Co- Sleeping

In my third trimester, getting comfortable and falling asleep were quite a challenge. I had to learn not to roll onto my back, and of course, it was just about impossible to roll onto my stomach. I had to get up several times a night to use the bathroom. I had very vivid dreams, and many nights I just lied awake staring out the window.

It was in the evenings, after lying down, that my baby really started moving around. He would twist and turn, and little feet and elbows would pop out all over my tummy. I think that I learned a lot about sleeping with him before he was even born!

My son slept with me on the first night of his life. I was very sore, so lying in bed with him by my side was much easier than getting out of bed to tend to him. It was wonderful to hold my baby in my arms that night, knowing he was safe, breathing, warm, and well fed right from the beginning.

We never bought a crib for him. I could say that he has slept with us since his birth, but actually he has slept with us ever since he was conceived. We grew accustomed to having him with us during the pregnancy, after his birth, he was just a more tangible presence. We have never felt any worry about accidentally rolling on top of him. It is easy to check on him throughout the night. When he wakes up in the middle of the night, he knows that we are right there with him.  If you own a crib, enjoy it, try just hanging out for fun in their crib!  You don't have to use it the traditional way.  Use it to store toys, linen, or just to goof around in!

It’s so nice to cuddle with someone you love, and cuddling with a beautiful baby is such a comfort at the end of the day.  In most cultures throughout the world, babies sleep with their mothers.  I heard a mother comment once that it was hard for her to leave her baby in the nursery at night, knowing that she wouldn't see the baby until the next morning.  I think it was hard for her because separating mother and baby was never meant to be.  Babies need their moms, and mom needs the baby just as much.  The family bed was meant to be, it just feels right.

Please keep safety in mind when sleeping with your baby.  You will need to baby-proof your bed.  There is a lot of wonderful information about co-sleeping gathered at the University of Notre Dame by James J. McKenna.  He has an online brochure about safe co-sleeping.  Please check it out!

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