Jamie and Krista agree on many things, but sometimes they have different opinions on parenting. This is the second post in a two-part series on co-sleeping. Be sure to read Krista’s post, A Case for Co-Sleeping.
I love my baby, but I love my husband more. In addition to working full time, he is also a full time grad school student. I knew that my baby would still be loved and cared for without being right next to me all night long, and that both my husband and I would sleep better without him in our bed. So for us, when it came time to decide where the baby would sleep, rooming in for a few weeks was our first choice.
I delivered via C-section, and I am not the most petite of women, so I also felt really paranoid about the possibility of squashing my child while all hopped up on pain meds. So much so that I had Alex help me stay awake if I decided to try to feed the baby lying down, this was very difficult to do!
Rooming in served as a great alternative for us during the first few weeks with our newborn. I set up a pack and play next to my bed so that I could get to the baby quickly in the middle of the night without having to get out of bed. (I should also tell you that at first I was afraid of our cat jumping in the pack and play or crib during the middle of the night and smothering the baby, so my mom made me a mesh netting to put over it. I think I used it for a week, maybe.)
After about a month or so we moved Will into his own room, which was right next to ours, and we left the door open at night so we could hear him (in addition to the baby monitor). I would have moved him sooner, but I had developed an infection and was hooked up to a wound vac machine that I had to plug in and charge every night.
Although we did not regularly sleep together, I enjoyed a few naps with Will, and I was able to successfully breastfeed for over a year. I often enjoyed taking Will into the living room and nursing him in the middle of the night in my over-sized lazy boy recliner.
I think that one thing that is important to mention is that choosing not to co-sleep will not necessarily make your baby the best sleeper ever. We all employ what experts call “accidental parenting” or props at some point to get our babies to sleep, but I’d like to argue that their suggestions of swaddling, pacis, and music, are props too! It’s always important to remember that all babies need to learn to sleep on their own at some point and each baby is different. Our biggest bed time prop became a bounce in the bouncy seat with a paci before bed, which we religiously practiced for about 9 months until we finally decided to use a controlled crying method.
With the twins, I am planning on rooming in again for the first few weeks, but I am hoping to get an Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper which connects to the bed, to make it easier for me to get them in and out while recovering from the C-section.
As the boys get older, I am also going to reserve our bed for an occasional early morning cuddle, but I really don’t want them to sleep in my bed in the middle of the night if they are sick or can’t sleep. I think we will probably get a mini cot so that they can sleep in our room without being in our bed. I love to cuddle and my most favorite person to cuddle with is their daddy, which often can only happen when they are asleep!