I love co-sleeping. I think one of the greatest gifts we get as parents is to hold and look upon our sleeping angels. I especially love the idea of being able to cuddle with them all night long; listening to that tiny snore and soft, peaceful breathing; watching their eyes twitch while having little baby dreams. We co-slept with our son for the first 4 months before we realized that the idea was much different from the reality.
I come from a family of light sleepers that struggle with occasional insomnia. Ever since I was 18 I have had a troubled relationship to sleep, often turning to relaxation yoga and natural sleep aids and occasionally turning to heavy dose prescription sleep pills when in a multi-month long battle with insomnia. So for me, having another squirming, noisy person squished right next to me was the worst possible thing for my sleep.
So there came the day when I knew that it just wasn’t going to work. I called my best friend and cried because I didn’t want to kick my son out all on his own. We started him out in his own room and gradually he slept longer and longer. (You can read our transition story here) It was only after my bed was finally mine again that I realized how very much co-sleeping was not for us. I began getting sleep again and all of the body aches from weird sleeping positions faded away. When he slept away from me I missed him and just cherished him so much more during the day.
Dr. Sears speaks so much about nighttime parenting and the benefits of co-sleeping that I felt so pressured! I felt that applying his theory would make me a better mother and that doing the opposite would make me just terrible. In our case we found that we could have a barely successful mother 24 hours a day or sleeping mother who is super successful 12 hours a day. In theory co-sleeping is just divine, but in the end you must find what works for your unique family.