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Is Co-Sleeping a Big No-No for me

I recently saw a post from a friend I know on a FB who posted about how while his pre-schooler was sick, she would not sleep unless she were sleeping close to or on one of her parents.

The post was about how special and beautiful it felt to do this as they had NEVER before co-slept for fear of creating bad habits.

This was my response to their post and I thought that I would share it here with you as so many people believe that Sleep Specialists are self-settling Drill Sargent.

As a mum and a paediatric sleep specialist, my question is, Why?

Why is this the first time you’ve ever allowed yourself to let your girls fall asleep with you in the bed. I feel sorry that somewhere along the way, the message to you was that this was an absolute NO no.

There is nothing quite like lying with your children, nothing like those small hands and small faces and wondering how you created this perfect mini human. Many people think that as a paediatric sleep specialist sleeping with your child is a hard No for me.

It’s not!

I have slept with my daughter all week this week, she had surgery on Tuesday and we both just wanted to be close until she’s feeling 100%. She has her own room and we don’t sleep together all the time, but I regularly sleep with her ever since she was little.

Even though I strongly believe in helping your baby learn how to self-settle, I also would never want you to miss out on that feeling of sleeping with or waking up to your little bundle of perfect.

Even when I taught my daughter how to self-settle when she was younger, I would often pick her up, cuddle her, put her into bed with me for an hour or two, and then place her back into her own crib before I fell asleep but occasionally I would sleep with her all night.

I believe this was me having my cake and eating it!- She could self-settle and I could still co-sleep out of desire, not a necessity.

I wholeheartedly believe that self- settling should be something your child can do but it shouldn’t be the only thing they can do.

Life is about balance

Like walking – that is the body’s default mode of movement, but we can also hop, skip, skate, and jump, and that’s great, but we always default back to walking.

If children know how to self-settle and go to sleep by themselves, that’s awesome. If they don’t then obviously that’s something you need to work on with consistency, repetition clear boundaries and guidance. Once that skill is consistent, then an 80/20 rule works amazing for parents and in life in general.

80% – Child self settles with a beautiful, consistent bedtime routine (that they and you enjoy) and

20% of the time other things happen.

I think this is a pretty good balance.

I also think you might have some catching up to do with these sleepy cuddles so why don’t you make a regular weekly event of having a special daddy date night with the girls where they get to fall asleep with you once a week.

Enjoy them they are only little for so long

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