There are so many decisions to make when you become a parent. You are immediately thrown into this world, with very little to navigate you. We are in the age of information, and that means that we all have the world at our fingertips, and the internet can be a place to get an answer to any question you have. However, this doesn’t come without warnings, and it is up to every parent to make a decision that is best for them based on the risks vs. benefits as they know them.
I am a very much “MMB” mom, and that means I ‘mind my business.’ I do not care what you do with your babies, as long as everyone is happy, healthy, and safe. I know that every mother has made the choice for them and their babies that they feel is best, and since I am not living in their shoes, I have no right to judge or critique their parenting. However, there is one thing that I could never do with my babies, even though it seems to be incredibly popular.
That is co-sleeping. Well, to be exact, I mean bed-sharing. I slept in the same room with all of my babies until they were at least 6 months old, but I never brought them into my sleep space. I had multiple reasons for that, and despite this being the best for me, I was still judged for it. I know that you will never make everyone happy, but this one always confused me.
That is because my number one reason for not bed sharing was safety. I know that bed sharing can be done with as minimal risks as possible, but to me, it still felt unsafe. I was afraid that I would roll over and smother my babies in my sleep.
In saying that, I can completely understand why parents choose to bed share. Sleep deprivation is no joke, and it can have dangerous consequences for your health, and your parenting. I reached a point with my daughter that I was so sleep-deprived that I was hallucinating. I walked around my house, thinking I was holding my baby (arms held out and everything), to find that my husband had her the whole time.
I knew in the back of my head that I might get more sleep if I just took her to bed with me, but I couldn’t do it. I also thought of the future consequences, and I did not want to deal with a toddler who refused to sleep anywhere else. This just did not sound fun to me.
Do I regret not bed sharing? No. While I know a lot of people love bonding and the cuddles, I found other ways to get that. We laid down, we did contact naps, where they slept on me while I watched TV, and even now when they are older, we have those moments, but we don’t share beds.
All of my children know that they have their own sleeping space, and they know they can come down and get us in the middle of the night, but they don’t get to climb in bed and make themselves at home. Which, I think is actually a blessing because my children are wild sleepers. They don’t stay still at all, and I know that if we shared beds, I would get so many kicks to the head and knees in the back.
Since they have had their own sleep spaces, they have grown to be free sleepers, and never had to worry about anything other than falling out of bed.
There was one time that I “bed shared” with my child, and that was the first night we brought my first child home from the hospital. That was a rough night, and due to labor, I was on like 3 days of no sleep at all. My husband and I were taking shifts, where she would sleep on one of us awake, and the other one would doze. Well, I couldn’t make it through my shift one time, and we both ended up falling asleep on the couch. Me on my back, with her sleeping on my chest.
Now, I know that was not the safest thing, but my husband ended up waking and just staring at us both for a couple of hours, so I could get some sleep, and he could make sure nothing happened. I have always loved having my own sleep space, and my children like it too.