We're co-sleepers over here at the Booth house - there, I've said it. Is that such a bad thing? Turns out I don't really think so...and I'm a little surprised by it myself. Oren slept in his bassinet right next to me the first few months of his life. But eventually, late night feeding after late night feeding, I just started bringing him into bed with us more and more. And now, more often than not I just plop him right in there with us when we go to bed. Sure, we still start him out in his crib some nights, but eventually he always ends up right back in our bed, tucked in there between us.
I think it has a lot to do with him being the second child. With Wes I was adamant that he sleep in his own crib, in his own room, on his back, no blankets, etc etc etc from day one. I was so afraid of SIDS, or of him rolling off the bed or of ruining his ability to sleep alone, or, or, or, or...
But this time around I'm so much more relaxed. And I have turned into such a light sleeper, I hesitate to even call what I do "sleeping" anymore. Also, with Wes and what turned out to be his milk allergy, breast feeding only lasted a few weeks before we put him on hypo-allergenic formula. Then Josh and I took turns feeding him at night. This time, Oren and I have had no problems with breast feeding and keeping him in our bed makes feeding him at night so much easier.
Not to mention I love snuggling the little guy all night long.
When he wakes to feed, I feel and hear him beginning to stir and instantly we just cozy up and nurse. No getting out of bed, no waiting for him to cry and wake us all up to let me know. Then he eats/sleeps and when he's done he's back happily dozing away, no fighting or fanfare. No rocking or bouncing required, as he was never really fully awake anyway. It's a far cry from the time it took to get baby Wes to sleep after a feeding. I still remember the immense exhaustion I felt during those days. A level of sleep deprivation I haven't even come close to this time. I'm still tired, yes. But, I feel so much more rested than I ever did when Wes was a baby and Josh gets a full un-interrupted night's sleep 90% of the time.
Oren sleeps in between us so I'm not worried about him rolling off the bed. Also, neither Josh or I drink, smoke or are obese (major no-no's when considering if co-sleeping is right for you) and we keep pillows and blankets to a minimum in our bed.
I really feel that he is safe there with us and if I had any doubts at all, I wouldn't do it. I feel like co-sleeping is the right thing for us for now and I'm willing to let myself trust my own intuition on this one. And so far, so good.
Now, what the future has in store still remains to be seen. When will he be ready for his own crib? Have we corrupted him forever and will he never be able to sleep alone? (not likely, considering he sleeps alone for naps at home and at his sitter's house). What happens when he can really start crawling around? Will he have to be behind bars then? And for all those questions, the answer simply is - I'm just not sure yet. My plan is to just go with the flow and when co-sleeping stops working, we'll figure out what does.
So, you tell me, have you ever co-slept with your baby? If so, I'd love to hear your experience, so please share!
(Also, more information on the issue of co-sleeping can be found here)