There are many challenges when you talk about babies and sleeping. With us, we co-sleep, and our challenges are clear, and I like to think very commonly amongst co-sleeping parents.
First off, yes our son sleeps in our bed. I know there are many risks to having a child in your bed, but I do try to minimize the ‘standard’ risks as much as possible. One he doesn’t use a pillow. Secondly, he sleeps on my side, not in between my husband and me. I have a barrier to make sure he cannot roll off the bed.
One thing that sucks is when he goes to sleep I have to go to bed as well. If he stirs and I am not beside him, he will instantly wake up and bed time will be prolonged for another two or three hours. Sure maybe that is because he also breastfeeds, but I do believe this is due to the co-sleeping. The lack of body warmth beside him wakes him quickly.
Another challenge is the lack of sleep. You may have heard that you get more sleep with co-sleeping, but that is just not true. While my son only wakes up for milk once a night, every time he moves or stirs I wake up. Call it mommy instincts or what have you, but the number of times I wake up outweigh the ‘extra’ sleep I get by already being in bed after breastfeeding.
Now it’s not all horrible. One thing that co-sleeping was wonderful for was breastfeeding. We are now going on 11 months of exclusively breastfeeding.
It also helps put the baby back to sleep quicker during those midnight feedings. For one they are already in bed, and your body warmth will quickly lul them back to sleep. Which will help overall the amount that your baby sleeps.
My son is currently 11 months old. We still co-sleep, but lately the minimal amount of sleep has had me thinking it is time to get him to his own bed. There is only so many cups of coffee this mama can consume in a day!