My thoughts on co sleeping and a family bed.
Alright I'll start off with briefly explaining co-sleeping for those of you who aren't quite sure. There are many names for it Co-Sleeping, Family Bed, Bed-Sharing etc. In its simplest form it's when kid(s) sleep in bed with both their parents.
Many articles are against it because it can be dangerous with a new born (rolling off the bed, suffocation, less sleep for parents etc. ) and many articles are for it (bonding with the child, encourages breast feeding, better sleep for child, etc).
We always took every precaution possible while Jane co-slept with us a new born. Bed rail, barrier between her and I as well as removing pillows and puffy blankets. If you want to know more about the steps we too and how we built a newborn safe bed rail please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Initially when we got pregnant and were picturing how life would be with a baby, we always pictured Jane independently sleeping in her own room. Unfortunately for us Jane was diagnosed with Colic early on (You can read about that in this post here). So for us any sort of night time or bed routine was unimaginable.
She would scream for a minimum of 9 hours a day, usually starting sometime in the evening and stretching into the wee hours of the morning. We felt so lucky and blessed the moment she fell asleep. Whether it be on us sitting up in bed, laying along side of me feeding or heck, anywhere!
So the idea of her sleeping in her own room in her own bed ad actually sleeping didn't come until she was about 6 months old. Her colic had ended and she had her own room and crib to sleep in.
She still managed to spend most nights in our bed and to this day occasionally will want to come sleep with us. And that is fine by me. Often when shes teething or sick with a fever she wants to snuggle us in order to fall asleep and then other nights she is restless in bed with us and asks to go to her own bed.
Now unfortunately I've experienced a lot of judgement when it comes to co-sleeping. People would constantly ask me "Did she sleep in her own bed?" Or say "Oh she should really be sleeping in her own bed." When they didn't know she was awake and screaming until 4 am. It would make me feel inadequate and like a failure as a mom. I hope as a mother you don't have to (or didn't have to) face anything of the sort. You parent that baby the way you see fit.
Then rises the question about intimacy, and I'm not talking about getting busy, I'm talking about one-on-one time spent with your spouse. Chris and I still need time alone without Jane to reconnect and be together. Once a week we plan a date night even if its just an hour to go for a walk. I look forward to that time with him. An evening with dinner, bowling, dancing, some board games that stretch late into the night. We are so fortunate to have this luxury of having Chris's parents live so close. I know others don't have the same kind of support we do and we are so very grateful for it and do not take it for granted. If you can only get out once a month that great. It's important to date your husband too, especially when co-sleeping.