Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Co-sleeping was something that I was very much on the fence about. I am a very light sleeper and I wasn't sure that I could have a little person sleeping next to me and still get solid sleep. We had bought an Arms Reach co-sleeper but April just hated it (it's a really firm little bed and I don't think she likes that). In the early days I really just needed to sleep in order to cope with the demands of a little one and since Jon couldn't be around all that much I needed a solution.
Our midwife suggested I just try having her in the bed with me. So I took her into our bed, nursed her on my side and then we both slept for a couple hours. It was great and she has slept with me ever since. I think she is comforted by the smell (she can always smell mama) and the bed is just softer. True, she does make noise while she sleeps and sometimes that keeps me up but for the most part, it works.
Recently the issue with co-sleeping has been that she will roll over to the boob while she is sleeping but can't roll away so she gets her face smooshed. So now I have use some rolled up receiving blankets to keep her on her back.
The unfortunate thing about this whole scenario is that we only have a queen sized bed so Daddy needs to sleep elsewhere if April is in the bed. I hope to have a big king size bed someday but right now our bedroom is just too small. Luckily, right before we had April we bought a lovely new couch with a comfy double size pullout so Daddy can sleep comfortably on his own.
I must say that the benefits of co-sleeping are really apparent. I get much more sleep because I just roll over and nurse her when she needs it then we both go back to sleep and she seems much better at soothing herself back to sleep if she wakes up in our bed instead of on her own. It is also such a joy to wake up and have the first thing you see be your sweet little baby's face.
April does still have a bassinet as well as her floor bed so during the day if she is napping she sleeps somewhere else (usually in the sling but sometimes elsewhere) not in our big bed. I plan to keep the rule as; if Mommy is in the bed you can join her there otherwise you have your own bed. If as she grows up she starts tossing and turning or comes to bed but doesn't sleep then we will have to make other arrangements so that I can get sleep but for now this works best.
Co-sleeping is not for everybody. Although April sleeps well with me in bed with her, having Daddy switch roles would not work as well. Jon sleeps really deeply and doesn't respond as well her to needs (and can sometimes get a little too close). Also if she sleeps with Jon they both tend to get over-heated. So if you plan to co-sleep know what works. Maybe you want to have the baby in bed with you but under there own blanket on there own side or you want your baby to be close but not in the bed. Just try things, you might be surprised by what works.
 April sleeping in our bed at 8 weeks.

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