Sunday, September 5, 2010

Our Story of Co-Sleeping

Before getting pregnant I had definite opinions about babies sleeping in our bed, I was against it. I couldn’t imagine letting our children come between David and I. We had been married for 9 years before getting prego, so it’d just been the 2 of us for a long time. We had no idea what it was like to have a child of our own, so we thought they would need their own space and not in our intimate space. After finally getting prego we talked about where the baby would sleep for the first couple of months. You see David had a sister who died of SIDS, so this left a fear in him. He didn’t like the idea of the baby being so far away in its own room and bed. So we agreed to a bassinette at the end of our bed and for about 3 months, then to his own bed after that.

So then I’m in labor expecting to have a home birth and after 2 ½ days of labor we transfer to the hospital for an emergency c-section. When I was finally awake again (I was under a general) and in my room after a very long labor, I was finally holding my long awaited baby boy Trey. That night when I was ready to go to sleep I knew I wasn’t going to put him in that plastic box to sleep. He was going to sleep in my arms, I wasn’t about to let him be away from me.

When we got home I didn’t like the idea of him sleeping by himself where I couldn’t touch him. So we put him in bed with us and we liked it. It gave us peace of mind to have him near. I also realized that having him in bed with us made it easier to breastfeed. And because I didn’t have to get out of bed to nurse, I could go back to sleep really easily.

We told our pediatrician we were co-sleeping, while she didn’t say anything against it she did tell us that we should aim to have him in his own bed by 6months because after that it would be harder to get him to sleep in his own bed. So from about 3-6 months I stressed about the day we’d have to put him in his own bed. I was doing what felt right and comfortable and was working for our family but this expert was saying to move him out by 6mo. So around 5mo we tried to put him in his own bed. He fell asleep in my arms and then I put him down. He slept for a few hours till he woke up wanting to eat but he didn’t want to go to sleep in his bed. So I put him back in our bed because we both needed to go to sleep.

I talked to David about it and he said that if this worked for us and we all loved it then it was ok for him to sleep with us past 6 mos. It made me feel better because he was saying exactly how I felt. (I’ve since learned to listen to my intuition more.) So, here we are at over 2 years old and still co-sleeping and we absolutely love it! It’s one of our favorite things to do as a family. It’s great on days we don’t feel like we’ve seen Trey enough, or on those days when I want to cuddle him more. We don’t have any plans on moving him out; I think we’ve just figured that when he’s ready to have a bed of his own we’ll move him out. We are working on baby #2 and we plan to not only co-sleep with the baby but keep sleeping with Trey as well. Our time with our children, while they are little, goes by so fast and this is just one way we fully enjoy them.

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