Co-sleeping was one of those things I swore that I would never do as a parent. Before Gianna was born I was a huge fan of crying it out and children sleeping in their own cribs from little one. And then Gianna was born and everything changed. Due to some jaundice Gianna came home with a bili blanket and let me tell you she hated that thing. We had to swaddle her in the bili blanket which was a quick way to instantly make her scream. The first two nights of her being home from the hospital were a nightmare. Between nursing every 1.5 hours at night, swaddling her in the bili blanket and then listening to her scream for 2 hours straight until the next feeding was exhausting. Not to mention getting in and out of bed repeatedly after a c-section is not quite pain free. Day 3 we moved to the couch and I ordered a infant co-sleeper for the bed and from then on we became co sleepers. At 10 months Gianna moved to her own crib where she slept through the night after 2 days and I enjoyed time sleeping alone until Ethan came where we co-slept from night one as well
I get a lot of questions about co-sleeping and thought I would answer them for you all
1. How do you get any sleep when sleeping with a baby?
I get more sleep co-sleeping than I do when my babies are in their own cribs. Here is why. If they wake up in the middle of the night it's a soft, muffle that I hear. Before they can even reach full on crying mode I roll over, pop a boob in their mouth and they are good to go. Now that Ethan is in his own room I'm up every 2 hours popping his pacifier back in his mouth. I'm more exhausted now than I was the first 6 months of his life! If you aren't breastfeeding however co-sleeping may make no difference in your sleep patterns!
2. How do you and your husband find time for yourself with the baby sleeping with you?
Well my husband was deployed the first 6 months of Ethan's life so that didn't matter and when we co-slept with Gianna he was home on and off due to training. My advice though is to take advantage of nap time and get creative. Co -sleeping can add some unintended spice to your relationship if you catch my drift
3. Aren't you worried about having a teenager sleeping in bed with you? I get this question all the time. I'd tell someone we co-slept and they'd immediately gasp and ask if I planned on having my kids sleep with me until they were teenagers. Or if I was afraid that by co-sleeping I was hindering their independence.
My answer to these is this. No and No. I believe that kids develop at their own time and at their own rate. We tried sleep training Gianna at around 5 months. Nothing worked. I read every book on the matter and tried everything. Nothing. She preferred to sleep with us. Then one day it seemed like she had a harder time falling asleep in our bed. So the next night we put her in her crib and that was that. No issues. She also weaned herself off of me all by herself around the same time. It was as if she was saying I'm done being the baby and ready for the next stage of life.
Ethan loves sleeping with someone close. He has to have something to hold onto and feel in order to fall asleep. But he has no problem falling asleep on his own as long as he has those things. I started transitioning him outta my bed and into the bassinet at about 5 months. It wasn't long before he slept in it all night and started forming regular sleep patterns. Now he is in his crib and besides popping his paci in occasionally we have had no issues. So no I'm not worried about my children having weird attachement issues as they get older. If you met my daughter you would see how independent and strong willed she is and see why I have no concerns about any of that at all
4. Why don't you have your kids on a schedule.
From day one our pediatrician told me that a schedule in the end would make me more tired than I already was. Our dr is big on on demand feeding and following the babies routines. And I have done that with both my children. It works for us. I follow my babies cues regarding feeding and sleeping and go from there. Eventually a schedule will present itself and that's what I follow. Due to teething or sickness it may change but Ethan has a very structured schedule that is his own doing. I just go along with his cues. Now that Gianna is a toddler she is on a schedule set by me but basically it just consists of a nap and bed time that are the same every day. And both of my kids flourish on my lack of schedule schedule.
I do know this doesn't work for everyone. Lots of my friends have schedules from day one and their kids thrive and flourish as well.
In the end parenting is about doing what works best for you. Not what the books suggest, or what your friends or parent's tell you. Trust your instinct and you will be fine
If you have any more questions about co-sleeping dont hesitate to ask