Let’s clear the air: co-sleeping can be great for some families! Some studies show that co-sleeping brings about more independent, well rounded children. We all know there is no perfect way to parent. There are pros and cons to co-sleeping, but let’s stop judging co-sleepers. When I brought my baby home from the hospital, it felt too natural to have him in bed with me as I breastfed all night long. He would fall asleep on the boob, and that was that. I’m sure many other moms were in the same boat as I was in those early days.
But now somehow, I have gone full hippie and I continue co-sleeping with my toddler.
We have our nightly routine just like all you crib mommies out there. Bath, brush teeth, pick some books… and then the unknown. Some nights, we take a few books into our bed (that’s on the floor now for safety). We read them over and over again as he sits in my lap. It’s magical, just the two of us reading together in our bed. Then I turn off the light for night night, and he drinks his bottle and falls asleep. That’s on a good day.
On bad days, he decides to climb around on top of me in the dark or blow bubbles on my legs (or arms or whatever he can find). He might talk and roll around for what feels like an hour! And I just lie there in the dark. Sometimes I fall asleep, and when I wake up he’s sleeping. How long was he rolling around while I slept? It’s a mystery.
On those nights, I lie there and think about putting him in a crib.
If I put him in the crib and closed the door, I could have that time back in my life to do the dishes, watch some TV, or complete some work! I could chat with my husband about how our days were at work. But when I wake up and my little boy is sleeping with his arms wrapped around me, I don’t think I’d want it any other way. I just repeating to myself, “I love you so much. I love you so much.”
Sometimes tears well up in my eyes thinking about having to leave him in the morning again to go to work.
I get home from work right before bedtime some days, so being able to snuggle with him gives me strength. I love it, and I yearn to stay at home more with my little one, but our finances don’t allow it. So the nighttime snuggles help me feel ok about it all.
But sometimes he wakes up at 3 a.m. and can’t get back to sleep. He screams. I breastfeed or give him a bottle, talk and cuddle, and do all sorts of things for what feels like another hour! And I’m sooo tired in the morning. When this happens, I again think about that darn crib.
Would he sleep better in a crib?
Is he waking up because he smells me and wants that time with me, too? When will he not sleep with us? And what do we do when a second child comes into the mix?
But these thoughts fade away as I hold my baby in my arms. Today, the good still outweighs the bad and I still love co-sleeping. So I will continue to do it until my son wants his own space or we feel it’s time as a family. Like many moms that co-sleep say,
He’s not going to want to sleep in my bed when he’s 13!
Well, let’s hope not!