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I never thought I would co-sleep with my kids—until it became exactly what my daughter needed

In this tricky game of getting our kids to sleep, never say never to anything.

I never thought I would co-sleep with my kids—until it became exactly what my daughter needed

When my first daughter was born, I didn't have a concrete plan for sleeping arrangements. As the first weeks turned into the first month, however, it became very clear that co-sleeping was not working out.

Instead of getting more sleep, I was exhausted by all-night nursing sessions. I couldn't find a comfortable position when the baby was in the bed, and when she slept in a bassinet next to our bed I couldn't block out the constant snorting and gurgling of a newborn.

I missed reading in bed at night, which felt impossible with a light-sleeping infant by my side. She woke when my husband sneezed, or when I fluffed my pillow. I longed to go to bed like a normal person, instead of sneaking in like a thief with the lights off, trying not to make a sound.

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So out she went, banished to her own bedroom, but this didn't necessarily result in more sleep.

The first year was the hardest, when I'd drag myself out of bed and down the hall multiple times during the night for feedings. When I returned to my own bed, though, I was always grateful for the respite. I needed those brief hours away from my kid, with a wall and door separating us. It was important for my sanity, for my marriage, and, I thought, for her independence.

As years passed and my baby became a toddler and then a preschooler, I smugly patted myself on the back for my superior parenting skills. Those poor women trying to night-wean a 2-year-old who was still in their bed! Those poor couples who never had their bedroom to themselves! I knew one thing for sure: co-sleeping was definitely not for me.

Of course I was foolish to think these things and tempt parenting karma. Of course I made a huge rookie mistake by swearing I'd never do something. Now I know better. In this tricky game of getting our kids to sleep, never say never to anything.

My darling daughter, who slept in her own room for four and a half years, has now been sleeping at the foot of my bed for an entire year. Do I mind? Yeah, sometimes. But mostly I am so thankful for every minute of sleep I get, that I've ceased caring about the sleeping arrangements in our house. If sleeping outside in a tent every night meant my kids would grant me a little more sleep, I'd pitch that tent.

We live in a small two-bedroom house. There are two adults, and now, two kids. Obviously the plan was for the girls to share a room. It's hard to explain why this hasn't worked for us, when so many other families I know have kids who share a room. We've come up with a million plans for making it work, but none of them stick.

The girls fall asleep at different times in different ways. Trying to put one to sleep keeps the other one up. The youngest often wakes up very, very early. The oldest often has nightmares. The combination of these things means that when we try to keep them in the same room, no one sleeps.

So the youngest sleeps alone in the kids' room, where she sleeps best, and my now 5.5-year-old sleeps in our room. When we thought it was very temporary, she slept in our bed. Then she slept on the floor. Now, she's a seemingly permanent roommate with her own bed and books and stuffed animals moved in.

Do people judge me when they come to my house and see a child's bed next to ours? Probably. For all I know, friends think of me as the mom who can't get her kid out of her room. I certainly don't blame them. Sometimes I judge myself for it. Sometimes, I'm embarrassed by it.

But mostly, I don't care what people think. Both of our girls are sleeping through the night right now, and there's no way I'm going to mess with that. Some nights, I even enjoy having her there, snoring softly across the room. It's cozy and sweet.

Clearly, my daughter can't sleep with us forever. But as a parent I've learned over and over again that nothing is forever. What works one week doesn't work the next. Phases you swear will never end suddenly do. Kids grow up and move out. So I'm done trying to figure out whether or not I'm a co-sleeping mom. Sometimes I am. Sometimes I'm not. Mostly, I'm just a mom who wants to get some sleep. 😴

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These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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