We reached a milestone in our house this week. Our youngest (turned four in October) transitioned to a bunkbed in a shared room with her older sister, gently, without tears, happily spending time in her new hangout, on the bottom bunk tucked under the happiest rainbow duvet.
‘That baby is going to be in your bed forever’
Friends, and mother’s in law, everywhere, are usually mortified to learn that our one year old slept in our bed. One turned into two, and to taking over an entire king bed, and she still felt most comfortable sleeping in our bedroom, so like we did with the two kids before, we tucked a small toddler bed in the corner of our bedroom, where she would begin sleeping and inevitably end up in our bed, every single night.
Move Forward with the Least Resistance
One of our themes in parenting, is moving forward with the least resistance. Insist on wearing a ‘Happy New Year’s’ headband to preschool (in October?) Sure. Cosleeping makes it easier for everyone to get a good night’s sleep? Yes. We’re there for it.
Did we set out to co-sleep? Short answer. No. As a first time parent, you read a lot of books and a lot of the theories in attachment parenting just felt right. Cosleeping wasn’t something that we planned to do – but it sure made everyone’s sleep easier during difficult times, like cluster feeding, and eased the bedtime struggle.
Cosleeping: The Good and the Bad
I relish those morning cuddles, those late night chats when our tiny people are just learning how to speak, the hundreds of videos I have of kids talking in the dark, telling me about their dreams – the funny ones, the strange ones, the ones that convince me that our house is haunted (spoiler alert: t’s not, we live in a new development in the suburbs – kids are just strange folk).
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all rose-colored-glasses and cute kids. There’s also moving a sleeping kid into their bassinet or toddler bed, or the floor, when they’ve fallen asleep and ya’ll want to get it on. There’s laying a towel down on sheet because you’re exhausted and your potty training toddler has just covered your bed in what feels like a gallon of pee (don’t judge, we’ve all been there). There’s feet in your back, and the three AM wake ups from a dictator who matter of fact demands that we now sleep with the light on this house.
But the good stuff? The gentle approach, the connection, and the good that comes from co-sleeping, the pride from waking up at 5am, and seeing your tiniest folk, legs dangling off of that bottom bunk? – it all outweighs the bad.
Because, despite what your mother in law thinks, they won’t bed in your bed forever.