Cycle of Cultural Sleep: 5 Real Reasons for Co-Sleeping


Huh, who woulda thunk it? Co-sleeping isn’t just a thing for new-age parents to hop on the crunch wagon but actually cyclical practice of my Laotian blood because you know my grandmothers did not register for a 4-in-1 cherry mahogany crib. My lovely Asian friends Noony, Ping, and Mommasnugz really brought it back to the days of growing up poor in a Southeast Asian family: you share room space because you kinda have to. Between four kids all born within a decade of each other (one with special needs), I had either slept in a room with my parents or at least another sibling. Funny how I went from necessity to pseudo-choice but still necessity.

Co-sleeping was not an automatic choice from the start. We were gifted a crib with full intention on sticking the kid in there. Newborn Humnoy was in a bassinet next to our bed because you can kill your baby, don’t cha know? One night, I was so frustrated with a constantly starving infant and just put him between my boob and Gym Hottie. When I did this with both of the kids, I was doing what was normal in my culture while living in a society demonizing it. I co-sleep because:

  1. I get more sleep Enough said
  2. It helped with breastfeeding success  What better way to calm a roused baby other than adjacent boob?
  3. I can immediately monitor my children’s safety Co-sleeping doesn’t scare me as much as if this would.
  4. The emotional and psychological benefits are nice too, I guess I’m just all ’bout this sleep I’m getting
  5. It works for us and working well See 1-4

co sleepers be like

Why do you co-sleep?

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15 thoughts on “Cycle of Cultural Sleep: 5 Real Reasons for Co-Sleeping

  1. I have read anthropological studies comparing different cultures and their respective sleep habits. As you already know, Southeast Asian cultures keep their children close to them, for as long as possible (this includes adult children who are unmarried), while Westerners tend to put their children in a separate room and kick them out of the nest ASAP. The results are very interesting and reflect a strong sense of self/individualism in Western society vs. an emphasis on unity in Asian society. So there ya go. :)

  2. As much as I love reading your blog, this could have easily just said “sleep”. I love baby snugz and blahblahblah but uhhh, sleep.

    Plus Meese does this little giggle when I lay him in the bed next to me that’s the cutest thing I’ve ever heard. Also, sleep.

  3. Nice! I feel the same way – ended up side lying nursing when my frequently nursing son was a month old and both of us have slept great ever since. Just working out the logistics of #2 coming soon. Kicking my husband out is not an option lol.

  4. It was more convenient than having to sit up and hold her as my arms were killing me. Then like you, put Tessa in between my boob and the hubby and I was in la la land with sleep. Also, the comfort of having your only newborn baby snuggled up against you.

  5. Trying to make mothers put their babies into a crib, into another room is all a part of making children less connected to their parents. For instance, baby is born, it’s put into another room, it goes into daycare ASAP, as economic circumstance means the majority of mothers have to work. The child then goes onto primary school, high school blah blah onto higher education or workforce. In between the second biggest (some say first) is the TV that bombards their little brains basically from birth.. Sooooo what influence do the majority of parents get with their kids? Really makes me wonder what’s the point of even having offspring, other than to provide a future workforce.. Haha cosleeping for us feels like the most natural thing in the world, and that just because it is! X

  6. I’m Filipina, and my husband is Mexican. Co-sleeping and nursing are the cultural norm for both of us. Neither of us can fathom why one would let a little baby sleep in another room.

    We have an Arm’s Reach Cosleeper, and I had planned for her to sleep in it until she was a few months old. Alas, she refused to sleep in there by the time she was two weeks old. She is now two and has slept with us ever since. Breastfeeding is so much easier when baby is sleeping with you.

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