Bedsharing is something that I was almost talked out of when Max was an infant. You see, I planned to parent the mainstream way until my precious son was born. Then my maternal instinct kicked in, I began to practice AP without knowing it and spent a lot of energy trying to hide it from all my mommy friends. When Max was about 5 months old, and Jeff was still sleeping on the couch, I decided that he was never going in that crib, something I was constantly pressured to do, and Jeff should just come to bed with us and learn to get comfortable with it. Up until that point he was just nervous, because he lovingly admitted that he had yet to bond deeply with Max. I think it was him entering the family bed that helped glue my two favorite boys together, and I’m happy to report a very solid bond today.
Today, with Miss Mila around, bedsharing looks like this…
Every night, I watch for Mila to look sleepy. This usually happens anywhere from 8pm to 930pm. We then get into bed and I nurse her and let her drift off when she’s ready. Normally the light is still on, because Max is nowhere near tired. I usually stay up and read, or play with my iPad. Max will run in and out, hang out in bed with me, or play with Jeff, in bed or sometimes downstairs. After Max’s bath, he and Jeff will join us in bed and we’ll read, play this super cute night night app, or watch a movie (The Jungle Book is a current favorite.) We’ll let Max fall asleep when he’s tired, and Jeff and I normally fall asleep with him. Mila sleeps tummy to tummy with me, either on our side or lately on my back with her on top of me. Max sleeps up Jeff’s butt, lol, and frequently turns sideways and uses Jeff for a footrest. We all typically wake up together in time for Jeff to go to work, but sometimes get an extra half hour. This is our routine, unless we are out late, in which we’ll take their jam-jams along and they’ll fall asleep on the way home and we’ll all climb into bed upon arrival.
As for the famous question I know you’re asking, no, my babies are not good at night. Mila wakes 1-5 times, normally without crying unless I happen to be a tad irritated, and we’ll nurse and go back to sleep. Max will wake once every couple of nights but is easily settled. With that being said, I think my babies are great at night. Perfect for their respective ages and sleeping/waking capabilities, and I love knowing that their nighttime needs are 100% respected and attended to by Jeff and I. We both frequently comment on how safe and secure they must feel, and how it is worth it for that factor alone. I refuse to comment on what it has done for our ‘adult’ life. But when you ponder it, you should conclude that it’s just fine and dandy. I mean, we did produce a second child…
When Mila was a newborn, we used a crib sidecar on our CA king bed. Which Mila never used, she wanted to be right next to me. I separated the children, and Jeff was Max’s ‘guardrail.’ We soon got rid of the sidecar, and pushed our bed into the corner for safety.
A noticeable benefit of this approach to my children’s sleep is Max’s attitude towards sleep. We’ve all heard the protests that most kids stage upon hearing the words sleep, bedtime, or nap. I have never heard it from the mouth of my son. My children can also fall asleep anywhere. All they need is a parent, sometimes even another family member, and some snuggles.
Here are some photos of them sleeping. Please note any picture of them together is of a situation where I am awake sitting with them. I wouldn’t put them in an unsafe sleeping situation.