Co-sleeping is something
that many parents experience, even if for just a short time. Whether it's part of your master-parenting plan or it just sort of happened, you
quickly become aware of the pros and cons of sharing the bed with a toddler.
are some things that may happen at some point if you find yourself with a little human cub in your bed.
1. You will wake up at least once in the night to
move your child, who is sprawled out like a spider monkey across your bed.
When sleeping with me, my child becomes five times her daytime size and has the arm span of an orangutan and the legs of an NBA player.
My toddler is a wee little human who dominates hide-and-seek because she fits inside laundry hampers and the smallest
little nooks and crevices around the house. But somehow, when sleeping with me
in my bed, my child becomes five times her daytime size and has the arm span of an
orangutan and the legs of an NBA player. She'll occupy all but the crusts of
the bed, leaving me to find pockets of mattress space in between her arm and torso
or in the space beneath her bent little knees.
2. You may or may not breathe in pee particles most
of the night.
And by "may," I mean you will, and by "may not," I mean you
will. But you'll pretend or convince yourself that you're not breathing in pee particles just because you're
too tired to change the diaper or pull-up that's smooshed up against your face, or you're worried that a toddler reposition may just wake the sleeping baby-giant and create
a middle-of-the-night disaster.
3. You will get kicked in the jaw.
Or punched in the ribs or helicopter kicked in the throat.
And it will hurt so bad, but you'll have to silent scream and air punch it out, then wince quietly to yourself as you try to fall back to sleep on your
breadstick-sized portion of the bed.
It will be on a morning after one of those shitty nights when all of the above happens. You'll be cranky and tired, and your neck will be sore. And you will say, "Enough! I've had it! We've got to stop doing this!" But then when night
falls and enough hours of the day and enough cute faces and phrases have been
made and uttered by your little co-sleeper, you'll watch the moon move across
her face as she snores in deep adorable slumber next to you, and you'll be
like, "I want to do this forever."
And if you go for long stretches of co-sleeping nights, "Nurse
Naughty" will turn into "Nurse Never Waxes Her Bikini Line Anymore ," and your
husband will take long, long showers.
6. You will wake up with drool on your face that's
And the worst part is, you're not sure if it's even
your toddler's. Ew. But c'mon, we're parents now, enduring gross things should
be like breathing at this point.
7. When you take that much-needed night away with your
hubby, you will wake up startled and spend the next half-lucid 30 seconds
frantically looking for your toddler.
You will break into a cold sweat, scramble around on all
fours on the bed, frantically patting down lumps in the comforter and then
spring to the floor darting around like a squirrel on speed looking under and
around the bed until you fully wake and realize that you are on a romantic,
kidless vacation. You will collapse back in bed, heart racing and missing your
baby. And your husband will sleep right through it.
Your ears will bleed if you hear one more, "you really shouldn't do that."
Not because what they think or say will have a bearing on
whether or not you continue to sleep with your toddler, but because your ears
will bleed if you hear one more, "you really shouldn't do that" or "she needs to
be sleeping in her own bed." No one else knows what's best for your family or
situation. And no one wants their ears to bleed.
9. You will use your toddler as a source of warmth
on cold nights.
Toddlers radiate heat like the sun's core. And on those
chilly winter nights when the down comforter is not enough, you will drape your
toddler over you like a big bear (cub) rug. You've given up hours of sleep for
their well-being and comfort, so this is the least they can do for you.
will miss snuggling them at night when they get too big to sleep with you.
Sure, when you let your toddler sleep with you, you may be
in for a night filled with bloody noses (yours), tears (again, yours) and
interrupted sleep. But spending those hours snuggled up with your baby boo,
filling her warm little breath on your cheek, watching her dream, hearing her
night giggles and just knowing she is safe and sleeping peacefully by your side
is all worth it (or that's what I tell myself). They won't be this little forever, and the throat kicks
will hurt so much more later on.