Let’s talk sleeping arrangements. First, this is a judgement free zone. I make the choices I make because I feel they are the best for ME and for Ronan. I do not ever look down upon or belittle another mother for the choices she has made for her family. I expect the same courtesy. That being said, if you disagree or dislike what you read here, please keep it to yourself.
Ronan sleeps in bed with me. I did not plan it, want it, nor did I encourage it. As a matter of fact, I was violently against bed-sharing… until I had a baby. I used to hear about friends who let their child sleep with them, and I would turn to look at Brock and say, “We are NEVER doing that.”
Fast forward to when Ronan is about 3 weeks old. He sleeps well during the day, but at night time I can’t get him to settle. He cries in the crib, he cries in the pack and play, he cries in the swing. Lord, how the child cries! But when I pull him next to me in bed… he is calm; perfectly calm, and I get to sleep for a few moments. There is happiness in my household. “We co-sleep to get sleep,” is my new motto.
From that point forward, I never looked back. I have enjoyed every single second Ronan has been in bed with me, despite his horrible sleep habits, waking every hour or two, wanting to nurse. I love the snuffle of his breath, and the little feet he keeps tucked into my side. It melts my heart when he rolls over and reaches out to touch me, just to be sure I’m still there. He laughs in his sleep sometimes, and it wakes me… only to make me laugh. And the smiles – oh the smiles he gives! When he wakes in the morning, the smile on his face upon seeing me and daddy is what true happiness is made of. These are the moments I cherish so dearly. There is no part of sleeping with my son that I dislike.
I know the arguments. I’ve heard both sides. The haters will tell you bed-sharing is the most dangerous sleeping arrangement there is – that babies die in bed. The supporters will tell you that babies that sleep with moms have nearly non-existent rates of SIDS, and that accidents are almost always caused by intoxicated parents; that babies sleeping with mom sleep better, longer and less anxiously. In the end, I choose to continue to co-sleep because I love the closeness, but I also love how comforting it is for my child.
I can perfectly imagine what it would be like as an infant.
Mom is warm. She is smells, and curves, and soft and voices. She rocks and coos. She is sweet milk and soft touches. I fall asleep in dark comfort, I smell mom. Her body is warm and holds me close as I drift away. I feel mom. Skin and sounds and movement. Sleep is so lovely with mom…. Wait. Where is she? Where am I? I didn’t fall asleep here, it’s cold, I can’t see her… smell her, feel her hear her need her where did you go? WHERE ARE YOU MOM???
When Ronan wakes up next to me, all is well in his little world. I have no desire to “train” him to sleep. Children develop the ability to sleep more deeply as they grow older, and he is well on the way there. I have been urging him to sleep through what would have been multiple night feedings, and his sleep stretches have been getting longer and longer, my nights getting better and better. Last night? We nursed once after bedtime. There is light at the end of this wide awake tunnel.
I am hesitant to give up my sleeping arrangements. His babyhood is already passing all too quickly, and once it is gone I will never get it back. I know you hate that he isn’t in his crib, but I promise… he’ll be sleeping through the night in his own bed by the time he’s sixteen. In the mean time, please leave me alone about it. It’s not ruining YOUR sleep at all.