- Co-Sleeping / Bed-sharing and Room sharing explained
- What IS allowed in the sleep space with a baby?
- Will my nursing supply or breastfeeding relationship suffer?
- Will my attachment with the baby suffer?
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Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for Life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together. Hello, and welcome to this week’s episode. It is safe sleep month here in September. And I’m going to talk to you today all about what safe sleep should look like for you in the home. It’s a question that I get quite often when I’m on the phone with new families or with seasoned veterans who have a couple of kids, one of which is co sleeping. So we’re going to talk all about co sleeping today, we’re going to decipher a little bit more clearly what co sleeping is versus bed sharing, versus room sharing and our perspective at Tiny transitions here as a sleep consultant on what makes the most and safest sense for your baby, for your infant, for your toddler, and for all of you to get a great night of sleep. So first things first, I’m based here in the United States. And I follow all of the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, one of those guidelines talks about specifically the Safe Sleep campaign because over the years the research has been done, obviously that babies who are placed in unsafe sleep situations have a greater risk for suffocation or SIDS, which is sudden infant death syndrome. So I want to talk a little bit today about first of all the definition of each of those different things co sleeping, room sharing and bed sharing, and how here at Tiny transitions, we look at those things when we are potentially going to begin work with a client. So first and foremost, co sleeping is the act of sleeping in a bed with a infant in the same space in open bed, open mattress pillows, fluffy, parents, cuddling arms around, etc, right? That would be co sleeping with a child. So it means that you’re in that same space that’s often a bed, typically yours. And that baby’s in there with you. There is not any aspect of boundaries or any aspect of railings or anything like that. They’re just really in this open bed with you and you know, potentially a spouse or partner, okay, then you have room sharing, which is actually where your baby or your toddler are in the same room. And they are in their own space. So it could be a bassinet, it could be a pack and play. It could be a crib, it could be a sleeping bag on the floor. It could be a mattress on the floor. I’ve worked with families in New York City who just have a bed in there with their toddler because there’s a tiny little apartment that they are in and you’ve got a queen bed for the parents and then a toddler bed for kids, no problem that is room sharing. And then bed sharing. So bed sharing I look at here at Tiny transitions as the act of a toddler coming into your bed. So it’s more of a behavioral choice of a toddler to get out of their bed. And then to determine that they ultimately want to come into your bed and you as a parent, ultimately let them so you’ve got co sleeping bed sharing and room sharing. And we’re gonna get to the bottom of specifically today, co sleeping because as I mentioned, it’s safe sleep Awareness Month. Now as a sleep consultant, I will tell you that there are varying different views and perspectives around co sleeping, I know their sleep consultants out there that are okay with parents co sleeping and with different ways in which you know, they would guide families on setting that up to be as safe as possible. I will tell you here at Tiny transitions, we don’t support co sleeping because the American Academy of Pediatrics says that it is unsafe. Okay. So when you start to talk about what the AAP says around safe sleep guidelines, first and foremost, they state that babies should sleep independently in their own space. That space should be a
bassinet, a crib, a pack and play etc. And it should have a tight fitted sheet and then just baby now pacifiers are allowed and a wearable blanket that is properly you know secured like a swaddle transition product or wearable blanket. Those are also fine as well. They should not be sleeping with blankets, pillows, loose fitted items, extra towels on the bed laying down just in case they should not be sleeping with mattress bumpers. Mesh bumpers are actually not safe either. They should not be sleeping on an incline with a large wedge in Air right all of these different things can create an unsafe sleep environment for your baby. Right. When you have a child who is sleeping in a hard flat surface, they are less likely to have some of the different potential risks like SIDS, or like suffocation. When a baby is co sleeping, and they are in your bed, there is often loose pillows, loose blankets, a spouse or partner yourself. And depending on the situation, they’re at risk for both SIDS and suffocation. And unfortunately, in our space, I have clients where I have seen, I have heard, I have peers in the space who have seen and heard a lot of different stories around things that have happened that are heartbreaking. There is a very seasoned flee consultant who is in my business coaching program right now, actually. And she was talking about a client and they had reached out it was a client who had a second child, and they reached out for a second consultation with their second child. So they already knew this person. And they had spoken on a Thursday, they were gonna get started with the plan and the adjustments and changes from co sleeping to their own independent space on Monday or Tuesday. And the baby died on Sunday, they were in the crib with what is now a recalled product that was just recently recalled, and the baby died. And it is heartbreaking. I cannot imagine being in that position. And I never want to be in that position. 