The decision as to where you let your baby sleep can be a tricky one. Some say that it is best for your baby to sleep in your bed (and easier to settle them in the night) and others say a bassinet in your room is fine.
We went a step further and put ours in her own cot and (shock, horror) in her own room.
I’m sure some people would say we are neglectful and that it is best for your baby to stay on your person at all times. We disagree.
Everyone will have an opinion. We based our technique on the “train them early” system not to mention the laws of temporary parental insanity and the desperate need for a bit of uninterrupted sleep and adult time syndrome.
I admit that at the time we had those horrible bad parent thoughts. I mean how could you leave a brand new baby just out of the womb all by itself are you crazy! The poor little thing all alone in a cold, dark room blah, blah blah.
We also wondered if we were crazy in having to get out of bed every second to settle, change or feed bub. It certainly made for some serious sleep deprivation early on.
The more we thought about it the more we realized that it would be so much better for her to get used to her own room in the beginning rather than trying to lever her out of our bed at a later stage when she knows what is going on.
Let’s face it, they really don’t know any better at that age and they only know what you teach them so do them and your relationship with your partner a favour and teach them that having their own corner of the family cave is the normal thing. Which it is of course. I believe it’s much better done sooner rather than later.
If you are an attentive new parent and always on hand your child won’t so much as fart before you’ve flung yourself out of your bed ( mmmn – your own bed !) with a SIDS leaflet and a copy of the latest how to raise a baby book so don’t worry about being neglectful.
In actual fact you are doing them a favour by starting this practice from the beginning when everything is different for them. It’s not as if they haven’t had to deal with major separation and upheaval already. A few days ago they were in a nice warm womb when all of a sudden they are pushed into the world where everything is new.
The most important thing in all this is to make sure you always let your baby know that you are close at hand. It means constant checking and almost no sleep for the first few weeks but as soon as bub gets used to the situation they seem to really like their own little space that can be kept quiet and away from all the daily noise and activities. Then your baby will sleep more as they are disturbed less.
The average baby sleeps for about two out of every three hours so instead of putting her in your empty bed during the day then put her in her own cot instead. What’s the difference? You are not generally in your bed anyway.
Then during the night they will be used to their own cot and you can get a couple of hours uninterrupted sleep in your own bed. Everyone gets a better night’s sleep and you can check the baby, go to the loo or even roll over without waking everyone up.
It does take a little more effort during those night feeds as you have to actually get out of bed but it also meant that we didn’t disturb our bub whenever we had to go into our room for anything during the waking hours.
On top of all that it meant that we didn’t disturb her when it was time for us to go to bed and we didn’t hear all the little gurgles during the night which keeps all nervous new parents awake.
The best part about all this extra effort in the beginning is that you will have a chance of a full night’s sleep as soon as bubs belly has grown big enough to hold enough food to keep her going for 6 – 8 hours.i.e around about the 3-4 month mark.
So should your baby sleep in your bed? For us the answer was a definite “no”. We feel justified now as our little one just loves her own bed and has slept through the night since she was 4 months old.
Those who co-sleep will have to wait years for that luxury…