When your baby comes along, a lot of things change. One of the most obvious changes is your sleep schedule. Your baby sleeps when it wants, in short bursts, and sleeping through the night is a bit like reaching the parenting promised land. If you decide that co-sleeping is the way to go, your sleeping arrangements will change even more. Going from your regular sleeping arrangement to adding another tiny human in the mix is going to take some time to adjust. You'll want to come up with ways to make time for yourself when you're co-sleeping, otherwise, you might start to feel a little bit claustrophobic.
If you're used to a specific nighttime routine that's free from crying babies, the transition into co-sleeping can be a bumpy one. But if you arm yourself with tactics and plans for self-care and creating time for yourself, it'll be smooth sailing for both you and baby. Because co-sleeping should be something that makes your life easier, not something that makes it more miserable. So rather than diving into your new sleeping arrangement without a plan, why not sit down with your partner and figure out how you're going to make time for yourself before baby comes along? If you need some ideas, read on for a few suggestions of how to make time for yourself while co-sleeping.
1. Use Nap Time To Your Advantage
If you're worried about your sex life fading away, remember, you don't only have to partake in sex before bed. A lot of parents worry that co-sleeping will ruin their sex lives. But the key to keeping your sex life alive while co-sleeping is using your time wisely. If you're concerned about your baby hearing you and your partner getting down and dirty, use nap time to your advantage.
2. Utilize The Guest Room
If it's the lack of personal space that's getting to you, why not utilize the guest room for a little bit of quiet time for yourself? Sure, it's not easy to kick back and relax while your baby's gurgling from their spot in your bedroom,
3. Avoid Bed-Sharing
Sharing your room and sharing your bed are two very different things when it comes to co-sleeping. Co-sleeping is essentially sleeping very near your child, like bringing their bed into your room. Bed-sharing is when your baby actually sleeps with you in your bed. In an interview with NPR, pediatrician Daniel Flanders reported that, "despite the clear, elevated, independent risk of bed sharing with an infant, a high proportion of parents — even the most well-educated ones — end up bed sharing with their babies, whether they intend to or not." If you've slipped into bed-sharing, maybe try reeling it back to co-sleeping, and give yourself at least one space that's really yours.
4. Create A Schedule
I know, you can't always adhere to a schedule when there's a baby involved, since they like to do what they like to do when they like to do it, but creating a loose schedule for you and your partner to follow along with can bring you an enormous amount of sanity. Make a plan where you
5. Go On Dates
Yes, dates. Remember those? Whether or not you choose to invite your partner is totally up to you. Call grandma and have her take the baby for a few hours so you can have the morning to do whatever it is you used to do with your morning. A bath? A book? Your choice, mama. Whatever keeps you sane.
6. Create A Bedtime Routine
According to Baby Center, the sooner you establish a bedtime routine, the better. By setting aside this specific time that you spend with your baby, preparing you both for bed, you'll not only make your child more relaxed with the consistency, you'll make yourself more relaxed, too. So rather than falling into an erratic bedtime pattern, work with your partner to create a specific routine for you and baby. Whether it includes taking a bath or reading books together, creating a routine will help your baby to appreciate bedtime, and not just view it as a time where they're separated from you.
7. Set Boundaries
Yes, even in co-sleeping there are boundaries you should set. Co-sleeping with your baby often begins out of convenience for breastfeeding and middle of the night wake-ups, but can easily turn into your toddler ruling the roost. Set boundaries early on to ensure that you're still getting time and space to yourself when you need it.