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Accidental Cosleeper

Before I had Tate, I have to be honest, I thought cosleeping was weird and I thought the people who did it were weird. Unfortunately my frame of reference was Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character in Away We Go.

It wasn’t very long after we brought Tate home that our experience with cosleeping began. There were nights that the only way I could possibly get a decent nights sleep was to lay with the baby beside me.

This is my first time admitting in public that we cosleep. And it turns out I am not alone.

According to this article, most American families participate in cosleeping at least some of the time, and many of them aren’t talking about it.

Cosleeping is actually more common in the U.S. than most people believe. The typical American home has a room that contains a crib for the baby, and parents report that the baby sleeps in the crib. Yet when researchers ask specific questions about who sleeps where, it turns out that the majority of mothers sleep with their young children at least some of most nights. Parents present themselves as having babies who sleep alone, following the societal norm of the baby in the baby’s room and the couple in the master bedroom, but that is not an accurate representation of what is really happening.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta collects data that provide information on all means of prenatal and well-baby stressors. Through this, we know that cosleeping is not unusual for American families at all. Roughly 68% of babies enjoyed cosleeping at least some of the time. Further analyses of the data show us that about 26% of infants coslept “always” or “almost always.” Combining them with the babies who cosleep “sometimes,” it appears that 44% of US babies from 2-9 months old are cosleeping in an adult bed at any given time.

Our standard procedure is to put Tate in the cradle in our room when we first lay him down. After Tate wakes up to eat the first time in the night, I nurse him laying down in the bed and we sleep in the same bed until morning. This routine evolved naturally and is definitely what works best for us.

So, I have to ask, how many of you are cosleepers? And I am even more interested in how many of you cosleep but are apprehensive about telling people about it.

Image: flickr | Cascadian Farms

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