first, let me explain for those that don't know, co sleeping is the practice of parents sharing their beds with their infants and young toddlers. some of the benefits are that it helps babies stay asleep and get back to sleep faster if they wake at night, because they are already next to their parents. also, it's easier when breastfeeding babies, because when they get up at night, everybody that needs to be together already is. lastly, those parents that work or can't be with their children all day are at least able to spend time with them at night, getting all the hugs and cuddles in that they can.
in truth, i don't like this practice, and don't subscribe to it. it was recommended that i try co sleeping when i was having so many problems breast feeding fishie. the thing is, i know myself, and i know that i am such a sound sleeper, and roll and move so much, that if i had my baby in bed with me, chances are i would roll or smush or something equally awful would happen to them. and that it part of the problem with co sleeping, which is why most doctors warn against it. studies show that babies get crushed. or, because they're so small, they can get themselves tangled in pillows and blankets and smoother themselves. i never tried co sleeping with my boys, i was always against it, and i really didn't want to do it with fish.
with the boys, from the outset, i set them up in their own bedrooms, in their own beds (really cribs), and they understood that is where they were supposed to sleep. when they came home from the hospital, they slept in the nursery right away, none of that sharing our bed or even our room. the crib was right across the hall from my bed, within sight if i left both doors open, and i felt that was the place they were supposed to be. and as they grew, because they were used to sleeping in their own bedrooms, i didn't have to worry about them wandering to find me if they woke up in the middle of the night. they stayed in their rooms, they didn't try to share my bed, and i liked that just fine.
unfortunately, fishie never quite got that message. it probably didn't help that maybe two months before we had to leave our old house and live with my mom, she just started sleeping in her toddler bed. she did not get used to it as quickly as the boys. when they were little, when it was time for bed, i would put them to bed and they would stay there. i might hear them wake up, but they were very good about putting themselves back to sleep. though the house that the boys were babies in had two floors, so when they would wake up, it was easier for them to go back to sleep then to try to make it down the stairs. the house that fish was a baby in was all one floor, and her room happened to be right next to the living room, so whenever she would wake up, she could stumble into where her dad and i were and climb on our lap instead of putting herself back to sleep.
another fun fact about my kids and toddler beds is that we put dear bumble in a toddler bed shortly after he turned one, simply because we needed the crib for lumpy. and then we got bunk beds and had bumble sleep on the top and lumpy sleep on the bottom when they were very young, because we had to turn the nursery into guest room for a guest that had to stay with us. so, thinking back, lumpy never actually made it to a toddler bed, he went straight from the crib to the bottom bunk. fish's transition was a more interesting story. one night, she woke up maybe an hour after we had put her down to sleep. dear hubby and i were letting her cry for a bit to see if she could get herself back to sleep. suddenly we heard a thump, and before we could even get up to see what had happened, she was standing in the living room, confused and still crying (she was completely fine, by the way). that was the point we realized she was big enough to climb out of her crib herself, and we converted it into a toddler bed, which she's been sleeping in since then.
fast forward almost a year, and we are almost to the point of moving out of my mother's house and into our own. which means, for the first time since september, fishie will be sleeping in her own room all by herself. at the moment, her toddler bed happens to be in the same room that my hubby and i are in, and any time she wakes up now, she just gets up and climbs in bed with us. it's very frustrating, because now that she's gotten bigger, she's become a bed hog and steals my blanket and pillows. more than that, i am worried how she'll do when we move to our new house. i know people that shared rooms with their babies and toddlers, and how hard it was for their children to transition into their own "big kid" room. i can remember hearing the stories about the fights and the tears, and how the kids wouldn't stay in their bed and would only sleep if they were with their parents. it's one of the main reasons i did everything i could to avoid it with my boys, but now i'm afraid i'll have to face that fight with my fish. and i'm not looking forward to it.