The Controversial Part
Before I begin this post, I will say that Co-Sleeping is such a controversial thing and it may not be for everybody. In my experience it has been a great and wonderful thing. While this may not be the case for everyone, my experiences are mostly positive. I am not saying that everyone should co-sleep, I am just saying that this was a choice that I made for myself and my kids.
Our First Born
Now that, that is out-of-the-way. Whew! Co-sleeping is not something I intended on doing when I had Tristen. It was just something that became convenient since I was nursing him. I was a new mother and missed being able to sleep. I found that he was sleeping longer at night when he was in the bed with us, as opposed to him being in his bassinet beside us. That’s a win right?!
Over the months, it became to be one of my favorite things. I felt comfort in having him in bed with us and felt like he was protected. Jump ahead a couple of years after he was born. My husband accepted a new position at his job and ended up going on 3rd shift, all the while we were expecting again. I knew that with a new baby coming, Tristen was going to have to start sleeping in his own bed. We had just bought our house and he had a nice new big boy best set for a fresh new start. Did I mention, it was getting uncomfortable having him kicking me in my back and stomach at night while I was pregnant?
Finally, We took a leap and slowly start to put him in his room at night after he had already fallen asleep in our bed. THIS did the trick. He would sleep through the night and occasionally come lay in our bed around 6AM for a morning cuddle session, which I was OK with. Let’s be honest, it was harder for myself than it was for him. This went on for a couple of weeks until finally, he would just go straight in his bedroom to bed every night.
Kid Number Two
I swore that since Tristen was 3 before he got out of our bed that I would not do it with Kennedy. Boy, I was wrong. I’ll be honest, once you have one kid, it’s hard not to get struck with Insomnia. I didn’t mind being up late at night and early morning because getting to sleep was difficult for me. I got used to sleeping less. Occasionally, I was grumpy for my lack of sleep but it wasn’t often.
Kennedy started off sleeping in her bassinet beside me at night but slowly she made her way in the bed. Nathan was still working 3rd shift so I was the one always waking up with her and I had the bed to myself. I struggled with being alone at night and feeling safe with both of the kids (that’s a story for a different day) so in a way, I felt like I was protecting her. There’s something comforting in knowing that your baby is OK by still feeling them move at night even when they’re outside of your belly too. My reasoning behind co-sleeping may be selfish, but they both have turned out fine in the end.
Fast forward, Kennedy is 2 now. She will be 3 in April and it is definitely time for her to start getting weaned out of our bed. It definitely isn’t easy though. She is very much a mommy’s girl and she wants to be around me every second that she can. It’s especially difficult because “Daddy” just went back to first shift and she’s not used to having to share me at night. They like to compete with each other to see who can cuddle me or kiss me the most.
Fortunately, she really enjoys being in her brother presence and watching TV with him so that has been one big way that we’ve been able to get her out of our bed. We started putting her to bed on one of the children’s fold out sofas in Tristen’s room after she had fallen asleep in our room. At first she would wake up and end up in our bed around 2 or 3AM. She is starting to get the routine down and she is starting to feel a bit more independent. If she makes it through the whole night in Tristen’s room she’ll wake up the next morning and say, “Mommy, I made it alll night in bubby’s room!” Which we made a huge deal over and tell her how proud we are. Lately, she’s been giving us goodnight kisses and going to bed all on her own.
While she has a cute room that we spent a lot of time on before she was born, she has RARELY ever slept in there. We started out trying to ween her by putting a TV in her room and buying a camera so that she knew I was watching her but that didn’t work. Ideally, I would like to have her sleep in her own bed and not a fold out couch in her brother’s room. It all works for now. At the end of the day you have set your eyes on the prize and flex to whatever works at the time.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, Moms!!!! I promise.