The American Pediatric Association recommends that babies sleep alone, on their back, in a safe crib. This position has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS significantly and is the safest for your sweet baby. And right now, as I write this, my son is on his back, in his crib, alone (other than a blanket). However, its not always that easy.
When I brought my son home, I put him in his crib to go to sleep and I couldn’t leave him. I was terrified he would stop breathing and somehow it would help if I was in the room, but as I mentioned in a previous post, he would not sleep in a bassinet or the pack and play. So I slept in his room until I dragged his crib in my room and made a co-sleeper. But even that didn’t work great. I was alone, my husband was 1450 miles away, and even if he wasn’t- I was breastfeeding. I learned how to breastfeed in a side lying position (and I’m glad I did because I was so tired that I would fall asleep while breastfeeding) I would wake up 2 hours later with my boob out and my baby still in bed. He woke up every 2 hours and sometimes even more often no matter what I did, when I fed him, etc. The one thing that DID help was him being next to me in bed. So I cleared half my bed of pillows and extra blankets, kicked my dog out of the room and put him next to me. When it came time for him to eat, I moved over, fed him, and went back to sleep. I was pretty well rested regardless of the multiple wake ups.
Still, I felt guilty. I would avoid telling people since I found a lot of them to be judgey about bed sharing. Then again, people are judgey about babies being in their crib too… and pretty much everything. I often feel like nothing is right anymore. I honestly loved my baby being next to me. I loved waking up to find him already awake, staring at me and smiling. He would also sleep until 0830, sometimes 0900 or later.
Aren’t you afraid of rolling over your baby and suffocating him? No. No mom sleeps deep enough to do that. (Note: If you drink alcohol, take sleeping pills, or other meds that cause drowsiness- please don’t bed share as you will sleep deeper than normal.)
You’ll never get him out of your bed now! Show me a 15 year old that wants to sleep in his/her parents bed.
What if he rolls off? If you’re really concerned, they make bed rails that are relatively inexpensive. I have a king size bed so when its just us, he would have to roll like 5 times to fall off the side. Note: older babies will roll and move, newborns don’t.
Then my husband came home. Yay!! But now I have a good size dude that likes to sleep in the middle of the bed, and can sleep through a tornado even if the tornado was actually in the room. I have woken up to his arm across my face before. Having a baby didn’t seem to change this like it did for me. So I would sleep with our son between me and the edge of the bed. He was too close to me and too close to the edge of the bed for me to be comfortable. I couldn’t fall asleep. I literally stopped sleeping. Thats why at about 15 weeks old, I moved A back to his crib. I missed him, and I hated not being able to see him. I got a video monitor along with my Snuza breathing monitor and it helped with my worrying a little.
It was not hard to get him to sleep in the crib but what IS hard is getting up multiple times a night to feed him, and getting him to sleep past 0700. As long as he had his binky, he fell asleep great- however as soon as he popped that out, he was up and crying. We ended up taking away the pacifier at 4 months old. He now sleeps from 2030 to 0700 and wakes up about twice (which isn’t so bad since I can get some decent sleep between wake ups). I am in the process of weaning him off at least one night feeding and he is getting much better at putting himself back to sleep.
Again, the safest way for your baby to sleep is alone, on their back, in a safe crib. However, there are many benefits to co-sleeping and bed sharing. Do what you are comfortable with and what works for you. Bed sharing worked for me for awhile but when my husband came home, I wasn’t comfortable with it anymore. Everyone’s different and every baby is different. You know whats best for your kiddo- trust your mommy instinct.
For an article on how and why I weaned off breastfeeding —> Click Here