There have been many discussions surrounding the advantages and disadvantages of co-sleeping. A lot of moms find that sharing their matrimonial beds with their infants is something that works for them. Breastfeeding is made easier as there is no need to get out of bed to feed and infants who sleep with their mums appear to sleep better ,and on the whole seem to be more relaxed and more content.
Co-sleeping may very well be the answer for mothers and babies but should dads not be given a say? How do fathers feel about sharing their beds? A relationship is a two-way street and before you ignore dad’s feelings and prop baby in the middle of your bed – let’s find out what fathers are saying about co-sleeping and how they feel.
Think back to the days before baby arrived. Life was a lot less hectic and women were able to give their partners their undivided attention. After the pregnancy – the bundle of joy arrived and because moms find that they are strapped for time and they are exhausted – intimacy, romance and love making is put on the backburner. Men find that once baby arrives, their needs are forgotten and they may feel neglected and possibly left out. They do look forward to spending quality time with their wives or partners and long for an evening of intimacy and togetherness. Sadly, all hopes are dashed however, when they realise that their adorable (and very much loved son or daughter) has taken up permanent residence in their bed. A woman’s body may be recovering from the pregnancy and the birth but a man’s body has remained unchanged and is good to go and for many new dads, making love and intimacy is still very high on the list of priorities.
Co-sleeping is not an end to intimacy
The bottom line is that having a baby in the bed does not mean that adult pleasures need to come to an abrupt end. There are ways to work around this issue. Remember, that co-sleeping does not necessarily mean your child will always be between you in bed. A baby can be put down to sleep somewhere else and can be brought back into the -family’ bed at a later stage. Co-sleeping may also be the perfect opportunity to get a little creative and move your love life and romance outside the bedroom. The reality of the situation is that co-sleeping can put an end to intimacy or it can put it on hold – but only if you let it!
For the first few months after the birth of the baby, both mom and dad are equally tired and both partners need time to adjust to their new lifestyle and to their new roles. Co-sleeping can prove to be the best way to give each partner the time and the space they need to get used to the changes and to the new way of life (life after baby).
Safety of baby
Before you think that men only have one thing on their mind; apart from seeing baby as being an obstruction that prevents them from enjoying intimacy with their wife, many men are concerned that co-sleeping is dangerous. Men feel that a baby in the bed is unsafe and they have concerns that they will roll over the sleeping infant during the night and smother them. The chances of this occurring are virtually zero. It is advisable however, that a parent who is intoxicated or who is under the influence of drugs should not co-sleep with their infant. While asleep, you are sub-consciously aware that there is a baby sleeping alongside you and you will adjust your position to accommodate the slumbering infant. New dads who are overly concerned may find it reassuring to place a rolled up towel between themselves and their baby. This will help them to feel a little more at ease with a tiny infant in their bed and it will also allow them to be made more aware of the baby’s presence.
When co-sleeping is a no-no!
Moms who are in favour of co-sleeping need to respect their partner’s feelings on the matter. Mothers who insist that baby sleeps in the bed (ignoring their partner’s protests) must realize that dad’s feelings are just as important and forcing co-sleeping onto a reluctant partner may lead to serious issues! There are alternative methods to co-sleeping that can work just as well and keep everyone happy.
- Place the baby’s crib next to the bed or as close as possible. By putting the baby’s crib within easy reach, mom will be able to enjoy longer intervals of sleep and the baby will be close enough for mums (or dads) to tend to their needs;
- Once the baby has become too big for the crib, may parents find that a mattress positioned close to their own bed works just as well. The child will feel secure and safe and the needs of the child can be responded to quickly, if necessary.
It’s very important to discuss co-sleeping with your partner (either before the baby arrives or soon after baby’s birth). A lot of men may not be comfortable with the proposed co-sleeping arrangements. Dads who are already feeling neglected because their partner’s attention is focused on the newborn will feel that co-sleeping has a negative impact on intimacy, and this may cause strain in a relationship or marriage. Keeping mom and baby happy is not worth causing a crack to form in the relationship.
Parents need to be open and honest with each other and make sure that their feelings and thoughts are expressed before co-sleeping is practiced.