Do you do it? Some may call it bed sharing. Others may call it co-sleeping. While I was pregnant with Happy Baby, I remember planning for him to sleep in our room after he was born…at least for the first couple of months. We purchased a travel sized pack n play that doubled as a bassinet to keep in our bedroom. I fully intended for him to sleep in this bassinet until he had grown out of it, at which point I would move him to his own room. We hadn’t purchased a crib yet…I knew he would be in our room for a while so we had plenty of time to find the perfect bedroom furniture for him. After he was born, it didn’t feel right to put him alone in that bassinet to sleep. This little baby (ok, so he wasn’t so little) was born in my bed (you can read all about my homebirth HERE). It only seemed natural for him to sleep here too. This started immediately, from day one. Everybody warned me. ”You’re never gonna get that baby out of your bed if you let him sleep with you”. This ain’t my first rodeo. I’ve been there done that. My first was a co-sleeper. Yes, it was a process to get her to sleep in her own bed. But it was far from impossible. She started sleeping in her own bed when she was ready (which happened to be around the same time that my 2nd child was born). My second child was an awesome crib sleeper, as was my third. Each baby is different. Some babies can’t sleep if they’ve got a partner in bed. Some babies have difficulty sleeping unless Mommy or Daddy is near.
About a month after his birth, my husband and I purchased a beautiful set of furniture for his nursery. This set will last him until he goes off to college and beyond. The crib doubles as a toddler bed and then converts to a full size bed. The changing table has a hutch and looks more like a wide dresser than a changing table. He’s also got a beautiful tall dresser and a night stand to complete his set. I had intentions for him to sleep in his crib when we purchased the set. He was still so small though, so my intentions were for that to happen “later”. Well, here we are 10 months after we bought that crib and 11 months after his birth. Happy Baby is STILL sleeping with Mommy. I cannot imagine waking up in the morning and not having him snuggled up next to me. I cannot imagine not having him wake up smiling and getting to see how happy he is after he’s had a full night of sleep. He giggles, smiles, waves and crawls all over the bed, so happy to wake up and see his Mommy (and sometimes his Daddy, too).
I know the day will come when we will all be ready for him to transition into his own bed in his own room. Do I know when that will be? No. However, I do know that this is what works for us. I recently received an email from Babycenter (which I get each week to mark the milestones of my baby) and there’s usually “advice” from doctors and psychologists that are pertinent to your baby’s age and development stage. The “advice” this week was regarding whether babies should be sleeping through the night at this age. I was really disappointed that not ONE of the professionals that answered the question mentioned co-sleeping. One of them said this:
“But beware: If you pick him up, bring him to your bed, or feed him (unless he’s legitimately hungry), you’re going down a very challenging path.”
All three of the professionals quoted for this article mentioned going into baby’s room to check on him/her. None of them said what you should do if baby is waking while co-sleeping. Hmmm…
When Happy Baby wakes in the middle of the night, he doesn’t usually wake all the way up. Usually it’s just a squirm here or there, and he rolls over to nurse. I am usually able to remain mostly asleep for this. Many times I have no recollection in the morning of waking up to nurse him. My only clue will be my exposed breast when I wake up. My husband used to find this hilarious when he would wake up early to go to the gym. There I would be, all sprawled out, with just one breast popped out of the top of my tank top. I’m sure it was quite a sight.
So tell me, do you bed share or co-sleep? I’d love to hear from you!