Monday, August 1, 2011

Natural Parenting : Co-Sleeping and Nursing



By: Heather Birdwell

I am sitting here with my baby sound asleep on my lap and most moms would put their infant in the crib. Me, I would prefer to let Chloe crash in my arms. How long is it before she no longer wants to curl up in my arms? How long will it be before I have to drag her back to give her a kiss, only to have her roll her eyes at me? Moms with older kids know EXACTLY what fears I think of as she sleeps quietly. She is growing up so quickly and I am not sure I am ready for her to be solely in her crib to sleep. I do own a crib and she does sleep in it at night. At least for the first 5 hours, that is. After she wakes for the first time for feeding, she is back in bed with me.

See, co-sleeping has it's benefits. Several doctors are now saying that co-sleeping actually is starting to prevent SIDS. Think about this, when you sleep in bed with your spouse ... how long is it before you guys breathe in and out basically at the same time? It is the same thing with infants. Your breathing regulates their breathing. It helps teach their body how to breath. How long you co-sleep really depends on you and your baby. Some moms I know have to stop co-sleeping after only 4 months because their baby become violent in bed. Some moms only co-sleep until they go back to work. Then other moms co-sleep for the first 18 months of their child's life. I am not sure how long I will co-sleep. With my previous babies we co-slept for the first 6 months.

However, I never made it past 4 months of nursing with my previous two children. Adella I stopped nursing as soon as my milk came in because she stopped nursing. I think, though, if I had more local support and knowledge, I would have changed my diet and kept nursing. With my son, I made it to 4 months and then was given wrong information about meds and nursing. *sigh* SO, I made a pact that I would nurse Chloe for as long as I could. My ultimate goal is to nurse to 18 months but these past 3 1/2 months have been a REAL test. It is not for the faint of heart. The BEST times we have nursing though, are when she is half awake and is laying in bed with me. As long as she nurses at night, we will sleep together at night.


~ My name is Heather and I am a mom of 3 children. I am a full time stay at home mom, but I like to call myself a chef, an accountant, a secretary, a maid, a chauffer, and a teacher. I am the world to my children and they are the world to me. I am far from perfect but striving to be what the Lord wants from me.

No comments: