I open my eyes, careful not to move the rest of my body an inch. Curled on my side, my bottom arm bent elbow up towards the headboard, I create a little nest for the baby snuggled into me. I breathe in the smell of his hair, just a few inches from my face. The house is still, and the first light of the day pushes through the blinds giving the whole room a buttery tint. Four heartbeats are slowly warming up with slow stretches. Is bedsharing always this dreamy? Of course not, but sometimes it can be a blissful way to wake up for us, and I count my lucky stars that I am able to have this quiet moment in the morning.
Sharing a bed with your children is, to put it lightly, controversial among parents, doctors, and all those who make the “rules”. I didn’t bring my firstborn home with the intention of letting her sleep in our bed, but after weeks of crying (both her and me) and no sleep (both her and me), I gave in. I threw all the pillows and blankets on the ground, scooted as close to the middle of the bed as I could, and fell into a wonderful sleep with her. I was immediately in love with it and declared it our new normal. With a few tweaks I confidently created a safe arrangement that worked for all of us.
Just like everything else in parenting (and life, really) this is simply another option that happens to work for us.
This is not everyone’s ideal situation, I know. Not everyone is interested in bedsharing, and not everyone should bedshare. Just like everything else in parenting (and life, really) this is simply another option that happens to work for us. And because we have been on-and-off bedsharers for almost three years now, I wanted to open up some of the most common questions I get.
Just How Big Is Your Bed?
Not very. We only have a full-size bed, so we had to get creative. We got a crib, took off one side, and “sidecarred” it to one side of the bed. We made sure there were no gaps between the mattresses or the crib mattress and the crib side, and it works beautifully for us.
When Do You Kick Them Out?
My daughter started sleeping in her own bed in her own room when she was two; she was starting to need her own space and didn’t need me there anymore. We took the transition slowly and she still comes into our room around five in the morning many days, which is totally fine for us right now. Soon she won’t want anything to do with snuggling, and I’ll miss it. I am 80% sure she won’t be driving home from college every day at the crack of dawn to crawl into bed with us.
When Do You Umm…You Know?
This is the real question everyone wants to ask, but only a few brave souls have actually let it slip out. My husband works a weird schedule, mostly nights, so in bed at night isn’t when we would be taking advantage of alone time anyway. He has worked this schedule since before we even had kids, so it never really felt different to us.
Aren’t You Afraid They’ll Die?
Oh boy. Of course I’m afraid they’ll die! From bear attacks, anacondas sneaking into our toilet through the drain, eating those questionable leftovers I heated up last week…but from bedsharing? No. I can repeat the safety guidelines backwards and forwards. I check and double check our setup all the time, and I never put my baby in a situation that I think could be dangerous. Bedsharing isn’t for everyone, that is for sure, but our family’s particular set of circumstances make it great choice for us.
If you want to feel physically closer to your baby but don’t feel comfortable bedsharing, co-sleeping (sleeping in the same room as your baby) is a great option. Above all where your kids sleep should depend on what works for everyone, so feel good about what works for your family!