I wanted to write this post because as a FTM I think it’s important that I explore and explaining my reasoning for making the parenting choices I’ve made (even if just for myself). Before T was born Alix and I went out to buy a pack and play for her. It was really important to us that it also had a bassinet and a changing table. In our minds we thought this would be extremely useful for T. She would also be in the room so that I could breastfeed (another plan that was derailed). We set it up in our room and waited until the day we could use it. T made her appearance shortly after that and let me just say nothing went as planned. As explained in previous posts T spent the first two weeks of her life in the NICU. Everyday when I came home after visiting her I’d go to bed and stare at the empty bassinet on the pack and play loathing its existence. Whenever I went to visit T in the hospital she would always be asleep on my chest she was most peaceful sleeping there. It was my favorite part but also emotionally draining when it was over.
Finally the day came when we could bring her home. At home we also had a rocker for her that we had gotten at our baby shower. We found that if we got her in a tight swaddle she would actually nap somewhere other then our arms. (Which was nice because I had started to develop ‘mom wrist’ ). For the first couple of weeks she was at home with us Alix and I took shifts watching her while the other one slept. We’d trade off around 1:30am. However we began to miss going to bed together and decided we would just try to get T to sleep in our bedroom and we could sleep next to each other again. We proceeded to bring her rocker into the bedroom with us and try and all go to sleep. T had other ideas though. While in the rocker she was very fidgety and would begin to cry when I took my hand away from her. It became apparent to me that I wasn’t going to get any sleep with T in her rocker. So I took her out of the rocker positioned her on her back in the crock of my arm and wrapped my body around her (almost as a wall of sorts). When she woke up around 3am to eat again I woke up in the same position as when I had fallen asleep.
I hadn’t planned on bed sharing. It didn’t even register as a possibility until it just sort of happened. I’d heard horror stories about SIDS. For me I made the decision because I trust myself. I don’t drink or smoke and I’m very in tune with my daughter’s movements. I don’t wish to have a family bed forever, but for now I see no harm. Everyone is different and I believe that every mother should be self aware enough to know if bed sharing or some form of cosleeping is beneficial or safe for your family. Notice in the last sentence I did say mother. I truly believe it’s an instinct the mother has. I wouldn’t let Alix sleep with T. I’d be to afraid he’d accidentally roll on top of her.
T’s doctor was not supportive of the idea of bed sharing with her. He’s entitled to his opinion and there is evidence in the US to suggest that we are not the greatest nation at sharing beds with infants. (However so many other nations are. I trust myself with T though. There are very few hours in the day that she is not on me (even without breastfeeding her). She naps peacefully in the Moby wrap during the day and she sleeps tucked in the crook of my arm at night. Between you and me I wouldn’t have it any other way (especially while she’s still a newborn). Once she hits 3 months I’ll look into placing her in her own crib to sleep. Until then this is what is working for us a family. I just wanted to share my experience for anyone curious about bed sharing or co sleeping in general. I may revisit this topic later.
Have a wonderful day.