To co-sleep or not? That is the parenting question. I have been co-sleeping my baby since he was born and for the past few months I been bed-sharing. But many moms seem to disagree with me. Co-sleeping is when the baby sleeps in the same room as the parent(s).
When the baby sleep with mama
I am a new mama and I exclusively breastfeed my son. When he was a newborn, he slept in the baby basinet next to me. It was easier for night feedings because I didn’t have to get out of bed. Of course, he never slept in my bed because I was terrified my husband would roll over him. After the newborn stage I know a lot of moms will leave the baby in the nursery. For me, the thought of having him in another room gave me anxiety. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a new mom and/or my hormones, but I couldn’t imagine being away from him. I felt like a bad mom if he cried and I wasn’t by his side. Some moms told me it’s perfectly healthy and fine for the baby to sleep in his nursery, but for me it caused panic attacks.
Some moms prefer to have the baby in the other room and will use baby monitors. Mothers who bottle feed have to get up and prepare for night feedings, so this makes it easier for them as they go towards the kitchen. When my son was seven months, I was tired of having to get up to feed him and then rock him to sleep. Sometimes, I would fall asleep in the chair with the baby in my arms. So when he would wake up at 4 a. m., I would bring him to our bed. It made night feedings easier and I was no longer afraid we would crush him.
At 10 months he started sleeping in our bed (known as bed-sharing). My little man has taken over the bed and we can’t get a good night’s sleep. But when I talked to my husband about it, we both agreed that we love having him next to us. Seeing his beautiful face and hearing him breathe is so peaceful. We stare at him while he sleeps and we feel blessed and thankful for his life. My husband said he misses our son when he’s not in our bed. Sometimes he’s sleeping in his crib and I tell my husband: “Can I bring him over now? I don’t want to wait until he wakes up.” My husband smiles and nods.
To get him out of bed
Many parents tell us we are wrong and later on we won’t be able to get him to sleep in his own bed, let alone his own room. Many parents also tell us that it’s not healthy for us to have him in our room. That as a couple we need to have our own space and of course our own bed to be intimate. That we need to make time for ourselves and they absolutely right. We rarely have date nights but we do make a conscious effort to be intimate. This means physical, this means intimate conversations, this means checking in with each-other. But my husband and I are on the same page. We know he won’t be a baby for long and we agree that once he’s older we will miss those baby moments. When we are ready to move him to his own room we will. And if we struggle to get him out of our bed, that’s a bridge we will have to cross when we get there.
Co-sleeping and bed-sharing is not right nor wrong. There’s no parenting manual. Most nights we sleep with our baby kicking us in the face, but waking up the next morning to him by our side is priceless.