Hello, my name is Diana Dionne, and I co-sleep with my babies*. It isn’t something I planned to do, or even part of some “philosophy”. In those first bleary months of their lives, while I was awakened by an alarm every couple hours each night to ensure those tiny nuggets continued to grow, I thought I would never make the choice to share my bed with them. Although they weren’t sleeping with us, the constant feeding ensured that they enjoyed that prime real estate on the regular.
There was then a blissful period where they slept happily through the night, swaddled in their sweet twin bassinets, only needing a stroke of the cheek or a repositioning of a pacifier to be soothed back to sleep. Then they outgrew their pacifiers and the basinets, resulting in a transition to their much fussed over, but rarely utilized, nursery and cribs, which went okay. Until it didn’t. Abel started waking up, and was not impressed. Nor was he impressed with milk, being rocked, sang to, or crying it out (okay, it was me who wasn’t impressed with that one). Out of desperation, I put him down on the bed with me. Boom – lights out.
So clearly, you can see how this became a routine. Both boys start out in their cribs, and like clockwork, I get my 1 a.m. wakeup call. For a while, Calvin still slept through the night, until apparently Abel used twin telepathy to explain his technique, and the next thing you know, our bed was like that of the grandparents in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Until recently, I’ve felt almost ashamed of this reality, which is met with a range of reactions when I do confess. But I’ve realized that I shouldn’t worry about judgment because for us, this is the way we all get the most sleep. I also don’t judge those who have successfully sleep trained their kids. (The word I would actually use is envy). And while I do start each night enjoying only having one other person in the bed, there are some perks in the extra cuddling. The moments in the mornings when I am awake before one of them and can just watch my sleeping boy, or when one stealthily climbs over the other to get the best snuggle spot (usually by me, sorry honey), make up for the sleepwalking trips down the hall, or the occasional (usual) tiny ankle to the face. I also know that this phase won’t last forever, and too soon our bed, and our boys, will seem way too big.