We swore we weren’t going to do it with this one.
Little did we know.
When our son was born, he refused to sleep alone. After many heartbreaking attempts to get him to do so, my husband and I finally gave up. I’ve always leaned toward attachment parenting, and we just went with it. We had two bedrooms, and one of us at a time co-slept with our son until he was about two and a half years old.
Now, it wasn’t horrible. The Munchkin was and is still a very sound sleeper and everyone got plenty of sleep during that phase. Since we “weaned” him off the co-sleeping, he has had absolutely zero sleep issues. He goes to be without a fuss every night and wakes up refreshed in the morning. No nightmares, no crawling into bed at 2AM, no sleep-walking, nothing.
But, everyone always clucks at you when you let it slip that you co-slept. And yes, usually people don’t own up to the fact simply because it’s easier just not to have to explain to people that no, you are not trying to destroy your kid. Despite the fact that we were sincerely doing what we thought best for our family, everyone is always out to second-guess you.
When my daughter was born, it all started wonderfully. She slept alone in her co-sleeper bassinet, (which I highly recommend, by the way) and in her swing.
She then transitioned pretty well into the crib, although there were some rough nights here and there. But nothing out of the ordinary.
However, between the sixth and ninth months of her life, she got quite ill from whatever her brother brought home from school, and simply refused to sleep alone. We tried, we really did. But she was sick three times in a three-month period, and everyone was absolutely miserable and getting little rest. Everybody knows that much poor decision making comes from lack of sleep, and we were no different.
So one night we said, let’s just try bringing her in the bed and see what happens.
Worked like a charm. She’s a bit of a restless sleeper, but if she wakes up she will usually go right back to sleep. Unless of course it is teething pain, and then all bets are off. She is able to sleep by herself during naps, although she requires someone to fall asleep with her.
So instead of starting out co-sleeping and then transitioning to the crib, we sort of did it backwards. Goodness knows, not by design. Would I prefer that she sleep on her own in a crib? Yes. But sometimes things just work out a certain way, and that’s what happened with us.
And really? I’ve pretty much stopped caring about what other people think about the co-sleeping situation. We have made the bed perfectly safe, and she is well past the age of being smothered by blankets or pillows. She gets her rest, I get my much-needed beauty sleep, and we are all happy. There is nothing wrong with this picture except for the people who want to get all hot and bothered about things that aren’t really their business.
We co-slept with our son and he didn’t turn out to be some co-dependent wussy who can’t fall asleep on his own. Quite the contrary.
So, if you are thinking about co-sleeping, do what works best for you, and all the rest can shut up and do what’s best for them.