before my son was born my husband and i made the decision to be involved in attachment parenting. it was with the help of a great friend that told me about the many benefits for the baby and the parents. there are many aspects of attachment parenting that i wasn’t aware of. breastfeeding was a big one for me. this is something i never thought i’d be interested in, but wanting the absolute best for my son led me to change my thoughts about it. then there was baby wearing. i bought an ErgoBaby carrier & wore it proudly. i wanted him to be close to me. i wanted him to hear the sound of my heart to soothe himself to sleep. and then we move onto co-sleeping. this was another important one for me. as a first time mom i was paranoid about any and all bad things that could happen to my little guy. co-sleeping was something that i felt more control of. if he’s lying beside me, not only is it more convenient to breastfeed at night, but also i could feel him if he woke up.
there were many people who tried (and still do) to tell me that this was a horrible idea or that he’d still be sleeping with us at 12 years old. my thoughts about this are…what do you care?! i’m not asking for you to sleep with my child. to raise another point of mine to those who don’t like our sleeping arrangements…he’s mine. i would not nor have not done one single thing in his life to harm him or put him in danger. i’ve never rolled over on him. so, please, let me parent my child.
regardless of opinion, we’re now at a crossroads in our co-sleeping. i always felt that my son could sleep with us until he was confident enough and ready to move himself into his own bed. we had prepared his toddler bed for him, made a big deal of how special it is because it’s all his own, and let him know that we are there now matter what. at 19 months old, he understands that this is his domain. he has become very proud of his special bed. once or twice he has laid himself down on his bed, waited until i cover him with a blanket and sing him to sleep. then there are other times when he wants held until he is snoring. either way is fine with us. but these occasions have only been for nap times.
in the past month or so we’ve started lying him down in his bed for night-time. let me just say, this mama had a harder time getting used to him not sleeping in our bed than he has. the first night he slept in his bed, uninterrupted, from 8pm until 2am. almost every night after that he was back in our bed around midnight. it is progressively getting better.
then there is last night (and the few prior that are quite similar). my husband and i were both exhausted and our son did not want to go to bed. it was close to 10 pm and he just wants to play. trying to keep my composure, i picked up his pillow, put it in our bed, and laid him down. i couldn’t do it anymore. he fell right to sleep!! if i knew i wouldn’t wake him, i may have done cheers of happiness. finally we could get some rest.
i know some of you are probably thinking that i have to be “stronger than the boy and make him do what i say”. yeah, that’s not always going to win with me. it’s not about getting my way because i’m your mom kinda thing. he is only 19 months, but i’m raising him to be independent. i want him to be able to speak for himself. which he does quite well.
in the end of our co-sleeping journey, i have no regrets. i couldn’t be happier with the way our decisions have made our son confident and happy.
with our daughter’s arrival just around the corner, i realized that with two little ones in our bed i may lose my husband to the guest room. this is why we started to help our son into his bed. its working out just fine.
so, co-sleeping, baby wearing, & breastfeeding.. we’re ready for round two!!