We made the switch after Lily was born. The double bed had been doable when it was just the two of us; slightly uncomfortable while I was pregnant; totally irrational once a baby joined us every night. Ah, the wonders of the king size bed! Worth every penny, our bed has become a snuggling sanctuary and comfy home for all family members; at night – a place to read and relax, by the light of day – the perfect trampoline and place to play “cave.”
Lily spent her first month or so in a co-sleeper next to our bed (actually, it is more accurate to report that she spent the majority of her time in someone’s arms, reaping the benefits of being the first baby and grandchild on both sides). She didn’t sleep very well, or very long, in her co-sleeper, but I figured these were normal newborn sleeping habits. One night I fell asleep reading a book with Lily nestled in the crook of my arm – and we woke up 6 hours later. I thought we were on to something, and from that point on, we made co-sleeping a nightly ritual.
Nighttime was an easy and natural way to squeeze in some extra time to connect with my daughter, especially since I was away from her during the day. Feedings were a breeze because our sleeping patterns were in tune to the point where I would wake up, then she would wake up and nurse, and we’d both fall back asleep. I loved the time to hug and hold her in the stillness and silence of the night – such a contrast to the busy whirlwind of our days. Co-sleeping worked wonders for us (the first time around, anyway) and I loved every minute of it. Lily is four now, and usually spends at least half, if not all, of the night in her own bed. I often awake to find a little body snuggled next to me in the early hours of the morning, and I cherish these moments.
When I started publicizing my beliefs about the family bed, I was met with very mixed reactions, the most common being: “Once you let them in, you’ll never get them out!” The way I see it, these early years fly by – and I’ve never heard of a high schooler wanting to sleep in their parent’s bed. Lily will be 8, 13, 15 soon enough and will probably hate me, wanting nothing less than to be with her mom.
The simple answer of why I love the family bed? I want to take full advantage of these sweet moments while I still can.