6 Things You Should Know As A Co-Sleeping Mom
Before I gave birth to my son, I was under the impression that babies slept. As a newbie mama, I dreamt of strolling my snoozing baby through the mall and looking for my next pair of Spanx. Not so much. My newborn didn’t sleep. For the first few weeks, my little guy was just getting used to life on the outside — of my belly. His days and nights were reversed and I was doing my best to follow the advice of friends and “sleep when my baby slept.” Then the colic took over and sleeping became as much of a dream for me as fitting into my pre-preggo jeans.
Colic is a curious condition where a baby cries for extended periods of time for no known reason. For three months, my son’s main ways of communicating were screaming, wailing, and sobbing. After making it through my little guy’s colic phase, we then moved into his sleep regression phase. I was desperate for any method that would allow me to slip into his sleeping phase. That’s how we became a co-sleeping family.
I never set out to co-sleep, but after researching this method and talking to friends, I decided to give it a try. It was the answer we needed to finally catch some zzz’s. For those who don’t know, sharing bed space with your kid has benefits, like increasing baby’s self-esteem, fostering deep bonds, and, oh … actually sleeping. However, co-sleeping isn’t without its perils. If you’re thinking of taking the co-sleeping leap to get some much-needed sleep, here are six things that happen when bed-sharing with your kiddo.
1Sleeping on Two Inches of Bed.
It’s a well-known fact that, while sleeping, toddlers expand to five times their normal size. My toddler may have only needed a small sleep space, but he somehow managed to take up all of the big bed, leaving me with a tiny sliver on which to dream.
2Being Kicked in the Head.
For years, I’d wake up with a start, mistaking my husband’s snores for a loud and wild storm front rolling in. However, that was nothing compared to waking up because my son’s tiny feet had delivered a quick kick to my head. It took some getting used to, but it was also a good reminder to remove his shoes.
3Love the Cuddling Until Body Parts Fall Asleep.
As a co-sleeping parent, one of the best parts has been all the cuddles. Every stage of my kid’s childhood has brought on a different set of bonding snuggles, and I’ve cherished them all … until my arm falls asleep, and I’m afraid to move for fear of waking my son and starting our 7.5-hour bedtime ritual over again.
4Being Peed On.
Diaper leakage is real, people.
5Do They Make Baby-size Breathe Right?
My baby had the tiniest fingers, the smallest toes, and the loudest snores. They were truly impressive. The method I employed to stop my husband from snoring was to gently shout at the top of my lungs, “Stop snoring!” I figured this wouldn’t work with a little baby, so I counted his snores until I fell asleep again … and again.
6Knowing This Time Will Never Come Again.
Sharing quiet bedtimes created some of the best connective experiences I’ve had as a mom. Those nighttime cuddles and chats have made wonderful memories I’ll treasure always. It was a special time, and I wouldn’t trade it for all the Spanx in the mall.
Co-sleeping can be awkward (and it certainly isn’t for everyone), but looking back, I wouldn’t change my parenting path. It allowed me to finally get some sleep during a time when sleep was as hot a commodity as my baby’s pacifier. Sharing bedtimes with my kiddo helped create a deep trust that was totally worth being peed on occasionally.