co-sleeping and your sex life : what you need to know

mama-feet,-baby-feet"Don't bring your baby into bed with you. It will ruin your sex life."

I've heard a lot of people say or write that sentiment. Authoritatively. With a swoosh of the head and a sure smile.

They warn that bringing baby in between the covers will magically make your sex life disappear. Poof! You'll lose all desire or be laying in bed looking over at each other longingly while the baby laughs deviously.

I have some refreshing news for you. Your sex life can be flourishing and fun (OR ho-hum and halfhearted)...regardless of your sleeping arrangement.

I know plenty of couples that had their baby sleep in another room from day one that have mediocre (or miserable) marriages. I can say the same for some co-sleeping couples. The location where baby rests her head is irrelevant.

"But...but...but...," the dissenters sputter. "But the bed! It's the marriage bed. That's where we do what we do."

Yada. Yada. Yada. And what I mean by that is that you can "yada" on other places besides the bed at 9 pm. Get a little creative, whydontcha? About the time and the place.

I don't want to get into too many specifics here (I'm already a bit outside of my "comfort zone" with this topic), but I do want to tell you that your sex life can be spontaneous and sweet if your baby sleeps in your bed. So don't let the naysayers get you down.

In our house, having a sleeping baby in our bed equals peace and rest...for all of us. And there's no less passion here.

If you choose not to co-sleep, that's fine by me. Every family is free to make their own sleep choices. But...will you do me a favor? When you list off reasons why you don't co-sleep, don't say, "cosleeping ruins your sex life."

Because it doesn't.

Lack of communication? Fighting? Anger? Grudges? Selfishness? THOSE things can ruin your sex life.

Co-sleeping, however, is not the culprit.

And while we're talking about should make time for it tonight (as should I). Sex relieves stress, boosts immunity (who needs the H1N1 vaccine anyway?), burns calories, improves intimacy (it's one of the keys to a good marriage, actually), and helps you sleep better.

Need proof?


NOTE: Our littlest is now 7 months old and is no longer in our bed because she's crawling all over the place and that arrangement would be too dangerous. She is, however, still in our room...right where we want her to be.

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28 comments on “co-sleeping and your sex life : what you need to know”

  1. Amen to that! I found this post tonight in your fav past posts. I've heard many times in reference to cosleeping that "it cant be good for the couple". But the only thing there's less of is worrying about the baby. Well said. : )

  2. The best cosleeping story I ever heard took place at the dinner table where the mother in law asked her daughter in law where they *ahem* if the baby was in bed. Without missing a beat, she said "Oh, that's what the dining room table is for". MIL shut up after that. ;)

  3. Hi there - thanks for this post! We just posted a video about co-sleeping and one of our experts definitely hits on the co-sleeping = no sex issue! Glad to see there's a different side to this argument! Would love you to share your thoughts in the comments of the video ...will you come take a look?? I don't want to clutter your comments with link -- but come by!

  4. Sleeping with our son when he was an infant was a matter of survival. He just did not sleep. And as a result neither did we. We put him in bed with us to help ease him back to peace before he spiraled too far away from that blissful sleepy state.

    Even then sleep was a journey long and far away. There was no sex. Are ya kidding me? We didn't have that kind of intimacy for a year and a half. And that's the truth. It didn't hurt our marriage. We just agreed silently that getting through "this" was far more important.

    With our daughter? She was so happy in her crib from day one that she only came to our bed when she was sick. Which was almost never. And she slept through the night at week 5. Sex returned as soon as I was able.

    The bed has nothing to do with sex. Stephanie, you have this one spot on.

  5. We co-sleep with our 10 month old and our sex life isn't as active as it was before the baby but that's not because of where she sleeps. We are just too tired and she doesn't sleep for long stretches without us. But for those times when we do have time we have a guest bed now and that works perfectly.

  6. OK, stepping outside of my comfort zone... I agree completely! And, by the way, who said that sex was only for after you went to bed every night? My Dad told me when I was engaged to have sex with my husband often, even when I didn't feel like it and to keep it fun - he said it was the best form of marriage therapy that he knew of. He was right - we've stayed together through some very, very, very tough things - partly because of Daddy's advice, partly because we're both stubborn enough that we wanted to make our marriage work no matter what. And now, I think I'll step back into my comfort zone and go read your post about 6.5 hours a night :)

  7. I've always hated the comments we've gotten when people hear we co-sleep. I'm not sure what gives people the right to question my sex life for one. And for two, why would they even care!?

    Thanks for posting about this, even if it is outside that comfort zone!

  8. Thanks for going out of your comfort did quite well! :) While we did not co-sleep with our two children (aside from them sleeping in a pack n' play next to the bed for the first 3-4 months), I agree with what you have written. Co-sleeping is not the cause for a lacking sex-life, it is not bad for you or baby... Time to get creative people!

