First, a history of Jack and sleep.
For about the first two months of Jack’s life he slept in the crib half the time (it was in our room then), and in bed with us half the time. I loved having him in bed with me but felt like I was only succeeding as a parent if he slept in his crib. By the end of that period he was actually starting to sleep really well by himself in the crib and for really long stretches. And I absolutely hated it.
I didn’t choose to share my bed with Jack because I was “desperate” and it was “the only way I could get sleep” like everyone always assumes. I chose to bring Jack into bed with me because it just felt wrong to have him so far away from me (even 10 ft. was too far) as we both slept. During the day I am constantly watching him and making sure he is okay, I wanted to do the same at night. There isn’t anything else to say about it other than it only felt natural to have him next to me. I’ve loved sleeping next to Jack and wouldn’t have it any other way. A nice bonus is how easy it makes nursing at night. A lot of times Jack just feeds himself and I don’t wake during the night anymore.
[I guess it would also be good to point out we took all measures to bedshare safely which included: no blankets or pillows are ever near Jack, I always wear my long hair in a bun, never wear loose shirts, and if Jack is ever sleeping alone on the bed he is always being watched on our video monitor.]
The last few months Jack started to become a wild sleeper. He rolls around a lot, and he also started to prefer sleeping on his stomach which changed the bedsharing game a bit. Now instead of being curled up to me, he is more independent and spread out on his tummy which takes up much more space. We were both itching to stretch out more so we decided to sidecar the crib and I LOVE it!
We took off the fourth side and converted his crib into a toddler bed. Then we adjusted the crib’s height setting so it would be level with our mattress which worked out great! The only problem we needed to fix was if his mattress was pushed up against ours, there was a gap between his mattress and the bars of the crib. So, we got creative and wrapped two pool noodles in a sheet and TIGHTLY wedged them between his mattress and the bars.
This is really important! It is necessary for safety there are no gaps between either mattress, or the crib and everything is flush.
Jack absolutely loves it and so do I! Now Jack has his own space to spread out on his stomach comfortably, and I can spread out too! It feels luxurious to sleep in whatever position I want to, and I still get what’s most important: being right next to Jack. I love knowing he is right there, safe and breathing and I can reach over to pat his back and nurse him whenever I need to. Co-sleeping with Jack is so important to me, not out of desperation, but out of love. I’m so happy we found a way to keep making it work while everyone’s needs are being met.
(Total side note: that ball is his new favorite toy and I’ve never seen him love something more. It’s super cute.)