Rested Mamas Are Happy Mamas: Co-sleeping Versus Own Bedrooms
I have a Boxer named Roxy. Roxy has had two litters of puppies. The first litter had only one pup, and the second had SEVEN. Do you know how fun it is to sit with SEVEN little, tiny pups? We got to keep them in our home for two months. It was so fun observing them, and watching them grow into self-sufficient pups.
Now, let me tell you the greatest observation I made. The pups would all be sleeping---pups who can't hear or see (they weren't old enough yet). Roxy would walk in to the same room as them, and they would all wake up and run to her, immediately searching for food. How is that possible if they can't see or hear? Smell. They can smell her, they can smell her milk, and they know they can eat.
I didn't have any kids at the time, but I immediately thought, that has to be true for humans. I didn't do any research on it, but just banked that in the back of my mind, and decided I would put my baby in their own room because I didn't want them to wake up several times a night, just wanting to eat just because I was in the room.
When I had my daughter, I put her in her crib, in her own room, from day one. BUT, to do this, I had to have a video monitor and a breathing monitor or movement monitor like the Angelcare movement monitor. I mean, I had to stay sane some way! If I didn't, I would be the mom that would open the door every five seconds to make sure they were still breathing, which would wake them up because I'd be in the room and they'd smell me, right?
About a month before I had my daughter, my friend had her son. She let him sleep in her room from the beginning, and a bit later, decided to transition him to his own room and crib. She told me about an article she read about how you shouldn't have your baby in your room because they can smell your milk, and so they will wake up more often at night. I just stared at her in disbelief. I never told anybody about my dog theory because it sounds crazy; I mean, I'm comparing humans to dogs. But I told her my insane idea, and she didn't tell me I was crazy. She actually agreed! Can you believe it?!
So let me tell you something...I think pups can smell their mom's milk, and I think human babies can smell their mama's milk... and so I think if you sleep with baby in your room, you're going to find your baby wakes up a LOT more often than if they didn't sleep in your room.
Now, for you hardcore co-sleeping mamas, I'm not saying that co-sleeping is bad by any means. I'm only saying that you may be losing more sleep than you should. But sometimes, that's okay to be next to the precious babe we've just brought into this world, out of our bodies, and love more than anything in the world, right?
But when you want more sleep, when you just can't handle waking up one more time at night, try putting that beautiful angel in their own room, because maybe, just maybe, it may be the key to getting a little more sleep.
- Mama Jackie
*Sleep is essential. We need sleep to function, to take care of our children, to keep up on every single task life throws at us, to keep our sanity. Are you getting your 8 hours or do you have a baby who is keeping you up? Let's remedy that! In the "Rested Mamas are Happy Mamas" series of our blog, sleep expert Jackie calms all of your sleep woes. Have a question or problem that needs fixing? Comment on the series and Jackie will address your specific issue!* Featured Image PC: @kristygirl