Before I had a baby I thought "no problem I will feed her, rock her to sleep and put her in the bassinet at night." This never happened. I must admit I tried for the first few nights. I would feed Olivia, rock her to sleep and then put her in her bassinet. She would wake up five minutes later only for the process to be repeated. I quickly discovered that keeping her next to me made for a WONDERFUL nights sleep. ( plus my mom co-slept with me as a baby so it is only natural to follow in her footsteps) I would wake up before she started crying, sensing her early hunger cues, feed her and fall back to sleep. For me keeping her in bed enabled me to easily breastfeed. Studies show keeping baby close increases mothers milk, perhaps this has been true for me. If you know me you would maybe say I am fairly laid back, as well as the accountant, so the baby in bed has been a natural course for us to take. I have read a lot of studies on both sides of the co-cleeping issue and for me it all comes down to I WANT her in bed with me. It's just easier. I am a light sleeper and wake up in the same position I fell asleep in so suffocating her has not really been a worry for me. Granted at night our bed is much more sparse then this picture. We sleep with one pillow each and a single light blanket following Dr Sears recommendations for a "safe" environment for co-sleeping.
We placed our bed on the floor to prevent the danger of Olivia rolling out in the middle of the night. We don't allow our little puppy to sleep with us he is relegated to a kennel downstairs.
This is her so far unused crib. We tried naps in it but I have moved her back to naps on the bed. Good thing the crib converts to a toddler bed!( It would have saved us money to know we would do this co-sleeping ahead of time!) We have a video monitor which enables me to catch her when she wakes up before she starts crawling all over the bedroom!(0: Interesting note I am reading up on the Montessori method and they encourage you to have your child sleep on a mattress on the floor to encourage movement!
I have been asked "aren't you worried about the transition to her own bed". My answer " no not really." My dad one night decided it was time to move me out of their bed...and that was that. No crying, no fussing. I was ready. I still remember him saying 'I will be back to check on you.' ( prior to this I would fall asleepin in their bed and then he would carry me into my own) Other people have wondered if it affects our sleep or intimacy. The answer is no.
For us co-sleeping has resulted in a happy baby and happy, well rested parents.
The Attachment Parenting Book by Dr Sears