There always is (and always will be) a big debate about co-sleeping. It's certainly not for everyone and sometimes you need a king-sized bed to make it happen. But some apartments are way too small for a king and yet can still fit your entire kingdom (sort of). And that's because of room sharing, the sweet (no kicking) little sister of co-sleeping, allowing you to stay in a one-bedroom even after you procreate.
Co-sleepers know the dangers of sharing a bed with your kid. Dads should sleep with protective gear down below, and moms, we shouldn't be shocked if we wake up with a heel kick to the eye. But room sharing is a whole other thing. Baby (or toddler or big kid) can be right there in the room snoozing very soundly just within arm's reach. And everyone is going to sleep better. Or so lots of people swear.
A new book called Sleep: What Every Parent Needs to Know should not be confused with Go the F&*k to Sleep, the book that will make you LOL after 487 sleep-deprived nights. This new book, edited by Dr. Rachel Moon and put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics without any cuss words, has some all new information because Moon reminds us that as we study more and learn more, oftentimes the old gold standard becomes outdated. This is exactly why we have to stay on top of our game. No sh*t! Yesterday drop-side cribs were cool; today we know they are very dangerous. The world is moving and we have to keep moving with it.
But sometimes some old fashioned advice works really well. As in the case of room sharing and its benefits. Moon wrote:
I prefer that a baby sleep in the parents’ room for the first 6 to 12 months of the baby’s life because room sharing without bed sharing is safest for the baby.
I'm not going to take offense to that even as a co-sleeper because there are situations where co-sleeping just isn't safe. Room sharing is a better bet in those cases. Plus, I had twins. We were co-sleepers and room sharers and everyone slept great (mostly ... I mean, as well as one with twins could).
Room sharing was recommended by the AAP in 2005, saying that parents should keep the crib in the master bedroom for the first six months to a year. Babies sleep better and research supports a lower risk of SIDS. What great news for parents worrying they have to upgrade to a two-bedroom after baby is born. Most times that nursery is just a room to store your kid's toys and for friends to come over and say, "Awww, how cute" when they see the dinosaur decals on the wall. Turns out, we have at least a year (or three-plus in my case) before you have to add more square footage to your home.
Room sharing isn't the only sleep help Moon advised. She added that no electronics close to bedtime because that light exposure triggers the brain to stay awake. No cribs with drop-sides (don't borrow old cribs). And to stop with the caffeine for kids especially after 6 p.m. (this includes iced tea, energy drinks, and things with chocolate). This all goes for mom and dad, too. Except the crib part.
If I'm going to get better sleep if I had my kids in my room (and my kids will snooze better), then why not give it a try. Here's to more sleep! And saving money living in a one-bedroom!
What do you think of room sharing? Would you try it?
Image via Tamaki Sono/Flickr