Co-sleeping and Sex

A baby in your bed is the end of your sex life. If your baby is in your room, it’ll take a toll on your marriage. If you co-sleep with your baby, your husband will become jealous of the child.

These are all comments I’ve heard about the fact that we co-sleep. Yes, at 15 months our daughter is still in our bed.

There are so many changes that occur with the birth of a baby, both physically, and as a couple. That “couple” transition to “family” is massive – so much bigger than I ever thought possible. I’ve always said that with the birth of a child, comes the birth of a mother, and I’d like to add another element to that: the birth of a family.Family Feet of Four - Kenny Moller

If physical intimacy is reduced in the relationship – there’s great insight in this post to sex after childbirth – it is much more likely that it is due to there being a baby, rather than where the baby sleeps.

Many women find childbirth and breastfeeding makes them feel beautiful and empowered which often translates well into the bedroom. Conversely, there’s also a lot more pressure on dads, both financially and in terms of domestic responsibilities, which can reduce libido for them too.

Assuming everyone wants to though, here are a few pointers to make it a little easier.

The age of the child

Some people have no problem having sex with their infants in the room or on the bed. Whereas initially we thought we’d never be able to, we did at times, and Ameli always slept through.

As Dionna from Code Name Mama said, “We have a Cal King bed, so there can be 3 feet between us and him, plus the memory foam absorbs the movement. If we had a different bed, that probably wouldn’t be an option. We are also creative – living room, guest bed, etc.

For a toddler or a child that’s likely to wake up and stare you in the face – a major turn-off for most – it might be time to get creative.

When children are a little older, you can put them to bed in their own rooms in the evening, then even if they crawl in with you later, you’ve had a bit of quality time.

Rebecca Woolf wrote a rather giggle-worthy tutorial for sex whilst co-sleeping, in the end she says you could always ignore the tutorial and just have sex on the couch, which is a pretty good second option!

Obvious tips?

  • Change location – think back to where you got it on in the beginning of your sexual relationship. Recreate some of those occasions.
  • Change timing. Baby gone down for a nap? Toddler engrossed in Lego? Grab the moments you can, if not for full blown sex, then at least for a good long kiss or a little foreplay – whatever it takes to keep those home fires burning.
  • Go silent. Sadly, until the children can visit grandma or you have a night at a hotel, the wall-banging, chandelier swinging, caveman-esque screams might have to be toned down a little. Go silent though… you might like the added challenge.

Remember, co-sleeping is not a new or modern phenomena. It has been done for most of the history of man-kind, and we’ve not died out from lack of opportunity yet.

People in one room huts, igloos and shacks still manage to procreate, and I doubt their children cheer them on nightly. There are ways – you just have to be creative, be spontaneous, and really, really want to.  And honestly, it can add a new level to your relationship – sneaking around like the young in love again – but that does depend entirely on you and your approach.

If Pretending Made It So: We Need Education Not Denial

Information. It is so vital to our survival. Misinformation, on the other hand is a killer. Can you imagine if you were told that a red traffic light meant ‘go’? What chaos would reign in your life, if you lived very long at all?

I have been sorely disturbed in recent months by the information and lack thereof surrounding the sleeping, feeding and care of our babies if it doesn’t fall strictly in line with the latest guidelines, based on the latest research.
Read more: If Pretending Made It So: We Need Education Not Denial

For the Love of Co-Sleeping

I love co-sleeping with my daughter, Ameli. She was born at 4.40am, and by 6am we were asleep in our bed, her cradled in my arm. She used her Moses basket for a while and uses a travel cot now  for daytime naps and in the early evening, but once I go to bed she is there with me.*

Read more: For the Love of Co-Sleeping