While pregnant with my first, I did all the research first time moms do. I read every book and every mom blog on babycenter. We had the crib and the swing, a bassinet and a few other things. I really believed that my baby would exit the womb knowing exactly how to breastfeed and how to sleep alone in his crib, exactly like the books said. I learned everything I ‘should do’ once my baby was here. To my surprise, the things I learned in the books were a lot harder to do with a real life newborn baby as an exhausted first time mother.
The baby books didn’t tell me that my baby would prefer to be in my arms 99% of the time. They didn’t talk about the breastfeeding challenges or how tiring it would be to give baby a bottle every two hours on the dot. The books didn’t talk about babies fussing once you laid them down.
So, sometime after birth and learning about real parenthood, we began cosleeping.
I don’t know how it happened or when it started really. Honestly, it was probably our first night home. All I know is my husband and I made the decision to let our baby boy snuggle with us as much as possible.
We didn’t want to put him down, he loved being close to us, and it allowed us to get more rest in the long run. We loved every minute of it
He was formula fed, because breastfeeding didn’t work out for us, so I still had to get up out of bed a few times a night to make bottles.
But I didn’t have to walk to another bed to get the baby, hold the baby while making the bottle, go to a feeding spot, feed him the bottle, put the baby back to bed, and then walk back to my bed to try to fall asleep.
To make it easier on myself and dad, I even kept a gallon of water in our room along with the formula and bottles.
So I was able to get up and make the bottle, lay back down, feed the baby, and fall back asleep with him. All while staying in, or a few feet around, my comfy bed.
“You realize you’ll never get him to sleep on his own right?”
Despite what other people told me, he didn’t actually sleep with us forever. Although sometimes it did feel like he would. He is now a 7 year old kid who does in fact sleep in his own bed every night.
I’ve received lots of judgy comments over the years once people hear I cosleep. But those comments have never bothered me, because cosleeping has always felt right to me.
It’s never felt out of the norm. In fact, the “normal” put your baby in a crib down the hall away from you is what has always sounded unnatural to me.
“You’ll never get to be alone as a couple anymore.“
I did go on to have two more children who have also coslept with us. In fact, we’ve had a kid (or two) sleeping in our bed with us for the past 7 and a half years.
Wow, right? That’s what I said when I realized it lol. I know what you’re thinking, how were we able to make more babies?
Well cosleeping doesn’t mean your love life is over. It doesn’t mean you’ll never have time with your spouse. It just means you get to become more creative. And have more fun 😉
In the end, cosleeping is what works best for our family.
I was inspired last night to write this post, sharing a bit about our cosleeping journey with you.
It was the middle of the night while my youngest and I were snuggled up nursing.
He grabbed ahold of my hand and held it until he was finished and then rolled over.
Usually in the middle of the night, I just whip out the boob and as soon as he latches we’re both straight back to sleep.
But when he grabbed my hand last night, I woke right up.
It moved me to tears. I don’t really know why, because he always holds my hand, but last night it was extra special.
It was one of those moments where I was reminded of how special the bond between a mother and child is.
These years with them aren’t going to last forever.
I want to spend my time being as close to my kids as I can. I want to use this time to build a relationship that is unbreakable.
I want them to know that I am always here. No matter what. I want them to know that my love is everlasting.
I want them to know that I will sacrifice my space, my comfort, my body, and my bed for them.
My personal opinion is that my bond with my kids is so strong because we choose to cosleep with them.
I’m not saying that if you don’t cosleep with your kids then you won’t be close with them. But I am saying that you can choose to cosleep with your baby if that’s what you feel is right for your family.
Cosleeping is natural.
It’s natural for your baby to want to be close to you. And it’s natural for you to want to be close to your baby.
When done safely, cosleeping is a beautiful thing.
One day when our bed is empty, we’ll look back on these years and be grateful for the memories of tiny, trusting hands grasping our fingers.
Learn more about cosleeping here.