In today’s post, I want to tell you about bed-sharing and co-sleeping and what has worked for us.
Sleep Options for Infants
There are several options for sleeping infants. Baby can sleep in a crib. Baby can sleep in a co-sleeper in your room, attached to your bed or maybe set up in the corner of your room or baby can sleep in the bed with you.
We did a little bit of everything with our eldest. With our youngest, however, we’ve had some issues with napping and night-time sleeping. For one thing, she doesn’t like the swaddle. I know some of you might be thinking, “Oh, no, she really does like the swaddle.” No, she really doesn’t like being swaddled! After diligently working with her on the swaddle, I discovered it just didn’t work with her. So, we have decided for our family to bed-share, at least for now.
Bed Sharing and Co-sleeping
Bed-sharing and co-sleeping sometimes get thrown around to mean the same thing but they are different. Bed-sharing is when your baby sleeps in the bed with you, next to you. Co-sleeping usually meaning baby sleeping next to your bed in a small bassinet or crib, or elsewhere in your bedroom near by.
With my oldest, we bed-shared for a little while and then used a co-sleeper. Around four months, we moved her to a regular sized crib in her own room but this baby is breaking the mold and we are still bed-sharing at three months. Otherwise, she flaps her little self awake. I want talk with you about how we bed share, how we make it work, and how we make it safe for us.
We have a king-size bed, which helps. Let me paint you a word picture of what our evenings look like. When we go to bed, we usually start with our little on her side. She sleeps like that most of the time, and she’s done that since we brought her home from the hospital. Her pediatrician said that some babies prefer sleeping on their side and our is definitely one of them.
In our positioning for bed sharing, I have my body protectively wrapped around hers, and she’s either on her back or side with her sweet little blanket. Once I’ve nursed her, loved on her, bounced her and put her into bed, she has a blanket I tuck around her. Afterwards, I get my blanket and I cover myself mostly to my waist, sometimes up over my shoulders.
About the Co-Sleeper
Now that I’ve given you a visual of our bed-sharing, let’s talk a bit about the co-sleeper. Our co-sleeper is attached to the edge of our bed and is anchored over on the other side of the bed, so it’s not going anywhere. It’s pretty much level with our mattress so it’s easy for me to reach in and pick her up.
Truth be told, she hasn’t really slept much in her co-sleeper. My oldest slept in hers quite a lot. This baby hasn’t yet but we’re moving in that direction. Until we can get her into a crib, using a co-sleeper is my next step because it’s easy to get to her during the night. I can hear her and reach over to put my hand on her without leaving the warmth of my bed. A co-sleeper is a really great option, we just haven’t been able to get there yet.
Let’s have a quick overview and also a bit of a disclaimer. Obviously, if you have been drinking or if you’re taking any sort of medicine that’s going to alter your consciousness or make you drowsy, don’t have the baby in the bed with you. Don’t leave your baby on the couch or anywhere the baby can roll and become wedged. That’s a very real danger. If you have baby in bed with you use separate covers. Make sure to keep your covers on you, and your baby’s covers on baby.
Is It Okay for Baby Close to Dad?
I’ve heard it said that it’s best for baby to be close to the mother versus the father. I personally think that moms are just biologically a little more aware that they have their infant next to them. I do, at times, have our little in between my husband and me, but I always keep her fairly close to my body. He knows, as this is our second time around, to sleep over on his side of the bed. We have a king-size bed, so that also helps. If you have a super squishy mattress or a water bed, don’t bed-share. These are points to remember.
Another thing, once baby falls asleep in bed with you, you can always move baby over to the co-sleeper. There are all kinds of different scenarios that can work. Just be smart. Use common sense because of the inherent dangers that come with bed-sharing. This is my disclaimer; if you’re not careful, co-sleeping can be dangerous to your baby. Co-sleeping is something I prayed about and gave a lot of thought to before I started doing it.
There is an old saying that goes something like this, when mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy. Moms, you need your sleep. I needed sleep and this is what worked well for us. Our little sleeps well at night, thank you Jesus, and eventually we will move her into her own space, probably once she outgrows flapping her arms. During the night I sometimes get smacked in the nose!
If you’re considering bed-sharing, I urge you to do the research. Get online, research bed-sharing and co-sleeping and figure out what feels best for you.
How to get your little to actually go to sleep is another story. Let me tell you about a customized strategy I’ve discovered for just that very thing!
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Thanks for stopping by today! Have a great day. 🙂