I feel like I’ve been hiding something that I need to get off my chest. Lily sleeps in the bed with Kristin and I.
Yup, I said it. And we do it knowing the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation of avoiding bed-sharing (but recommending room-sharing).
I would be lying if I said that we made the decision after careful consideration and assessing all options. Truth is, we brought her to bed because we were so darned tired. At first we tried putting her to sleep in her crib and some nights she would sleep for six hours straight. But most nights she woke up every two hours to eat.
We didn’t go in planning on bed-sharing and we tried to set ourselves up for successfully having Lily sleep in a bassinet or crib. We even put the recliner in Lily’s nursery so that in case we fell asleep feeding Lily, at least we wouldn’t be bed-sharing (turns out sleeping with a baby on the couch is just as dangerous if not more dangerous). source
The bottom line is that there was no way we could stay awake while feeding Lily. In our pregnancy class we learned about breastfeeding with the side-lying position, and even though the nurses in the hospital said that we shouldn’t use this position with a newborn, I told Kristin that I recommended that we try it. I have no regrets.
I was so scared that I barely slept that night. I had a body pillow between me and my baby and I’m pretty sure I only slept in 5 minute increments. We later figured out that our humidifier has a blue night light on it that gives off just enough light that we can see at night and we started sleeping with it on. Kristin said that she can easily see to help Lily latch on during feedings and I was again losing sleep, but this time because I was swooning watching Lily sleep. I later found out that there’s some controversy over the AAP’s recommendations, but that just provided an excuse to bed-share after we’d already made the decision to bed-share.
I truly think that we are making the best decision for Lily’s well-being. I can tell that Lily sleeps better when she sleeps within arms length of a parent (and there’s research that shows this). We take safety precautions, Lily sleeps on her back and is an arms length away from Kristin while I sleep on the far end of the bed away from her. We also sleep on an extra firm mattress so there’s no worry of Lily sinking in to the mattress. One thing we’re careful not to do is sleep right next to Lily to prevent suffocation (and we don’t want Lily to wake up with her head smelling like an armpit). Because Lily sleeps better, mommy and daddy sleep better.
As Lily gets a little older we’ve started transitioning her to her crib. Lily takes naps in her crib just fine and at night we put her in her crib so that she sleeps in it to start out with, but when she wakes up to eat we bring her to bed with us.
As any parent that’s slept with a baby knows, there’s nothing like waking up to being kicked in the face by your baby, but I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything.