The reason why we tucked a little baby into the bed with us… the motives were purely selfish. I was 20 years old and mothering was a completely new horizon for me. I had not babysat very much and I was the baby in my family. experience was certainly lacking! This new baby in the house was mixed up and slept all day and was wakeful at night. Now I know how this happens when you first bring them home, but his was happening into the 5th month. I was able to rest some during the day, as I was told to do. but in the morning when I would get up I was irritable and resentful for not having slept much the night before.
We had started out with my husband getting up to change the baby and give her to me. I would prop up in the bed and try to stay awake as I fed her. Many times I would doze off with her in my arms. When I would startle myself awake I was fearful that I could have dropped her while doing this prop up nursing. I so wanted some sleep and wished that I could just lay down with her beside me to nurse. But my fears of rolling over on her were too terrifying.
I went to my monthly La Leche League meeting and shared my concerns. The leader there gave me a book to read, Tine Thevenin’s Family Bed. I began to read it and mark the areas that I wanted to share with my husband. Neither of us liked the attempts we had made to allow our daughter to attempt to soothe herself to sleep with cries and screams. He knew how hard it was for me to function that next day after a sleepless night. He knew how I struggled to be a good mom with the resentment that was mounting. He was willing to try anything!
We moved our bed against the wall of the bedroom and took the crib bumper and placed it between the wall and the bed. I would nurse the baby on the breast that was on the side between us first and then place the baby next to me and the wall to complete the nursing. Wow. What a difference it made! The next week was one of rest and it showed as to how I was responding to both the baby and my husband!
As time went on, we moved the crib mattress into our room and lowered our bed closer to the floor by removing the frame. When that baby eventually moved to her room, now a toddler, we had another baby in the bed with us. this time, we never got the crib back form my sister in law who had borrowed the unused piece of equipment from us! That baby eventually shared a bed with his sister with a railing attached to the side.
Our bedroom door remained open for our children to come into our room as their needs demanded. We had a sleeping bag rolled up at the foot of the bed as the kids got older and bigger. If someone had a need to share our room in the middle of the night and someone had beat them to it, the bag was available for the foot of our bed!
All of my children sleep in their own beds now. They have for many years now. I have two kids in college and one high school child that is still at home. they really do grow up. They really do get out of your beds. You really can still have a marital bed with kids in the bed with you there are always beds in other rooms unoccupied! They stay little for such a short period of time trust your instincts. No one likes to sleep alone!