  9. And on the 'sex is good for you'
    I just wanted to say: I went to a talk earlier this year called "The Biochemistry of Sex" hosted by my Church, and it was AMAZING!
    Did you know women are especially effected by 'good vibes' after sex? and that hormones change in men too during pregnancy to get him ready for fatherhood? so cool!

    we are, truly, wonderfully and fearfully made :)

  10. You're probably so bold going out of your 'comfort zone' with this post because of your great sex life (see articles you attached, hehe ;)!

    We didn't co-sleep because we found it impossible to sleep (both rollers who need lots of bedspace) and our daughter didn't sleep either! We kept her in our room until she got too big for her bassinet, but we bring her into our bed every chance we get! (although now at 9 months, its worse: no sleep for any of us when she's sharing the bed.. she rolls like her daddy. But we think it's so fun and intimate to share that warm, cuddly time with her!

    We don't know how co-sleeping will work with our other children, but our king size bed was specifically chosen for family time on saturday mornings :)

  11. Great post! We're very passionate about cosleeping...there is near nothing better than waking up together as a family on some weekends all together. :) I don't know when our near 2 year old will be out of our bed but it makes me so sad to even think about it. People have asked us how long we're going to let her stay there...and we just say "we don't know, at least as long as she is still breastfeeding"...but I don't know how long after...we'll see what she wants to do. I don't like the idea of her sleeping alone so maybe we'll wait until she can have a sibling in there with her! :)

    We haven't actually gotten the "it will ruin your sex life" comment, but I can say it certainly hasn't hindered anything!!!! I mean, come on, how monotonous for something that incredible to have to always occur in only ONE place...creativity, spontaneity, and the occasional actual "planning" of things are all wonderful things!

  12. I would love to have a king sized bed! Especially in the mornings when all 4 kids try to snuggle, someone (or 2) usually get pushed out!Our babies have slept in our room, usually in a Moses basket or pack n play and only sometimes in the bed, until they were about 6-8 months old. My husband thought it was interesting that our 4th baby was conceived and born in our bed!

  13. I love the picture and the post. We purchased a co-sleeper bassinet before our baby was born, but we quickly learned that even that was too far away for our cuddly, snuggly little guy. So he still sleeps in our bed and occasionally in his pack and play next to our bed, and we wouldn't have it any other way. We all sleep better and happier that way.
    I love the way you phrased this: "Lack of communication? Fighting? Anger? Grudges? Selfishness? THOSE things can ruin your sex life. Co-sleeping, however, is not the culprit."
    Perfectly stated. :-) Thanks for talking about this.

  14. This is such a great post. There are so many myths surrounding co-sleeping. I love that you are talking about it, normalizing it, and taking the "scaries" out of it. We co-slept until our baby was three months old when she started awakening when we moved in bed. She sleeps in her own crib now, but the proximity is so close to us that as if she's still in our room. This makes for some adventurous lovemaking and "sneaking" around so as not to wake the baby! I thought planning for sex would be unromantic, but just builds the anticipation!

  15. I have zero experience with this one, so nothing really to add. But, I just wanted to tell you I thought it was a great post. I've heard that argument against cosleeping and thought it seemed a little silly. I'm glad to see it being addressed.

  16. My sons have stayed in our bedroom, but not in the bed. They had a bassinet. Then, at some point, we put them in their own rooms in a crib. If one son or the other is not feeling well, either myself or my husband stays in the room with them.

  17. You're right about making time for sex. It's really important to keep a physical connection with your spouse, especially since nursing moms can feel pretty touched-out by the end of the day. It's easy to blow off non-baby cuddling but that tends to alienate your husband...

  18. We co-slept with our son from day one. And guess what, our sex life must've been pretty darn good because we ended up with two more babies before he was officially out of our bed. And the only reason we got him out was because he was potty trained and with having two others in the bed with us there was just no room. He was waking everyone up to get up to go potty. Our 11 month old just moved to her big girl bed in her new room (she shares with her 2 1/2 year old sister). So we have our bed to ourselves and boy is it lonely.

  19. I couldn't have said it better myself. And, since this is a bit out of my comfort zone, too, thank you for doing the talking for me! ;)

  20. I loved this post. I co-slept with two of my babies and didn't with two others. I can't say my sex life was better or worse off for either. I am off to take a peek at those links!


  21. This is a great post. We have been cosleeping with our baby since he was 5 months old because he just sleeps better. We ended up putting a mattress on the floor so he wouldn't crawl out of the bed and then we put a gate around the bed at night so if he gets up he won't go anywhere. So far so good. I agree that the cosleeping is not the hindrance to sex life, it is just life as a busy parent and a generally busy life that is more of a problem.

  22. I always just roll my eyes when people ask how we can possibly have a sex life if there's a kid in our bed half the night... because - seriously - our sex life is probably better than most! (LOL, totally stepped out of my comfort zone on that, so you're not alone!)
    But you're so right, there are so many other factors that hold back healthy sex lives, where you find yourself being intimate is not one of them.

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