As I type this article, my son is sleeping soundly next to me. The lights are dimmed, the room is silent, warm tea next to me, and my laptop where it should be.
It’s a better arrangement than I ever dreamed. And probably the biggest secret that cosleeping parents like me keep to themselves, never bringing up during the ever present is-it-ok-to-cosleep debate. Naptime cosleeping.
But for some reason this wonderful arrangement seems to baffle people. “But how in the world do you do it?” “How do you get things done?” And what I hear the most – “Wait. You actually sit next to him while he naps?!? I would go crazy!”
Trust me, you wouldn’t go crazy. At least not any crazier than non-cosleepers.
So here’s the truth. The answers to everything you’ve ever wondered about naptime cosleeping and why it’s so awesome:
You actually get a lot done.
Like, a ton. In fact, far more than you ever would have if you were not cosleeping. Why? Because you’re cutting out almost every possible distraction. The key is to make sure you bring something productive with you – your laptop, knitting needles, book. Then your only option is to be productive with that project.
You’re less confined to the house than non-cosleepers.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions of naptime cosleeping – that you basically can never leave the house. The truth is that you can basically be anywhere – as long as you can hold your baby. With naptime cosleeping, you become the lovie, the pacifier, or the blankie. You are all that your baby needs. My son has napped on a boat, at the beach, at friends’ houses, at the mall…all in my arms. I just throw on my trusty baby sling (I’m in love with the Sakura Bloom…it’s pricey, but worth it. I use it everywhere.) and out we go.
They aren’t going to sleep with you forever.
People say this to me all the time: “But how will he ever sleep on his own?” Here’s what I’ll tell you – I’ve lost a lot of sleep over worrying about my son’s past, present, and future, his happiness, fears, and opportunities, his hair growth, weight, and every bowel movement. But never have I ever worried about him sleeping with me forever. It’s just not going to happen. When the time is right, he’ll move into his own bed. Seriously, people.
You finally get personal time.
Being productive is still my #1 reason for loving naptime cosleeping (well, aside from the benefits my son gets of course), but there are still times I just need to relax, calm down, or zone out. Luckily, that is built in to my day – 4-6 hours of my day! Once he drifts off, I can plug in my headphones and listen to music, watch a movie, or cruise around Pinterest. It’s perfect. And honestly, as moms we deserve it. As my husband likes to say, “a happy wife = a happy life.”
It’s as safe as can be.
I won’t go into how I feel about the controversy over the safety of cosleeping in general (that’s for another blog post) and thankfully I don’t have to because nothing is safer than naptime cosleeping. You’re right there and awake listening to every beautiful breath!
It has serious benefits for your baby.
All of the great benefits of cosleeping still apply during those daytime naps. More confidence, less anxiety, healthier sleep cycles. There is no crying involved before, during, or after the nap. We will both be better because of it.
It works for me and my baby.
Ok, I know I already picked a #1 reason for naptime cosleeping, but this one probably surpasses that. Here’s the deal – there is absolutely no better arrangement for me and my baby. And that’s that. Regardless of benefits, drawbacks, struggles, and wins, I really think parents and babies are born with their parenting style preset. It’s just a matter of finding it and embracing it. For me, this is it.
Don’t get me wrong, cosleeping is a commitment. But the biggest adjustment is bringing this new little person into the world, regardless of where they sleep (or where you are while they sleep). And these little people sleep a whole lot! So we might as well make the best of it. I surely do.