Monday, August 17, 2015

Cosleeping - Our Experience

Long ago, before I had children, I was one of those people who thought cosleeping was for hippies. Seriously! I could not understand why anyone would share their bed with their baby or their little children. It seemed weird and inconvenient to me.

Then I had a child.

A wonderful child whose love language seems to be touch.

But it took me a while to realize that cosleeping would be the best thing for her - for us.

When Michaela was a newborn, she slept next to my side of the bed in her bassinet. Aside from waking in the night for a feeding, she was a good sleeper.

Then I had to go back to work.

I think I started transitioning her to her crib at least couple of weeks before school started that year, but she did not like the change at all. She awakened in the night more than once, and resisted going back to sleep. It was really hard having my sleep interrupted like that, and especially when the alarm clock was going to go off at 5 AM. The first two months of the school year were brutal in that regard.

If it weren't for a trip to Las Vegas that November, I don't know that I would have figured it out as soon as I did. Although I had brought the portable crib, that first night in the hotel room I had an idea that changed everything. The bed was close to a short wall, and I decided to fill the gap between the bed and that wall with the extra pillows - that way she wouldn't fall off the bed. Then I put her in the bed with the pillow barrier on one side, and I was on the other. Lights out, and voila! She slept the entire night. She didn't even wake up for a feeding. It was amazing!

So that was the beginning of our cosleeping.

Almost four years later, we still cosleep most of the time. During last summer and this summer, I expected her to sleep in her own bed most nights because we have a lot of time together every day. But when I go back to work in a few weeks, she will sleep in my bed again most likely. A Facebook friend who also cosleeps with her school-aged daughter, said that it seems like it fills her daughter's bucket (so to speak) of that close time with mom. I have to agree with that.

It's a sacrifice to share your bed with your baby or young child, for sure. If I were married still, I'm not sure it would have been an ongoing sacrifice we would have been willing to make. But being that it's just Michaela and Mommy, there really is no downside to letting her sleep in my bed. I'm sure there will come a day in the not-too-distant future when she would rather be in her own bed. Until then, this is what works.

Do you, or did you, cosleep with your child(ren)? If so, was it the result of a change of heart (like me), or had you always intended to cosleep?


  1. Co-sleeping is a wonderful gift both to parent and child. My daughter is adopted from China and though she seemed fine being in foster care and bonding well to us we cherished every opportunity for touching and being together. My husband is often away on business and even as a teen she still brings her pillow into my room and we read books together and cuddle. What a gift! They will be gone too soon. Our motto is let's enjoy every moment of our fleeting time together.
    Michaela is so precious in that sleeping picture!
    Blessing to you and have a wonderful time in Alaska,

    1. Kyra, thanks for the comment! How sweet that your big girl still enjoys that close time with you. I have a feeling Michaela will be the same way!

  2. Always have. I give her the option to sleep in her room and she's tried a few times but after a couple of hours crawls back in with me. It works for us! Hannah is another one whose love language is physical touch and she gets her tank filled up at night with my hand on her back or her little arm around me. Works for us and like you, so thankful I gave it a try!

    1. Maybe it was you, Catherine, who said it fills her bucket. Whoever said it first, that imagery resonated with me and helped me have a change of heart about the whole thing.

  3. I do not co-sleep with my children, mostly because they sleep better in their own bed. However, I do enjoy the morning cuddles when they come into my bed for a few extra winks of sleep. My mom was a single parent, so I slept with her for a long time. I LOVED it. It was very comforting and relaxing. To this day, we still call each other "sleep partners." ;)

  4. I always knew I would NEVER allow a child to sleep in my/our bed. Well just like many other aspects of child rearing I was incorrect. Lily just moved out when I did her room make over but "sleeps over" if the mood strikes. As for Rosie, she'll never leave. I have just as many strong opinions as to why we should as I used to have to why we shouldn't but I will just leave you with this thought: name one other mammal that sets it's child alone, far from the mother, in the dark to sleep alone?


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