Babies need quite a bit of sleep and we know the safest place for them to sleep is in their own safer sleep space. However, many babies respectfully disagree and think the absolute perfect place to sleep is in your arms or on your chest. And I suppose it is. It’s biologically very typical, and there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with a baby who wants to do this. It can often work well during the day and with a bit of ‘tag-teaming’ and taking turns, it can work well during the night too. It can often feel that breastfed babies wake much more frequently (which itself is a protective factor against SUDI) and you are up all night either feeding or because your baby doesn’t want to be put down.
Eventually the initial adrenalin that got you through the first few days wears off. As much as lying awake staring at the amazing creature you’ve created is wonderful, it’s not sustainable. The exhaustion hits, and you need to sleep. You have bags for life under your eyes and you truly understand why sleep deprivation is used as torture.
This can be particularly challenging when your baby won’t be put down to sleep. Families are often told simply to stay awake, but we know long term, continuing trying to stay awake doesn’t work. Lone parents don’t always have the luxury of ‘tag-teaming’ and it’s not as doable one one or both parents return to work. So it’s important that families have options.
Many families will choose to bring baby into bed with them either for feeding or as a way of everyone getting some sleep.
It’s not about having an across the board ‘no, don’t do it’ but it’s about ensuring families have all the information to make informed decisions about their family’s sleeping situation.
At BfT we do more than just breastfeeding support. Ask us about information regarding safer co-sleeping/bedsharing. Ask us about the associated risk factors of SUDI. Talk to us about how to put your baby down to sleep safely. Attend our antenatal workshops, send new grandparents to our Grandparent’s workshop. Take our UNICEF leaflets. Look at the links we share. Talk to us. Let’s make this week the week to have those conversations. Let’s talk about safer sleep.