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?
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.