Since the moment I had my son, co-sleeping felt natural to me. Some of my favorite memories directly following his birth were of him falling asleep in my arms at the hospital. They tell you not to do it, that they can fall. I get it. But then I don’t. There must be some sort of instinct moms have that allow you to have the best sleep you’ve ever had while holding a tiny newborn, yet be aware of their every movement and stirring. Our pediatrician scolded me for co-sleeping. I stopped telling her about it.
When I brought Brody home from the hospital we spent a lot of time co-sleeping during the day in our big, comfy, king bed. I wanted to be in our room and sleep so much partly because I was exhausted after 56 hours of induced labor, partly because my mother in law was there- not giving a new mom space. Those moments were perfect in our bed, shut off from the rest of the world.
In the nights he slept with us or next to our bed in the bassinet. His room was on the opposite side of the house and that wasn’t going to work out. He didn’t share a bed with us all the time because my husband and I were a little worried with all the warning you’re given. After a few months of this, when he felt “sturdier,” he came back to bed with us full time. It was wonderful. Brody stayed in bed with us until he started rolling and crawling to the point where I was concerned he would topple right off the bed. I think this was about 7 months. We moved him back to the bassinet or pack-n-play, which started next to my side of the bed, moved to the door, in the living room and eventually into his own room in the crib.
It never felt “right” after he stopped sleeping with us. I have often felt like it is unnatural to not have your children sleep with you, however I parented a lot differently with Brody. Society rules and doctor recommendations played a larger role in my parenting decisions than they do now. Now I tend to parent both kid more instinctually.
When Lola was born it was no different. She slept in my arms the first few weeks during naps and at night. I resisted it some nights since Brody was getting up in the middle of the night to get in bed with us. He rolls around in his sleep like crazy and I was concerned about her safety. Co-sleeping guides tell you not to bedshare with a newborn and toddler unless you can put the newborn on the end, closet to mom. We don’t have a co-sleeper attachment so some nights she slept in her bassinet next to our bed, just like her brother did.
Now that Lola is a little older I am less concerned about us all being in the bed at the same time. I feel happiest during the times we are all sharing a bed. All feels right in the world in those moments. Even though we don’t strictly co-sleep 100% of the time, I still consider us a co-sleeping family, and I love it. One of my all time favorite parenting observations is from Dr. William Sears:
**Disclaimer: I don’t think I follow the safety guidelines on co-sleeping with whoever make up the rules… Please research co-sleeping guidelines before doing so. 😉 ***