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What Really Happens When You Co-sleep

  • The Guide to Baby Sleep Positions 1 of 8
    400px-wide-guide-to-baby-sleep

    What really happens when you co-sleep with your baby, according to Andy Herald and Charlie Capen.

     

    Excerpted from THE GUIDE TO BABY SLEEP POSITIONS: SURVIVAL TIPS FOR CO-SLEEPING PARENTS  Copyright (c) 2013 by Shutmouth. Published by Potter Style, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

  • Like Father, Like Fetus 2 of 8
    no1

    Becoming a new parent is so nerve-racking that you may find yourself sleeping in the fetal position. You're about to enter an entirely new world, under extreme pressure, possibly kicking and screaming the whole way — not terribly unlike your baby. Don't worry, just think of this phase as an early way to relate to your child.

     

    Side Effects: rocking yourself gently, feeling extra cuddly, periodic fits of immaturity

     

    Tips: Cherish this position while it lasts; you definitely won't get to enjoy it as much once the baby arrives. And try not to worry too much. Good luck with that.

  • H Is for Hell 3 of 8
    no2

    Every parent knows this letter. Fears it! It's the H. Some may say it stands for "horrible" but don't listen to them; they're just whitewashing it. It stands for "Hell." And it's the kind of night you're both going to have.

     

    Side Effects: sleeplessness (applies to all sleep positions), internal organ trauma, baby walks early 

     

    Tips: You may want to do regular lower-back exercises, increase your medical coverage, or wear matching his-and-her Kevlar vests to bed. No matter how you position that baby, he will end up kicking or head-butting you in the back. Hard.

  • The Roundhouse Kick 4 of 8
    no3

    Co-sleeping can be special, or even necessary for some, but new parents don't usually realize that it can potentially lead to a broken nose, a fat lip, or an impressive black eye. It is possible to go to bed with a baby and wake up looking like you've been in a bar fight.

     

    Side Effects: a lot of explaining to do the next day, development of catlike reflexes, an impressive collection of ice packs

     

    Tips: Consider wearing a helmet with a face-shield to bed. It might not be comfortable, but at least the bags under your eyes won't be purple. And, remember, diapers and baby wipes are surprisingly effective for dealing with bloody noses.

  • The Opera Singer 5 of 8
    no12

    The little sounds that a baby makes while sleeping are music to a parent's ears. Unless, of course, you are trying to get some shut-eye yourself. The never-ending bubbling sounds, the tiny squeaks and sighs, even an adorable little nose whistle can turn you into an unwilling insomniac. That's not to mention the scream — crying that can shatter wine glasses. 

     

    Side Effects: temporary deafness, learning Italian, future American Idol contestant 

     

    Tips: New parents tend to be on a hair trigger, ready to wake up at the drop of a pin. Thick pillows, sound machines, and earplugs have never been finer friends.

  • The Neck Scarf 6 of 8
    no13

    Small mammals are attracted to sources of warmth. This is especially true of baby humans, who don't have the advantage of thick fur coats or blubber. "The Neck Scarf" is, perhaps, your baby's way of placing herself over a warm pocket of air: your mouth.

     

    Side Effects: stiff neck, heat exhaustion, future world-champion professional wrestler 

     

    Tips: Some babies love to be swaddled. "The Neck Scarf" might be your baby's way of returning the favor. Although it is tempting, your baby is not a suitable substitute for a heating pad, neck brace, scarf, or security blanket.

  • Jazz Hands 7 of 8
    no19

    Some people nod off during musicals or plays, but when the off-Broadway performance is staged in your own bed, you'll find it hard to sleep through. Who knew that your baby was capable of Fred Astaire—level choreography? If you aren't a fan of tap dance and show tunes to begin with, your appreciation of jazz hands certainly won't improve at 3 a.m.

     

    Side Effects: unwanted back rubs, the dreaded "Double Wake-Up," future talent show winner

     

    Tips: Avoid exposing your baby to any talent-based reality shows. And remember, lulling your baby to sleep with music may increase the probability of a bedtime showstopper.

  • The Snow Angel 8 of 8
    no25

    Romping around in the snow can be a blast. Especially if you're a little ball of inexhaustible atomic energy. Actually, a baby doesn't even need snow; he is delighted to play in the fluffy drifts of your bedding. Right between the two of you. All night long.

     

    Side Effects: cravings for cocoa and mini marshmallows, worn-out sheets and blankets. drafty feeling in bed

     

    Tips: Practice clapping with your baby to wear out his arms before bedtime or encourage muscle fatigue by adding yoga weights to a favorite toy.

     

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