Before I had Milan, I was pretty sure what kind of mom I wanted to be and when you become a mom a lot of things changes. For example I always knew that I would be the soft one and my husband would be the strict one in parenting. That has not changed, but when it comes to sleeping with a child, I was pretty sure that I was going to be very strict about NOT co-sleeping and then you learn what sleep can do to you as a parent.
When Milan was born, he was not a very cuddly baby, he didn’t care to sleep with us too much, so when he was 2 weeks old, we tried to put him in his crib and it seemed like he preferred it more than sleeping in the same room as us. It was a little bit hard to be honest, since every time he woke up, I would have to walk back and forth in the middle of the night to his room, but since he hated his bassinet and loves his crib, we just dealt with it.
We started sleep training Milan when he was 6 months old and it was the worst month of my life, now afterwards, I still think that Milan is a good sleeper because of that month. However, I was crying as much as he was, it was an awful month for me. I am very week when it comes to his crying, even today. In theory I always though the idea of letting them cry is fine, but when I would see him in the monitor I would be devastated. However, after a month of hell (I was ready to give up) he slept through the night (it was a miracle). Now looking back, I don’t regret it, because that month probably helped us how he has been sleeping in general.
He started to sleep regress when he started standing up in his crib (about 10 months old) and as two working tired parents, we started to bring him to our bed. We gave in, both of us had enough of following the rules of what we were supposed to do and went with what we thought would make us a happy family (our Dr at that time had advised us not to bring him in).
This is where some of you will say, nooooooo, don’t give in, just keep trying and they will be back at it in no time. But the truth is, we were just so tired from that month of sleep training and going to work with no sleep and we stopped following the books or the advice we had gotten from people. We honestly didn’t care if he slept with us or not, as long as we all slept.
There were months were we were questioning our decision to have him sleeping with us, were we creating bad habit for him? Was he fine in his room? Should we have been stronger to let him cry for a few days? What if he never wants to sleep in his own room again?
Now 1 year after, we have a good balance that works for all of us. We have pretty much the same routine as before. He goes to bed in his now full size bed and we still need to put him to bed (this can take from 15-40 min) and then some days he stays asleep until 5-6am until he comes to our bed and some days he will wake up at night and we take him in.
The truth is, I love sleeping with him. I will miss it so much, he is my little security blanket. He usually comes in next to me and cuddles up like a little baby and it makes my whole heart full. I love his smell and his cute feet and sometimes I get so happy when he comes in (secretly excited). Some weekends we actually just carry him in, cause that way we don’t have to wake up if he does, and we all get a full night sleep (and we always sleep in on weekends). Sleep, sleep, sleep, that’s honestly all that matters for me. If we all get sleep, we are all good, no matter how we got it. I am sure there will be a day he won’t want to cuddle with me like this, so I am just taking it all in. I honestly don’t get much time with my little bear on weekdays so a little night cuddle is just all I need.
I don’t know what your routines are, but all I know is that, the best way to do it is when it doesn’t bother you as a family. If everyone in the family are fully rested, it don’t really (in my opinion) matter how you sleep as a family. I know friends that never co-sleep with their kids, and then I know parents who co-sleep full time and parents who sleep in separate rooms with their kids. And in the end, if you are all happy and it’s working, go for it. That is usually my advice. The time I would say to take action is when you are NOT getting sleep. I mean co-sleeping is not for everyone, I know that, and I have heard parents who hate sleeping with their kids because they are light sleepers. I think the reason this works for me at least, is because I am NOT a light sleeper and love the cuddles.
I am honestly just enjoying Milan now in every possible way, once the baby comes, we need to find a different solution that works for all of us, but if we one day have 2 kids in our bed, I am totally fine with that, long as there are not too many karate moves involved (thank God for our California King size bed).