One of the greatest controversies in this history of child rearing is Co-sleeping with your newborn. The practice has been something that mothers have done since we walked out of the jungle.
But a lot of myths surfaced over time. Especially recently, people believe myths about co-sleeping that really are harmful to both you and your baby.
Myths are a thing spread by word of mouth. A lot of good information is shared by word of mouth.
But it can sometimes be like playing a game of “telephone,” especially now that we share almost anything over a global information network.
We’ve compiled some of the most common myths about co-sleeping. And we’re going to dispel them one by one.
Myth #1: Co-Sleeping Will Always Be Detrimental And Dangerous
There are ways of doing a thing and then there are ways of doing a thing. You could dive 800 feet through the water or you could dive 800 feet with an oxygen tank and a mask. One will kill you, the other will be fun.
It’s the same way with Co-sleeping. The myth that Co-sleeping is dangerous comes from people who do it wrong.
Co-sleeping doesn’t always mean being in the same exact bed together. It could very easily mean being immediately next to where your baby sleeps.
Having the baby near you will help you notice cues that come from your baby.
You will actually more likely avoid SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) this way.
Myth #2: You’re Spoiling Your Child
This one mystifies the most educated of us. How can you spoil your child by keeping them close? Sure, at one point, they will need to learn how to be independent of you.
But that’s a long way off. They need to learn to be attentive to you and you to them before that ever happens.
Bonding to your baby is good. Being attentive is even better.
Your brain will keep a part of itself active while you sleep to be attentive to baby. This is why you should at least have baby nearby.
Myth #3: You Can’t Be Intimate If Baby Is Nearby
This is one of the silliest myths out there. If you can’t have intimate relations because your baby is either in bed or in the room with you, then there is something deeper going on in your relationship. Go see a marriage counselor immediately.
You can have sex with a baby around. Make it fun. Make it a game.
See who can be the quietest while getting it on. Games like that might actually bring a new spark into your marriage rather than extinguish it.
Myth #4: Nobody Does Co-Sleeping
Actually, according to Dr. McKenna at the University of Notre Dame, 80% of breastfeeding mothers are co-sleeping with their babies. They’re just not making it public because of the stigma.
And, it’s a complete logical fallacy to assume that you should or shouldn’t do something because the crowd is or is not doing something. Some of the worst things in history have been done because the crowd was or was not doing something.
Go with the science and go with your instinct. Your baby will certainly benefit from it.
Myth #5: Babies Need To Sleep Alone
Imagine this: you are in a nice warm space, floating in comforting liquid. You don’t have to worry about any of your needs.
A tube feeds you and takes away all your waste. You have a nice lullaby machine that puts you to sleep whenever you’re sleepy. And you are almost always in a state of slow motion.
Every once in a while a pleasant voice sings and entertains you. There are no harsh lights and no harsh weather or environments. Everything is soft.
Suddenly you are ejected from this wonderful world into a place of hard surfaces. Harsh lights surround you. The world around you actually gets cold!
People place you on solid immobile surfaces and you always have to cry for your supper or your waste to be taken away.
Would you want to be left alone in that situation? Wouldn’t it feel cruel if they did leave you alone in that condition?
This is exactly how your baby feels. Sensory deprivation will never help your baby. And loneliness will not help them become independent.
You must teach your baby to be content. And the only way you can teach this is by keeping them content. And co-sleeping will give you the opportunity to respond to your baby on point.
Myth #6: You’re Irresponsible If You Are Co-Sleeping With Your Newborn
Parent shaming is a common theme in contemporary society.
“That kid is screaming for candy at the grocery store; why doesn’t mamma spank that kid?”
“You let your kid eat WHAT?!”
“Breastfeeding in public, what a shame! Cover yourself up!”
It seems to be inescapable at times. But that’s what you will have to deal with as a parent.
Despite the fact that people need to bud out and mind their own business, you don’t need to listen to them anyway.
People have the right to decide for themselves how they sleep with their newborn or child.
As long as you’re being safe with your newborn, nobody should have any concern over your sleeping habits. There is no reason why they should be judging you. And there is no reason to feel ashamed that you are co-sleeping with your newborn.
You have instincts, intuitions, and a brain. Use all three. You have every right to do that. In fact, it should be exactly what you do. Letting other people decide your life takes power away from you.
Only you decide what sleeping arrangement is right for your family.
Sometimes co-sleeping is just easier. And if you’re being safe about it, co-sleeping is actually healthy. You are more than right in choosing what is right for your child.
Do you co-sleep with your baby? What precautions do you take? Do you experience judgment from others?
We’d love to hear from you down in the comments section.