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The Pro’s and Con’s of Co-Sleeping

There are many challenges when you talk about babies and sleeping. With us, we co-sleep, and our challenges are clear, and I like to think very commonly amongst co-sleeping parents.

First off, yes our son sleeps in our bed. I know there are many risks to having a child in your bed, but I do try to minimize the ‘standard’ risks as much as possible. One he doesn’t use a pillow. Secondly, he sleeps on my side, not in between my husband and me. I have a barrier to make sure he cannot roll off the bed.

One thing that sucks is when he goes to sleep I have to go to bed as well. If he stirs and I am not beside him, he will instantly wake up and bed time will be prolonged for another two or three hours. Sure maybe that is because he also breastfeeds, but I do believe this is due to the co-sleeping. The lack of body warmth beside him wakes him quickly.

Another challenge is the lack of sleep. You may have heard that you get more sleep with co-sleeping, but that is just not true. While my son only wakes up for milk once a night, every time he moves or stirs I wake up. Call it mommy instincts or what have you, but the number of times I wake up outweigh the ‘extra’ sleep I get by already being in bed after breastfeeding.

Now it’s not all horrible. One thing that co-sleeping was wonderful for was breastfeeding. We are now going on 11 months of exclusively breastfeeding.

It also helps put the baby back to sleep quicker during those midnight feedings. For one they are already in bed, and your body warmth will quickly lul them back to sleep. Which will help overall the amount that your baby sleeps.

My son is currently 11 months old. We still co-sleep, but lately the minimal amount of sleep has had me thinking it is time to get him to his own bed. There is only so many cups of coffee this mama can consume in a day!

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Pregnancy

The hospital bag

You have finally come around to making that pesky hospital bag. Whether you are 20 weeks pregnant or 35 weeks, it’s never an easy task. I honestly waited until 38 weeks myself to get mine done, and boy did I cut it close. My son was born at 39 weeks exactly.

I am sure you have heard it all by now, I know I had. From the absolute must haves to the just leave behind because you’ll never use it. And truth be told some were right, and of course, we must keep in mind that not everyone’s experience is the same. The reality is, it also has to do with your hospital and what they give. So here is some of my musts and leave behind, with a few extra tips along the way.

1. Non-slip socks. Forget the slippers or the shoes, just plain old socks. If you have your baby in the little bassinet beside you, you’ll still need to take a step to reach over for your bundle safely. If you already have socks on it makes it much easier than having to search for and put on shoes.
2. Hair ties. I don’t know how your labor will go, but my contractions came on my hair wash day. Now, I am a first-time mom and didn’t realize I had quite some time to shower and do my hair, but my panic and rush to the hospital had me in labor without my hair being done. Hair ties were my savior.
3. Boppy. That is if you are planning on breastfeeding. It will get you used to it for when you get home, not to mention much more comfortable than having your arm floating around while you and your little one learn to bond.
4. Electronic chargers. Phone, laptop, e-reader, whatever electronics you take remember the chargers.
5. 2 comfortable sets of clothing. I had a natural labor, meaning comfy for me was a dress. If you have a c-section comfortable for you may be leggings. Plan for both occasions, you never know what turn things may take.

Now comes the maybe section. I brought toiletries, but my hospital gave me everything from toothpaste and brush to a hair brush, shampoo, conditioner. I also took makeup that I did not use. So if you are a big makeup user take it, otherwise leave it behind. You will be too enamored of your new bundle to worry too much about what you look like.

They gave me tucks (which are wonderful!) as well as pads, and the pain relief spray. I had massive bleeding where I needed two blood transfusions, so I ended up sending my husband to buy me Depends because I leaked through the pads. Future pregnancies I will take depends, however, because they were much more comfortable than the mesh panties they give you.

I took magazines and some “entertainment” things to keep my mind off the pain (no epidural) but never used them. I just closed my eyes and tried to rest in between contractions. That is something I will leave behind next time, but it may be helpful for some. Especially if you do an epidural, you’ll want something to do to pass the time.

The don’t include section. Do not take too many clothes. For me, it was better to use the hospital gown because it had breastfeeding flaps. Much easier and if it got milk or blood on it I could just request another.

Nipple cream. I got about four “sample” tubes that lasted me up until three months postpartum.

Breast pads, I got two boxes of them from the hospital.

Never be afraid to ask for things. Alcohol swabs to clean the babies belly button. They may not give you the breast pads and cream unless you ask for it. Anything that may be for your well being and your babies, they will have so ask away. My hospital also gave me a bag of diapers and wipes, though I have heard some hospitals do not give wipes anymore. Like I said, ask for everything, worse case scenario you can send someone to the closest store for you to get anything you may need.