Steve and I decided a long time ago that we wanted to co-sleep with our baby. There are many, many reasons why it is recommended that mamas sleep with their babies. I encourage you to check out this link if you are interested in the hard science and research behind this recommendation.
Our two main reasons for wanting to co-sleep are that we want to get the most sleep possible, and it just seems natural to sleep with your baby.
I am planning on nursing exclusively for the first 6 months at least. The fantastic thing about nursing (well, one of the many!) is that the milk is all there and ready to go, even at 2 am. So if the baby is in bed with me, all I have to do is wake up enough to get him/her latched on, and we can both drift back to sleep with baby’s tummy full. Also, because I will be right there cuddled up with the baby, I’ll be able to notice its first little fussing noises and movements and “catch” the need to feed before the baby has to resort to a full-blown wail to get my attention. That sounds much more preferable to me than traipsing across the house to a nursery, getting the crying baby out of the crib and settled down enough to nurse, nursing, getting the baby back to sleep again, and walking back to my bed–at which point I have to settle down enough to sleep after being fully awake for that whole time. No thanks!
For the past 9 months, the baby has slept with us, albeit inside of me. That is what he/she is used to. Our rhythms and the sound of our voices, my heartbeat and breathing. When you are little and new and EVERYTHING is scary and experienced for the first time, it is very helpful to have familiar surroundings, sounds, and smells. Well, that is us! No other mammal that I know of forces their brand new offspring to sleep by themselves. Why would humans think that we have somehow evolved beyond the need to have our babies close to us, even at night time?
I don’t know how long the baby will sleep with us. Maybe 6 months; maybe 4 years. As long as the entire family is satisified with the situation, then we see no real reason to change it. When it stops being the ideal solution for whatever reason, then we will move on to plan B, which we will formulate when we get there. 🙂
Anyway, the point of this post was really to showcase Steve’s carpentry skills! He built a litlte “stand” for the crib mattress so that there is plenty of room for everyone in the bed, and so that it is safer for the baby, too. The captions explain each photo.