Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Our Family Bed: When Restless Nights Are Worth It

“Oh. So, Droidlet still sleeps with you?”
                This is a question I get. A lot. From friends, family members, or strangers who ask. Apparently, with Droidlet getting to his six months post-womb state, the hottest question is whether or not he is sleeping through the night. And sometimes (okay, lots of times) I do wish there was a magic button in his brain that once his body ticked to six months, lit up, and forced his little brain to fall asleep at ten and not wake up until six. However, this is not the case. And after an inquiry about whether or not he sleeps through the night comes… “well, where does he sleep?”
                I wish after I reply, “with us,” the conversation would be over with an “Oh, that’s wonderful!” or “That’s great your family can make that work!” Instead, responses always come in the “you’lllll seeeee” form detailing how I’m basically ruining my child because he is going to want to sleep in our bed until he is twenty-five or that he will never ever ever sleep through the night or that (although we have been co-sleeping for over six months now) we will definitely roll over on and suffocate our baby.
                Now, I’m not writing this in complete defense or to get upset about those who don’t co-sleep, but rather, I want to reiterate that we’ve made a choice that works for our family and our child. Also, there are very important aspects to keep in mind. Funk and I are well aware of the “dangers” of co-sleeping (especially when Droidlet was a newborn) which is why we always practice in the SAFEST way possible. We never go to bed under any sort of influence (not even one glass of wine), Droidlet does not have covers on him and does not sleep on a pillow, and he isn’t on the edge of the bed where he can potentially roll off. These issues are very important to follow and help make our co-sleeping safe and great for the whole family.
                Of course, it’s not perfect. There are nights when Droidlet, especially now that he can move around, tends to kick us in the back or slap us in the head. I’ve woken up with little fingers up my nose and on some mornings have even found Funk on the floor because Droidlet basically inched his way over to Funk’s side of the bed. However, Droidlet sleeps best when in our bed and we love the family experience of sharing sleep together. Oh, and the whole “you’ll never have sex if you co-sleep”… trust me, it’s not true.
                Eventually, it will be time for Droidlet to move out of our bed. Whether this is Droidlet-led, or parent-led, or whichever comes first, we haven’t decided. If this will happen next week, or at one, or a two, we don’t know. What we do know is that, for right now, sleeping with the little bot in our bed is what works best for us. We haven’t noticed any “unhealthy” behavior because of it – Droidlet is a happy, bubbling, growing little guy. The choice of where Droidlet sleeps is just that – a choice that works for us – and it has been a wonderful experience to have as a new family trying to figure out the odds and ends of sharing a life together.

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