Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Male Perspective on Co-Sleeping

I told Cave Father about the co-sleeping essay contest and asked him to write something for the fathers' category. To my surprise, he really liked the idea and he dashed these paragraphs off in ten minutes while I was getting Cave Baby to sleep. What I love about his essay is the way his acceptance and enjoyment of co-sleeping comes through loud and clear. He's normally a man of few words, and even when pushed he doesn't really say too much about our parenting choices. We try to make joint decisions, but, if I'm honest, it's usually more a case of me making the decisions and then checking that he doesn't object.

So, for your reading pleasure, here are Cave Father's thoughts on co-sleeping.
I don't think about co-sleeping much. It's just something that we do. After a few weeks of sleepless nights we figured out that our daughter didn't like the idea of sleeping on her own in an empty cot. Shame we didn't figure it out straight away.

Not many people agree with us. Friends and family are convinced that we are crazy. After a while though you find out that a lot of them ended up co-sleeping to various degrees. Why are they ashamed of it? I think it's great. You don't have to get up in the middle of the night to comfort your baby when she is teething. No need for Mum to stay awake half the night breast-feeding, just manoeuvre baby to the boob and she will happily suck away until full. First thing in the morning when you are dreading the idea of going to work you can play with baby instead from the comfort of a warm bed.

Bed time becomes fun instead of something to fear. She even wants to go to bed - well, sometimes. But at least if it is one of those difficult evenings when the baby energy levels seem never ending, all you have to do is go to bed, turn off the lights and 20 minutes later she will be asleep. OK, sex is a bit tricky but I guess that is why they invented the sofa!

By the way, when he talks about manoeuvring the baby to the breast in the middle of the night, that's him doing the manoeuvring! Sometimes I sleep so deeply that I don't stir when Cave Baby cries and it is him that wakes up, puts her on the breast and sees that she settles back down. Now that is a real benefit of co-sleeping!

You can read my co-sleeping essay here and enter one of your own by clicking here.

What does your partner think about co-sleeping?


carol b said...

It's great to read a Dad's perspective...so matter of fact and simple, my hubby is the same I do all the thinking, reading, soul-searching, he comes along listens to what I have to say, throws in the occasional question, goes with the flow.

Lisa C said...

That's awesome!

My husband isn't a big fan of co-sleeping; however, he recognizes that our son has a need for it. Maybe if he had to go down the hall to retrieve a crying baby every night he would appreciate co-sleeping more.

He's pretty awesome about it, though, despite his lack of enthusiasm. He cuddles with our son and guides him over to me when he needs milk.

Cave Mother said...

I think the matter-of-fact-ness is what I like about it. For him it's not a lifestyle choice with all the crunchy hippy dippy associations that go with it. It just is how we look after our baby. That's why I found his words so refreshing.

carol b said...

...and I think sometimes I could do with being a bit more like them, would help in times of unsolicited advice...

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

Oh, my gosh, I love this! It really is the matter-of-factness that sells it.

I tried to get Sam interested in writing an entry, but he sounds kind of like Lisa's husband. He was like, Yeah, it's the best choice, but what am I going to write about? That I miss cuddling with my wife? Oh, well! I know he's supportive, just not in a writing-about-it mood, and that's ok.

Paul Rush said...

My first time to drop by here and it was an awesome experience!
-Co-parenting Manager

Be said...

Great post, and a great couple of paragraphs on a Dads perspective of co-sleeping.

My hubby wouldn't have it any other way; he recognises the benefit the little ones get from cosleeping. In fact, he has it real easy, and most nights sleeps right through. In the morning, he has has to ask how many times our little one fed thru the night, or if she slept right thru!

Ryan. said...

I'm a father and at first I wasn't too keen on the idea of co-sleeping, but we tried it anyway. I grew to really enjoy it but the only downside is that I wasn't allowed to use my alarm and that caused problems for getting up for work. It worked for a while but it was our son that slept better on his own. He got to a point that he would feed and then grab my nose, mouth and eyes and roll around and want to play. We got to a point where none of us was getting any sleep until we moved him to his own bed. Now we sleep separately, and we all get enough sleep. We usually cuddle and play before bed until he either falls asleep or wants to go his bed so we still try to enjoy the same perks of co-sleeping but with extra space in our bed for rolling around of our own.