Every new parent is faced with the age-old dilemma: do you let your baby use the family bed or do you send your little ones straight to the cot?
When I had my baby I was sure that I'd put him straight in a Moses basket then transition him to the cot,. However, theory and reality are two different things, and I found that my decision wasn't as black and white as I originally thought.
The first couple of days and nights as a new parent were simple for me. Our baby slept through the night in his little Moses basket and I was still operating with an adrenaline rush from becoming a new mother, which meant I thought I could do everything and that raising a baby would be easy as pie.
When the first sleepless night set in we realised how difficult being a parent was actually going to be. We also found that our little boy spent more time in our bed, either getting a feed or being comforted, than he did in his own. This brought about the question, do we persist in putting him in his own bed or do we allow him to sleep with us until he's sleeping through the night indefinitely? Which would be easier? Which would be best for everyone involved?
We tested the method of allowing him into our bed through the night but it seemed so dangerous - there was our young, fragile little boy in bed with two fully-grown adults. We tried putting him on the outside of the bed but we lost sleep making sure he didn't fall or role off. We tried putting him between us but I spent most of the night making sure my partner didn't role on him or that I didn't either, even with a sleeping mat between us it didn't seem to work for us.
As a result we eventually we decided that we would persist with putting him in his own bed, as it would teach him self soothing and hopefully he would be more settled on his own when the time came to put him in his own room. This wasn't easy to follow through, though, as our little man was very unsettled in his first few weeks and spent most of his time insisting he was held in someone's arms, day or night.
But we persisted, determined to avoid the family bed.
Now, four months later, our little man is in his own room, sleeping through the night - every night - and is perfectly able to settle on his own after his last bottle feed. He also started to sleep through the night on his own, and in his own bed, at only seven weeks old and I believe that it's thanks to the fact that we put him in his own bed from birth and didn't let him get used to sleeping with us.
While I know there are pros to the family bed, it just wasn't for us in the long run.