133 babies die a year from suffocation. And SIDS is dependent on you know the part of the world that you’re in the stats range, but it is a significant amount more so than I would ever want, right. And I wouldn’t want to become one of those statistics. And it’s, frankly, not something we support here because of the dangers with it right? When babies sleep on soft surfaces, they are more likely to have SIDS. So that is one of the things with SIDS, which is generally unexplained as to why it happens. But soft surfaces do show an increase in the rate in which that happens. But with co sleeping you have potentially a partner who has a really heavy arm, and they don’t feel that they are suffocating baby or they get stuck under a blanket or a soft down feather comforter. Right. And so, you know, I think there’s a lot of people in this space that come to me and say, but Courtney, but it’s easier to breastfeed, right? It’s it better for the attachment to me and baby, right. And I would combat that in a couple of ways. One, the AIP says it’s not safe. So the statistics generally don’t lie. Okay to your baby can sleep right next to you in a bassinet that is safe. That is an arm’s reach away, literally an arm’s reach. So put them in a safe space that is hard and flat. And they are an arm’s reach away. Okay? The second thing comes around nursing, right? Well, the the it’s just easier to pick them up and nurse them. And it’s also easier to fall asleep because you’re chronically exhausted, right? And it is easy for your baby to nurse. But it’s also easy for you both to fall asleep and then God forbid something happens because you’re so overly tired, you should get up out of that bed. And you should go to a separate chair nurse. Do the burping do the diaper change, do a walk around the room, lay back down in the bassinet. And then if you’re pumping, you can do that. If not, you can hop back in bed and go back to sleep soundly and safely knowing that your child is sleeping well. I have another separate person in my business coaching program for sleep consultants who talked to me yesterday about a new mom she’s working with right now, who is legitimately holding her baby in both of her arms all night because she’s afraid of the baby dying from SIDS. I’m like so you’re doing the thing.
That might cause the thing to happen willingly for the past eight months. She hasn’t slept in eight months. She holds her baby all night in the bed doesn’t move both arms around the baby. And her relationship is strained. Her mental health is strained. She is chronically overtired, the baby is chronically tired. And it’s not a good balance, frankly. Right. And I think that people talk about attachment a whole lot with babies, right? I can’t tell you how many parents I see have, you know, older infants, toddlers, like who sit legitimately on their cell phones during the bedtime routine during the middle of the night. wakings when they’re nursing baby where parents at you’re probably listening to this or watching this two o’clock in the morning while you’re on your iPhone and your baby’s nursing. Right. So, you know, I think that when people talk about attachment and building a strong attachment And I think that what I would argue with that is that you can have a beautiful strong attachment to your baby and not have them breastfeeding in bed, while you’re co sleeping and doing all these things that the AAP says are unsafe, right. If you spend quality time with your baby during the day, at their level, making one on one eye contact, you know, for example, holding the pacifier in front of your face and saying pacifier and showing them that and making eye contact with them and giggling and making eye contact when you’re changing their diaper, and making eye contact when you’re walking around. And they might be in, you know, one of the baby Beyonds for example, right? That’s building a strong attachment. In the middle of the night, everyone should be sleeping, our body is repaired and restored and refreshed when we sleep, okay, and it is unsafe. And it’s also not good for your mental health, your cognitive development or your child’s health and development. So when you talk about these arguments around things like you know, a weakened attachment or poor nursing relationship with the nursing as a lactation counselor, I would actually argue the opposite. When babies are rested, they eat better when they eat better, your supply is better. And then everybody’s fat and happy. Right? So it’s always something I find so interesting with the nursing argument, because people say, Oh, I don’t you know, I don’t want to quit nursing. Because I if I sleep train, I have to stop nursing, why you’re not using your breast as a mechanism to fall asleep. And if you are, that’s your problem, and you’re probably going to work with me or another sleep consultant