What #TheoandBeau Remind Me About CoSleeping

by Susan

When you look deeply into the award-winning photos of the napping dog and child duo #TheoandBeau you see love, trust and a shared intimacy that’s building an unbreakable bond.

TheoAndBeau Cosleeping

I believe it is also a look at the beauty of co-sleeping.

Yes, it may be a child and dog co-sleeping and that’s not the typical make-up of a family bed, but it’s the same bonding.

Co-sleeping is not for every family.
Similarly, not every dog should nap with a baby.
But when it works, it’s a gift to be treasured.

Before I had children, I never would have considered the notion of letting my baby share my bed. But my first born baby changed my plans.

While I was pregnant, I made up a typical nursery down the hall with a crib and a painted mural on the wall. But she never slept in that room. Not even once.

When Julia was born, doctors found a small hole in her heart and they said she should sleep in a crib next to my bed so I could monitor her during the night. On the drive home from the hospital, we stopped at a store to pick-up a smaller cradle that fit in my bedroom.

She slept in that little crib with the bars pushed right up to my bed for the next five months. And then I gave in. I could no longer cope with her cries and fingers reaching through the bars to grab hold of me and pull me close.

It was a brutally difficult decision because I was a rule follower and a worrier. I was told that co-sleeping was dangerous and that my baby was better in a crib.

But my heart knew I had to listen to my baby.

Being an incredibly nervous new mother scared to go against authority, I did everything I could to create the ultimate safe co-sleeping environment.

I threw out my queen size pillow-top comfy bed and went out and bought the firmest (most uncomfortable) king size mattress and put it directly on the floor.

I removed all top-sheets and covers leaving only a pillow for my head. And my baby and I began to co-sleep.

It was the best parenting decision I’ve ever made.

Later when I had my second baby, I worried about how to transition my first out to her own bed. But instead I slept between the two and that uncomfy mattress on the floor became a family bed.

My girls co-sleepingAs my girls grew and I’d snuggle them to sleep and get back up to work, I’d later come into the room to see the two of them sleeping soundly but reaching out to hold on to the other. Sometimes I’d find them cuddled up with limbs tangled together. My heart melted everytime. (I wish I’d taken more photos.)

Many people can’t understand co-sleeping. I couldn’t before I had children. And as I said, I know a shared bed really is NOT for every family. There are definitely cons along with the pros.

But when I look at the photos of Theo and Beau snuggled together sharing sleep, I see the same love, trust and unbreakable bond I felt co-sleeping with my babies.

If you haven’t already, treat yourself to a few minutes browsing through Jessica’s phenomenal Instagram feed and then pre-order the book, Naptime with Theo and Beau.

 
Written by Susan Carraretto, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom
Talk with me: @5minutesformom and Facebook.com/5minutesformom
Pin with me at http://pinterest.com/5minutesformom/



Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Desiree Fawn May 6, 2014 at 10:27 am

I wouldn’t give up our cosleeping for the world. My daughter is 5 now and has her own room, but for the first years she slept next to me and I absolutely think it’s a contributing factor to our close bond now <3
Beautiful story, Susan — thank you for sharing!
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2 Susan May 14, 2014 at 1:43 am

Thanks Desiree!

I’m so happy to hear co-sleeping was a blessing to your family too.

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3 Desiree Fawn May 14, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Some nights she still makes it into my bed and I’m glad she feels welcome. Nothing like a cozy kiddo snuggle! :)
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4 Bonnie Way May 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm

We did almost the same thing… bought a crib which didn’t then fit into our one-bedroom apartment… bought a smaller cradle that could go right next to our bed… and then our daughter would only sleep when right next to me, or laying on my chest after I’d bounced her to sleep while holding her upright. I’ve co-slept all three of mine now, until they were around 1 or older, and I agree – it’s the best. So much easier on both of us. They need that closeness, I think. Jade (my youngest) has been the most independent sleeper; after she’s nursed, she’ll roll away from me, but she still likes being within arms’ reach and able to roll back to me again. :) Thanks for sharing!
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5 Susan May 14, 2014 at 1:46 am

Funny to hear how similar our stories are. And also my youngest Sophia was a much more independent sleeper than Julia. She’d nurse and then roll over to sleep. I think if she’d been first, I wouldn’t have ended up co-sleeping with her because it wouldn’t have likely felt as necessary. But I’m so glad that I did because she loved it too… even if she didn’t “need” it as much as Julia.

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