Co-Sleeping with a Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler

Welcome to the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival
This post was written for inclusion in the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival hosted by Monkey Butt Junction. Our bloggers have written on so many different aspects of cosleeping. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I stumbled upon co-sleeping out of desperation and exhaustion eight weeks after my oldest was born five years ago, and I have never looked back.

Aside from being passionate about breastfeeding, I am astonished at how grossly unprepared I was for motherhood in those early days and weeks with my first newborn. My ignorance led me to trust the advice of others rather than listen to my own inner maternal voice, the one that always knows what is best for my baby. If I had listened to that maternal voice, I would have enjoyed those savory early weeks of new motherhood, rather than remember them as fog-filled days of uncertainty, anxiety, fatigue, and frustration. I would have known that babies are designed to sleep peacefully next to their mothers, happily nursing all night long, both waking refreshed and ready to start a new day together.

When I abandoned the crib and brought my daughter to bed with me at eight weeks old, I wholeheartedly embraced Attachment Parenting and its focus on listening to our maternal wisdom and being responsive to our children's needs. Yet, even as I tried to trust the strong and time-tested mother-baby partnership, I was still filled with trepidation about how to safely co-sleep with both a baby and a toddler when I became pregnant for the second time. I remember asking other co-sleeping moms for advice and being told over and over that it would all come naturally.

It did. My newborn slept peacefully and safely on one side of me while my toddler slept peacefully and safely on the other side. My husband and I invested in a larger bed and put our mattress on the floor surrounded by pillows and blankets to protect our "nightcrawlers," and we purchased an additional mattress for extra comfort and space.  I continued to nurse our infant continuously, on-demand, throughout the night as he nestled in the crook of my arm, away from his big sister.

My third baby was born at home in our family bed. By then, I had finally, gratefully, learned to trust my maternal wisdom and let it naturally guide me in caring for my family's well-being. I know that co-sleeping is right for my children, for our family, and I know that the family bed is for now the safest, warmest, happiest spot for all of us.

Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival

Thanks for reading a post in the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival. On Carnival day, please follow along on Twitter using the #CosleepCar hashtag.
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A big thank you to all of the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival participants!