Wednesday 18th June 2014, 9:52PM
This evening you rest soundly, my child. Flat-out on your back, hands opened and limp – clear indicators that you are deeply relaxed. Your need for sleep hits hard especially after a day at nursery. And after a bath and lots of milk, you don’t fight it at all – total submission to the calling of Hypnos, god of sleep.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, here’s the scoop: Kingsley, Erroll and I share our King-size bed, and have done so since the moment we brought our lamb home from City Hospital. A few nights during the first month he slept in the Cocoonababy, but in the main our son wanted the body warmth and touch of his Mumma. I completely yielded to this desire, instinctually. My instinct keeps our son close to my breast, real close, during the night to this day.
The effect of mother-infant bed-sharing on nocturnal breastfeeding behaviour has been studied recently. Two groups: 1) in 20 routinely bed-sharing and 2) 15 routinely solitary sleeping mother-infant pairs when the infants were 3 to 4 months old. All pairs were healthy and exclusively breastfeeding at night.
The most important finding was that routinely bed-sharing infants breastfed three times longer during the night than infants who routinely slept separately: this reflected a two-fold increase in the number of breastfeeding episodes and 39% longer episodes.
I could have told the authors that, and saved them their research money. I swear something comes over this peaceful, sleeping infant during the night: INSATIABLE HUNGER. Our bed-sharing bebe likes to get a mouthful, all night. All night long.