Some parents, particularly the attachment parent, are really into bedsharing. I’m not going to write a treatise on whether or not bedsharing is unsafe or not. It comes down to this: there are parents who agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation to avoid co-sleeping with baby in your bed due to increased SIDS risk, and there are those who support the practice as promoting bonding and actually reducing SIDS risk. It’s up to you as the parent to decide where your baby will sleep.
Clearly, I am not an attachment parent. Since Norton seems to like his independence and has responded well to sleeping alone in his own infant crib, in his own newborn nursery, it doesn’t seem like he’d be a good baby to practice Dr. Sears’ attachment parenting with, anyway. So, win-win.
I have many reasons for having no interest in bedsharing, not the least of which is a safety concern. The fact is, my bed is already pretty crowded.
The husband is a big guy. He likes to snuggle, and used to chase me across the queen size bed we used to have. Then we got T’akaya the Brilliant Border Collie. We were going to have her sleep in her kennel at night, just like the mother-in-law did with her dog. I had never had a dog that slept in a kennel. The first night, she cried like she was being murdered as soon as we closed the kennel door.
I let her sleep with us that night. I tried to get her in her kennel for about three more nights before I gave up on the idea of T’akaya sleeping in her kennel.
So, now we had a queen size bed with a football player sized husband, me with an expanding rear end, and a growing puppy. A year later, we got Winston the Wonder Chihuahua. I didn’t even entertain the notion of making him sleep in a kennel. He slept with us the first night we brought him home, and he’s slept with me every night since. (Exceptions being when I was in the hospital or out of the country without him, of course. But even then, he was home with the husband.)
Rather than kicking a dog out of bed, our solution was to upgrade to a king size bed. It’s the perfect size for me, the husband, and two hounds. We’ve had Norton in bed with us in the mornings for some cuddle time, but not as part of a sleeping arrangement. There are other problems, aside from space, with bedsharing with Norton and two dogs.
The husband can sleep through pretty much anything except the phone ringing and me talking to him. He does not hear Norton screaming if he’s asleep. Ever. Plus, Winston likes Norton’s toes. And T’akaya forgets he’s there if something gets her attention.
And I toss and turn. Plus, I’m a ridiculously light sleeper who will wake up if I hear a baby on a tv commercial.
So, no Norton sleeping in our bed on a regular basis. Our bed is already full. Fortunately, he rather likes his crib, so he doesn’t seem to mind.
Originally written June 10, 2010 for another website. While I’ve become more open minded to other parents doing what works for them (amazing what happens with more parenting experience!), I’m still militantly anti-children in my bed. Norton will play and bounce around since Mom and Dad’s room is a magical play land of amazement, though he’s starting to get to the point of being mellow enough to lie down and watch something on the iPad. Eudora, while quite snuggly, is a very light sleeper and would wake up to have noises in such close quarters. Plus every one of my children have hands and feet like ice cubes: so cold that they feel like they’ll burn you. And the husband has developed the ability to sleep through his phone, too.
If it works for you, awesome. But I like my bed. And Winston likes not being stepped on when he’s snuggled under the covers.
Image credit: Photostock, Free Digital Photos.