Of a group of about 13 or so moms, it appears that I'm the only one who doesn't sleep in the same bed as her baby. This practice is known as bed-sharing. According to my crazy pre-natal yoga teacher (crazy because she was the friggin' breast-feeding police), bed-sharing and co-sleeping are NOT the same thing. Bed-sharing, as the name implies, means that baby sleeps in the same bed as his/her parents. Co-sleeping means that baby sleeps in the same room as his/her parents, in say, a crib or a bassinet.
So my thoughts on bed-sharing? I DON'T GET IT. I don't get it for the following reasons:
1. Smothering Baby
Although many moms do this, I would be totally freaked out about parents smothering their babies to death if they happen to move around a lot in their sleep. The two times that PK slept in the same bed as me completely freaked me out, and I had nightmares for months of smothering her to death.
2. Bed Size
Most people have queen-sized beds, and I have trouble seeing how sharing a bed with a baby AND your spouse can possibly be comfortable. And if you have a king-sized bed, wouldn't you want to enjoy that extra bed real-estate without having a kid between you?
Couples with good marriages still like to get it on. How can you possibly get it on if there's a baby in your bed. I guess there are other places around the house for such happenings, but wouldn't a bed be more comfy?
4. Sleeping Through the Night
Most of my mom friends say that PK sleeps through the night because she's formula fed. And when I say sleep through the night, I mean sleeps 8-10 hours straight - no middle-of-the-night wake-ups to feed, or feeding while sleeping. That may very well be the case, but I'm pretty damned sure that the fact that PK has slept in her own crib since 1 week after she was born (she slept in a bassinet in our room for 1 week) probably helps too. I don't see how baby can possibly learn to sleep through the night if the parents get into bed at a different time compared to baby. I would imagine that the baby would wake up whenever his/her parents got into bed.
5. Spousal Agreement
Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I have a feeling that the bed-sharing thing is usually the woman's idea, and that the husbands usually just go along with this crazy-assed idea. After all, no husband in his right mind wants to piss off his new-mom wife. Especially since it may affect how much lovin' he may get. Sure, some husbands may enjoy the whole bed-sharing thing, but I really do think that most guys just cave to their wives' demands.
6. Difficulty Sleeping in Crib
Of course, after a baby is used to sleeping in his/her parents' bed from birth, getting that same baby to sleep in his/her own crib can be a difficult transition. Most of my mom friends keep asking me what I did to get PK to sleep in her own crib. Simple: we put her in her crib really early on!
7. Restless Sleep
The entire week that PK slept in our room in her bassinet was nerve-wracking, because the slightest peep out of her would cause us to fuss over her. I was positively relieved once she moved to her room. We slept better, and I'll bet you that she slept better too. If I were to do this all over again, I'd get the baby into his/her crib from day one.
I may get some angry comments on my anti-bed-sharing stance. I'm sure that as much as I'm against bed-sharing and co-sleeping, there are people who are just as much against putting baby in his/her crib early on. Thank goodness for freedom of speech!