Say “Family Bed” or co-sleeping and you will get a lot of opinions. From those who think it is beyond bizarre to those who have happily raised their children to know that night time was equally valid as day time time to be lovingly cared for.
Without any fanfare I will say that I am unabashed family bed advocate. I breastfed all of our children for an extended period of time with great ease due to the ability to do little more than roll over and let them latch on and then I went back to sleep while they happily filled their tummies. No getting up, heating a bottle and then sitting on the sofa or in a rocking chair trying not to pass out while baby finished their meal, got a burp up and then a possible diaper change. Co-sleeping with my children was a full on sanity saver for me since as I have mentioned before I am not a women who does well when she does not get her sleep!
For those who have read my bio and done the math this means that I was pregnant/nursing/co-sleeping with my kids for well over 10 years. Oddly one of the first questions please ask me about this news is.. “how did you have sex if your kids were in bed with you?” as if my bed was the only valid place to get it on. Usually I answered back.. ” that is what the top of the washer is for!”.. but seriously the idea that you can only have sex in your bed is a bit funny if not a bit sad for those who can’t think past the posturepedic.
While not for everyone co-sleeping has some very good things going for it-
For those new to the idea of the family bed I can suggest a couple of books – (photos are affiliate links)
Good Nights is co-written by one of my favorite docs- Dr. Jay Gordon, love his down to earth take on co-sleeping!
The Family Bed, is a long time classic and the book I first read all those years ago when I happily snuggled my first little person next to me in the night.
I can also suggest a couple of products to make things easier-
This bolstered co-sleeper rocks my world. All those years ago I used a body pillow to keep baby up on the bed.. this would have been a dream!
This Close and Secure sleeper is perfect for those who want a bit more structure .. it is all easily portable making sleep away from home just as easy as at home.
Tips for a healthy happy sex life that include co-sleeping-
Remember that sleeping is sleeping and sex is sex. Sleeping is best in a bed but sex can happen anywhere. The creative parent can catch some action in the shower, the closet (hopefully walk-in) or on the couch. If you are lucky enough to have one, a guest bedroom makes a great place to meet up after baby falls asleep in your bed. After a sexy good time both of you can go back to your big happy family bed for a blissful slumber next to that adorable little person that made you parents.. there is not much better than that!
Co-sleeping is not for times when you or your partner might have indulged in enough drink to make it difficult to wake, at those times baby is best off in there own bed or bassinet.
Breastfeeding and co-sleeping is not a time to put daddy out of the picture. Work hard to maintain your sexual connection during baby’s first year and beyond. The family bed can be part of this new family bond as long as you remember what you used to do there and just take that show to another room!
The biological imperative of safe co-sleeping is a great article if you want to do further reading on the subject!