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Sleeping with the baby

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 21-08-2006

Your picture-perfect view of new parenthood probably involves mom and dad staring lovingly over a crib as baby is sleeping. However, you, especially as a dad, may want to evaluate sleeping options and here’s why:   


1. The baby-in-crib alone is a relatively recent and distinctly American practice. If you think about it, before multi-room dwellings and back to caveman days, families used to sleep together for warmth and safety. Most of the rest of the world “co-sleeps” and finds it completely natural to do so.                       


2. Crib death, or SIDS, is a very American phenomenon, and perhaps can be related to the distance mommy is from a struggling baby. 


 3. And finally, and most importantly for dads: co-sleeping keeps mom close to baby for middle of the night feedings. When we had our first and second babies, they slept with us for the first 6-7 months. In the middle of the night, baby was hungry and baby reached out and had a snack. My wife often said she barely remembered the feeding. Compare that with the story of some of my friends who kept the baby in a crib across the hall. Very often it was the DAD who got up in the middle of the night (wife had baby all day after all and was still recuperating from delivery) and it was DAD who spent 15 minutes at midnight and 4AM warming the bottle and another 15 minutes feeding and burping the baby. Now, I will grant you that middle of the night feedings have a certain romantic glow to them – there you are, the great dad, alone with your thoughts and your new son and daughter in the moonlight… However, after a week of completely interrupted sleep you may get a little tired of this routine, especially when you count the months before “sleeps through the night” is a reality.


– Paul Banas

San Francisco, California