Co-sleeping, or sleeping with your baby in the same bed, is another topic of great difference of opinion between the North and the South. I have to say that before the bichin was born I didn´t really have an opinion on this and also hadn´t given it much thought.
In preparation for his arrival we placed the little bed next to ours with the idea that it would probably be for the first few months but until the bichin was actually there we didn´t think much further. When he was there it kind of happened naturally that he often slept between us and also because he was born very small and therefore needed a lot of feeding sessions, once I had mastered breastfeeding laying down it was also the most convenient option so that he could eat and we would both fall asleep in the big bed. In addition he was not an easy-sleeper so if he would fall asleep (hallelujah!) next to us or on top of one of us we would definitely not risk this scarce peaceful moment by lifting him to his own crib.
But the whole concept of co-sleeping causes quite some controversy across cultures. In Spain it seems pretty much accepted and a normal thing to do, I just know of one person who told me she found it scary to sleep with her daughter in the same bed and therefore would get up every 2hours for night feedings (respect for the discipline, every freaking 2 hours). In the Netherlands on the other hand, I did not share this info too much unless I was being asked directly because reactions were often shocked. I know co-sleeping is getting more and more normal also in Northern Europe with the whole attachment parenting trend but in my circle it was still seen as something pretty risky, scary and also as spoiling the kid. “Aren´t you afraid you will roll over him?” “What if you squeeze him?” “Why do you want to take the risk, this is dangerous?” “You will spoil him, he will never want to sleep alone in his own bed like this”
Maybe if you would have really asked me before the bichin was born, I might have thought it could be dangerous but honestly, since he was born I never considered it risky at all. It was summer and super hot so there were no blankets involved and we put the feeding pillow on one side, but also I would always notice if he touched me or came closer etc. so I never felt like I would not notice it if I would “start to roll-over”. Some say it´s mother´s instinct but I guess it has more to do with how deep you sleep and you can be the only judge of whether it is safe or not. So I am definitely not saying that everybody should just start co-sleeping, but do decide for yourself if it feels good and if you feel comfortable. And if you do, take the necessary preparations to do it safe but just do it no matter what other people might think or say (there is loads of info out there on do´s and don’t´s for co-sleeping. For example, you should not do it if you´re drunk…no shit Sherlock, I would have never guessed. No seriously, there is some good info online on how to co-sleep safely).
I personally really liked it and not only because it was convenient for night feedings, what cuter way too wake then by a tiny hand touching you? We´re now 8 months in and the bichin still sometimes sleeps with us. Generally, he starts in his own bed but a lot of mornings if he wakes up too early or if he has a fuzzy night we get him in our bed to at least get some more sleep for all three of us. And spoiled or giving him bad habits, don´t think so, obviously he loves to sleep with us, he sleeps better and wakes up giggling while grabbing your nose (which can be less giggly for yourself but ok) but he sleeps much more often in his own bed and doesn´t have any issues falling asleep there.