I want to talk about my new found love of bed sharing and how compatible it is with night feeds! When I was pregnant (I think even before) I had decided my baby was going to sleep in a bedside cot so that she could be as close as possible to me at night without being in my bed. I knew bed sharing could be done safely but I still didn’t feel very comfortable doing it with a newborn. I’ve always been quite a deep sleeper and moved around a lot in my sleep.
When Tulip was born I finally got to use the BabyBay cot we had ordered at the baby show months in advance and had been set up next to our bed for weeks. I did really like it and Tulip liked sleeping there too. It was good because I felt confident that if I rolled around in my sleep she was safe in her cot but if she needed me I was right there for her. If she woke and just needed my reassurance I could reach my hand over to her and stroke her face or hold her hand. I fed her to sleep since she was born and I could easily put in her the cot after and then go to sleep right next to her. For the first couple months when we were still getting used to breastfeeding I used to have to sit up in bed every time she wanted feeding in the night which unfortunately often woke me up too much. Eventually I got the hang of feeding lying down which greatly helped my sleep! I could just slide her over to me when she woke, feed her, and slide her back. She was big enough for a sleeping bag at this point so she’d stay warm and I didn’t have to mess about tucking her back in.
I had always thought I’d move her into her own room at 6 months but because it’s so easy to feed her in the night when she’s right next to me and I didn’t want to be getting up multiple times a night, she just stayed in with us and I have no new goal of when she’ll be in her own room, I’m just going with the flow! However, as she kept growing I started wondering what we were going to do with her once she got too big for the bedside cot. I considered bed sharing but was still worried I wouldn’t be aware enough of her (even though everything I read said breastfeeding makes you aware enough of your baby to safely bed share). I had fallen asleep feeding in bed on a few occasions so had accidentally bed shared and she was fine. As we were leading up to a 3 night stay at my dad’s house, I got increasingly worried about where Tulip was going to sleep! Days before our stay I ended up borrowing a bed guard from a friend and decided Tulip would be in bed with me. And I absolutely loved it! It was even easier to breastfeed in the night because she was right there, no need to even slide her back and forth. I had one of the best nights sleep I’d had in months. But that was the first night when Tulip and I had the double bed to ourselves. The second night my husband arrived and he said he didn’t sleep well because he didn’t have much space…
So when we returned home I went back to putting her in the bedside cot. A couple weeks later she got a cold and was going through a developmental leap. One night I found that the only way she’d sleep was if I was cuddling her. She’s been in our bed ever since and I love having her so close, I can just feel the secure attachment growing! We’ve somehow made it work for now and my husband is sleeping fine but I do have my eye on a super kingsize low bed! I fully believe now that bed sharing is the best way for the breastfeeding mummy to get a good night’s sleep!