Co-Sleeping

Back when I was 30-something weeks pregnant, we signed up for our birth classes. We didn’t do the traditional ones offered at the hospital but instead went with a local Mama Yoga Studio one that focused on all natural childbirth. Anyway, on the first day of the class the teacher asked us to draw a picture, with crayons and paper, what our vision of the birth, parenthood or anything was. I drew a picture of me on a hospital bed giving birth and my husband drew a picture of the two of us in bed with the baby in the middle. I didn’t know it then, but that was just a peek at what our new sleeping arrangement was going to be.

The first few days after BabyBird came home, it was just filled with so much emotion. Then night came and we had to decide and figure out what to do for bedtime. The first few nights are a big foggy in my memory now, but I do remember trying to use the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper bed, and remember BabyBird screaming his head off. I remember putting him in bed with us, with a large blue blanket wrapped around him like a nest – because being first time parents we were both afraid that we’d roll on top of him during the night. And I remember trying to use the crib, which I think he liked better than the co-sleeper. This went on for a few weeks, as we were trying to figure out just where to put him at night that would make it the easiest to 1. get up without waking the other person 2. feed him 3. breastfeed 4. pump.

Fast forward 6-8 weeks, and we figured out a plan and the best one that fit. Co-sleeping in our bed. Around week 7 my milk supply was finally stable and enough that we did not need to supplement anymore. That also meant I had to feed him at night or get up and pump (both of which I did in the beginning) so my boobs would not ache so much in the morning. Having BabyBird in bed with me was magical. For once, we both slept so much better. He didn’t wail and cry when we tried to put him down in his crib, and he slept soundly. So I slept soundly. Also around this time was when we stopped swaddling him, so it helped that we cuddled up and slept together at night to help with his startle reflex which contributed to him waking himself up and throwing his arms around.

Now by BabyBird is 3 months old, and has been co-sleeping with me for the past few weeks. The only downside is that I need to either go to bed when he does, or lay down with him and then slowly get up after he’s asleep. But during the night when he wakes up, I can sit up in bed to nurse him or sometimes I can just side nurse him without even having to sit up. Score! He falls asleep quickly afterwards and I am able to fall asleep quickly afterwards too.

It absolutely without a doubt melts my heart to watch him sleep. He looks so peaceful and relaxed. Now we have nicknamed BabyBird to WiggleWorm, SnuggleBug, Momma’s Boy, … you get the idea. No matter how far apart we start at night, he always ends up glued to my side by the morning. He slowly wiggles his way next to me, right up underneath my arm pit and falls asleep. BabyBird has also become a side sleeper and I think the culprit is the co-sleeping. But with him being a side sleeper, it helps to keep his startle reflex at bay and it does not wake him up as much anymore.

Who knew that a crayon drawing of the 3 of us, would end up being our sleeping arrangement at night. I never thought I would be that parent that co-sleeps with their baby, but it works for us.