I was never someone who thought I would want kids in my bed. After all, my parents had never allowed us kids to sleep in their bed, even when we were little, so why would I want to. Old thinking seemed to be my thinking at the time. I spent countless nights sleeping in the recliner holding Natalie so she would sleep, nursing on and off throughout the night and then napping in our bed (with Natalie) after Phil had left for work. Not only was I (socially bullied into being) opposed to letting Natalie sleep with us, I was also terrified that we would smother her or crush her while sleeping. So, to the recliner I went.
This continued on for months after she was born and then one night it all changed. She came into our bed to sleep and she never looked back. We all slept fine, no one was smothered and the queen size bed seemed to fit us. When I would travel, she would end up in bed with Phil around 2:00 am and when Phil would travel, she would end up with me in our bed. It became a habit and was easier to let her go back to sleep in our room than to fight her back to her bedroom. We caved...because we needed sleep more than a middle of the night argument. We were also totally opposed to letting her "cry it out" or figure it out on her own. She was a baby and needed me, so I couldn't let her cry - I would rather be tired than let that happen. Which only added to our assertion that we weren't doing anything wrong letting her sleep with us.
Fast forward to the arrival of Philip...the first night home from the hospital I slept in the recliner, and for the life of me, have NO idea how I spent so many nights in that chair with Natalie. By morning, my back hurt so much I could barely walk and was TIRED...more tired than I should have been. I decided on the second night to try and keep him in the bassinet next to our bed, but that didn't work, because every noise he made I thought he needed me or was going to wake up. About an hour into the night, he was in bed sleeping on my chest and we both slept for 4 hours! Over the next week we spent time in my bed, the recliner, and the basement couch. But, my bed was the most comfortable and I seemed to sleep better and we all know that a well rested mommy is a happy mommy.
The problem with our bed, as comfortable as I might be, is around 2:00 am (most nights) Natalie joins us...Phil, me and Philip. Four people in a queen size bed doesn't work so well. Especially when one of those people (Natalie) doesn't realize that it isn't nice to do pinwheels in bed and kick the people around her. So when she comes in, Philip and I are out. Which means I'm not getting the sleep I need which isn't goof for anyone. Last week in a moment of desperation I almost drove to Costco to buy a king size bed; didn't know how I would get it home or inside the house or where our queen size bed would go...but I didn't care. I'm still working on the logistics and have warned Phil that he might come home one day to a new bed.
It is pretty funny that my feeling that kids shouldn't sleep in your bed has so dramatically changed. I no longer have a problem with it...in fact, last night Philip and I went to bed, in my bed at midnight and slept for 4 hours, I fed him, then we went back to sleep for another four hours...and it was GOOD sleep. Natalie joined us around 6:00 and Phil left us around 7:00. I'm not ashamed, because I'm well rested. If it works for you, do it, if it doesn't then don't, but I for one will not be judging others for co-sleeping or not co-sleeping.
Now, if I could just figure out how to fit a king size bed in the back of my car...