I am always interested in hearing why people chose to do whatever it was that they chose. I like hearing other people’s experiences, and their stories. Sometimes it helps me make a choice. Sometimes it helps me understand the other side of things. Sometimes it is just interesting.
Because of this, and because I don’t think I’m the only one, I am going to share why we chose to co-sleep, and now bed share. Before I start I want to point out that this is just what worked best for us. I am in no way judging any other sleeping arrangments. You do you momma’s!
I never, ever thought we would be the parents with an almost three year old in our bed every night. I had zero intention of keeping our first born in our room for more than six months. There goes that silly pre-parent brain thinking it knows anything about parenting again.
Quite frankly, there were an awful lot of things I didn’t know about being a parent, until I actually became a parent. And even now, I have no idea what I’m doing, but I just go with my gut, and pray a lot.
What I didn’t know was that I was going to have undiagnosed post partum anxiety, which caused me to have actual panic attacks at the thought of M being in a separate room than us. How would I know she was still breathing? What if she cried and I couldn’t hear her? Nope, she was better off right next to the bed, where I could reach in and feel her back, hear every time she moved, stare at her little face until I fell asleep.
She also had acid reflux, which made lying flat out of the question. She slept best while being held, or in a car seat. Unfortunately, we weren’t aware that rock and plays existed at this point. I am convinced it would have been a life changing experience.
Once M reached six months, you know, when I thought she would be going into her crib in her own room, she started sleeping in bed with us. Yes, I realize bed sharing is frowned upon. I know it is considered to be a cause of SIDS. I also know that if done correctly, it can be safe. I honestly don’t think I was ever fully asleep for the first year of her life.
Now, at almost three years old, she still sleeps in mommy and daddy’s bed. For a while, right after her brother was born, we were able to move her into her own bed after she fell asleep, and she would stay there all night.
Then post partum anxiety and OCD reared their ugly head again, this time ten fold, and again, I couldn’t have her in a different room than me. This back peddled us, and now, even if we put her in her bed, she is running back to ours within a couple hours. I sometimes question if my anxiety caused her to have anxieties of her own. We’ll save that for another day though.
B, on the other hand, started sleeping in his crib at 6 months. After I got help for my post partum anxiety, of course. He has happily slept in his crib, in his room, ever since. That’s not to say that when he wakes up before the sun we don’t bring him into bed and snuggle up like four peas in a queen size bed.
So, that’s my story. Not terribly exciting, but it just shows that everyone has their reasons for what they do, and unless you know those reasons, have grace. Always have grace.