to fix that. Right. Breastfeeding is for nutrition, right? So you can have a beautiful nursing relationship with a baby who also still sleeps well, I did it with both kids, right. And I’ve worked with 1000s of clients around the world, many of which also did it with their kids. So there’s a balance to, you know, this sort of belief around co sleeping, and we follow the AAP here. And it’s for good reason, right? You know, I want to make sure parents understand that there are options out there, like the arm’s reach co sleeper or a bassinet, or keeping your child in your room, and maybe creating a little bit of distance as they grow. Right. The AIP says that children should be in your room for the first six months of life. Okay. And, you know, I have clients that sometimes abide by that sometimes they physically can’t, because their location or their room or their apartment, or wherever they are, doesn’t allow for that, okay, well have both doors open, have nothing in the crib, have them in their nursery, in the crib with a video monitor on them, and get some sleep. Right. And, you know, when my son was born, they didn’t have some of those fancy devices now that you know, monitor like the socks and stuff that monitor your polls, if that’s going to help you to feel better, awesome. Get one of those, right? I just I you know, I find it so sad that there are those statistics out there. And we still do it out of exhaustion and desperation and sometimes out of a personal choice to want to co sleep, I’m never going to tell you not to co sleep, I’m just going to tell you that we won’t work with you if you choose to continue to co sleep, right? Especially with an infant. From a toddler standpoint, co sleeping is a habit, it’s behavior, your child knows how to sleep, they’re choosing not to, right. And so for whatever that reason is, that’s okay. But you have to be okay with the fact that they’re just not going to stop coming in. So what I would suggest from a from a bed sharing standpoint with a toddler is you’ve got to create boundaries, right? I
often tell parents, like, Look, if your toddler is coming in every night, it’s because you’re allowing them in the bed. So you either have to create a boundary that says you’re not welcome here, or you’ve got to make them super uncomfortable, like you’re allowed in my bedroom. But you’re only allowed to sleep on a sleeping bag that you don’t make super comfortable, right. And believe me, after a couple of days on the hard floor with a bush league, sleeping bag and a pillow, they’re gonna go back to their bed, right? But it has to be a ground that you’re willing to stand, or they’re not going to change because it’s a behavior, which takes about a week to change, by the way, okay, I work with a lot of toddlers who don’t sleep through the night who still come in their parents room. And parents were like, When will this stop, I have to walk them back 40 times they just come running out. And you know, it’s like, well, it’s not gonna stop till you change a behavior. And how you change the behavior is new boundaries, and then consequences for bake breaking the boundaries. So, you know, it’s an interesting kind of narrative, right? You’ve got bed sharing, room sharing and co sleeping, and you have to do ultimately what works for your family. I’m not here to judge you on what you choose to do. I’m only here to tell you that we follow the AAP guidelines. And we don’t work with people who prefer to continue co sleeping because it’s not safe. So I’m not going to be on a soapbox about this. It’s just more why right? I want people to understand the reasons why. And also know that if you’re in the situation where you’re co sleeping, and you need help. We’re totally here to help you and we’ll talk with you about our processes. I have a proprietary sleep steps method that is unique to tiny transitions. And we will work with you guaranteed results, right? We’re one of the few sleep consultants, if not the only sleep consultants in the United States that guarantee our work in our private coaching program to get you to success, and we will take it as slow and steady as we need to, to get you to that success with a happy balance. But that’s also a safe sleep environment. So I hope you found this episode today to be helpful. Maybe you’ve learned a few things, gotten a few ideas or if you have any questions, always be sure to set up some time to chat we are more than happy to chat with you all about sleep. myself. I’ve got an amazing team of sleep consultants all over the United States. We work in both English and Spanish and we’re happy to connect at any time with you. So be sure to book a free sleep consultation and you can learn more at Tiny transitions.com Thanks so much for tuning in. I hope you all have a great rest of the day. Hold on one more thing before you go. As a valued listener of the kids sleep show. I want to help you build a great sleep or not just in the times you’re listening to the show. But all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber made simple. It’s a place to gather with other parents looking for sleep support, laughs and the latest in sleep research to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable content and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community that’s tiny transitions.com forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai