Before Maisy arrived I pondered bed sharing with a sense of unease. The idea of putting a tiny human being next to two full grown adults, one of which being a tossing and turning hard sleeper, sounded like a death trap. Actually, since having Maisy Josh’s sleeping skills have proven to be even more proficient than I initially expected. While my whole being propels out of bed at Maisy’s slightest sound Josh remains soundly asleep even if she’s been joyfully greeting the day with screeches and shouts for over 15 minutes.
Anyway, I spent over 72 hours in heavy labor before Maisy was born, then night came, then she made a peep, then she was in bed with me. It was simply survival. I was exhausted, torn to bits, and alone. It took me approximately 1 minute to realize that the way I was not only going to survive but thrive at mothering an infant with a husband who spends half of our lives on the road, I was going to sleep with this baby. Because, that night and every night following, this baby only stands a chance of sleeping well if she’s next to me.
I love bedsharing. I love that in the middle of the night when she’s hungry all I have to do is whip out my ready made food supply and pass back out while she feeds herself (sometimes this tickling of a very sensitive area causes some peculiar dreams though.) I love that in the morning I wake up to I bright eyed and smiling little bundle of joy (she’s seriously the most joyful morning person ever but also laid back enough to allow me enough time to get on board with starting the day at, sometimes, 5 am.) I love that even as a newborn she somehow managed to scoot over and nestle her face into the crook of my neck if I ventured too far away in my sleep (even if it meant being pinned between Maisy and Josh). I love that I get to spend all night long snuggling with my favorite little girl in the world (talk about quality time!) And I have to believe that all of this is creating a nest egg of love inside my baby girl that will assure her that I adore her no matter what someone says to her at school or how long she has to be in time out or how much she thinks she hates me at any point. Although, if the only benefit is that I get this nest egg of love that is good enough too. I know that on the days I want to scream at her or the days I’m so tired I just cry or moments when I feel at a loss for what to do that I can easily conjure up my baby’s morning grin or any one of those moments in the middle of the night when I discover her nestled into my neck.
Do I recommend bedsharing? Absolutely! Turns out, it’s perfectly safe, natural, and desireable! It is my sanity. It unleashes joy I would not get to experience otherwise. And it builds in me a nurturing heart that is bigger than I could have hoped for. There are so many mornings that I comment to Josh how I can’t imagine missing those moments with her just to have a little extra space in bed. Bedsharing means, usually, more frequent night wakings than a crib baby but the trade off is well worth it. I’m glad I still have some time with Maisy in our bed before she outgrows that need and needs more of her own space instead because, though I may be ready to get more sleep at night, I am not ready to give up that intimacy with her.
*These are all older pictures… I really have to take some recent bedsharing pictures!
When we were in the hospital we got yelled at by a nurse for letting the baby nap in between us on the bed. She said she knew of people who rolled over the baby in their sleep and slipped in the favorite new mom word of terror- SIDS. So when we came home we put him in the pack and play and did our best to make it work. After talking to our Moms and a couple other new Moms- everyone told me- we totally let the baby sleep in our bed. That was all I needed and he’s been sleeping (great!) with us ever since! You’re right- it makes breastfeeding 100x easier!
Kaity so glad! Bummer they made you afraid. Whenever the nurse came in they always took Maisy out of my bed and put her in the cradle thing again but I took her right back after they left 🙂 And then I finally learned how to keep them out of my room at night with a do not disturb sign! Now I know for next time 😉 Can’t wait to read your stories!
I love it too!! Maybe your next post can explore how our hubbies are managing (or not) when they have a third party joining their slumbers?
Jeanine that’s a great idea for a blog post! I’ll let you know if/when I can get something like that up here.
My daughter and her hubby did the same. Happy to report my grand-daughter is a happy, smart, well adjusted three year old. I never let my daughter sleep with me as a baby. She stopped breathing one night, Jesus woke me up and I had to revive her. I don’t think that would have happened that way had she been sleeping with me and my hubby.