My Experiences with Cosleeping with My Daughter.
Many parents would never dream of having their baby sleep in their bed with them. Many are scared of the baby being injured or suffocated, many don't want to "give up" their sex life, and many don't even think of it as an option.
For me, cosleeping just came naturally. When my daughter, then less than one day old, would not stop fussing in the hospital, I took her out of the plastic bassinet and placed her on the bed, in my arms, and between myself and a pillow I put up against the railing. She stopped fussing, snuggled in, and went to sleep. A few days later, due to her horrible reflux, I started putting her in her carseat in my bed. A couple months later she transitioned to sleeping in her crib, which lasted for all of about three or four months before she ended up back in "the family bed".
Cry it Out did not work with my stubborn little girl and it made me feel incredibly horrible. I couldn't help but think to myself, "What kind of mother does this to her child?" The only way I could get her to sleep without screaming, waking up and screaming, or screaming really REALLY loudly was to put her in "Momma's bed". After I came to bed we would snuggle up together and sleep peacefully until the morning, when she would inevitably wake me up far earlier than I would have preferred.
Shortly after she turned three, she started sleeping on the couch in the living room by her own choice. I was crushed. I missed my little girls warm little body cuddled up next to mine at night. It took me a very long time to get used to her not being there.
She still sleeps with me (either in my bed or in her tiny little twin bed) when she's sick or after a particularly bad nightmare. And she still demands, "Hold me, Momma" when she crawls in bed with me, and sometimes even just while we're sitting on the couch, watching her favorite movie or PBS Kids or reading a book.
Cosleeping has helped me to become very much attached (in a good way) to my child and it laid the foundation for the super strong relationship we have now. I know, when my daughter is a teenager, she will come to me with all of the end-of-the-world teenage problems she faces (including those regarding drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.).
Maybe, as we talk about those problems, we'll even curl up together and she'll say, "Hold me, Momma".
Articles & Resources
AskDrSears -Safe Cosleeping Habits
More coming soon.