Monday, April 30, 2012

Co-Sleeping Interview Series - Jamie V.

As I have mentioned before, the journey through granola-hood (and motherhood, for that matter!) should not be made alone. I have been active in seeking out a network of support. I have mentioned The Mommies Network before. I have also sought out groups on Facebook. I was so happy to find a Crunchy Mamas group. The women in this group are respectful, insightful, and hilarious! I posted asking if any of them would be interested in sharing some of their knowledge on granola topics I don't know much about: Baby Led Weaning, Options for Your Placenta After Labor and Delivery, and Co-Sleeping. So many of them were willing, I was so touched!

Our first interview comes from Jamie V., whose family co-sleeps. I think co-sleeping is so awesome but knew nothing about it when I had DD. She slept in our room with us in a bassinet for many months, and often times when I would nurse her in the middle of the night we would both fall asleep and she would spend the rest of the night with us in bed. But I know there are more deliberate and careful ways to do it. I wanted to hear straight from the mamas' mouths what it's really all about. I want to thank Jamie V. for sharing this information with us. She's got some great answers and I have some serious points to ponder when DS gets here.

1. What is co-sleeping?
Co-sleeping is sharing your bed with your child. 

2. What led your family to decide that co-sleeping was right for you?
My husband had decided before my daughter was born that co-sleeping was not for us.  That meant that one or both of us would be awake when she was awake. The first two weeks were hell because of it and all three of us were getting little sleep. When my daughter was two weeks old, I brought her to bed and we all slept wonderfully. The closeness was something I couldn't let go of.

3. What are the benefits of co-sleeping?
When my daughter frequently wakes during the night, it is not for long and does not cause anxiety in either of us. We both fall asleep within minutes/seconds while nursing. It has also caused a bond that I don't feel like I would have with her if we weren't co-sleeping. As a new mother, one of my greatest fears is SIDS. After doing some research, I found that SIDS is greatly reduced when co-sleeping with safe boundaries. My fears became much lessened and even when I was fearful, I could place my hand on my daughter and know that she is okay.

4. What can be dangerous about co-sleeping?
I know that adults who are taking prescriptions that cause drowsiness or adults who have had alcohol can be less aware of the baby and end up rolling on top of them and suffocating them. Also, if the bed is not set up properly, problems can be caused. I have heard many stories of babies rolling off the bed but that can also be prevented by other measures. Is them wanting to sleep with you for a long time a danger? Because I don't see it as one.  :) 

5. What do you say to people in the medical community who say co-sleeping is linked to SIDS?
I haven't had to say anything because I don't share with the medical community that I co-sleep. I had to sign a form hours after I delivered my daughter that I would never sleep with her. However, I have read various reports that the biggest co-sleeping opposers are crib makers who also pay for various campaigns against co-sleeping. I think that speaks for itself.

6. If someone were considering co-sleeping, what would you say to them to encourage them?
I would say to only do it if they feel safe doing it. If you are constantly second guessing your decision, I don't think co-sleeping is the right decision for you. It's a full time commitment and it can be extremely frustrating sometimes. It makes finding time with your partner more difficult and can make you feel like you never get alone time. But even with all of that, it's so worth it and I can't imagine doing it any other way. I plan to do the exact same thing with future children.

7. What are your favorite co-sleeping resources?
Anything Dr. Sears has to say about co-sleeping!

8. Thank you so much for doing this! Any last words?
Find support. There's a lot out there!

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