Our Co-Sleeping Experience (Part 1)
This post is a response to a conversation started by Naijawife on twitter a few of days ago:
I just wanted to shed some light on co-sleeping by writing about our own experience. First, what is co-sleeping? I'm going with the definition that describes it as baby sleeping in close proximity to you as opposed to in a nursery. There are a few ways to co-sleep and bed-sharing is the most popular but some people also just have their baby in a moses basket or cot next to them. Another method is to attach a co-sleeper to their bed. Welcoming the child into your bed despite them having their own room is also considered a form of co-sleeping.
Co-sleeping was inevitable for us because we lived in a one bedroom flat. We bought a moses basket and a cot-bed and he was going to sleep in the moses basket until he was old enough for the cot-bed. If you had asked me before I gave birth if I would ever bed-share, I would have said absolutely not primarily because I was worried about rolling unto baby. However, post C-Section, it was a real struggle getting up frequently to pick up and nurse my baby. My mother saw I was struggling and advised I put him in bed with me. I argued with her even though I knew within me that it was a good idea. I succumbed at three weeks and we ended up bed-sharing full time till just over a month ago. I believe it worked well for us for two major reasons; my husband's work schedule (he works five nights a week) and because we really didn't have other options.
The Twitter conversation was centred around how co-sleeping may impact a couple's relationship. I actually get asked this whenever co-sleeping comes up so I want to address that specifically in this post. I will go into more detail about the reality of co-sleeping for us in a later post.
My husband supported me when I decided to have our son in the bed. He was returning to work after paternity leave and he wanted me to do whatever I needed to do to cope. So it is something we agreed on, which I believe is very important. If we couldn't agree, we would have had to come up with alternative sleeping arrangements.
Well how the heck did we get intimate with baby in our bed? Easy! When he was younger, we did right there in bed next to him when he was asleep. We also used other spaces in the home. You would be surprised what options you can think of when you don't have much choice. And who doesn't love all that sneaking around and ninja moves when trying not to wake baby up...?! I didn't mind them at all.
What about timing? Hey! Timing is an issue for even non co-sleeping parents right? We learnt to go with the flow as much as possible and sometimes we had to be more calculative. I cannot tell you whether not having baby in our bed would have meant knocking boots more often because there were other things like work schedule and fatigue to also consider, but I can tell you that it did not prevent us from enjoying eachother whenever we both wanted to. I would say to the couple in Naijawife's story, GOOD COMMUNICATION is key! Talk and find a way to make it work. There is no other way around it and this is a situation that can be managed if the couple would just make a little effort.
Many mothers will find themselves co-sleeping at some point especially when breastfeeding. But there is no reason to allow it be a problem in your marriage. Compromise Compromise COMPROMISE! Yup, there is a lot of that in marriage. Good luck to us all on our various journeys.
PS: Happy April Everyone! Did you pull or fall for any pranks today? I hope we all have a beautiful month. We over here are super excited because we are getting closer to meeting our little one. Thank you all for your thoughtful messages and prayers.