I'm not sure that I've posted on co-sleeping as of yet, and since it's a pretty big deal as far as attachment parenting goes, I thought I'd attempt a post on this topic.
We started out when Boo was a newborn co-sleeping. At that point he was in a co-sleeper that was attached to our full-size bed. Our co-sleeper looks similar to this:
When Boo was younger he was pretty content to be in his co-sleeper. I would curl up next to the co-sleeper and he would curl towards me. He liked to sleep curled right to the inner edge. I would take him out when he needed nursed during the night and swaddle him and lay him back down when we were done. I had to sit up to nurse him because we couldn't seem to figure out side nursing at all! As Boo grew he decided that the co-sleeper wasn't close enough. He'd start out the night in the cosleeper and was usually okay with that. However, once he was out for that first nighttime feeding he preferred to stay in bed with mommy. So I'd hold him while we slept.
As he grew he started to move more and sit up and crawl and all of those wonderful things. Then it was time to put the co-sleeper away. :( At that point in time Boo would usually fall asleep on my lap for the night while I was downstairs watching a movie or tv program with the hubby. So we'd take him to his crib in his room and let him start the night there while we got to have some time to ourselves. This didn't work every night, but some nights it did. Once he woke up and let us know that he was hungry, unhappy, etc... he would come into our bed for the remainder of the night. At some point after putting the co-sleeper away we learned how to side nurse. Yay - oh happy day. What a difference it made!
When Boo was 7 months old, I went to work full time during the day. That was a very hard time. I did not enjoy being away from Boo at all and the money that I was making (not much) was hardly worth it. I was so happy to have my nighttime to reconnect with him. There were fewer nights that he started out in the crib as a result. As a working mom co-sleeping really helped me to get plenty of sleep. Even though Boo was waking to nurse, I didn't feel tired from this. Boo's food supply was lying right next to him so neither one of us had to fully wake for him to nurse. Once he was done he'd turn over and drift right back to sleep and so would I.
I quit working full time when Boo was 13 months old. I decided I'd had enough and wanted to open a home daycare so that I could be home with Boo, but still bring home some necessary income. As Boo got older we continued with the starting the night in the crib thing, with him spending a good part of the night in our bed. Except for now. I decided to clean out our bedroom and my way of doing this was moving everything into Boo's bedroom so that it could get organized before coming into this room. Problem is I ran out of money for this project (see part where I quit working above) and I still need tons of containers, shelves, etc... to make this work. So now we can't really get to Boo's crib because his room is so full of unnecessary crap. So, for the time being, Boo gets the whole night in bed with us. I must admit that I look forward to having that little bit of time at the beginning of the night where I get to stretch out in bed. It does get pretty cramped in a full size bed with three people! BUT, I do feel like it has been the best choice for us and we're happy with it despite some of the challenges.
Here's some articles that I found online. At some point I'll try to move some of these to my permanent links on the right side of this blog.
Ten Reasons to Sleep Next to Your Child
Mothering's List of Articles