Tuesday, March 26, 2013
My Experience with Co-Sleeping
Lately I've been reading more and more about co-sleeping and hearing parents talk about it left and right. Perhaps it's because I'm a parent now that I notice these conversations and articles more? Either way, it's a hot topic for lots of people. I understand the safety concerns of bed-sharing, but that hasn't stopped me from having my baby in bed with me at night. I believe it can be done safely.
My daughter, Ayla, starts off most nights in her arm's reach co-sleeper. She, my husband and I all go to bed around 10. I nurse her in bed and one of us holds her until she falls asleep. Then we lay her down in the co-sleeper. I use the next 30 minutes to an hour to talk to hubby, check email, peruse Facebook, play on Pinterest, write my to do list for the next day, etc. Ayla usually wakes up about 3 hours after we put her down the first time. I roll over and pull her into bed with me. I'll nurse her and change her diaper if she needs it. If she falls asleep right away I'll put her back in the co-sleeper. Otherwise that's usually when I lay her down in bed with me. She'll stay in bed next to me until she wakes up in the morning around 9.
This routine has become habit over the past 4 months or so. I've noticed she and I both sleep better in bed together. She will sleep longer stretches and not nurse for as long during the middle of the night. This ultimately leads to a happier more rested mom, and a happier mom means a happier baby. If there is ever a time that I'd rather sleep with just my husband and me in our bed (trust me there is) her co-sleeper is right next to me waiting.
Co-sleeping is the right answer for me and my family right now. Ayla is getting close to out growing her co-sleeper so within a couple months our arrangement may change. I can't say if/when we're going to transition her to a crib in another room, but for the mean time we like it the way it is.