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Co-sleeping and autonomy: the sweet balance with Ettomio

07 / 03 / 2024

Paola di Ettomio

Ah, sleeping! That magical dimension that, before embarking on the wonderful journey of parenthood, seemed to us no more than a basic need, taken for granted 😅. But then, almost magically, with the entry of that little wonder into our existence, the business of sleep becomes an adventurous journey, full of enigmas and revelations. Who would have imagined it?


In a social context that often pushes for an early detachment between parents and children, we are led to believe that it is normal to expect our babies to learn to sleep alone through the night as soon as possible, that they should say goodbye to the mother's breast within the first year of life, and that they should adapt unblinkingly to adult rhythms. Sometimes it seems that society wants to force us to control everything, but this is not the case, and we can tell you from experience. 

Instead, at Ettomio we believe it is of the absolut importance to really listen to our children and follow our maternal and paternal instincts, encouraging us to conform in order to find support in other adults and parents to carry out our educational and nurturing ideas.


🌟 You know what? Grandparents (and others) used to say. "Don't do this/that ... so you spoil him!" 

And at first, we would try to take their word, their experience, based on that. 

 But ... how many sleepless nights! We can say it, we were on our last legs :)  

The positive breakthrough with the topic of "sleep" for us came with the realization that co-sleeping, not only is it possible, but it is an expression of love that satisfies the need for contact and closeness, essential during the growth of children. 


In this article we will  discuss not only about safe co-sleeping, but also about the gentle transition from mommy and daddy's big bed, to the Montessori bed by proposing a playful and reassuring approach. We invite you to embark on this journey with a good heart, and we would like to lead you to think of co-sleeping as the progressive journey to autonomy: a harmonious balance that enriches the relationship between parents and children.

Shall we go to bed? Co-sleeping with Ettomio

Co-sleeping is defined as the experience of sharing a bed between parent(s) and child. 

This way of sleeping is natural and deeply rooted in the animal world, and only (recently) cultural and social preconceptions have castigated it as "unhealthy or unsuitable for the proper growth of the child."

In our opinion and experience, on the other hand, co-sleeping soothes the family (all of them) if taken with the right lightheartedness and - simultaneously - with awareness


Let's forget complex formulas and magic solutions for perfect sleep, and rather focus on a relational approach, based on listening and on the perception of our little ones' needs. Each family, each parent-child team, has its own unique rhythm, its own special moment, and deserves to find its own nightly harmony without feeling judged, but rather in the freedom of knowing that each moment is an opportunity for growth and relationship. 

When done safely, co-sleeping makes mothers ( dads!) and children happy and has positive effects on their growth. 


The key is to ensure a safe environment where the child can rest in his or her own space, protected and at the same time close to his or her parents. This involves some extremely important precautions:


  • Keep the room at a comfortable temperature with regularly renewed air;
  • Avoid using heavy sheets and blankets that could cover the child;
  • Remove pillows to avoid risks;
  • Ensure that the baby always sleeps on its back, especially after breastfeeding.

Can the presence of parents and children in the same bed be dangerous?

Just as co-sleeping can strengthen the bond between parents and children, it is of equal importance to keep in mind the safety of both during this practice.


Following international guidelines, we would like to recommend some precautions (while keeping in mind that these suggestions are only hints and are not to be taken as guidelines). 

It is preferable to avoid sleeping with your child if you are a smoker to ensure a safe and secure environment. It is also recommended to keep your hair tied to prevent any interference with your baby's sleep and reduce any risk. Finally, it would be really important to avoid falling asleep hugging our babies: although they love our contact, we may need to move during sleep without realizing the presence of our little one next to us. 


Sleep is an essential component of health and well-being for both parent and baby. If you notice that co-sleeping is compromising your peace of mind and rest, it may be helpful to look for alternatives to ensure more fulfilling sleep for the whole family.

Finally, if you have concerns or questions about the safety of co-sleeping, we certainly recommend that you consult an infant sleep expert or your pediatrician.

Paola's testimony: a human and creative journey

Who could be better to witness this adventure than Paola, the  mom who founded  Ettomio? Her experience with her own children's sleep was more than just a family anecdote; it was the inspiration for the creation of Ettomio. Indeed, the nightly "mistakes," the attempts at trial and error, illuminated the path toward products that would meet not only the need for safety and comfort, but also the little explorers' desire for independence.


