We co-sleep. Since there is lots of confusion about this term and there are several different ways of co-sleeping (including any combination of them), here are 4 ways to co-sleep that I took from Naturemoms.com:
“The family bed: Parents and baby sleep together in one bed usually king-sized.
Side-by-side: The child sleeps on a separate mattress or futon on the floor next to the parent’s bed.
Sidecar: A cradle or crib is nestled adjacent to the parent’s bed, sometimes with one side of the crib removed.
Shared room: The baby and parents have separate beds in the same room.”
We share a room all the time, and then part of the night Ellers shares our bed with us. She generally starts off in her own bed, but when she wakes up for her nightly boob session, she stays in our bed with me. It just works out that we all get more sleep that way. And since she starts off sleeping in her crib (which is in our room – something I would have never dreamed of doing before I got pregnant), I still get my snuggle time with Daddy. Works out great for us.
We fell into co-sleeping sort of by accident. Before I got pregnant I swore I didn’t want my kids sleeping in my bed with me nor in our room after they were a few months old. I figured the two bedrooms on the other end of the house were the perfect distance away from our bedroom. But after Ellers was born (at home), I couldn’t even leave her in her bassinet on the other side of my bedroom that first night. I couldn’t sleep. I had to get up and check on her every few minutes. And the tearing sensation in my heart at having my newborn baby that far away from me was unbearable. So for those first few nights, she slept solely in my bed with me. I didn’t sleep well because I was very, very conscious of her next to me, but it was better than not sleeping at all.
As time has gone on, we have changed our sleeping arrangements/routine several times and I anticipate that they will change many more times before it’s over with.
After those first couple nights, I started letting her sleep in her bassinet. When she woke up to eat, I would sit up and nurse her, then put her back in the bassinet. This was exhausting and finally. I started letting her sleep with me after she woke up to eat. I got a LOT more rest this way.
Gradually, her night time feedings decreased, until currently, she only wakes up once to eat a night. Another thing I love about having her sleep in our room is that she doesn’t have to wake up at all. Her grunting, “I’m-getting-hungry” noises wake me up before she’s ever even hungry enough to open her eyes. Fabulous. I might or might not be able to hear them on a baby monitor; I don’t know since we have never tried. But that would mean getting up and walking to another room, which I’m pretty sure would wake me up a lot more than walking six feet to her crib. Also, I don’t think I would like not being able to see my baby or hear her breathing at night.
While co-sleeping doesn’t work for everyone, keep in mind that co-sleeping is an umbrella term for many various sleeping arrangements. Do what works for you and your family!