First of all, let me begin by saying I had never thought about–let alone intended to–bed share. Bed sharing sort of found me by way of breastfeeding, new mom exhaustion, and my mommy instincts. (Read more about how bed sharing found me.) Everything kind of fell into place during those first few weeks after we brought Nugget home. I had spent 3 weeks sleeping on the recliner part of the couch on the first floor, recovering from my c-section (and avoiding the dreaded stairs). After we moved upstairs, I spent a few days shuffling around between my bed and Nugget’s crib in a half-asleep stupor. Finally, bed sharing happened and it was BLISS. Now I can’t imagine life any other way!
Of course, bed sharing is not for everyone. Please do your due diligence and your own research to see if it’s right for you and your family. For more information, check out La Leche League’s Safe Sleep Seven.
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As the days and months went by, I discovered a few things that make bed sharing better/safer/more enjoyable.
My 5 must haves for bed sharing:
1. A (possibly two) large, solid, comfortable bed. I say possibly two because we are in the process of getting a second mattress to accommodate our soon-to-be family of four. Most bed sharing families will tell you size of sleeping area and comfort are key. (And safety, of course!)
If you are going to bed share, it is recommended that you have a firm mattress to support baby. Our king size mattress was plenty firm, but it still sunk whenever I would shift my body or move (because, gravity). When Nugget was about 2 months old, I took her to California to visit my dad. When I returned, I discovered that Hubs had bought a new mattress!
When I tried out the mattress, it was love at first sight.
I don’t say that lightly, because I’m picky when it comes to my mattress! (I’m the girl who will try out every single mattress in the store before settling on the first one she tried out.) This mattress is insanely comfortable. The best part?
It doesn’t shift when you move.
Mamas and papas who already bed share–you know what I’m talking about…the “ninja roll”. The stealth you need to do the “sneak away” once you’ve laid your little babe down…is critical. The fact that this mattress does not sink or shift when you move is nothing short of A-MA-ZING!
It also comes with an under-the-mattress nightlight! (Very handy for my middle of the night bathroom breaks.)
Of course, when Hubs bought the bed, he had to get all of the bells and whistles:
All worth it, of course. Ironically, I don’t use the coolest feature of this bed–the PowerBase. Hubs uses it for his back. You can adjust the position of your upper torso and bottom half and “defy gravity”…he insists his back hurts so much less sleeping this way! I can’t use this function because Nugget sleeps on my mattress, which needs to be flat. (Currently, our king is comprised of two twins pushed together. The new arrangement will be Hubs in his twin pushed against my king.)
Do you have to get this bed in order to bed share? Of course not. Is this a pretty unique and remarkable bed? YES!!! A thousand percent, yes. I would not write this post unless I wholeheartedly felt this way. This bed is ridiculous!
With all the additional items, the final price tag is a bit pricey…but you get what you pay for. It’s an investment in our sleep! Priceless, if you ask me. 🙂
2. A wedge pillow for between the knees. Pregnant mamas feel me! I used to sleep with the “c” shaped pregnancy pillow…no can do now with Nugget as my bedmate. HOWEVER–this little find is a lifesaver! I plan on using it even after I have Nugget #2.
3. A video monitor. If you already read my post on 10 Must Haves for Baby, you know that Hubs and I have and recommend the Nest Cam:
We love this for so many reasons. It’s connected through Wi-Fi, so we can both pull her up on our phones. It has a function where you can talk to her/hear her. It’s lightweight and portable so you can take it when you travel. Even if you don’t buy this monitor, definitely invest in a good one. You’ll need it when babe is asleep in bed when you aren’t.
4. A sound machine. My, have times changed. I used to sleep in complete darkness and silence. Now I sleep to the lulling sounds of the Dohm sound machine:
Seriously, though, this is great for drowning out other household sounds!
5. An amazing pillow. Hubs has the Purple pillow…I have this one:
My dad is a chiropractor and I can’t stress enough the importance of a solid pillow! Makes a world of difference in your sleep! (Just make sure it is not near baby.)
Okay, I realize I had promised you 5 items…but I’m going to give you a 6th:
6. Solid bed rails. Now that Nugget can sit, stand, roll over, walk, etc., it became imperative that we get bed rails. I have this one:
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Hope this helps you on your bed sharing journey,