Libby turned four months old yesterday. Four months! Where have I been? In a sleep-deprived-fog, apparently. Well, not really. Once I got okay with the fact that despite saying “I’ll never”... I am! Bed sharing, that is. She sleeps in our bed every night and we’re loving it. It makes for a great night’s sleep, actually. We go down most nights between 10-11 p.m. and I wake up at 5 a.m. to get ready for work. She’ll nurse sometime between 2-3 a.m. but I usually sleep right through it. On weekends she’ll nurse again at 5 a.m. and we all sleep in until about 9 a.m. It works brilliantly. So much so that I am thinking we’ll be keeping this arrangement for much longer than I had originally planned.
Before she was born, we had planned on co-sleeping using the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper (ARCS) until she was about three months old (how I picked that age I don’t know, I guess I figured three months is long enough for an infant to sleep in her parent’s room…wow, how uninformed I was back then). Anyway, she’s a big baby and getting taller by the day and soon won’t fit in her ARCS. So I am formulating a Plan B. I think we might go with this. The problem is, our crib won’t sidecar because it’s got built-in drawers and a changer. So, that means purchasing a second crib/mattress just for the purpose of creating the sidecar situation. I can probably do this via Craigslist for under $150. The other option is just to keep doing what we’re doing which is, most nights the ARCS is acting as a bed rail and she’s sleeping tucked under my arm between me and it. Rarely, we manage to move her over into it, but not as often as I thought we would when I bought the thing. It’s amazing what that 6 inch “lip” does to create a huge barrier to moving a sleeping baby successfully into it. I'll add that to the “wish I had know this before...” list that grows by the day when you’re a new parent.
At least if we sidecar a crib it will create one sleeping surface between our mattress and the crib mattress, which means I can nurse her side-lying with her on the crib mattress and me on my mattress and then have room to roll onto my back and spread out while I sleep. Right now I have to sleep on my side the entire night. And I was so looking forward to not being pregnant anymore and getting back to sleeping on my back.
My only hesitation is this…is it worth buying another crib/mattress to create a sidecar situation? Or should I just tough it out and keep sleeping like we’re sleeping and then consider moving her into her own room and crib in another 2-3 months? Or in 2-3 months will I still want to be bed-sharing and wishing that I had just gone ahead and side-carred a crib? Oh the decisions. In retrospect, we should have not purchased a crib until after she was born and we were more sure of what we would be doing for sleep. It’s funny, because in my last trimester, having the crib in her room somehow made it all feel more real and gave me a sense of peace that we were ready for her arrival. We registered for it and my father sent it as a gift. We mainly use it to store her clothing and for diaper changes. And a random nap here or there. But she’s certainly never spent the night in it. Maybe someday she will, or we’ll just convert it to the youth bed and have her sleep in it when she’s ready as a bigger toddler. But for now, our bed is her bed and we like it that way. More so than I ever thought we would. Because I was one of those who swore, “I’ll never have my baby sleeping in our bed. Never.” Never say never. My “never” only lasted a few weeks. And here we are at four months, loving that we share the bed with our little one.