I read all the articles on safe baby sleep, and made sure I bought a crib that met all the guidelines.
The crib was set up in our bedroom as recommended. The crib sheet was nice and tight, and there was not a pillow or stuffed animal within a five mile radius. It was the definition of a safe sleep environment for a newborn. And did she sleep in the damn thing? Absolutely not.
I did not plan to co sleep, but I knew I didn’t want my baby too far either. I dug around online for a while and liked the idea of sidecaring the crib against my bed. But, with moving and getting everything else ready for the baby, we just ran out of time.
The first few nights home with the baby, I got almost no sleep. I was constantly up checking on my baby and making sure she was still breathing.
She spent two nights in her swing before I moved her into my bed, and just like that, I became the co-sleeping mom I said I would never be.
After I learned how to safely co-sleep, we decided it would be a great fit for our family. While it’s not always great, there are a few things that make it worth while.
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As a mom who chose not to breastfeed, I definitely worried about a lack of bonding between my baby and myself.
I’m sure taking care of my baby night and day made up the majority of the bonding between my daughter and I, but I feel co-sleeping really did help.
This is also prime time for some skin to skin, which helps even more with bonding.
There is nothing quite like cuddling your sweet baby all night and then waking up to see their adorable little face.. or crying little face, whichever it may be.
I’m looking at you, nursing mamas! While I did not breastfeed, there were many nights I wished I could’ve just whipped out what the good lord gave me instead of doing the same song and dance of making a bottle over and over again.
But, just because I didn’t breastfeed doesn’t mean co-sleeping wasn’t still convenient.
Sometimes my daughter woke up during the night and simply wanted me to put her paci back in her mouth, which I learned to do practically in my sleep since she was right beside me in my bed and not across the room! This meant more sleep for me and baby!
My daughter was born at the end of November, but we don’t have harsh winters so I wasn’t really worried about it.
Well, for reasons unknown, Alabama chose this particular year to be the year we have an actual winter. I’m talking 9 degree Fahrenheit highs on some days! (This is considered very cold in the south.)
Before I moved the baby into our bed, I checked her religiously throughout the night to make sure to make sure she didn’t get too cold. This is where my husband, human heater extraordinaire, comes in.
That man puts off a lot of heat! We all slept much better after my daughter had mine and my husbands body heat to keep her warm at night!
PEACE OF MIND
This one could go either way, some may feel relieved with their baby beside them all night, while others feel they are much safer in a crib.
When we brought my daughter home, I woke up every hour or two, not because my baby was crying, but because I wanted to check if she was still breathing. I checked excessively because I was truly terrified.
After moving her to my bed and feeling her next to me all night, I slept much better! I, however, was not the only one to reap the benefits, my baby slept better because when she woke, I was right there beside her.
My smell, my breathing, my heartbeat, they all aided in comforting her back to sleep without me even being awake.
LESS SHEETS TO WASH
Need I say more? I mean, do you know anyone who enjoys doing laundry? Do you know anyone who smiles at the idea of folding a dozen tiny fitted sheets?
I can think of a million things I would rather do than laundry. With baby in your bed, you save time spent doing laundry and instead spend it, oh, I don’t know, cuddling that sweet baby.
Of course, co sleeping is not for everyone. I know moms whose children never slept a single night in their bed and they wouldn’t have it any other way! Parenting is all about finding what works for you and your family.
Do you co sleep? Did you enjoy it? Would you do it over again?