Adventures in Attachment Parenting: The Dangers of Bed Sharing by Allison Silver
There is tons of information out there about the dangers of sleeping with your child. But when it comes to toddlers, who is really more in danger: the child or the parents? Over the past year I have loved sharing a bed with my child. And when she was a baby it was easy. She hardly moved at all and I felt a sense of peace knowing that she was right next to me. The worst part of bed sharing when she was a baby was that I would get sore or my hips would ache from lying in the same position for too long.
Over the past month, our soon to be fifteen month old has gotten more active in her sleep. Gone are the days when she was content to sleep curled up next to me all night. Now I wake up several (if not more) times a night with a foot or, better yet, her bottom in my face. For a little person she sure does find a way to expand and take up most if not all of my side of the bed. A few times when she is half asleep she has tossed and turned and head-butted me in my face. Trust me, she is fine and wakes up quite rested, but I really can’t say the same for myself.
This past Sunday, after a particularly restless night, I told my hubby that I was going to get out the pack-n-play, set it up next to our bed, and see if our daughter might be able to sleep by herself for a few hours. My hubby looked at me to see if i was serious or just joking. When he realized that I was serious, he suggested that instead of setting up the pack-n-play, why not move her crib into our room? So all afternoon on Sunday my hubby disassembled the crib (in our beautiful nursery that we’ve never used) and then he reassembled it as a sidecar and placed it next to our bed.
After he had reassembled the crib in our room, we placed our daughter in it and she had fun crawling in it and pulling up to stand. We let her play in it off and on for a few hours before bedtime. Then at bedtime I nursed her to sleep like I always do, and when she was asleep I placed her in her crib. I’m not sure what I thought would happen. I guess I thought we would both magically sleep better having our own space…… and perhaps sleep all night! Now that is truly wishful thinking. This baby has never slept more than five hours without waking up. So to sleep all night would be truly stretching it.
After placing her in the crib, I should have tried to go to sleep myself but instead I watched her sleep, checked my email and surfed the web! About thirty minutes after I went to sleep she woke up crying. I brought her into our bed and then around four o’clock in the morning I attempted to place her in the crib again. This time she lasted forty-five minutes before I brought her back into bed with us. Our first night she slept a grand total of two and a half hours in her crib. This might not seem like much but this is pretty major for us! Our longest stretch before this had been ten or fifteen minutes.
Over this past week she has slept anywhere from an hour to three hours in her crib. It’s been nice being able to spread out for a few hours and have some space to myself but in a weird way I also miss her being right there curled up next to me. I know it sounds silly but for fifteen months she has always been right there. I know in a few hours she will be back in our bed but it almost takes a little getting used to. I’m not sure who will have a harder time getting used to our new arrangement, her or me.