Co-sleeping as a Team

My husband asked me what an equivalent feeling to breastfeeding would be for a man and I would like to say- co-sleeping. 

IG: @the_glowing_expectant

To me, co-sleeping is hands down my favorite activity. Co-sleeping is not meant for everyone and that is okay. There are potential dangers to co-sleeping and it has to be something you are comfortable with. Co-sleeping is perfect for my husband, my baby, and me. I am a light sleeper and use intoxicants in minimal amounts. Our bed is a king-size bed with plenty of room to fit the three of us. Our older daughter is only allowed to sleep in the bed if she is not directly sleeping next to the baby and usually for short periods throughout the night. I am always aware of my baby, and we need each other in our arms to enjoy a whole night’s rest. 

In the beginning, we used a dock, but the baby would cry when we placed him in it even if we were right next to him. Then I’d set him in the crib, but again he would cry agitatedly. I tried to wait till the wee hours and then place him in his own nest, but it wouldn’t take long for the tears to come again. I co-sleep now with my baby at four months old he doesn’t wake up in the night and breastfeeds first thing in the morning. When he was waking up frequently during the night, I could breastfeed him and put him back to sleep with little action. 

At first, my husband had to correct my posture. He said my arm would be too close to his face or that I was cradling him with my body too much. There was a time or two when I had to push my husband away from getting too close to the baby. Whatever we did, it must have worked because the baby is healthy, and we all sleep together like champs. 

So why do people fear that co-sleeping is associated with SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.) Some factors may be overheating from sleeping next to two adults, the sheets covering the baby’s face, or that a fast asleep adult could roll over the baby. Well, the fact is co-sleeping prevents SIDS. A tired mother trying to rock a baby asleep can be more dangerous than a well-resting mother that co-sleeps with their child. The most common reason for SIDS is when the baby doesn’t awake to a life-threatening occurrence such as trouble breathing. When sleeping next to my child, I am aware of his breathing and react accordingly. Dr.Sears ( claims the carbon dioxide from my breathing can also stimulate my child’s breathing. By co-sleeping, we become one unit that works together.

Co-sleeping is practiced all over the world. In many countries where they don’t use cribs, co-sleeping is the only option, and once there was a time when co-sleeping was the norm. Even though there has been a bad stigma on co-sleeping, more parents find co-sleeping to be beneficial to infants. Creating independence is important and will come with time, no need to rush your baby out of the bed.

So what are the seven safe practices of co-sleeping:

  1. Be a sober mom. Avoid all intoxicants.
  2. Sleep with the baby at your breast and the blanket under the baby’s neck.
  3. Keep baby on his back.
  4. Dress baby lightly. Diaper only is okay!
  5. The bed shouldn’t be too soft or too small.
  6. Be aware of any cords or gaps. I use pillows along the sides.
  7. Keep pillows and sheets from covering his head.

For a safe co-sleeping experience check out these affiliate links for a lounger or a bedside sleeper.

Co-sleeping is so rewarding to me, but how long do I think it will last? Everyone has unique practices, and there is no right way to do it. Before my baby is a year old, I believe I will adjust him to sleeping in a crib so he can gain independence, and my husband can once again exclusively have my cuddles. I don’t plan to breastfeed for much longer than a year. I struggle with my breast supply, and at some point, my baby won’t be attached to my breast throughout the night and day. For now, coming home and sleeping with my child after an eight-hour shift helps me feel closer to my baby. When he wakes in the morning, I can respond, change his diaper, unclog his nose and breastfeed until we both fall back asleep. Co-sleeping helps me respond to him quickly and allows me to indulge in the most beautiful snuggles I have ever imagined. 

Foraging Mushrooms in Humboldt County

If you’re familiar with my blog, you might have read my post “Places to Hike in Humboldt County.” Headwaters Reserve. This beautiful salmon spawning preserve has more to offer than meets the eye. Take a trip along the dirt paths that branch from the cement road, and a trained eye will see a whole ecosystem full of mushrooms.

Why forage mushrooms? Mushrooms are a fungus that grows from mycelium. There are miles of mycelium under the forest floor, a massive white fiber that communicates with trees and the rest of the duff. Mycelium grows mushrooms for different purposes, from decomposing dead material to forming partnerships with plants. Mushrooms vary in characteristics and design. Some are poisons, some induce hallucinations, and others are great in meals. When picking your mushrooms, be careful which you touch, which you eat, and which you use for medical purposes.

Are you interested in mushroom foraging but don’t know where to begin? There are a few simple steps you can take to start your mushroom adventures!

