Where to sleep?

Okay, full disclosure, we co-sleep and I love it!

IMG_6644

I know, I know, it’s horrible, the worst thing I could do for my child. He’ll get dependent on it. I’ll have to have him in our bed forever. -I’ve heard it all!

But in the end it works for us, so I don’t need to hear it -thanks!

First of all, when I was pregnant, I was 100% against co-sleeping. I thought it would feel weird, I would feel uncomfortable and it just wouldn’t work (I thought I would roll over my child in the middle of the night). But in reality, it is glorious! I cannot imagine any other way working for OUR FAMILY (yes folks, it is our family we make the shots, not you, or Sally, or John so comments are not necessary).

If you’ve read this article you know why O was comfortable with sleeping with us from the beginning, so it just kind of happened this way. Babies have an incredible way of just disturbing your expectations and creating a beautiful pattern which works for you. Anyways, back to co-sleeping.

My fear of rolling over my child was ridiculous, I doubted the mother instinct until I became a mother and let me tell you, it is insane!

He could move a finger, in my dead sleep and I’d wake up. For real. It’s a mom thing. Anytime he moves, takes a deep breath, starts getting hungry, starts waking up, I wake up instantly. Aside from that I never move in my sleep anymore. It’s the craziest instinct, I’m not sure how it happened but I sleep in one position, like a barrier to protect my baby (again, crazy mom instinct). So, if this is your fear as well, trust me when I say, our bodies do not fail us. And yes, I am well rested at night despite this.

Secondly, there are so many advantages to co-sleeping. Especially if your an exclusively breastfeeding mama.

Don’t even get me started on “SIDS”, but studies have shown that co-sleeping encourages the babies to breathe in a more regular pattern. Meaning it lowers the risk of them to stop breathing. This happens as they feel their mothers breathing body with every breath and get in sync with their breathing encourage long them to continuously breathe -seems logical anyways.

It creates a healthy bond. I love cuddling and feeling someone close, so why wouldn’t a new baby who knows no one or nothing in this world other than their mom and dad? They’ve heard their mothers heartbeat in the womb for 9 months, so having their mother close enough to hear her heartbeat is reassuring and comforting to them.

For breastfeeding moms, it is so easy! You don’t have to wake up, stand up, take baby out of the crib, stay up to breastfeed, put them down then go back to bed (I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep). You simply feed them, laying down, they fall asleep and then you drift off shortly after as well. It is so easy and relaxing!

All advantages aside, of course co-sleeping can be dangerous if you don’t take the right precautions. We have a king size bed, and I would never attempt co-sleeping in anything smaller, I’d wouldn’t leave us with enough room. Take away any pillows, blankets or things that could suffocate your child. Put up a guard or rail on the edge of your bed to prevent anything from happening. And lastly don’t ever co-sleep under the influence of alcohol or drugs (even over the counter medicine as it can make you sleepier than your normal state). We take all these precautions and when we sleep in hotels or anywhere but home, we even go the extra mile (I have taken foams off of beds, not used pillows or blankets) you name it.

To some it may seem ridiculous, unnecessary and perhaps odd, but we have THE happiest baby, we all get 8+ hours of sleep every night and he has the comfort of knowing that his mom and dad are never far away from him.

And ps, to the woman who told me that my son will always want to sleep with me, you know because your son was the same way after you co-slept. I ask you, does he still come to bed to sleep with you at age 32?

 

Advertisements

Bathe everyday

I have found in the short 6 months I have been a mom (crazy how fast it goes by) that this is a very controversial topic. Whether or not to bathe your child every day.

FullSizeRender (9).jpg

Lets get down to it.

A lot of mothers have heard that you should not bathe babies every day because it washes away the protective coating on their skin. This is only true within the first 6 weeks of life. As I’m sure you’ve already realized, babies are born with a thick layer of white on their skin which has protected their skin in the womb. Some mothers keep this on until it either gets soaked into the baby’s skin or rubs off naturally, while others bathe them right away (generally the hospital does this). Which ever you prefer is your deal, however, after 6 weeks this is usually gone and the baby’s skin is then normal (while still very delicate).

So after my son’s umbilical cord stub fell off and his skin was to its normal state, we started bathing him every night as part of our evening routine to get him ready for bed. Not only does it help him realize it is now bed time (more on our nightly routine here) there are numerous other advantages to the nightly bath.

There are so many reasons why I bathe my son ever night.

First, it prevents cradle cap. Cradle cap is not pleasant, I cannot imagine that it feels nice for a baby to have, and it looks gross. When O was about 6 weeks I noticed he was starting to get it because he had such long hair. His hair, as any person, was getting greasy throughout the day and causing cradle cap, we introduced some calendula shampoo and within two days any sign of it had vanished and we haven’t seen it again.

It’s pleasant for their bottoms. Of course, we wipe them down at each diaper change, but could you imagine not showering, we don’t sit in our by product as a baby does yet we still want to shower daily (regularly) to get our parts clean, wouldn’t you want that for your baby?

Diaper rash-it gives them time each day without a diaper on, which means less chance of diaper rash. Any time they don’t have a diaper on helps prevent diaper rash so having a bath every night ensures that there is at least a bit of time each day without a diaper.

Skin check, this year in particular there have been so many cases of ticks come up. Bathing every night gives me a chance to really inspect his skin and see if there are any scratches, rashes (he has really sensitive skin) or perhaps any bites from insects or bugs, more or less any changes on his little body.

Germs -need I say more? There is an old wives tale that exposing your child to germs early on helps their immune system, this is not completely true. They have determined that while a small amount of germs, which your baby gets in contact with themselves (meaning they are able to touch things themselves to get the germs, and for a 6 month old, that isn’t much) is okay. However, the million other germs they’re exposed to from people touching them is not okay. This is not a natural way of them being exposed to germs and can be extremely harmful for babies. Therefore, a nightly bath ensures that these germs are washed away, regardless of where the person, animal, door, etc. has touched them.

It’s enjoyable. I have not met a baby who didn’t enjoy the bath. While it can take time out of our schedules and sometimes we may not have the energy for it, but they enjoy it, and what’s nicer than the thought of finishing off your child’s day with a smile on their face.

Of course, bathing can dry out their skin, so I am always sure to lotion him up with coconut oil after each bath. I also take this time to massage him because I’m sure their little muscles get sore from all that playing throughout the day. Extra bonus, coconut oil is anti-fungal, read more about how I used coconut oil during pregnancy here.

So what’s your take? To bathe or not to bathe?

Thanks for reading! xo