Bedtime is probably the strongest reminder that, as much authority as I may wield in many aspects of my life, that authority is not absolute. When it comes to sleeping arrangements, regardless of what you and/or your partner have initially planned on, your baby gets a say in this decision, too. Their say is usually, a loud scream punctuated by heartbreaking little hiccups and choking sounds, potentially for hours on end. It's extremely persuasive. That's why rules to help you survive co-sleeping exist. I mean, after hearing your child’s well-argued point of view, you have decided that it's just better to let your little one in your bed than deal with all that.
Contrary to the nuance-free scare-mongering you may have heard, it is possible to safely share a bed with your child. Provided you aren’t intoxicated, you don't smoke, your bed is safe and your baby was born full-term, your child is at no greater risk of harm than if they slept in a crib. Plus, you get to cut way down on the amount of crying you may or may not be forced to suffer through, and the number of power struggles you have to engage in with an infant or toddler. If you're breastfeeding, you get the added benefit of getting to feed your baby through the night without having to get out of bed (or even waking up, most of the time), sparing you or your partner the hassle of having to wake up and deal with bottles. I mean, you guys, that's the dream.
However, and with anything in parenting or life, there are pluses and minuses to co-sleeping. For many of us who end up co-sleeping with our babies, there are lots of unexpected benefits equally and usually paired with things we won’t miss in the slightest when our kids move on to their own beds (because no, they will not sleep with us forever). Regardless, the goal here is to maximize sleep so you can be a healthy, alert parent who doesn't crash into other parents’ cars at drop off, or not realize they're wearing two mismatched shoes until they're just two metro stops away from an important meeting. You’ve totally got this, as long as you keep these rules in mind: