On Co-sleeping

R.Simple Life | On Co-sleeping

I’ve had a big response to the slight mention of co-sleeping in one of my comments. It seems that everyone wants to hear about this. And I don’t blame everyone. It’s such a hot  topic, which was, indeed the reason I was avoiding it on the blog all together. Everyone has an opinion and people tend to get pretty vocal about it. But because so many of you are interested in what we’re doing, I’m talking about it. I’m even going to leave the comments on, because I love hearing from you. But please be respectful of me and my family, as well as anyone else who comments. Otherwise I’m turning them off. How’s that for my Mom Voice?

Okay co-sleeping. Before I had a baby, I was 100% against co-sleeping. I thought it was dangerous. I thought it was setting your child up for disappointment when they move into their own big, lonely bed. I thought it took away time, intimacy, cuddling, love from your marriage. I was not going to co-sleep. If my child had a nightmare, he could sleep in my room, but not my bed. If he was sick, Mum or Papa would cuddle with him in his bed for part of the night, but again, our bed was going to be off limits.

Fast forward to January 9th, 2013. I had Harry. This sweet little boy who stole my heart in a way I never even knew anyone could. But I still wasn’t going to co-sleep. He could sleep in his rock ‘n play next to our bed. He could even cuddle in our bed while we were all awake. But still, no co-sleeping. Until he was about a week old. And we all napped in our bed together. It was magical. Some of the best sleep of my life. But, I told myself, it was a one off.

Again, hit that fast forward button, this time to about one month in. Harry was still sleeping next to us, yet in his own space. However, he started waking up at 5:30, an hour after eating, and the only thing I could think to do to get more sleep was to pull him into bed with us and cuddle him. Worked like a charm. He fell asleep the second he felt my warm body next to his. We started doing this a few mornings a week.

The co-sleeping really started picking up. We would put him to bed in his own crib, then move him to his bassinet when we went to sleep. Then sometime between 4-6am, he’d come into our bed to finish out the night’s sleep. I never second guessed myself. I wasn’t worried about rolling over on top of him. It’s just this biological thing. I can’t explain it, but it’s just not going to happen. I’m ultra aware of him being there, yet I sleep soundly. We don’t have big fluffy blankets or pillows on the bed that could suffocate him. He’s safe.

I don’t think it takes a single thing away from our marriage, either. Sure, we’re sharing our bed with another person, but it’s our son. Our son who is a wonderful extension of us. We still have our time, Jon and I. I don’t feel like we’re missing anything, on the contrary, I feel like it has brought us together.

And because Harry spends his naps and a large part of the night in his own space, I don’t think it’s going to be a terrible adjustment when we decide co-sleeping is done. He’s used to his crib. He sleeps in his rock ‘n play just fine. It’ll be an adjustment, yes, but I can’t imagine it’s going to be all that terrible.

Will the co-sleeping stop? Yes. We need to have boundaries, and there will be a point where Harry doesn’t sleep in our bed anymore. But for now, it works for us. He’s still waking up 2-3 times a night, and having him that close is great. I get so much more sleep having right next to me in the rock ‘n play, or even closer on the bed. Plus, I’m under the impression that there is nothing sweeter to waking up smooshed into the 8 inches in between the love of your life and your life’s love. That is my kind of snuggle.

I’ve learned so much in these past four months. About parenting, about Harry, about Jon, about myself. So many things that have surprised me. We always think we have it all figured out, right? It’s times like these, though, that remind us that we don’t have a clue. And I love that. So consider this my giant apology to anyone who received an internal eye roll when they talked about co-sleeping with me before I had Harry. I’ve really learned that you just do what is best for your family. And only you know what that is.

Okay. Remember to keep it nice guys. But I’m curious. What do you think about co-sleeping?

xoxo, Mallory

PS This article inspired me to sit down and write this all out. It’s a very different approach to co-sleeping than ours, but it’s kind of amazing. And the pictures, ugh. My heart melted.

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8 thoughts on “On Co-sleeping

  1. Lindsey says:

    Good for you for a great post and GREAT for you for co-sleeping! We had many a great family naps with Eloise in bed for us and then she became more mobile and I could no longer sleep for fear she’d wake up and crawl off the bed. It never happened and probably never would have but when we decided to stop it was zero adjustment for her. I was like you in that never, ever worried about rolling over on her. You are great mama Mallory, don’t ever forget it! xo

    • Mallory says:

      Thanks Lindsey. You’re the sweetest, really. This meant a lot to me! I think when Harry’s a bit more mobile, that might be when we stop co-sleeping. Or maybe we’ll nap on the mattress in the floor of my office/guest room. Who knows! All I know is we all love it right now. XO

  2. duchess1 says:

    And I think the subject is now closed! You are meant to be a mother and are doing a great job of it. You do what you and Harry need to do.

  3. thebabydoctorswife says:

    This is absolutely beautiful. My husband is super against this for the reason of “once we start we won’t be able to stop”, but I think if it works for all three of you, you should do it! Of course he is going to sleep amazing when he is so close to you. That is what he is used to and it’s so precious! Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Grandma J says:

    The best thing I’ve read in a LONG time!! Especially when you wrote

    Plus, I’m under the impression that there is nothing sweeter to waking up smooshed into the 8 inches in between the love of your life and your life’s love. That is my kind of snuggle

    LOVE!!

  5. Wendy says:

    Each situation dictates what is needed, and each family knows what is best for them in each moment.

    We’re humans. We’re learning. When I was teaching full time, on day 1, I’d tell my students, “whoever is perfect, please raise your hand.” In all of my years, only 1 hand went up and it wasn’t mine. It was a girl who didn’t fully listen to the question.

    My point in saying that is that we, as moms or readers, are learning and evolving, too. What we thought once upon a time may not hold true in the next breath.

  6. Jessica Fielhauer says:

    I’m for it (obviously). It wasn’t something I necessarily planned on doing, but we fell into it naturally. I remember initially it made Jeff really anxious and his sleep did suffer from worrying about rolling over on the baby. But I felt innately aware of her presence. I just didnt have to worry about it. And it made those night feeds SO much easier. Seriously, I think co-sleeping was how I survived those blurry first few months.

    Vienna has since transitioned to her own crib in her own room. It was a gradual process and we just looked for clues to let us know all parties were ready.

    I’m continuously amazed by how opinionated people are in regards to parenting. To me, the only real all encompassing secret seems to be that you know your baby best, and to follow your gut.

    • Jessica Fielhauer says:

      Also, i kinda hate how taboo the whole co-sleeping topic is. Like its some dirty secret that’s been dragged out into the light. Whenever I brought it up i felt like i was confessing to some terrible sin. As if by admitting that we co-slept I was saying I didn’t care for my child’s well being enough that i was taking such ‘risks’ in the name of sleep…. BAH.

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