Fun fact: I used the beautiful dark cherry crib that was gifted by my mother-in-law as a glorified laundry basket for a good part of Humnoy’s first year. Up until I discovered the amazing secret to more sleep, Humnoy slept in his bassinet because even I succumbed to the fear ads of sleeping with a little baby. Once I ditched the bassinet and just let him sleep with a boob in his mouth in our bed, I (no shit) got more sleep and (no shit again) Humnoy slept through the night after a couple months of co-sleeping. It saved my zombie ass and I no longer resented the poor little human screaming his head off in the middle of the night. I love having my babies close to me for the ease of breastfeeding and saving money and space when sharing a bed. It wasn’t until a dangerous sleep habit unexpectedly occurred that makes co-sleeping more than a lifestyle decision but a possible life-saving one.
Humnoy had been dealing with what the urgent care doctor considered a stomach bug. Think: toddler shit runs, toddler cranky pants, toddler screams, and toddler puke. Poor boy couldn’t keep down any food for an entire day and even threw up water. It was heartbreaking seeing a once skillful and adventurous eater turn down his usual favorite foods and gag at the sight of bacon. A day of a watchful eye was in order but he was normal and energetic albeit dehydrated and had an empty stomach. He thankfully kept down breast milk and went to sleep for the night until a very uncommon and terrifying episode happened in the middle of the night.
I was up per my usual nightly wind-down with my iPhone’s modified brightness keeping me awake while shielded from my sleep mates. I had just taken my midnight shower and relaxing before passing out with my slumbering family. All of a sudden, the room’s silence is interrupted by a gurgle sound coming from my 2-year-old in his side car crib. Humnoy vomited and then gagged on it. He threw up a couple more times but GH was close enough to swoop in and assist our child onto his side. I flash-clicked the bedside lamp and grabbed some towels after scanning my poor baby’s state and his eyes were still closed. He didn’t even stir long enough to fully wake up from an intense night episode. He falls back to his angelic mood but his father and I plan a visit to the doctor in the morning and then we wallow on the “What ifs?” What if he slept alone in his own room down the hall? What if he couldn’t wake up? What if I never brought an infant Humnoy into bed with me?
There are always stories sensationalized by the campaign against co-sleeping like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or a drunken parent smothering their child in an unsafe sleep situation. Rare is the news about the immense benefit of co-sleeping when it can prevent possible danger or worse. Even though he barely managed to avoid choking, our ability for an immediate response alone carries as much weight as the many other reasons combined on why we co-sleep. I made myself consider the risks of choking on vomit or swallowing vomit into the lungs as a way to be grateful for lack of personal space or assault by baby appendages. If the sight of sleeping babies wasn’t reason enough (and more sleep, oh my, the sleep), responding to these sleeping babies in a possible dangerous situation makes co-sleeping the safest option for our family. Cosleeping has improved my life in many ways but it also could mean the difference in saving my children’s.