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The Joys of Co-Sleeping
by Jereka Hunt CPES (PBi)

The practice of co-sleeping has been a part of many cultures for thousands of years. And though many people in our modern society would not even consider sleeping with their babies, co-sleeping has been found to be quite beneficial for both mother and child. Sleeping with your baby helps them to feel safer, helps to form a better bond between mother and child, and it has even been shown to improve a child’s self-esteem. And even though there are some who claim that co-sleeping can be unsafe for a newborn baby, with a few minor precautions, it can actually prove to be the safer option.

How to Co-Sleep Safely:
There are three main options for co-sleeping with your baby. One option, the most commonly used in our society, is to simply bring the baby’s bed into your room. This option is convenient (for late night feedings as well as reduced anxiety for mom) while at the same time it eliminates the more unsafe aspects of sleeping with the baby.

Option two is to use a co-sleeping bassinet, a baby bed that attaches to the side of an adult bed, allowing baby to remain close to the parents at night without actually being in the adult bed. This option allows for even more benefits than option one, as the baby is actually in arm’s reach, while also eliminating safety hazards associated with co-sleeping.

Bed sharing, the third option, is when the baby sleeps in bed with one or both parents. While this is standard in many parts of the world, it is only practiced by a significant minority in cultures where cribs are available. With bed sharing, babies are often placed between the two parents, but it is usually recommended to put baby on the mother’s side of the bed, as new mothers tend to sleep lighter than fathers.

The Benefits of Co-Sleeping:
Along with the benefits mentioned above, co-sleeping can also help a mother to get a longer and more restful sleep. With the baby being nearby, you do not have to go far, or even get out of bed in some cases, in order to comfort them. Co-sleeping is also far more convenient for nighttime feedings.

Another benefit of co-sleeping is that it helps babies to establish a solid sleep pattern sooner. With this, they are able to sleep through the night much earlier.

The reduction of the occurrence of SIDS is another one of the incredible benefits of sleeping with your baby. Research has actually shown that co-sleeping may reduce the occurrence of SIDS. One theory says that SIDS may be caused by a baby sleeping too deeply, unable to wake themselves. However, when a parent is sleeping nearby, breathing noises and nighttime shifting and movement keep the child from sleeping too deeply (not to mention the constant irresistible touching and stroking of the new baby by the parents).

Safety Measures:
When done properly, co-sleeping can be very beneficial for everyone involved but there are a few safety measures that should be taken in order to avoid hazards. Suffocation is the main concern when it comes to co-sleeping. Most often, suffocation-related deaths are due to improper bedding. To avoid this, do not provide pillows for your baby, make sure that the mattress is firm, and never leave the baby unattended in the bed. Also, never co-sleep if you have been drinking alcohol. If you have consumed alcohol, be sure to put the baby to sleep somewhere safe, such as a crib, bassinet or Pack’n’Play.

Take steps to keep the baby from overheating. This can be done by providing them with their own, infant-safe, blanket. This will also decrease the chance of suffocation from an over-sized, soft adult blanket and it will prevent the likelihood of accidentally uncovering the baby during the night.

Another co-sleeping related hazard is the baby getting caught in the headboard or foot board. To avoid this, get a headboard or foot board with no spaces or crevices that could potentially trap the baby or you can temporarily get remove them. Also, by putting up an infant guard rail or putting one side of the bed up against the wall, you can prevent potential falls.

Co-sleeping, when done properly, can be one of the most joyful and memorable experiences of parenthood. By taking minor steps to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort, co-sleeping can be rewarding for all involved.

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Notes from Jodi

On September 3, my daughters and I attended the Improving Birth, National Rally for Change here in Las Vegas. PBi was a national sponsor for all of the events that happened on this date, and I am so happy to be able to be involved on a personal and professional level.
Our local rally coordinators were amazing, and we got a lot of major media attention - including a full front-page writeup in the local newspaper, with photos. We even had our most mother-friendly, birth-friendly OB attend the rally (in scrubs, between births). I am very grateful to be a part of an amazing community of women (and men)! 

Jodi Selander


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GladRags: 1 Daytime Pad

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GladRags Day Pads consist of a holder and two inserts. This unique three part design allows you to customize the absorbency of the pad according to your flow by choosing one or both inserts. With both inserts, the Day Pad is the equivalent of an average disposable maxi pad. You can even add a third insert and make it a super maxi, or wear just a holder for an ultra-thin liner.

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  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions, diced

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

Use a vegetable peeler if you don’t have a julienne peeler to create noodles from the zucchini and carrot. Squeeze a little lemon over the “noodles”. Mix together with the bean sprouts. You can add other vegetables you may have on hand too, like cauliflower or broccoli or shredded cabbage.

Whisk the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Pour over the vegetables and mix well with tongs. The sauce is thick, but will thin out amongst the vegetables. This can “marinate” until the next day if you like, which allows the flavours to mingle.


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