While I was pregnant, I was adamant about two things: (1) no pacifier after 12 months and (2) no cosleeping. The pacifier thing turned out to be a non-issue, the Beast was pretty much over it at 10 months (he's now 11 months). But I was dead set against cosleeping. I thought that parents should have their own space, that no one could sleep well when sharing a bed, that parents needed a chance to um, you know, do the things that got them in this situation in the first place. Also, I had fear of rolling over the baby and flattening him out like a pancake. I just could not wrap my head around why anyone would want to cosleep.
Everything started out so well. The Beast slept peacefully in his bassinet right next to my bed.
The Beast at about a week or two old.
At 6 weeks, he was sleeping through the night and in his own crib. What a perfect little baby! What a good mom I was! I didn't even have to sleep train, everything was so perfect!
Six weeks old and sleeping in his own crib!
And then he turned 6 months. And he started teething. And he got sick (with a cold). And he was miserable. And he wouldn't sleep so I wasn't sleeping. And we were all miserable.
One night, in an act of pure desperation, after many attempts to get him to go back to sleep in his crib, I plopped him down in my bed. He looked up at me, snuggled into my 400 thread count sheets, fell fast asleep, and slept through the night. I laid down next to him and actually got to sleep. It was a relief. It was glorious. It was how I became a cosleeper
Six months old and taking up residence in my bed.
Once I realized how easy it was to get him to go back to sleep if I just put him in the bed with me, there was no going back. I work full time and I need sleep in order to function and somehow adequately perform my job. So after the Beast turned 6 months, whenever he gets up in the middle of the night, I just pull him in bed with me and we both get to sleep. Then I learned how to nurse him while laying down in bed. Even better! Even less effort was required. I could bring him into the bed, nurse him, and get more sleep.
We don't cosleep every night. He starts off every night in his crib and if he wakes up then I bring him into my bed. I suppose you could say that I cosleep on demand. I have to admit, on nights that he doesn't wake up, I sort of miss having that little warm body snuggled up against me. He is now 11 months and I have no intention of ending the cosleeping. Lately he has been staying asleep in his crib until about 5 am. When he wakes up at this time, I am definitely ok with cosleeping because it means I get another hour of sleep. He is sturdy enough now that I don't worry about rolling over on him. And it is pretty funny to watch him wake up my husband by happily pouncing on him. Pretty soon he is going to be a big boy and have no interest in sharing a bed with me and the husband (Right? Kids don't cosleep until they are teenagers, right?)
The moral of the story is never say never about any parenting techniques while you are pregnant. You just have no idea the things you are willing to do when you are stressed out and sleep deprived.