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Category: Co-Sleeping & Bed Sharing

How Co-sleepers Do It…

How Co-sleepers Do It…

Here are more pictures of BWF Families cosleeping! Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, you can read more about safe cosleeping suggestions here. If you don’t like what you see, keep it to yourself. Everyone else…enjoy!

Mother fills in a missing ingredient.

“In the early months, much of a baby’s night is spent in active sleep—the state in which babies are most easily aroused. As we discussed previously, this state may “protect” the infant against stop-breathing episodes. From one to six months, the time of primary concern about SIDS, the percentage of active sleep decreases, and quiet, or deeper, sleep increases. More deep sleep means that babies start to sleep through the night. That’s the good news.

The concern, however, is that as baby learns to sleep deeper, it is more difficult for him to arouse when there is an apnea episode, and the risk of SIDS increases. By six months, the baby’s cardiopulmonary regulating system has matured enough that the breathing centers in the brain are better able to restart breathing, even in deep sleep. But there is a vulnerable period between one and six months when the sleep is deepening, yet the compensatory mechanisms are not yet mature.

During the time baby is at risk, mother fills in. In fact, mother sleeps like a baby until the baby is mature enough to sleep like an adult. That warm body next to baby acts as a breathing pacemaker, sort of reminding baby to breathe, until the baby’s self-start mechanisms can handle the job on their own.” ~Dr. Sears


This was sent in by Rain and she said, “This is my client, Danna Lewis, and her little girl who I was a doula for at her birth. She gave me permission to share. I was raised in a cosleeping family and I’m pro-cosleeping as long as the parent isn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol as I think that’s why most of the cosleeping tragedies happen. Also, if someone is taking a picture than obviously there is an adult awake in the home. Anyway, I think it’s absolutely adorable, but maybe I’m a little biased because I was there when she was born.”

I love Rebecca’s pics. I have used an insert like this for babies. Can help a cosleeper feel a little safer.

Kim sent these in of her hubby and daughter. “My loves on Valentines day. Lillie is 27 months now and has been sleeping in our bed since day one…she was born at home.  I was a pediatric ICU nurse before having her…I should really know better! 😉 Ha!”

Sent in by Brittany…

“I couldn’t pick just one or two to send.  I love all of these pics of my hubby co-sleeping with our little man.  I also included Grandma co-sleeping, well…co-napping! In all of the pics except the one where he is smiling, Kieran was about a week old.  In the smiling pic, he was nearly a month old.  Too cute, if I do say so myself!” ~Susan

I couldn’t pick just one either Susan! ~Mrs. BWF

Wanna talk about supermom?!!! Celeste is cosleeping and tandem nursing her 2 year old and 3 month old…

…and here are all her precious babies…

Siblings cosleeping…

Another BWF Mama shares this one of baby and Papa…

Zabrina and her baby are just gorgeous resting together.

Here is her baby with Daddy…

“The first picture was taken a couple of years ago with my husband and my two older kids. The second picture I took about three weeks ago of my husband and our new little VBA2C baby when she was one day old.” ~Mandy

Melissa’s pic will make you smile!

Rachel, “My husband Tucker & our 2 girls Annelyse 2.5 years, & Sophelia 2 months.”

Sibling love…

Kylie and 8 day old Aubrey…

“The tiny bundle by her side stirred a little, and though it was scarcely more then the ruffling of a feather, she awoke; for the mother-ear is so close to the heart that it can hear the faintest whisper of a child.” — Kate Douglas Wiggin

Cosleeping and Bed Sharing Families

Cosleeping and Bed Sharing Families

I recently wrote this post regarding the shocking, misinformed, uneducated ad with a the baby sleeping with a knife. I asked the BWF Community if they had any cosleeping pictures they would be generous enough to share for that post. 190 emails later and a new Gmail folder made, I had plenty! I shared a few in the post and a few more on our FB page.

Here are more pictures of our BWF Families bonding, cuddling and sleeping. Before anyone leaves an unnecessary comment about any pictures being ‘unsafe’…note there is something taking a picture, which means an adult is awake, yes? Enjoy!

Sent in by Kiana of her hubby and baby Sofie…

“This was about 12 hours after I had my daughter Jude. We had a hospital birth, and at this point the nurses had “shift change” twice and required all the babies be in the nursery for shift change. It took them 2 hours each time to bring her back to me, and the whole time I begged and pleaded for them to hurry up and bring her back. My mom took this picture of us. I INSISTED that everyone leave me alone. We slept like this the whole time we were in the hospital.” ~Lisa

Rachel sent this pic  of Dad (Mike) and baby Alecia asleep on a chair…

Lori A. sent these in. Love how Daddy and baby sleep the same…

Chrissy, Bob, and little Luci waking up…

Katy says, “With my first baby 15 years ago, I spent the first night in after everyone had left around 2am. I remember following all the ‘rules’ and putting baby in his plastic ‘cot’ after each feed. After a few feeds and nappy change he still wouldn’t settle. I buzzed the midwife to ask what to do….and she gave me the best advice ever….’Why don’t you put him in bed with you. He’s been in your tummy for 9 months, he’ll probably feels lonely away from you.’ So that’s what I did! I snuggled him in and he stopped crying straight away and we just fed and slept til the morning….bliss!

This picture is with my second baby who was born 13 years later and is now 2. This was the day after he was born, we loved our cuddles. Although I must admit I still felt I initially thought I was doing something I shouldn’t after all the ‘advice’ from my health visitor. After reading a little, I realised that we are very brainwashed sometimes and many people enjoy co-sleeping and bed-sharing. It just feels so right and instinctive….”

“Bedsharing is extremely important to me, because if I didn’t bed share with my 22 month old I never would have found out until too late that she has a dangerous form of sleep apnea.” ~Alicia

Kristi shares her family cosleeping arrangement here. Top, in the crib, is the baby. Bottom, sidled right up against the bed and crib is her adorable 3.5 year old. She says they all get SO much more sleep this way!

Sharisse shares this picture of her little one cosleeping with dad…

“Daddy (Jon) and Lucie. My favorite picture ever. He still can’t recall me taking it. Duh!” ~Landrie

“My 15 yr old son co sleeping with my 1 yr old daughter! He loves his lil sissy. Dad and I out on a date and big brother put her to sleep for us!” ~Rachel

Thank you Cassie for sharing these (no one is under those covers BTW)…

Sent in by Kari…

“One of my favorites. My husband took it before he left to work. My oldest son just turned two and my youngest was 4 months old.” ~Lisa

“My daughter Aviva at 4.5months old, sleep-nursing with Momma.” ~Barbara

Janeen sent these in. “This is our queen size tempurpedic with a single XL next to it. Connected with a foam bed runner & home made custom sheet. My husband. My 3 year old. Space is Myself. Then my daughter around 1 week. To the side of her is an awesome foam bed rail that goes under the sheet.

*She’s laying awake on a pillow because I just nursed her & wanted to snap a picture before everyone else woke.”

“When my grandma was little she, her siblings and the children that passed through their home used to sleep in dresser drawers, hope chests and under their parents bed. That sounds scary and unsafe to most people, but in England during the war it was the safest place for children to sleep. It’s all about perspective! You can paint a scary picture about co sleeping when really it could be the safest spot, just like people advocate that cribs are safest yet can’t explain why babies pass in their sleep there too.” ~Janeen, BWF Mama

*For more info about cosleeping and how to do so safely, read this.

Cosleeping: Fear Mongering, Flawed Research and How to Cosleep Safely

Cosleeping: Fear Mongering, Flawed Research and How to Cosleep Safely

This ad has made quite the uproar!

baby sleeping with knife

Why? It takes a group of people (by zip code) that has a high death rate and instead of looking at the circumstances and the reasons why, they blame cosleeping and make a fear mongering ad that says all cosleeping is as dangerous as baby sleeping with a big rusty butcher knife.

Why not instead make an ad about the Do’s and Dont’s of Cosleeping? Why not make an ad focusing on the circumstances and issues surrounding the deaths in their area?

18% of the parents were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, 68% of the children were directly exposed to second hand smoke.

What they are trying to do with this ad is ‘shock’ those who are their target audience…those who cosleep while on medications, drugs and drinking alcohol. An ad with a baby surrounded by a bottle of beer, cigarettes and prescription bottles would better represent their point. The problem with this ad is it puts into the minds of the public that ALL cosleeping is dangerous and bad. It’s not.

If you would like to petition to remove this ad, you can do so here. Thank you Conscience Parenting.

Cosleeping is not a fad, cribs are.

