13 Truths of a Bed-sharing Family

by Joni Edelman

Joni Edelman, cosleeping

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We share a bed with our babies. Actually two beds. We share two beds with our babies — because one bed just wasn’t enough bed.

I was a bed-sharer even in the early 90s when the Back to Sleep campaign was a newborn and the idea of an infant lying anywhere but a crib was gasp-worthy. How dare you risk your infant’s very life by being so foolish as to allow them to sleep in any position that deviates from flat on their back, on a FIRM mattress, without even so much as a blanket.

I ignored them.

Joni Edelman, cosleeping

This was before Dr. James McKenna told us, YES. Sleeping with your baby isn’t only OK it’s even good, even better. Since then Dr. McKenna has devoted his very existence (well, maybe not existence, but certainly his life’s work) to researching, writing, and talking about co-sleeping. Babies actually shouldn’t sleep alone.

I’ve put every one of my five babies in my bed, despite the finger-wagging, the “campaigns” set out to terrify me (likely in the name of crib sales), the pediatrician’s shame scowl. I did it because it matters to me, even if I get kicked in the face. A lot.

Joni Edelman, cosleeping

Bed-sharing is a darn good-time, and here’s how you know you’re definitely having all the fun that you can fit into one (or two) beds full of people:

  1. You wake up because someone kicked (or hit) you in the face. They probably didn’t do it on purpose — if it helps to know that. But it probably doesn’t help to know that because you are busy trying to sop up the blood pouring from your nose. It’s like a Game of Thrones episode — in your bed.
  2. You have sound, scientific evidence that your child(ren) have telepathy. They know when you’re asleep. Either that, or the sound of your deep sleep inhalation activates their Pavlovian response. “Mom is sleeping. QUICK. CRY.” (Note: This also holds in non-bed-sharing settings.)
  3. There is a towel in your bed, somewhere. Possibly more than one. The towel is covering pee. Because someone peed at 3 AM and no, you are not changing sheets at 3 AM. In fact, you may just leave that towel there for tomorrow when someone else pees in your bed.
  4. You know how to sleep with nothing but a corner of a sheet. Everyone is burrito wrapped in your blankets. You’re too tired to get up to forage for one. Sure, this 12X12 section of flimsy cotton — that probably has pee on it — will suffice. Who needs blankets anyway?
  5. You have mastered the art of sleeping, fetal, on the southeast 5% of the mattress. Forget that you are four times larger than your toddler. Starfish child cannot be bothered with your sleep needs. 
  6. You can sleep without moving. AT ALL. There is a nursing baby in the crook of your arm. Because A. you know they are safe there and B. they are face-to-face with your boob. The bar is open all night.
  7. You’ve given up shirts. The only thing shirts are good for is absorbing milk. And, oh hey, there’s already a towel in your bed. FORWARD THINKING. Achievement unlocked.
  8. No fewer than 17 people have told you “if you let them sleep with you, you’ll never get them out of your bed. And for a split-second you thought, OHMYGODNO, and then you remembered that the number of 16-year-olds sleeping with their parents is practically zero.
  9. Your bed is on the floor and you may have more than one bed sandwiched together. This isn’t a look you’ll find in decorating magazines. You no longer care about magazines, only that everyone will just Go The F*&K To Sleep. Please. God. Sleep.
  10. You have slept on the floor. Because bed-sharing is beautiful, but sometimes you are so terrified to wake up your sleeping toddler by moving them, that you’ll just sleep anywhere. See: Floor.
  11. Your partner has slept on the sofa. No, not because you’re fighting or they don’t want to be near you. But because the baby owns you now — and also the space where daddy used to sleep. Ownership: transferred.
  12. Your children have never slept on the sofa. They own the bed. This is your life now. Embrace it — at least until they’re 16.
  13. You wake up to snuggles. And you’re reminded why the bloody nose is (probably) totally worth it.

