the marriage. It's also important to remember that everyone has a bad night, so when those come around every once in a while don't be too hard on yourself or your spouse. But if the bad nights start to eclipse the good ones, it may be time to take a look at how this arrangement is taking a toll on your relationship.
To find out what co-sleeping can really look like in everyday life, take a look at these nine ways having a baby in the bed affects your marriage and decide if a family bed is right for you.
1. It Could Make Your Sex Life Better
Having a snoozing baby in the room isn't the biggest turn on, but taking the show on the road could ignite those old sparks. As Mothering magazine pointed out, finding new places and times to have sex can be exciting when you've chosen to co-sleep. Sneak in a quickie while the baby is napping or make space in the broom closet; scouting out new sites for sex just may be your new favorite past time.
2. It Could Make Your Sex Life Worse
Not every couple is super adventurous between the sheets, and there's nothing wrong with that. But letting sex slip away from a relationship could cause discord in your marriage, according to Parenting magazine.
3. It Could Influence Serious Decisions
If having the baby in or near your bed is making it hard for you and your partner to sleep, the result can reach extremes. According to The Guardian, one third of divorced and separated couples cite lack of sleep as a reason for their split.
4. It Could Bring You Closer
Having everyone together in the same room to sleep can be a soothing to some parents. According to the website for Dr. Sears, co-sleeping can bring couples closer together, as well as help them form a tight bond with their babies. This works best when both partners have the same mindset and goals for co-sleeping.
5. It Could Increase Conflict
Sleep deprivation only needs to effect one person for the marriage to suffer. Lack of sleep means more negative emotions and less conflict resolution skills, according to Psychology Today. Not functioning on a good night's sleep can lead to more squabbles and spats between spouses.
6. It Could Lead To More Good Vibes
Co-sleeping might mean that everyone is crawling into the bed around the same time, which could be the key to more marital mojo. According to Real Simple, syncing up sleep times makes spouses feel happier and more satisfied in their relationship.
7. It Could Cause Gratitude To Vanish
Not getting enough sleep can turn your favorite person into a frenemy. As Prevention reported, psychologist at the University of California found that people who don't get enough sleep are less thankful for their partners, since gratitude tends to drop when you're not getting enough shut eye.
8. It Makes You A Team
When parents are battling lack of sleep due to co-sleeping, working together to solve the issue can make spouses feel like an unstoppable team. Making a plan to find solutions can open the lines of communication in a marriage, as the Baby Sleep Site pointed out.
9. It Could Lead To Less Laughter
When you're tired AF, even the tallest cup of coffee won't get you in the mood to laugh. As Psychology Today reported, one of the things that makes people attractive is their ability to make others laugh. But lack of sleep effects the part of your brain that makes humor possible, which means you and your spouse may share less laughs if co-sleeping is making you sleepless.