written by: Victoria Miller, founding member of The Motherhood Bozeman
Motherhood is full of choices and one of them is where will my child sleep every night. I came to the decision to co-sleep by looking to my instincts, co-sleeping felt right. My baby would be right next to me if she needed anything. Motherhood is hard enough as it is, and because of this I am a strong believer in families choosing to do what works best for them. The best choice for some families is to have the baby in their own room. The best choice for our family is to co-sleep and more specifically to bed share.
Bed sharing tends to be one of those controversial topics based mainly on whether its safe, or whether your child will still be sleeping in your bed in high school. When co-sleeping is researched and practiced in a safe manner there is very little risks involved (Do your research as with anything else). There are risks involved with children sleeping in their own rooms as well. The choice should be placed with the parent after researching and deciding what will work best for their family. A large percentage of the world’s population co-sleeps and always have. It is our natural instinct to keep our young safe by our side especially when sleeping.
There was another factor that affected my decision. I was tired and loved my sleep. I didn't want to lose even more sleep by walking to another room to nurse my baby several times a night. When my daughter wakes I sense it, roll over and nurse her as I pass back out. She does not wake fully and neither do I, we both are back to sleep in no time.
Some people ask “will my sex life be non-existent if I co-sleep”? Others question whether or not co-sleeping interferes with intimacy. I would tell them that it maybe even increases intimacy and that there are many different places other than a bed to have sex. I will tell you that your sex life will most likely get more creative and maybe even more fun. Relationships need work and as long as the work is being done, co-sleeping will not make a difference in how connected your partner and you feel.
My husband and I don’t sleep in the same bed and haven’t in a long time and we are the happiest we have been in the past 11 years (not to say we weren't extremely happy in the past 11 years, just that co-sleeping doesn't have to change or make a relationship worse). Everybody gets better sleep in our co-sleeping situation. The day it no longer works the best for everyone will be the day we change it up a little bit or a lot depending on the situation. My husband works a lot and I would rather him get as much sleep as possible throughout the night and in the mornings when we wake up before he does.
After my girls go to sleep, my husband and I spend the night hanging out, watching movies and having a glass of wine. We then kiss good night and part ways. Sometimes I find myself wanting to fall asleep in the comfort of his arms while listening to his heart beat. In return I get to sleep next to my two sweet girls which makes my Mama heart happy. The trade off is worth it to me right now. One day they won't want to sleep next to me and cuddle with me.They feel comfort and warmth next to their mama all night. Our dynamic may be hard for some people to understand, but for us it just makes sense.