When it comes to co-sleeping and bed-sharing we’ve covered an awful lot — but never have we listed practical tips for families who are introducing the practices into their lives! I’ve compiled the top five most helpful bits of information I ever received for co-sleeping.
I share my story because I don’t want other new parents to go through what I went through. My advice is simply to trust yourself and trust your child. You know what’s best for your family and your child knows what they need. Babies are born with personalities and preferences that can’t be accounted for in a one-size-fits-all parenting philosophy. Children are more resilient than we think. If Plan A doesn’t work, keep trying until something does.
I haven’t had an infant in years so it’s easy to forget that the world of baby stuff keeps on expanding. While looking up something or other on Amazon the other night I stumbled upon the Keep it Kleen Pacifier — aka the pacifier that closes up when it’s dropped.
I went on amazon and bought all the top books on baby sleep and development. I read through them all, as well as several blogs and sleep websites. I gathered lots of advice.
Fifteen years ago when I became a parent for the first time, I wasn’t familiar with the term Attachment Parenting or co-sleeping. I did know that my son was my world, and never having him far from me made sense. Also, let’s be honest — as a single mama who was wiped out most of the time, letting my baby come into my bed where we both slept peacefully seemed like a no-brainer.
We co-slept until my daughter was eight months old. It was an amazing experience for me, but she started teething at eight months. As the primary breadwinner of the family, and also the lightest sleeper, my husband felt it would be best to transition her to her own room, so that I could get at least a little sleep before embarking on what is typically a 13 hour day. But I hated putting her in a tiny crib (to be fair, she is big for her size)… so we decided to turn her room into a crib.
Honestly, bed-sharing with my snoring, hard-to-wake husband might inspire more resentment between us, more sleep-deprived fantasies of pillow smothering. I don’t think sharing a bed would save a failing marriage, nor do I think separate beds would destroy a good one. But what do I know? I’ve only been married for 9 years.
I have not yet fallen pregnant, and already I have every mother I know telling me to sleep train. Women who co-sleep are social pariahs, and my family regard the biggest mistake that a mother can make as “taking baby to bed with you.” Friends who have babies who go to sleep at a particular bedtime attribute this to sleep training, and are able to lead fairly pleasant social lives after 7pm because of it. Some women I know even claim that baby sleeps through the night from the get-go with sleep training.