Joni Edelman, cosleeping

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IMG_0670 I’m Joni. I’m lucky enough to have 5 amazing kids (19, 16, 15, 4 and 2), one fantastic husband, an awesome sister and a yarn addiction. When I’m not raising up people I’m a freelance writer, RN, and the momma behind mommabare. Love is my religion. I like cake and crafty crap. And yoga. In that order. 
You can follow Joni on Instagram here and on Twitter here.
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Arm’s Reach Concepts Cocoon giveaway!

Arm’s Reach Concepts is a committed TLB sponsor and has actively supported breastfeeding families since 1997.  Getting to know the ARC family has been a real pleasure, their values and character are ones I’m happy to connect with our community of Leakies.  Stephanie manages ARC’s social media and has become a good friend, someone I trust and enjoy working with and I love how she cares about families.  This week I’m excited to introduce you Leakies to this member of the ARC family and share a giveaway for a product that’s on my baby gear list, the cocoon.

 

Co-sleeper

I got to hang out with Stephanie and Sharon from the Arm’s Reach Concepts team at MommyCon LA this past fall.

TLB:  Hi Stephanie, it has been a pleasure getting to meet and work with you and I’m so happy to have the Leakies get to know you and the support you offer.   Tell us a little about yourself, your role at ARC, and your family.

Stephanie:  Hello Leakies! it’s been my pleasure as well, I love the community you have built Jessica and am glad that we are able to be apart of it.  I’m a creative & social person by nature, at ARC I started with general Customer Service as I love to help and inform people this came naturally to me.  My past work was in an internet/technical background and I’m also a photographer so picking up the Social Media roles at ARC also fell in naturally.  I’m a Mama to 3 children, William is 13, Tyler is 12 and Jillian just turned 11 last week.

TLB:  Arms Reach obviously is committed to helping families get off to the best start possible and providing quality products to do so, tell us about how that commitment translates to the ARC family in how they take care of each other.

Stephanie:  At ARC we truly are a family.  We have a close knit staff who cares about each other and their families. We are all Moms, and with that often comes those “emergency” calls.  We pitch in and help each other out, no questions asked.

TLB:  I just love that ARC uses breastfeeding in promotional materials, such exposure helps normalize breastfeeding and gets more people comfortable with this biologically normal way to feed our young.  Why does ARC have such a commitment to supporting breastfeeding?

breastfeeding and cosleeping

Stephanie:  We believe that Breastfeeding creates the best start in life for babies and mothers and want to help each mother (espeically first time Moms) obtain the goals they have.  We believe that our product does just that.

TLB:  Stephanie, one of your roles at ARC is to manage the social media, how do you see moms connecting and using social media and why do you think that is?

Stephanie:  We now live in a very digital worl.  When I was pregnant I didn’t have the resources that are now available at my fingertips.  This can also be a catch 22, there is SO much info out there for Moms and Dads that it can become overwhelming.  We believe it to be our responsibility to share with our Co-Sleeper community safe sleep practices and offer support to those who need it.  When I see a response to one of our posts that says “Thanks, that’s exactly what I needed to hear today” or “I thought I was the only one who had this concern” it brings a smile to my face, helping Mothers and Fathers, it’s what we do. 🙂

TLB:  As a mom yourself, what is your favorite ARC product and why?

Stephanie:  I would say the Cocoon! (Too bad we don’t have them for us Mamas!) We’ve seen babies be able to soothe themselves with the gentle movements so quickly, I really wish I had one when mine were infants.

TLB:  Heading into the holiday season, share your favorite holiday  parenting survival tip for our readers.

Stephanie:  Don’t overthink it.  Remember the true meaning, we have long standing Holiday traditions in our family going back to my Father’s childhood, those are the things I remember from our Holidays.  Being around family and friends.  There are actually very few Christmas that I can remember specific gifts.  Cherish your family and the time you have with them.

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Stephanie is giving away 1 prizes to 1 lucky Leaky.  The prize is:

The Arm’s Reach Cocoon in Toffee.  Retail Value: $139.99

Currently Leakies can find this and other cosleeping items on the The Arm’s Reach website.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from [month day, 20–] through [month day, 20–].  A big thanks to [your first name] and [business name] for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page  or follow them on twitter  (@theleakyboob on Twitter) and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

 

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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