To Co-Sleep Or Not To Co-Sleep

When baby arrives, you may find that having her in your bed is easy and convenient.... but it might not always be that way. Before you commit to co-sleeping, consider the pros and cons.

Dad's, Mom's and baby's feet

Pros

Comfort of closeness -- Many new parents don't want their newborn sleeping in a giant crib in a separate room... and that's totally understandable. Newborns aren't used to so much sleeping space and may find it foreign to fall asleep in a comparably large empty crib.

Enter the cozy comfort of a co-sleeper that parents can situate in their own bed, like the Summer Infant By Your Side Sleeper, $40, which provides a smaller and more intimate spot for baby to sleep along with the safety of a metal frame to protect baby from being rolled over on by Mom or Dad.

If you don't want baby in your bed but want him nearby, consider moving a bassinet or a pack 'n play into your room until you are ready to move baby into his own crib and room.

Ease of breastfeeding -- Exclusively nursing is a beautiful thing... but the reality is that you, Mom, will be losing quite a bit of sleep as you wake to nurse baby throughout the night. But if baby is already in bed with you, he can nurse while you both nod off to sleep without disrupting too much of your sleep patterns.

Cons

Baby's going to get bigger -- Right now, sleeping with baby is a wonderful way to bond and snuggle. But note that baby is going to get bigger... a lot bigger in the next few years. If you continue this pattern of co-sleeping, your sleep may suffer as your sleeping space gets monopolized by a toddler or young child! Set a goal in your mind of when you plan to move baby out of your bed, and stick to it! If you have no plans to move baby out of your bed, make sure it is big enough to allow everyone in it a good night's rest without getting a foot to the face every 20 minutes.

Lack of intimacy -- Getting lucky with your man is so not going to happen with baby snuggled between the two of you. If you plan to co-sleep, make the extra effort to find sexy time with your man while baby is in another room or napping in his swing (also in another room, please!).

More on sleep and baby

How to get baby to sleep through the night
6 Baby sleep solutions
Co-sleeping: Is it safe?

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