Dear New Mom,
First, you are an amazing Mom. I can already tell. Second, and what I could not wrap my head around- you just have to go with the flow for the first four months!! (what ever works, works- go with it). Third, what I learned from the women running my Mommy group- You Can't Spoil A Baby!! Or give it bad habits at least for the first three months.
So you are totally just doing what works for you, and that is perfect and amazing. People co-sleep all the time.
The rest of this email is my only advice I have to give, since I've only done this once and I am still figuring it out....
The only issue I see is how long you want to co-sleep for? If you want to keep it up- some people do it for years- I see no problem with your current arrangement.
If you don't, I think that reassessing your situation in 3-5 weeks might be good. We co-slept for the first 4-6 weeks. And then she slept in the bouncer for another 2 months- it's amazing how I can barely remember this? She had mild reflux, so she slept the best in the bouncer. We're talking 4-5 hours max.
We had a bassinet with a flimsy mattress that she just didn't sleep well with. So I think around 3+ months we changed out the bassinet for the full crib mattress. She transitioned perfectly- apparently she just needed a better mattress to sleep on. By perfectly, I mean she again slept for 4-5 hours max and only then did she really started sleeping on her own. For all that time she was swaddled, but right when we moved her into the crib she rolled over and I immediately got rid of the swaddle and put her in a sleep sack- we love the deedee sleep sack based on other Mom's recommendations.
At 16 weeks I was returning to work and desperate for sleep; we hired a sleep consultant (yes there is such a thing) and it was fantastic. You can't really sleep train until they are kinda read, she had done two crazy 8 hour stretches so I knew she had it in her to sleep longer. It was like I wanted to will her to sleep better!
I'd recommend sleep training right after the 4 month growth spurt and shots. That's my personal opinion. My only thing on sleep training- both of you have to be 100% on the same page. We did Ferber/Cry it out. It's hard and you guys have to work as a team to get through the crying spells. It took another couple weeks after that- but slowly but surely we have a great sleeper on our hands. More than anything- within 24 hours of sleep training she could fall asleep without us rocking her into a deep sleep, which usually took HOURS! That alone was a miracle.
As for a schedule, from 6 weeks until I went back to work, we were on 90 minute cycles- so 90 from when she'd wake up we'd BF'd, diaper change, play, and then get her back down. And then from on it was ALWAYS the witching hour and she wouldn't sleep- until 10, 11, . This was the WORST.
Today, I think she's pretty close to the 2,3,4 hour cycle. Wake up for 2 hours, nap, up for three hours, nap, up for 4 hours, bed time. Repeat.
As for naps, for the first 16 weeks plus, anything longer than 45 is good, 1 hour was GREAT. And some times she'd only nap for 30 minutes and that was that. I never knew how long she'd sleep - I just tried to make sure I'd sleep for at least one of her naps a day. My lady running my Mommy group always said that the first nap of the day was the most important.
As for a night time routine- food, bath, book, bed- I think we started that just after three months. It really didn't matter until we sleep trained what we did. And our sleep consultant said that until 6 months, you can really set their bed time- from 4-6 months, she went down between 8-9, and she'd wake up once or twice a night. Sometimes at but always at 4am. Around a month ago (at 7 months) she truly dropped the feeding, and now most nights shes out at until the morning.
It's such a process. And it's so hard. And there is no right way or wrong way. But I do believe that once they are old enough- over 4 months- it is your responsibility to help them learn to sooth themselves, and I do believe that it impacts the way they sleep for life. Again, my personal opinion that you can help them. And a little cry it out will totally help you in the long run- for your sanity and marriage. Once you get to that stage, I'll send another super long email!
So there you have it. Again, you haven't screwed anything up and she is already is perfect. I can just tell.
Love and kisses,