Learning to Love Co-sleeping

Before my daughter was born, I spent months planning her nursery. She was my first baby and it seemed like the thing to do. We had the crib, bedding, changing table, the whole nine yards. She was going to sleep there I needed to make it perfect.

However, Lucy came early and we had a bumpy start. The weeks spent in the NICU kept us hallways and five minutes of hand washing apart. When we finally came home, the thought of putting her in a separate room to sleep just felt wrong.  I felt like part of me was missing after all that time spent separated in the NICU. I needed to have her close. We began co-sleeping so I could roll over and nurse her without opening my eyes. We would snuggle in the morning and I never worried about her in the middle of the night. The truth is we were all sleeping and feeling great about our situation.

It wasn’t long before we started hearing the choruses of people telling us we were spoiling her or creating bad sleep habits by co-sleeping. I kept telling myself we would transition her into her own bed soon. Days, weeks, and eventually months went buy. At one point we actually started telling people she was sleeping in her own bed just to stop hearing from the critics.

When Lucy was six months old we all started losing sleep. She wanted to stretch and started to have trouble staying asleep when my husband and I would come to bed. After some thought, we decided to go back to the Pack-n-play.

When my son was born, I immediately knew where he was sleeping, and it was a good thing, because Jack needed to be near me even more than my little preemie Lucy. At this point I didn’t care what anyone thought because it was the best choice for my family and me.

Interestingly, the American Association of Pediatrics recently released new recommendations for parents regarding sleep, stating that infants should room share with mom and dad to at least 12 months to help reduce SIDS risk. Although they don’t recommend bed sharing, you can read more about safe bed sharing guidelines here to make an informed decision for your family.

Both kids still come and sleep with me occasionally, and I still love our slumber parties. I wish I had been so confidant in my choices the first time. It would have made all of our lives easier if I had just stood up for myself.

Allison Klaine is the mother of two. Born and raised in the great state of Illinois. She hope to help other parents by figuring out solutions to the problems she had that at the time she was too sleep deprived to solve on her own.  

 

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