If you talk to anyone who has made a person, they will tell you something about co-sleeping. It’s honestly a lovely idea – babies aren’t used to being alone seeing as they were with us all through pregnancy, so they actually prefer to be with us all the time, including during sleep. Many parents around the world share their beds with their little ones. The concept of the family bed is pretty much as old as humanity, and it’s meant to be way more convenient for midnight feeds, and help everyone get a better night’s sleep. But not me.
I knew I wasn’t cut out for co-sleeping even before Harley arrived. I’ve never been able to sleep well next to other people. I can count on one hand the number of people I can share my bed with and still actually sleep. In fact, it’s a way that I gauge comfort with someone – if I can sleep properly next to you, we must be pretty damn compatible. When I slept soundly next to Dean, it was part of how I knew we were pretty awesome together, plus I wanted to keep our bed as a place where it’s just the two of us and not a baby-oriented area. And while I adore Harley with a type of love I’ve never really known before, she simply isn’t my best sleeping companion. But that could also be because I keep worrying about killing her, something I rarely fear with anyone else I’ve ever slept with.
During our recent family holiday (which I promise I will write all about soon!), we didn’t always have a camping cot for Harley. Plus, when we did, she wasn’t always totally happy in there. Perhaps it was the new locale, but she often would scream when I put her in the camping cot. So, in the hopes of keeping her happy and also getting some rest, I’d bring her into the bed with me and Dean. It wasn’t ideal, but I figured it would be okay. And for a bit, it was – I didn’t get much rest, but more than I would have gotten with her screaming in her cot.
Then one night, I brought her into bed with us, letting her sleep in between me and Dean. Somehow, in the middle of the night, I must have turned over and taken her with me… the next thing I knew, she had turned over and FALLEN OUT OF THE BED. She screamed and cried, mostly from the shock I think, but I was also pretty ready to scream and cry from guilt and fear. What if she was hurt because of me? How could I have let her fall out of bed? What does this say about my maternal instincts?
I know, I know – there are ways that people who normally co-sleep prevent this sorta stuff, and if I wanted to become a co-sleeper I wouldn’t always do this. But I just felt so bad for Harley and so bad for myself. Of course she was totally fine, but it solidified something for me. I am not cut out for co-sleeping. Even if I didn’t want to keep the bed as a marital bed and not a family bed, I just am not meant to sleep with my tiny human.
Do you share a family bed? How do you do it? I know it’s not the thing for everyone, but how do you juggle the whole sleep thing with your little one?