When our first was born, we lived in a one bedroom apartment and pictured (safely) co-sleeping as one happy, cozy family. The first night home we had her sleep in the car seat right next to our bed because the crib looked way to big and scary. A friend lent us a co-sleeper which we used gratefully for almost six months. For almost six months, I would wake up when she did, bring her into bed with us and place her between myself and the co-sleeper falling asleep nursing her. I would usually wake up some time later, try to put her back in the co-sleeper, wake her up, and begin the process all over again until morning. Any mom of a newborn can tell you, you love your baby to bits, but you get tired. It worked out just fine, until, she got too big for the co-sleeper and could sit up on her own. Since we didn’t want her crawling out, we started using a method similar to what we had been doing, but using the crib instead. Around that time, the fatigue was catching up to us. My husband was having a hard time concentrating at work and I was plain exhausted. I remember telling our doctor at her 6 month checkup that I had been scared driving to the appointment that morning because I was so tired. We couldn’t keep it up. Without another bedroom to put her in though, we didn’t have many options. So I moved to the living room.
We have a pullout sofa and every evening, before putting our sweet angel to bed, we made sure to use the restroom and grab our toothbrushes and pajamas. We would then have dinner, clean up, catch up, or watch some TV. We’d close the curtains and get ready for bed in the living room/kitchen. Daddy would sneak into the bedroom so as not to wake the babe, and I would pull out my foldable mattress. Success! I am not sure why it worked, but it did. Maybe she could smell my milk from the crib and so kept waking up frequently and unnecessarily. Maybe I was too sensitive to her every little noise and she to mine. But once I moved out, I couldn’t hear her and she couldn’t hear or smell me and we both instantly started sleeping through the night.*
We had friends who did the opposite and the baby got the living room while they got the bedroom and bathroom, but I couldn’t get dinner ready in time every night to do that in our house! Whatever works!
When we were able to upgrade to a two bedroom 6 months later, we appreciated it so much and saw it truly as a luxury. So I guess the old folks are right when they say to be grateful for each moment as starving newlyweds because these will be some of your fondest memories!
*I know not all babies sleep through the night at 6 months and we shouldn’t expect them to. But God knew what I needed and allowed it to work for us! Each family needs to take the mental and physical health of every person in the family into consideration when making such decisions. This worked for us!