“Solitary infant sleeping is a principally western practice which is quite young in terms of human history. The practice of training children to sleep alone through the night is approximately two centuries old. Prior to the late 1700s cosleeping was the norm in all societies (Davies, 1995). Today in many cultures the practice of cosleeping continues, with babies seen as natural extensions of their mothers for the first one or two years of life, spending both waking and sleeping hours by her side. Cosleeping is taken for granted in such cultures as best for both babies and mothers, and the western pattern of placing small infants alone in rooms of their own is seen as aberrant (Thevenin, 1987). Comprehensive studies of western nonreactive cosleeping, defined as family cosleeping from birth as a custom, rather than as the result of childhood sleep disturbances, are not yet available. However medical and anthropological evidence suggests the western movement to solitary infant sleeping in the past two centuries may have consequences in the areas of attachment security and physical safety.”

Flawed research and studies would have you believe that our history is wrong and flawed, when in fact it is the opposite that is true.

“One popular research study came out in 1999 from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that showed 515 cases of accidental infant deaths occurred in an adult bed over an 8-year period between 1990 and 1997. That’s about 65 deaths per year. These deaths were not classified as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS),…”

“The conclusion that the researchers drew from this study was that sleeping with an infant in an adult bed is dangerous and should never be done. This sounds like a reasonable conclusion, until you consider the epidemic of SIDS as a whole. During the 8-year period of this study, about 34,000 total cases of SIDS occurred in the U.S. (around 4250 per year). If 65 cases of non-SIDS accidental death occurred each year in a bed, and about 4250 cases of actual SIDS occurred overall each year, then the number of accidental deaths in an adult bed is only 1.5% of the total cases of SIDS.”

The numbers and comparisons of deaths for cosleeping and crib sleeping are not accurate.

“Until a legitimate survey is done to determine how many babies sleep with their parents, and this is factored into the rate of SIDS in a bed versus a crib, it is unwarranted to state that sleeping in a crib is safer than a bed.

If the incidence of SIDS is dramatically higher in crib versus a parent’s bed, and because the cases of accidental smothering and entrapment are only 1.5% of the total SIDS cases, then sleeping with a baby in your bed would be far safer than putting baby in a crib.

The answer is not to tell parents they shouldn’t sleep with their baby, but rather to educate them on how to sleep with their infants safely.”

How to Cosleep Safely:

-Take precautions to keep baby from rolling out of the bed.

-Place baby next to mom, not inbetween mother and father.

-Have baby sleep on his/her back.

-Use a large bed.

-If you want baby to be sleeping near you, but not in your bed, a bedside co-sleeper is a safe option.

-Do not cosleep if you are under the influence of drugs (legal or not) any amount of alcohol, you are very obese, you suffer from sleep apnea, exhausted from sleep deprivation, are not the baby’s mother, father or caregiver. Also, be careful cosleeping on a couch (that is too coushiny) or no water beds.

-Do not let siblings cosleep directly next to baby until baby is at least 9 months old.

-Keep strings, plastic, and chemicals away from baby.

-Use common sense.

There are so many benefits to cosleeping. It is natural and normal and helps establish a good breastfeeding relationship.

“In Japan where co-sleeping and breastfeeding (in the absence of maternal smoking) is the cultural norm, rates of the sudden infant death syndrome are the lowest in the world. For breastfeeding mothers, bedsharing makes breastfeeding much easier to manage and practically doubles the amount of breastfeeding sessions while permitting both mothers and infants to spend more time asleep. The increased exposure to mother’s antibodies which comes with more frequent nighttime breastfeeding can potentially, per any given infant, reduce infant illness. And because co-sleeping in the form of bedsharing makes breastfeeding easier for mothers, it encourages them to breastfeed for a greater number of months, according to Dr. Helen Ball’s studies at the University of Durham, therein potentially reducing the mothers chances of breast cancer. Indeed, the benefits of cosleeping helps explain why simply telling parents never to sleep with baby is like suggesting that nobody should eat fats and sugars since excessive fats and sugars lead to obesity and/or death from heart disease, diabetes or cancer.”

Not only is cosleeping NOT as dangerous as your baby sleeping with a knife, but in cultures where it is the norm, infant mortality rates are the lowest.

“…Irrepressible (ancient) neurologically-based infant responses to maternal smells, movements and touch altogether reduce infant crying while positively regulating infant breathing, body temperature, absorption of calories, stress hormone levels, immune status, and oxygenation. In short, and as mentioned above, cosleeping (whether on the same surface or not) facilitates positive clinical changes including more infant sleep and seems to make, well, babies happy. In other words, unless practiced dangerously, sleeping next to mother is good for infants. The reason why it occurs is because… it is supposed to.”

That is right…cosleeping isn’t done to be hip or hippy, but because it’s supposed to be.

Thank you to all the BWF Mamas for emailing your cosleeping pictures to us for this and future posts!

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