For many parents, sharing their bedroom with their newborn from the start is a given. Others prefer their own space. But Hayley, a recruitment consultant from Newcastle, UK, is concerned co-sleeping will develop a habit that’s hard to break as her child gets older.
“I’m having conflicting thoughts about co-sleeping. I’m pregnant and plan to breast-feed and have the baby in with us. But my best friend’s son is nearly three years old and refuses to sleep anywhere other than his parents’ bed. I don’t really want my child sharing our space at that age – how long do you think he or she should sleep with us, or should we put them in their own room from the start?”
Katie & Christina – The Baileys
Katie and Christina are a girl-meets-girl love story. After falling in love and getting married, they have two daughters through reciprocal IVF. They love to travel and want their girls to see as much of the world as possible. You can follow their adventures on Instagram at @babybaileymamadrama and YouTube.
Katie and Christina want to emphasise that, as with most aspects of parenting, there is no right way – you have to do what works for you.
“There are so many different styles of parenting and so many choices to be made. We started with our first daughter in her own sleeping space in a bassinette, but after many sleepless nights she found her way in our bed, especially since it made night feeding easier. We eventually transitioned her to her own room in a crib at about eight months.
“Our second daughter is now a little over a year old, and we still co-sleep with her. We figure that they are only little once and you never hear of a high-schooler sleeping in their parents’ bed! Well – we haven’t at least.”
Familia de Iturmendi – Parenthood4Ever
Familia de Iturmendi is an expat family constantly moving around the world while raising a child. Since becoming parents, they realized the truth of the phrase ‘Parenthood4Ever’, so they decided to motivate and support other young families and travellers with kids by sharing their experience and crazy stories. Moving around so much leaves little time to build long-lasting relationships so the family loves social media – you can find them at Parenthood4Ever, on Instagram as @parenthood4ever_ or on Facebook.
If you want your baby in with you, says Ana, do it – when the time comes for change, it might be easier than you think.
“Based on my experience, every time I introduced a new habit to my baby’s life, it took around a week for him to get used to it. It’s more a question of when the mom is ready to let her child sleep alone. My son always slept in his cot as we found it quite uncomfortable all sleeping together, and I was also scared I or my husband would harm him when we moved during the night.
“However, I know many moms who slept in the same bed for months and even years before introducing a cot to their children, so the choice is up to you. You can also read a bit more about sleep coaching and teaching your child to sleep through the night here.”
Jessica Baxter – Real Home Truths
Jessica is an experienced writer and editor living in Cape Town, South Africa, where her two toddlers provide all the inspiration she needs for her blog. She enjoys sharing her no-filter views and experiences of motherhood – both the mess and the magic. You can read more at Real Home Truths or find her on Instagram as @realhometruths.
If it means you all get enough rest, says Jessica, go for it!
“I’m a big advocate of doing what works for you as a family. Do whatever gets you a good night’s sleep! I think when they’re young and you’re breastfeeding, having them in your room is a good idea – but you don’t need to have them in your bed with you. Perhaps have a cot or Moses basket so they are near you but not in your bed. That will make the transition to their own room easier as they’ll already be used to sleeping in their own bed.”
Danielle – My Life with Littles
A wife and mother to two children, Isabella and Henley, Danielle is chronicling her journey on Instagram. She’s passionate about raising awareness of mental health as well as covering all things mum and baby related. You can find her at @danielle_andlittles.
Danielle says she reached a natural transition point with both her children when it came to sleeping arrangements.
“I think everyone has slightly different views on co-sleeping. I had both my two in a Moses basket in our room until it got the stage where we’d disturb them as we went in and out of the bedroom. You can also buy co-sleeping cribs that attach to the mattress on your bed; when you want to start the process of moving them out, you just put the crib side on. Keep them close to the bed at first and then gradually move them further away. Always go with what you feel is best for you and your baby – after all, mums know best!”
Laura Thompson – The New Mummy
Laura is a full-time mum to her one-year-old daughter, Charlotte. She believes in being honest about parenting and is passionate about individual families doing what is best for their needs. She’s a keen advocate of good mental health and helping others speak out about their issues or how they feel. You can find her on Facebook or Instagram as @thenewmummy or head over to her blog at https://thenewmummy.co.uk
Go with your gut feeling, says Laura – you’ll know what’s right deep down.
“The best thing is to trust your instincts and do whatever is best for you and your family. The National Childbirth Trust and other organisations recommend that your baby remain in your room until they’re at least six months old. It would be worth looking on their site and at other trusted organisations for further information on co-sleeping and moving the baby into their own room. They have excellent signposting to other useful sites, too.
Yocana Salete Okonwo – MummyYoYo
As a full-time mum to son Zayne and daughter Cataleya, Yocana’s mission is to be transparent about family life. By sharing her stories and experiences, she hopes to comfort mothers who might be struggling and inspire them to keep following their dreams. You can find her at Mummy YoYo, on Instagram as @mummyyoyo, on Facebook and on Pinterest.
Keep calm, says Yocana – see what works, and try not to get too stressed.
“If you’re scared that the baby won’t want to sleep in their own bed when they’re older, get a Moses basket or small cot you can put them right next to your bed. Then, as he or she gets older, you can put them in their room. Do what works for your family and remember every child is different – your baby might not be like your friend’s child, and what works for her might not work for you. Don’t stress too much – when the time comes, you’ll know what to do.”
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