There’s a lot of dialogue in the parenting world about this concept of bed sharing. That is, parents sharing a sleeping space with their baby. Many “experts” will argue that bed sharing is not beneficial to either the parents or the baby. They will contend that once a baby makes themselves at home in their parents bed, that the transition into their own bed will be a long, drawn out process. They posit that there is a heightened risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome if the baby is not strategically placed in the bed and watched closely throughout the night. Moreover, they cite problems for the parents as well, namely the utter destruction of parents’ sex life as well as the difficulty sleeping beside a wiggly creature who wakes up often. As a new father currently in a bed sharing situation, allow me to debunk these myths and tell you why bed sharing is awesome.
Being a working father is difficult. I find that truly the only time when I’m not engaged in some degree of work, be it professionally or at home caring for the baby, is isolated to my drive time en route home after work. As soon as I arrive home, it’s time to begin another shift with the baby. Now, that is fine and to be expected since caring for a child is far more engulfing than going to the office. The bed sharing has made my nights significantly easier since my son loves sleeping on or near my wife. By keeping him close to his food source, I find that instances of actually having to wake up and do anything are virtually eliminated.
Surprisingly, a little baby takes up an enormous amount of bed space. This is great for me because I love sleeping on the edge of the bed. I find that the closer to the edge I sleep, the quicker my cat-like awareness develops in case I suddenly have to save my own life lest I plummet towards the floor in a semi-conscious state. This aids my everyday life tremendously, since I’m often the target of sneaky homeless people lurking in the dark alleys around my place of employment in the Midway district of San Diego, easily the most questionable part of town. I have my son to thank for my ninja-like reflexes and lemur-esque agility.
The role of the bed sheets and comforter also come into play when sleeping with an infant. In our never ending quest to keep our child happy and alive, we tend to keep the comforter rolled up at the bottom of the bed and the sheets at a maximum distance from our heads so as not to suffocate our child and still not freeze to death. Keeping the heat on all night is pricey and the frigid winters of Southern California sometimes get the best of us. We remain thrifty and leave the heat turned off at night, not because we enjoy being chilly, but because when given the choice between a mild head cold and abject poverty, we tend to opt for the cold. My lack of warmth during the night has allowed me to build up what can only be described as a superhuman immunity to cold. In fact, I’ve developed such strength, that I only have to turn the seat warmers on in my car when the outdoor temperature dips below 65°, which thankfully is not often in SoCal.
Perhaps most significant in my life as a bed sharing parent is my lack of sexual activity. Sleeping with a baby certainly makes sex an event that can no longer occur in my bed. While this is frustrating at times, I pacify myself by using the very child next to me as a reminder of what sex is capable of producing. By bed sharing and removing intercourse from my nightly routine, I prevent another baby from being made. I should probably be awarded a series of paid speaking engagements at local high schools. I’ve truly become an inspiration to the human race through alternative methods of birth control.
Bed sharing has increased my quality of life substantially. I’ve become more capable and aware. My senses have heightened. I’m learning how to be frugal even when I sleep. My physical strength has increased and I’m extremely well prepared for the fearless vagrants dwelling around my place of business. I’ve become particularly adept at preventing another pregnancy through unwilling celibacy. My son is comfortable and happy through the nights. He is perfectly at ease and is just seconds away from a meal at all times. Experts be damned, there is not a single thing wrong with bed sharing.