Cosleeping and Bed Sharing Families

by Birth Without Fear on November 23, 2011

I recently wrote this post regarding the shocking, misinformed, uneducated ad with a the baby sleeping with a knife. I asked the BWF Community if they had any cosleeping pictures they would be generous enough to share for that post. 190 emails later and a new Gmail folder made, I had plenty! I shared a few in the post and a few more on our FB page.

Here are more pictures of our BWF Families bonding, cuddling and sleeping. Before anyone leaves an unnecessary comment about any pictures being ‘unsafe’…note there is something taking a picture, which means an adult is awake, yes? Enjoy!

Sent in by Kiana of her hubby and baby Sofie…

“This was about 12 hours after I had my daughter Jude. We had a hospital birth, and at this point the nurses had “shift change” twice and required all the babies be in the nursery for shift change. It took them 2 hours each time to bring her back to me, and the whole time I begged and pleaded for them to hurry up and bring her back. My mom took this picture of us. I INSISTED that everyone leave me alone. We slept like this the whole time we were in the hospital.” ~Lisa

Rachel sent this pic  of Dad (Mike) and baby Alecia asleep on a chair…

Lori A. sent these in. Love how Daddy and baby sleep the same…

Chrissy, Bob, and little Luci waking up…

Katy says, “With my first baby 15 years ago, I spent the first night in after everyone had left around 2am. I remember following all the ‘rules’ and putting baby in his plastic ‘cot’ after each feed. After a few feeds and nappy change he still wouldn’t settle. I buzzed the midwife to ask what to do….and she gave me the best advice ever….’Why don’t you put him in bed with you. He’s been in your tummy for 9 months, he’ll probably feels lonely away from you.’ So that’s what I did! I snuggled him in and he stopped crying straight away and we just fed and slept til the morning….bliss!

This picture is with my second baby who was born 13 years later and is now 2. This was the day after he was born, we loved our cuddles. Although I must admit I still felt I initially thought I was doing something I shouldn’t after all the ‘advice’ from my health visitor. After reading a little, I realised that we are very brainwashed sometimes and many people enjoy co-sleeping and bed-sharing. It just feels so right and instinctive….”


“Bedsharing is extremely important to me, because if I didn’t bed share with my 22 month old I never would have found out until too late that she has a dangerous form of sleep apnea.” ~Alicia

Kristi shares her family cosleeping arrangement here. Top, in the crib, is the baby. Bottom, sidled right up against the bed and crib is her adorable 3.5 year old. She says they all get SO much more sleep this way!

Sharisse shares this picture of her little one cosleeping with dad…

“Daddy (Jon) and Lucie. My favorite picture ever. He still can’t recall me taking it. Duh!” ~Landrie

“My 15 yr old son co sleeping with my 1 yr old daughter! He loves his lil sissy. Dad and I out on a date and big brother put her to sleep for us!” ~Rachel

Thank you Cassie for sharing these (no one is under those covers BTW)…

Sent in by Kari…

“One of my favorites. My husband took it before he left to work. My oldest son just turned two and my youngest was 4 months old.” ~Lisa

“My daughter Aviva at 4.5months old, sleep-nursing with Momma.” ~Barbara

Janeen sent these in. “This is our queen size tempurpedic with a single XL next to it. Connected with a foam bed runner & home made custom sheet. My husband. My 3 year old. Space is Myself. Then my daughter around 1 week. To the side of her is an awesome foam bed rail that goes under the sheet.

*She’s laying awake on a pillow because I just nursed her & wanted to snap a picture before everyone else woke.”

“When my grandma was little she, her siblings and the children that passed through their home used to sleep in dresser drawers, hope chests and under their parents bed. That sounds scary and unsafe to most people, but in England during the war it was the safest place for children to sleep. It’s all about perspective! You can paint a scary picture about co sleeping when really it could be the safest spot, just like people advocate that cribs are safest yet can’t explain why babies pass in their sleep there too.” ~Janeen, BWF Mama

*For more info about cosleeping and how to do so safely, read this.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Nic Harriss November 23, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Thanks for posting these, they are just gorgeous! I co-slept with my 2 daughters until they were around a year old and loved it. I am just curious about the ad you refer to at the start of this post. Who was behind it and where did it appear?
Love your work, Thanks again.

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Vanessa November 24, 2011 at 1:41 am

Loved seeing all these beautiful pictures! My 6 month old baby’s cot is beside my bed & I bed share/sleep feed with her after she wakes for her first night feed (about 12 – 4am) & I am careful who I tell… I get so much unwanted advice about it!!

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Kari November 24, 2011 at 2:28 am

I love this post! One of my favorite things is the boppy pillow being used as a pillow for the dad, not the baby. That’s what happens over here too :) I also love all the older kiddos with the younger ones in a big bed with parents. We only have one, but when the rest get here, we will make a bigger bed :)

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Michelle November 24, 2011 at 4:25 am

These pics are awesome!! I know they’re all sleeping, but I can feel the love emanating through the computer screen!! I have 4 kid sunder 7, and by the morning, they’re all in my bed! my 4 yr old jumped in this morning and in a sleepy haze said “remember mom, I want to snuggle you” I’m all for co sleeping. It’s not long before they don’t want to! Cherish them while you can!

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LRoy November 24, 2011 at 10:28 am

My Baby is 19m old and I hear all the time “Oh isn’t it time for her to be in her own bed?” or “You should stop that now before it becomes a habit!”
If she wants to curl up in bed with me when she’s 20 I’ll let her!!!

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The Deranged Housewife November 24, 2011 at 12:54 pm

With all due respect, I thought safe co-sleeping meant fewer blankets and pillows. Some of these photos do not reflect that message. Can you elaborate? I defend a parent’s choice to co-sleep, even though I didn’t have my kids in bed (but rather in the room) with me. But some of these photos confuse me on the appropriate way to safely co-sleep.

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Mrs. BWF November 25, 2011 at 10:21 am

What do you find unsafe? Should people sleep on a mattress with no blankets or pillows? I put a disclaimer and a link to my blog post on how to cosleep safely. :)

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Annie November 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm

We had one room wall to wall beds. A queen size and double on a homemade wood frame. I put a shelf up around the top of the room with laundry baskets full of diapers, blankets and towels with baskets hanging below the shelf. Mom, Dad, big brother (4) and little sister (new). I have the fondest memories of our big bed. We never got rid of it really, we kept playing musical beds as the children stretched out on their own to other rooms. For awhile there I never would know where I’d wake up : )

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Heather November 25, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Love, love, love, love these pics!!! How does a mama sleep without their baby? I can’t think of a better way to wake up than snuggled up to my munchkin. Co-sleeping to me is instinct & one of the best parts of being a parent! I cherish the moments I spent co-sleeping w/both my kids.

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Anna November 25, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Thank you for showing how REAL families cosleep! I think the guidelines, while certainly safe, unrealistic and for most unnecessary. To me the biggest or only “no no” is if a parent is impaired by drugs or alcohol (or truly sleep deprived). We’ve been cosleeping for 8yrs now and have always slept with blankets and pillows and only ever bought a sleep blanket to keep baby warm if the covers get pulled off;) I am a “heavy sleeper” but always wake when my babies stir. My favorite quote says it best…”The tiny bundle by her side stirred a little, and though it was scarcely more then the ruffling of a feather, she awoke; for the mother-ear is so close to the heart that it can hear the faintest whisper of a child.” — Kate Douglas Wiggin

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Julie November 25, 2011 at 11:50 pm

I especially love the last one on the couch. Not sure why ;)
I co-slept with my 2 yr old until she was 26months. Her little brother showed up when she was 17 months and he’s still co-sleeping. My babies love their momma and I’m not pushing them out until they’re ready. There is no CIO in my house!

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Zara November 26, 2011 at 8:18 am

So many of these photos look just like our bedroom! Lovely everyone looks very happy too me :-)

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Stephanie November 26, 2011 at 11:20 am

<3L<3O<3V<3E<3

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Kathryn November 29, 2011 at 11:47 am

I love these pictures, especially the one of big brother sleeping with his little sister! While I don’t co-sleep, I’m a very light sleeper and prefer to sleep alone, I see nothing wrong with people who do it….

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Roxy November 29, 2011 at 11:49 am

Babies were meant to sleep with their families. Some days I wake up with every living creature in the house in bed with me. Three kids, the hubby and the cat. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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Natasha November 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I slept with my babies. They are now ten, five, and three years old and the two little ones still love to sleep with mom. I don’t send my children to their own rooms to play alone during the day. I don’t make them sit in another room away from me during meals. Why would I send them to sleep alone in their rooms at night?

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Leah December 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I love how many of these have dads in them!! Its not just moms that have parenting instincts dads do to, especially if they are given the opportunity to exercise them. We had a pastor one time tell us (while we both confessed to loving our kids…daughters at the time… in bed with us) I want her to build that relationship with us now and in our bed instead of later in some other mans. And I think that reflects where we are as a generation. Daughters and sons dont have that closeness with their parents and they flee at the first opportunity. Thanks for your blog and all the wonderful stories and advice!

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Misha December 7, 2011 at 11:55 am

My whole family Co sleeps. We did not intend it to be that way, but that is the ONLY way both of our children will sleep peacefully. On occasions we will notice our 16 month old squirming like he needs his own space so we will put him in his crib (still in same room) and if he wakes up and wants back in bed with us, he is welcome to do so :) We even bought a bigger bed just so we all could fit comfortably. I usually have my nursling by me all night so he can eat and my 16 month old usually cuddled with dad. I love sharing my bed and having those special bed times where we play and giggle. Best bonding experience ever!

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kelsey January 28, 2012 at 7:57 am

i’m a young mom still living at home and i cosleep with my 6week old when my mom is asleep. :) because she doesnt think its safe but i know if i’m too sleep deprived he will sleep in his bouncey or crib :) but he sleep much better with mommas heartbeat in his ear

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Chelsea September 14, 2012 at 10:14 am

I love these pictures, I have been co-sleeping with my son since he was delivered. Going on 2 years of co-sleeping, I absolutely enjoy it. I kow he is safe and he sleeps so much better by mine and my husbands side. We are due with another little boy in October and will be co-sleeping with him also. :)

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Shannon Reyes May 19, 2013 at 11:27 pm

I didn’t do it a lot, but there are always nights when your baby just needs you, and so, when my little Phoebe needed us, we just brought her into our bed with us. She almost always slept on my outer side (hubby is a heavy sleeper and tends to roll a lot–which scared me quite a bit) but Phoebe always settled right down and a lot of times, I would put her back in her own crib after an hour or so, which really helped make the transition between sleeping with us into her own crib.
Since my husband had to leave the US because he came on a J1 visa, we decided to send our daughter down to live with him while I finish up my last year in school. He’s from the Dominican Republic and it’s VERY common place to co-sleep with children in the same bed until they are about 6, 7, or 8 years old, when they finally get their own bed. It’s very commonly practiced to co-sleep with children!

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