This post is part of my series, “Kickin’ It Old Skool: Why and How We Are Old-Fashioned” or KIOS for short. If you’re new to the series, please read my disclaimer before continuing on. I’m keeping a table of contents to this series here so you can see what I’ve already written about and what more there is to come.
We don’t have a nursery.
We don’t have a crib.
We don’t even have a Pack N’ Play.
Yes, Ellie sleeps in our room and our bed.
We love it.
(I probably could leave it there. But here’s a little more about that in case you want to know more. I’ll also write more about this when I write about nighttime parenting and breastfeeding.)
I think sleeping with our kids is a more common phenomenon than most people will admit. I often have whispered conversations with people that go something like, “Oh, you sleep with your kids? So do we!” and then you look around to see if anyone overheard!
Nik and I planned to cosleep with Ellie from the beginning. (Actually, before we were married, we bought a king-sized bed on the recommendation of family members who also sleep with their kids, intending to cosleep with our own children if we were blessed to have any).
Before Ellie was born, we bought an inexpensive crib that we set up next to our bed in a cosleeper kind of arrangment. (We’ve since given that crib away.) That was great for about 4 months but eventually, it just made more sense to move the crib out of our room and move the bed to the wall. Then, last summer, when Ellie started crawling, we put our mattress on the floor, against the wall, and it’s been there ever since!
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that we made the right decision to invite Ellie into our bed. As a cosleeping nursing mom, I get far more sleep than I would if Ellie slept in a different room than I did. We love having her with us right away in the morning too.
My only problem with cosleeping has been that my body is quite frequently sore and achy if I’m not careful how I’m sleeping. I naturally just hold my body a bit stiffer than I would if I didn’t have a baby next to me. I think my back muscles are much stronger now than they were before I had Ellie. I’ve had to learn how to nurse lying down and that takes a different set of muscles than just lying in bed. Other than that, no complaints!
Some think that it’s weird to have your kid sleep in bed with you. The truth is that for most of the world, it’s weird to have your kid sleep somewhere other than with you. Babies sleeping in a room apart from their parents is a very modern concept, which is why it’s old-fashioned for us to sleep with Ellie!
And don’t worry, she won’t be sleeping with us when she goes off to college!
Questions? Thoughts? I have some more practical tips we’ve learned that make cosleeping easier that I’ll share in another post one of these days.
I know many people have concerns about the safety of cosleeping. Just like there are safe and unsafe ways for your baby to sleep in a crib, there are also safe and unsafe ways to cosleep. Here is a good list of guidelines for safe cosleeping.
This site has lots of good information about co-sleeping also.