Before Ani was born I was insistent that we would NOT co-sleep. We bought an expensive crib that our baby was going to love sleeping in. My mother, never one to offer unsolicited advice, just sort of smiled smugly and said nothing. Halfway through the second night home Jamie decided that the whole getting up to get the baby and bringing her to the bed for me to nurse was not the way he wanted to spend future nights. He suggested we co-sleep. I readily agreed. And my mom’s smug smile turned into a very approving one (my parents co-slept with all of us, too).
Here we are three children later and I still love co-sleeping. I love it more than I did when we first started with Ani. I have seen, time and again, the benefits. For a while when Ani and Cameron were small we co-slept with two. We bought an extra bed and had lots of space. I suspect we’ll be co-sleeping with two again, at least part of the time, this summer.
There’s nothing like waking up with a little angelic sleeping face next to you. There’s nothing like the feeling of turning to face away from the little one and soon after feeling a little hand or foot move over in their sleep just so they can touch you and be sure you are still there. There’s nothing like being able to barely wake up, if at all, to nurse during the night and your husband insisting the baby is already sleeping through the night because even if the baby isn’t, he is.
A big added bonus of co-sleeping is that those sleepless nights aren’t so sleepless. I’ve never been sleep deprived when I have another baby and I attribute that greatly to co-sleeping. When a baby is teething and needs to nurse more or just be held and comforted, I can do that laying in bed without being totally awake. When a baby is having a developmental growth spurt and is just plain awake, I can attend to their needs laying in bed without being totally awake. When a baby or older child is sick, I can cuddle with them in bed holding them in a way that gives comfort and ensures my ability to monitor their temperature and breathing again, lying in bed without being totally awake.
As for that expensive crib, for a while it was a really expensive laundry holder and then we sold it for almost nothing to a friend who insisted she would not co-sleep. Another friend advised her not to buy it, saying that co-sleeping was the way to go. We moved before I found out if she used it. I’ve often wondered if she did or not.