Life with a new baby is often defined by how much sleep you’re (not) getting. Sure, some new mamas luck out with newborns who magically sleep through the night from very early on. But for most of us, sleep becomes a thing of the past. So what if we told you it doesn’t have to be that way? Indeed, you can instill good sleep habits from day one so that you and baby get the sleep that you deserve and need.
Weeks before our baby boy was born I had set up and decorated his crib, eager and ready to put our happily sleeping newborn in the cosy space I had created for him. After a difficult and very long birth, I held my perfect, sleeping baby in my hospital room and gently placed him into the plastic cot next to my bed, ready to get a few hours of shut-eye myself. The minute I closed my eyes, however, my tiny little boy let out a cry that ripped my heart in two. I quickly pulled him back into my arms, wedged him in between the nursing pillow and both of us dozed in and out of sleep for the rest of the night. Suddenly, the cozy crib that I had set up for him seemed huge and cold and it just felt right to have him cuddled up with me. Even after all I read about safe sleep habits and the dangers of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), having my son in my arms seemed to be the only way that any of us were getting any sleep.
Co-sleeping, however, doesn't have to mean bed-sharing. Essentially, co-sleeping is any arrangement in which the baby sleeps in close proximity to the mother, whether this means that the baby sleeps in the bed with her, in a co-sleeper attached at one side to the mother's bed, a bassinet where baby is at arm's reach from Mama or in their own bed in the same room. Whatever the configuration, remember that no one knows your baby better than you and what you believe is right for your family might be very different from what others choose and that is more than OK.