Sleeping arrangements in our house are as follows: K and N share a room – K in her toddler bed and N still in his crib. Mr. December and I share a room (duh) and a King-sized bed. R sleeps with us. In the bed. Not in a co-sleeper, not in a snuggle nest, just in the bed, between me and a snuggle nest that she’s never slept in.
N slept next to me too, and I can say with confidence that in 8 total months of bed-sharing with my babies, nobody has been hurt. People often ask what prevents me from rolling over on R in my sleep. I’m not sure, but clearly something does. Several times I’ve woken up mid-roll to realize that R is this close to ending up under me.
That’s probably because wherever I sleep, R worms her way in. I move away from her a bit so I can stretch and have some space. I wake up an hour or two later and she has somehow managed to close the 18-inch gap between us and is cuddled up against my back, like some kind of heat-seeking barnacle. It never fails. When I sleep facing her I often wake up to find that she’s using my breast as a pillow. When my back is to her, she presses her whole body against it so that I can feel the rise and fall of her chest as she breathes.
As a result of all this… closeness, my neck is starting to hurt. I’m sleeping in positions that are unnatural for me just so that I don’t wake R or crowd Mr. December on his side of the bed. Would it spoil some vast, eternal plan if I had my half of the bed to myself? I suppose not. I could put R to sleep in a bassinet next to us, or I could start to let N sleep in his toddler bed and give R the crib. But there are two things wrong with that: first, I’d have to get out of bed to nurse her, and thus would get much less sleep, and second, that this won’t last forever – and there’s something indescribably sweet about having your very own, very cuddly, pet barnacle.