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A call for balance in the practice of co-sleeping

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 03-02-2015

Many new parents have experienced the joy of falling asleep on the couch with an infant nestled on their chest. The baby drools happily as he or she rides the cycle of inhalation and exhalation, and a spouse snaps clandestine photos.

The system works beautifully for a quick nap, but experienced dads can testify that this is no way to catch a full night’s sleep. The phrase “co-sleeping” is one of the most confounding oxymorons in modern parenting. Sleep in the same bed with your baby, and you should be prepared for frequent pokes, tickles, burps and shoves… but very little sleep.

Now a humorous video making the rounds on social media channels shows the futility of co-sleeping, also known as “no-sleeping” by bleary-eyed wags. In the one-minute video clip on the popular mommy-blog Story of This Life, a young mother tosses and turns as her joyfully awakened infant prods, pokes, and kneads her face. The baby pokes fingers into her mouth, eyes, nose, and ears, while the lightly snoozing mother plaintively coos “Shhhhh…”

Pro dads know there is a long list of developmental benefits to co-sleeping, but babies need one more important ingredient for a safe and happy childhood — well-rested, energetic parents. For the sake of the parents’ health and alertness, smart couples can cooperate to find a balance between bed-sharing, co-sleeping, and sweet, deep restful zzz’s.