I bedshared with my first daughter. It isn't something I am or will ever be proud of. Unfortunately, I got sucked into the studies of James McKenna, and I believed his studies were valid and true. I wholeheartedly believed that I was creating a better bond with my daughter (she's a total daddy's girl, by the way), that it would help her sleep better at night (it didn't), and that it would help ME sleep better at night. Sadly, I believed so many myths about bed sharing. I can’t even begin to explain how heavy that weighs on my heart, even to this day. Whenever I look at my daughter, I am so beyond thankful that she is still here, alive, happy, & healthy, despite the mistakes I made and the danger I put her in. Of course, nurses at the hospital told me to never bed share with my daughter. But here I was, looking at studies that a doctor (McKenna) had completed. I figured they were being overly cautious, and I knew better than they. I was so sure that McKenna was a valid, reliable source. I was so so wrong. When I joined Safe Infant Sleep on Facebook, I realized I was doing everything wrong and putting my daughter's life at risk. I realized how selfish I was being by bed sharing because I wanted to sleep better. I didn't know that rebreathing was a thing and that adult mattresses were unsafe under 2 years of age. I thought that, because I didn’t have pillows or blankets near her when I slept with her, it was safe.
I thought that, because I held her while we both slept, she was safe and she couldn't roll over. I thought that, because my mattress was “firm,” it was okay for her to sleep on it. I was wrong. Safe Infant Sleep taught me so much. I’ll never be able to thank them enough. I realize now - I don’t care how little sleep I get. I don’t care if I have to wake up 50 times a night to tend to my children or put them back to sleep, my sleep and those restless nights don’t mean a thing if my children aren't here with me.
Their lives matter more than me being able to sleep through the night. They matter more than my ego and pride.
I hope that at least one caregiver can see my testimony and make a change in their own lives when it comes to infant sleep and know that it IS possible to practice safe sleep, no matter how hard some nights may be.
It is possible and you are capable.