The art of parenting is all about figuring out the most graceful way to adapt, or your kid (often literally) craps all over your plans. That's definitely what happened to me when it came to baby sleep, and all the plans I made before bed-sharing that went right out the window. In hindsight, I now realize that most of my "plans" weren't really plans at all, so much as uninformed assumptions I made about what my life would look like after my kid arrived. Like many people, I assumed I would be a much better, more in-control parent than I turned out to be, because dealing with a real person with his own biological agenda is no joke.
Though I'm a total childbirth nerd who couldn't get enough information about the act of bringing new people into the world, and though I actually studied child development and psychology in my past life as an educator, I have to admit to dropping the ball a bit on practical information about rearing small people between the ages of birth and preschool. Did I have a clear vision and a detailed birth plan ready to optimize my birth experience? Yep! Did I have a well-developed, research-driven, moral philosophy of parenting that orients my approach to socialization and discipline? You bet. Did I know how to change diapers or deal with a sleepless infant? Nope.
Changing diapers turned out to be really easy, especially when my husband was doing it most of the time after I gave birth. But the sum total of my preparation for baby sleep was adding a co-sleeper and a crib to our registry, after reading some research on the safety of various sleep arrangements and enough of (read: not nearly enough of) a book about breastfeeding and co-sleeping to feel reasonably comfortable occasionally bed-sharing, safely, if we needed to.
As it turned out, we "needed" to. Every night for the past 723 days.
Moral of the story: if you're going to bother with any of the parenting books, at least finish the damn book. There might actually be some information in there that would leave you slightly less misinformed than your non-parent self would otherwise be. And maybe (or y'know, definitely) prioritize learning about things that have to do with how you're supposed to spend a freakin' third of your whole day, like sleeping. If it's supposed to take up that much of your time, it's probably important, you know? RIP to the following plans I made before bed-sharing with my baby: