Before having children, I would never have thought in a million years that I’d be a co-sleeper. I was sure that my baby would sleep in her crib and Brian and I would sleep in our bed.
All of that changed the day Zoë was born. She slept better lying on my chest, so I let her. Even in the hospital, she slept in the bed with me most of the time.
The first few weeks, I struggled to get her to sleep in the cradle next to our bed, but she just never slept well there. So, she ended up back in our bed, either on my chest or on my right side, right under my armpit – she liked it there for some reason.
Since I was breastfeeding, having her in our bed just made things easier. It took a couple months, but I got the hang of nursing lying down, and I found that I got more sleep once I accepted the fact that we were a co-sleeping family.
I really stressed over the situation for a while. I didn’t want Brian to be resentful of the fact that our baby was in our bed. But, he enjoyed having her close every bit as much as I did.
She slept with us nearly every night until I weaned her at 13 months. Now, she still ends up in our bed halfway through the night most night – she’s started having nightmares. Hopefully this phase will end soon and she’ll be back in her bed. If not, that’s okay too.
After really thinking about it, a baby’s desire to sleep with his or her parents really makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. Back when humans were nomads, babies would have to sleep with their parents or they would be an easy target for predators.
Babies are so helpless on their own, and they need their parents to protect them. Humans are such a unique species in that way. So, to me, it makes sense that babies are programmed with the instinct to want their parents by their side.
I now find myself wondering whether Kaylee will be as much of a snuggler as Zoë is. Will she want to sleep with me every night? I know not all babies enjoy co-sleeping, but I think it really helped to bond Zoë and I (and Zoë and Daddy). I guess I’ll find out soon. Less than two months until my due date.
We’ll have a cradle in our room so she can sleep there for naps and maybe at night. But, I‘ll be perfectly happy if she wants to co-sleep like Zoë. All four of us in a full size bed… what a cozy little family we’ll be.