The Sleep Lady Talks About Co-Sleeping

  • 0
  • July 17, 2012

Would you like to have me answer your sleep question in my next video? If so, scroll down and submit your question in the comment section below. I will pick several questions a month to answer and post them here on the blog!

If you would rather read than watch my above video then here is the transcript of this week’s co-sleeping video:

Hi. Kim West, the Sleep Lady. And today, I want to talk about a hot topic, “Co-Sleeping.” A lot of people will say to me or write to me asking, “Are you against co-sleeping Kim? Because if so, we have something to say to you.” So I thought I would set the record straight on my blog.

I am NOT against co-sleeping.

Professionals from the medical field have said to me, “Kim, you shouldn’t be talking about co-sleeping”. As you may know there is a statistic that says that 50 percent of parents are co-sleeping at some point in the first year of their child’s life.

I am not interested in partaking in denial. I would much rather parents make wise decisions and if you choose to co-sleep, you do it safely. I think the perfect middle road is to get a co-sleeper, which is a side car that attaches to the side of the parents’ bed. After you feed your baby you can put them in the cosleeper attached to your bed. That way your baby is close to you but you don’t have to worry about any potential risks associated with sharing the same bed.

A second option would be to put the baby’s crib right near or next to your bed. That way you won’t have to worry about suffocation when sharing the same bed.

If you really want your baby in your bed, sharing your bed with you, I urge you to please do the research and do it safely.

Please remember, families only call me when they’re not sleeping well and not doing that well. If they are sleeping well and doing well, I of course don’t hear from them.

Families that are co-sleeping and it’s not working for them, are usually doing what’s called ‘reactive co-sleeping.’ Meaning that it’s the only way they can get their child to sleep or back to sleep and they’re doing it out of desperation.

I don’t think that this type of ‘reactive co-sleeping’ is the foundation of co-sleeping, or is helping the family’s wellbeing. That is why I address it in my book to help families end this type of co-sleeping. If you decide, “I really want to co-sleep with my child, and I’m going to do it safely, and I’ve done my homework and research,” or “I’m going to put my baby in a co-sleeper right next to me,” please know, that every person, every child at some point has to learn the skill of putting themselves to sleep and back to sleep. It doesn’t unfortunately happen naturally.

You may want to experiment with this when you feel comfortable– maybe starting with naps. Try putting your child down awake at naps or at bedtime, with you lying right on the bed next to them and help soothe them to sleep.

You don’t have to worry about this right now if co-sleeping is working for you, but just keep this in the back of your mind.
To read more about my sleep coaching philosphy, check out this blog post.

Okay. I hope that this sets the record straight on how I feel about co-sleeping.

Sweet dreams,

Kim
The Sleep Lady

Video filmed by In Focus Studios

If you have had a personal experience with cosleeping feel free to share your experiences. Please feel free to click the “reply” link under this article and leave them a comment. Supporting each other makes parenting so much easier!

Did you find this article helpful? Please share it with your friends by clicking below, or ask a question on The Sleep Lady Facebook page.

Share this article: Share on Facebook
Facebook
Email this to someone
email
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Pin on Pinterest
Pinterest

Some of the posts featured on this website may contain affiliate links. This means I have the potential to receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase something using one of my links. This allows me to help cover the expense of running the site while keeping the content 100% free. Note that I only recommend products I believe in. Your support is appreciated!

2 Comments

  • hnmsmith says:

    Hi Kim,

    I have a couple issues with my baby’s sleep. First off, he had a sensitivity to dairy that was causing lots of gas and abdominal pain for him. He would only sleep on someone. The heat seemed to help his belly feel better. Fortunately, I cut out the dairy when he was 4 weeks old and he felt much better for it. At 6 weeks old his reflux got much worse. He’s not much of a spitter, but his stomach contents would just silently flow up and down his throat all night causing him to wake every 20-30 minutes. So, I reactively finally took him into bed with me because I could keep him on his side by letting him use my arm as pillow/crutch. I had tried 6 weeks of wedges in various positions in his bassinet beside my bed.

    I nursed him to sleep far too often, especially in the middle if the night. He’d wake every hour or too because the acid was hurting his throat and he’d want to nurse a little to soothe his throat. Just holding him upright when he felt this pain wasn’t helping. He is now 16.5 weeks old and his reflux is a little more manageable after having a couple adjustments from an osteopath. Unfortunately, he is still waking about every two hours in the first half of the night to eat, and every 1.5-1 hours in the second half of the night. He is also accustomed to nursing to sleep.

    I would like him out of my bed and into his crib, which I’ve moved into our bedroom in preparation for the switch. In order to do this I need to teach him to fall asleep on his own and not want to want to wake to eat so often. Then he needs to learn to sleep in his crib. I don’t feed him every time he moves. I’ve been denying him by playing asleep and if he’s not really awake then he gives up and continues sleeping. The other times when I do feed him it’s because he was searching so hard for a nipple that he completely woke himself up. I sleep with a bra and shirt on so no easy access to boobs. In the last week he’s been doing much better falling asleep on his own as I lay him down groggy. He wiggles all over the place and moans, but eventually falls asleep. He doesn’t seem to need to touch me quite as much as I’ve been trying to sleep further away from him. He still wakes every 2 hours though. Sometimes out of habit but also because he still has some bad nights with the reflux.

    Any suggestions for me?

    Thanks,

    Heather

  • hnmsmith says:

    Hi Kim,

    I have a couple issues with my baby’s sleep. First off, he had a sensitivity to dairy that was causing lots of gas and abdominal pain for him. He would only sleep on someone. The heat seemed to help his belly feel better. Fortunately, I cut out the dairy when he was 4 weeks old and he felt much better for it. At 6 weeks old his reflux got much worse. He’s not much of a spitter, but his stomach contents would just silently flow up and down his throat all night causing him to wake every 20-30 minutes. So, I reactively finally took him into bed with me because I could keep him on his side by letting him use my arm as pillow/crutch. I had tried 6 weeks of wedges in various positions in his bassinet beside my bed.

    I nursed him to sleep far too often, especially in the middle if the night. He’d wake every hour or too because the acid was hurting his throat and he’d want to nurse a little to soothe his throat. Just holding him upright when he felt this pain wasn’t helping. He is now 16.5 weeks old and his reflux is a little more manageable after having a couple adjustments from an osteopath. Unfortunately, he is still waking about every two hours in the first half of the night to eat, and every 1.5-1 hours in the second half of the night. He is also accustomed to nursing to sleep.

    I would like him out of my bed and into his crib, which I’ve moved into our bedroom in preparation for the switch. In order to do this I need to teach him to fall asleep on his own and not want to want to wake to eat so often. Then he needs to learn to sleep in his crib. I don’t feed him every time he moves. I’ve been denying him by playing asleep and if he’s not really awake then he gives up and continues sleeping. The other times when I do feed him it’s because he was searching so hard for a nipple that he completely woke himself up. I sleep with a bra and shirt on so no easy access to boobs. In the last week he’s been doing much better falling asleep on his own as I lay him down groggy. He wiggles all over the place and moans, but eventually falls asleep. He doesn’t seem to need to touch me quite as much as I’ve been trying to sleep further away from him. He still wakes every 2 hours though. Sometimes out of habit but also because he still has some bad nights with the reflux.

    Any suggestions for me?

    Thanks,

    Heather