As a father of 3 kids I know the early years can be tough. Getting enough sleep can be one of the biggest challenges for both the parent and the child. This challenge stems from various factors including feedings, dirty diapers, colic, gas, and teething. But what if your child won’t go to sleep in a crib?
That was the biggest problem for me.
None of my kids would sleep in a crib. I would rock them to sleep and as soon as they were put down their eyes would snap open and the protest would continue. The crying and screaming just would not stop. It didn’t seem to matter what we did. This situation can really make you feel like you are doing something wrong, and lead to frustration with the baby, frustration with your spouse, and just overall exhaustion.
We had lots of parents, including my mom, tell us to just let them be and they will eventually fall asleep. We tried, and tried, and tried. The only result from that was a lot of additional stress, not only for me and my wife, but for the babies as well.
So we moved on to Plan B. And, our Plan B worked!
Each of our kids ended up sleeping in bed with us, right between me and their mom. The first few months were an adjustment. We would take turns sleeping in the big plush chair we had staged in our living room. Then, for the next 2 years, we were all in bed together. Now, don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t always easy. I am 280 pounds and six feet tall so you can imagine how some nights went…
Having your child with you really can be nerve racking at first. You might worry that you will roll over and crush them. For me, those tiny humans often took up more space than I did and most nights I found myself pushed up against the edge of the bed. So I really didn’t have to worry too much about rolling over and crushing them.
I was told over and over by those I spoke to that what we were doing was weird. Some even went as far as saying it was unhealthy. If you are in a similar situation and hear these same things, the feeling of insecurity may come rushing in. You may even start to think that you are a horrible parent.
Well, stop thinking that!
I’m here to tell you that there is nothing wrong with having your child sleep with you. The only one who can say its right or wrong is you and your child. Some kids just don’t sleep well on their own and need the comfort of a parent. In our situation, it helped create a strong bond that can never be broken. All of my kids are close with me.
Don’t worry what other people say or what the online blogs and sources recommend. Parenting advice is filled with contradictory and inconsistent suggestions. Your kids will let you know what they need early on. If they won’t take to a crib and need to sleep in your bed with you, so be it. It is completely normal. There is no book and no amount of advice that can fully prepare you for parenting. Sometimes it is best to just go with your gut. My kids sleeping in our bed with us turned out to be a great decision.