Amanita muscaria

The best time to look for mushrooms is during the rainy season. Mushrooms grow in different habitats. Some thrive on trees, while others can be underneath ferns or in the dunes and your backyard. In Humboldt, Porcinis form close relationships with pine trees. You may find these and Chanterelles also under spruces. Oyster mushrooms like to expand on dead and dying alder trees. Ways to identify mushrooms is by using a book such as Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast by Noah Siegel. Other ways to identify mushrooms are taking pictures and using an app or a Facebook group. At first, it might be overwhelming. I don’t recommend searching for a specific species unless you know that it will be growing in a particular area. In identifying mushrooms it is also important to recognize the surrounding trees.

Humboldt County is a mecca for mushroom foraging. There are many trails and forests where you can find all types of shrooms! The mushroom community is supportive and will help guide you in safe foraging. While mushroom hunting, you should only take what you need, don’t take all the mushrooms (!), and leave no trace. It is bad ju-ju to sell natural resources, including mushrooms, so do it for fun and your community! My neighbor blessed me with chanterelles that we put on our steak, and it was the best meal I ever had! These kinds of actions not only put a smile on someone’s face but create memories that are not easily forgotten. Mushrooms foraging is a family sport, so grab your loved ones and head to the woods to see what you can find! You are continuing the mushroom life cycle just by walking through the terrain.

Lactarius aestivus

Please follow habitat guidelines. It is strictly noted not to walk off-trail at the headwaters preserve. Stick to the dirt trail!

My Christmas Wish

Amid the holidays, I would like to touch on the subject of acceptance. Now more than ever, our nation is divided due to different beliefs, and I’m not talking about religious beliefs; I’m talking about, I’m right you’re wrong beliefs such as Vaccinated VS Unvaccinated, Trump VS Non-Trumpers;  not only that but divorced families that can’t stand being in the same room together, controlling lovers that won’t allow their partner time with friends, or people trying to share their opinions on Facebook and being chewed out for it. I know this isn’t just my experience, but one many of us can relate to. 

People have opinions- I’m sorry they’re not always wrong or right. The Buddhists teach a way of acceptance. When a thought pops up, it must be recognized, and it will pass because that is all it is, a thought. When there was an essential disagreement in a native tribe, they sat in peace circles and allowed everyone a chance to speak without interruption when holding a totem. Today, an opinion can cause a riot because the discussion is not part of the plan.  Can we slow down a little and look at how we, as a community, are contributing to the problem? Did you judge and slander someone for being anti-vax or a trump supporter? Does your opinion matter more than anyone else? During the Nazi regime, the German forces thought they were serving their country by committing Genocide. Can we agree that listening to all opinions can help open our eyes to things we might have been blindsided to? 

I know it’s not the same, I know you are absolutely right. I find myself more submissive and agreeable to most, even my friends. Only my partner would know my voice on controversial matters. So here we are crumbling our thoughts into dust so they can float into the universe unseen, or we are pushing our beliefs so far down people’s throats that they can’t breathe, let alone mutter what they have to say. 

Where’s the safe path?

 Well, this ties around to a concept that I have been willing to preach for a long time now. How is acceptance going to happen on a mass level without it happening in our own homes? There’s a Christian saying I learned in my youth that I’m having a hard time rephrasing, so here it goes: “Honor thy brother and sister.” The hate you’re putting on your partner, your brothers, and sisters, family, and exes or partner’s exes- Guess what?- it bleeds into the bigger picture, directly. When there is so much negativity floating around in our everyday conversations, walls that are put up, families that are separated, and children that can’t spend the holidays with both their parents because they can’t get along, it’s hard to lead by example when you’re living in separation yourself. 

I would do anything to have my mom and dad at a holiday gathering together, with their partner’s acceptance and company. I would love to have my friend over for Thanksgiving without her husband blowing up my phone, worried that she won’t make it home safely. I would have loved to have both my husband’s parents at our wedding when they both contributed so much to our lives. I hate seeing on Facebook that someone can’t talk about children getting vaccinated in schools in a MOMs group, “The place to talk about this is with the school directly. This group will chew you up and spit you out.” I wish I would be more acceptable to concepts that I think are discriminatory or unjust because who am I to judge someone else’s opinion? For this holiday season, I test myself, and I dare you to take the challenge, to not judge people’s thoughts and ideas, to not close our doors to family and friends, and to remember throughout the stress of the holidays to breathe and practice acceptance.

From its origins in India, Buddhism has had an appreciation for reasoning and debate skills. The profound purpose of Buddhist debate and reasoning is to clear away a wrong conception of our own natures and thereby to become free of suffering and even death.

Perdue, Daniel. “Tibetan Buddhist Debate.” Asia Society.