Paola tells us with a smile how, before becoming a mother, the subject of sleep seemed almost irrelevant to her. Yet those very sleepless nights, those seemingly insurmountable challenges, gave rise to a unique project. Ettomio, with its handcrafted heart and its reassuring and welcoming philosophy, was born from right here: from lived experience, from sharing, from finding solutions that are a hug for every family.


The journey from sleeping cuddled in the big bed, to peaceful sleep in one's own crib marks a sweet and significant stage in the growth of every child and in the story of every family. Each parent experiences this stage in a unique way, and the wisdom lies in carefully observing our little ones, interpreting their signals to understand the right time to welcome new habits that will guide them toward independence.

The gentle transition from crib to toddler bed

Co-sleeping and the development of a baby's nighttime independence come together in a way that might seem counterintuitive. Giving the little one the opportunity to share a bed with mom and dad somewhat  lays the foundation for his or her future independence. This nightly closeness nurtures in the little one a sense of security and trust in the bond with the parent, which are fundamental elements for when he/she is ready to sleep alone. Promoting independence, then, does not mean forcing early separation, but rather listening with empathy and sensitivity, recognizing the right time when the child feels safe to venture into his/her personal dream realm. The approach to this transition should be embellished with loving rituals and gestures of tenderness, created to support each family on this gentle journey. 


But let's try to put this theme into concrete terms and list some inspirations and "ways" for children to sleep in their own beds.

Creating serene moments of transition

Sharing the bedtime ritual. Think about those first moments of change, when the world seems new and a bit uncertain for our little one. There is something deeply reassuring, for him/her, in knowing that we are there, just a breath away, ready to share the bedtime ritual with him/her. Whether it's by reading a story together under the covers or simply being next to him/her as his/her eyes close, these practices bring with them the warmth and security that have characterized co-sleeping, helping  to feel protected even in his/her new space. It is a way to tell him/her, without words, that even if the space changes, our love and presence remain the same!


Verbal reassurance. We never underestimate the power of sweet words, those light but profound conversations that explain changes and renew promises of unconditional love. It is as if, with each word, we can wrap the child's heart in a hug, conveying serenity and security. Reminding him/her  that each new adventure, such as the exciting beginning of the school, is simply another step in his/her extraordinary journey of growth, shows him/her that change is not only positive, but also exciting. And when we emphasize respecting the spaces and rhythms of each person within the family, we assure him/her  that despite the newness, he/she is never alone! We are always there, guarding his/her dreams, ready to support him/her  with every little awakening.

Establish a reassuring pre-sleep routine.

Other key steps for a gentle and peaceful transition is establishing a pre-sleep routine that can accompany our baby to relax and feel safe. 


Serene rituals. Beginning the evening with actions that establish tranquility, such as a warm bath, reading stories, or listening to gentle melodies, prepares the child for the arrival of sleep, creating a natural path to the dream world.

Make the bed, "his/her" bed

A cozy nest. And then, there is the art of making that space a real nest of sweetness. A night light that keeps "monsters" away, a soft and cozy bed, familiar objects that tell stories of happy days, a soft companion for bedtime: each element is chosen to make the crib a safe and inviting place. It is there that our baby can venture into dreams, knowing that his or her corner of the world is a serene refuge.


Finally, according to our experience, it is also important to choose the right size of the bed: a small crib may not be ideal if we know that our presence will be indispensable for the serenity of the night and, if the room allows it, we can also consider opting for a bed already "grown up" that is size one square or one and a half square and beyond like the model Lettone Nido configurable.

A choice of heart and quality

In conclusion, we can say that the dialogue between co-sleeping and autonomy is not a linear path, but a path full of twists and turns and ups and downs, which each family experiences in its own way and in its own time. 

Ettomio, with its experience, its products and its philosophy, offers itself as a traveling companion in this adventure, offering solutions designed to make every shared moment a precious memory, a step toward the discovery of self and the world, together, hand in hand.


We welcome each moment with kindness and why not, with a touch of irony!

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