Family Nature

The Sweetness of Co-sleeping


How sweet is this?  I snapped this picture last night, and I have others like it.  This to me is the beauty of co-sleeping.

From day one our babies have slept with us.  Co-sleeping has seen us through breastfeeding troubles, sickness, loneliness, nightmares and cold nights.  There are no single beds in our house, only doubles or bigger.  Even as the kids have gotten older they’ve had their siblings to sleep with.  Sometimes the kids want to fall asleep in our bed.  Later, when it’s time for my husband and me to go to bed we move them to their beds (it’s a bit like musical beds around here!).

So last night my two oldest fell asleep in our bed and then when the baby fell asleep later I put her with them.  When I went to go to bed, this is what I saw. 

Usually when the baby goes to sleep she is in our bed by herself for a few hours before my husband and I go to bed.  It’s normal for her to wake up once or even twice before I come to bed; I go in and nurse her back to sleep.  If one or more of her brothers are there to cuddle with, she doesn’t need me as much.  Sometimes I can hear her moving around and when I go and check on her, she’s snuggled herself up against another little body, much like she did last night.  I love that they comfort one another, even in their sleep.

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15 thoughts on “The Sweetness of Co-sleeping

  1. Julie R

    Beautiful picture!
    We co-sleep too, in a bunch of different configurations, but all in the same room. my husband was ‘open’ to it from the beginning, mostly out of necessity in our tiny house, but now, he proudly tells other parents and parents-to-be that co-sleeping is the BEST parenting decision we ever made. I love that it has worked out so well for all of us.

  2. BarbaraH

    Love it!! I agree with Peter, Julie. Co-sleeping is also one of the best parenting decisions we’ve made too.

  3. Sam @babyREADY

    LOVE it!!

    We just got out first single bed in January. My eldest is 11 now and he and his brother slept with us from birth until the youngest was about 3. When the youngest was three they moved into their own room to co-sleep (every other night – the in between nights they were with us) so that we had some time alone in our bed — it had been 6 + years at that point.
    Last fall ds#1 decided he needed his own room and that is what prompted buying the single bed. His new room is too small for a double. He LOVED it! (that said, he still sleeps with his brother 9 nights out of 10)
    Last night he slept with me in his little brother’s bed while ds#2 slept with my dh.
    Oh do I understand your “musical beds” comment! And I LOVE it!!!
    I always sleep better when we are sleeping with our kids. I rest easier when I know they have me right where they may need me.
    Thanks for the great post!

  4. Rachael

    What a beautiful picture! Thank you so much for sharing! My family loves co-sleeping and my kids are just getting to the point they like sleeping with each other. There is nothing sweeter!

  5. Alexandra

    I confess I sometimes get anxious about how long we have been co-sleeping in my household – a full seven years and more, now – but when I reflect for a minute I, too, think it is one of our best and most satisfying parenting decisions.

    We have four people and two beds and I can never predict from one day to another who will be sleeping where! And when my two kids are in the same bed, they are inevitably *very* snuggled in together…

  6. Rhondda

    Great photo! Bums make great pillows.

    Even now, at age 7, India is still, in the very depths of her slumbers, a heat-seeking missile, with an unstoppable instinct to cuddle up to the other body in the bed. Crawling into bed with a sleeping little person is one of the MOST delicious things in the whole wide world. Sometimes when I look at her sleeping face in the dark, I see my little tiny babe.

  7. Chris

    Beautiful picture! We are also a co-sleeping family. We didn’t really plan this, it just happened, and it felt right. Me, Dh, and the baby currently share a bed, but if it was big enough, I’m sure the two big boys (9 and 11) would join us! Thinking about this also kinda makes me regret our decision to move to the downstairs bedroom. The boys are not happy upstairs anymore, and I realize it’s because they feel more secure when they are close to us. Their weekend ‘treat’ is to sleep in the living room (next to our bedroom), and many weeknights I am awakened by one or both boys because they ‘can’t sleep’.

  8. TheFeministBreeder

    Cosleeping that works for a family is always very interesting to me. I’m a mostly crunchy parent, but co-sleeping is the one thing we can’t subscribe to. Sometimes I’d love my boys to sleep in our bed, but I take a lot of pride in them being able to sleep in their own beds too. The parents I’m close to who have done extended co-sleeping often have big issues with it later, so we’ve never really understood the benefit. In our house, we have a motto – “Co-sleeping equals NO-sleeping.” We tried it with my older son a few times when I really missed him at night, but it always turned out badly. He came out of the womb with awesome sleep habits, and was STTN at 6 weeks old, so trying to co-sleep with him just totally disrupted his groove. He’d be up all night kicking and crying if we put him in bed with us – but in his own bed he sleeps like an angel.

    We do a tiny bit of co-sleeping with our second son. He still insists on nursing several times a night, so sometimes I’ll just latch him on and fall back asleep. But most often, when he’s done he has to go back in his own bed or he’ll do the thrashing/kicking/squirming too and neither one of us will sleep. Even if he does dose off, I can’t get comfortable and I’ll wake up with an aching back. It’s just no fun.

    I think it’s really adorable how the kids are all piled on top of each other. That’s precious. My nerves couldn’t take that though. I have intense, irrational fears of SIDS, so I wouldn’t be able to let my kids sleep together like that. As it is, I’m still afraid that a stuffed animal or blanket is going to choke my nearly 3 yr old in his sleep, so I’m checking on them constantly.

    I’m happiest and proudest when they’re both snuggled in their own beds, but I do really miss them. Them being asleep in their own beds at 7:45 on the dot every night is the only way I can study/work/etc so that time is really important to us. Still, the huz and I both say at least once every night “I miss the boys.” But, we learned the hard way that they need their own space to sleep and try-as-we-might co-sleeping just doesn’t fly in our house. It seems like almost every mom I know who complains about their toddler not sleeping all night is also doing co-sleeping, so I can’t help but think to myself “maybe, just maybe, the child needs their own bed?” I sometimes feel like parents insist on co-sleeping even when it’s not working for anyone – so I do find it interesting when I hear stories of co-sleeping working really well, which it seems like it does for you.

  9. Mon

    Excellent pic!

    I love co-sleeping, even when it means very little sleep for me. The bonding I’ve had with the LO has been priceless. I think sleeping with your baby/toddler is the most instinctual thing to do. It doesn’t work for everyone of course.

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