Before Allie arrived, I was dead set on her sleeping in her nursery right from the start. I’m not sure what it was, but having her sleep in our bedroom just didn’t appeal to me one bit. I guess I just didn’t want it to be challenging down the road to move her from our room to her nursery. I wanted to create good habits right from the start. Then co-sleeping was just 100% out of the question. I know some people do it and love it, but to me that’s just an accident waiting to happen. So I never would have even considered it. So Zack and I came to the conclusion that we’d put her in her own crib right from day one.
Well that plan went out the door within days of bringing her home from the hospital. She spent the first two nights sleeping next to my hospital bed which I actually really enjoyed because it just made my life a bit easier whenever she needed something. Then we brought her home and as planned we put her right into her crib that first night. She didn’t do bad at all. We set up a camera above her crib so we could check on her from our bedroom and she only ended up waking up three times that entire night.
She slept well the second night as well. And then we had the third night where she just couldn’t sleep whatsoever. She wasn’t fussy at all. She just couldn’t sleep. She’d wake up and then have a hard time going back down. So I found myself going back and forth between our bedroom and the nursery a lot that night. While it wasn’t horrible, it was definitely a bit frustrating at times to put her down only to have to walk back into her nursery less than five minutes later to try rocking her back to sleep.
After a few nights of this, I broke down and turned to Google. I wanted to see what other parents were doing when it came to sleeping arrangements and came across an article by What To Expect that stated that the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) actually recommends that infants sleep in the same room as their parents for the first six months. From there, they believe that babies should be moved to their own bedrooms. This made me feel a million times better about my choice to move her into our bedroom.
So the next day we ended up at Target and after a lot of comparing and contrasting, we decided on a pack n’ play with a bassinet insert. While a bassinet would have been a tad bit cheaper, she just wouldn’t have been able to use it long. So I couldn’t justify the price. A pack n’ play on the other hand is something we’ll be using consistently over the next few years. So it was the perfect option.
We brought it home and I instantly fell in love with it after just one night of using it. I honestly wish we had bought the pack n’ play sooner and used it right from the start. So here are my pros and cons to sharing a room with your infant.
- It’s more convenient. This is honestly the #1 reason why I chose to move her her into our bedroom. There weren’t too many other factors associated with this decision. But man is is so much easier having her next to me. The only time I have to get out of bed is when I need to warm up her bottle. The pack n’ play came with a changing table insert which I leave a on at all times along with her bassinet insert so even changing her diaper is super quick and easy. And her pack n’ play is so close to the bed that I don’t even have to get out of bed either. I love it!
- She sleeps better. While it can be super easy to want to pick her up every time she makes a peep or seems restless, having her right there allows me to better determine if I need to jump in or not. If she seems to be having a hard time falling back to sleep on her own then I can step in real quick and rub her head until she falls back to sleep or pop her pacifier back in her mouth to calm her. This makes it really easy to put her back to sleep before she wakes up too much (once she’s awake, it’s a million times harder to put her back down). Now, most nights she only wakes up twice! So she’s sleeping much better in our bedroom.
- I sleep better. First off, I’m not making a million trips back and forth between our bedroom and hers every night either which became super exhausting after a while. This instantly made me moody every single time I had to get back up to check on her or rock her back to sleep. Second, since she’s sleeping better, it allows me to sleep longer and better in between feedings as well. The other night, I got a solid 8 hours of sleep with only two 15 minute breaks where I was feeding and changing her. I felt fantastic the following morning. So at this point, the two of us have a very good sleeping schedule/routine in place.
- More bonding moments. While this is a huge reason why some moms choose to breastfeed or co-sleep (two things I was against doing), I find it just as easy to bond through room sharing. I already felt a deeper connection to her due to the fact that I carried her in my womb for nine months, but our late night cuddle sessions and feedings have helped me to bond with her even more. I’m better able to pick up on her cues and better understand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to calming her down. I’m also more in tune with her sleep and feeding routines as well.
- Less privacy. For some couples, this can be a huge deal breaker. And honestly, it was one of the many reasons why I didn’t want her sleeping in our room. Even morning cuddles are interrupted by her little whimpers as she wakes up or even full blown crying when she wakes up hungry or needing a diaper change. This can make it a little more challenging to connect with your spouse and have that alone time together at the start and end of your day.
- Possibly less sleep for you. Let’s face it, babies can be loud sleepers. I honestly had no idea they were so noisy. While Allie doesn’t snore or anything like that, she’s constantly making some sort of sound as she changes positions or stretches or even just for the hell of it. Thankfully I’m pretty good at sleeping through the basic noises and only wake up when she actually needs me. But for those who are light sleepers, this could make it really challenging for you to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
- An over-dependent baby. This was one of my biggest fears with having Allie in our bedroom. I’m still worried about it a bit considering she can be super clingy with me sometimes. But if you’re consistently tending to your baby every single time they make a noise then it could make them more dependent which could then make it more challenging for them to fall asleep on their own and be independent. So my recommendation here is that if you’re going to share a room with your new baby, then be sure to find a good balance here and only jump in when absolutely needed (I do not mean letting them cry it out. Infants are way too young for that method. If they’re crying consistently then it’s absolutely okay to jump in!).
At the end of the day, we love having Allie in the same room as us. For us, the pros far outweigh the cons and at this point, we have a great routine in place for making it work for everyone. Whatever your choice is in regards to sleeping arrangements, you should always do what’s best for your baby and your family as a whole. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons and don’t be afraid to test out all the different sleeping arrangements to determine what works best!
What are/were your sleeping arrangements with your baby?