Friday, January 2, 2009

Yes, we STILL co-sleep.

The older my daughter gets the more I feel I have to hide our night-time co-sleeping arrangements. It is not the norm here in the states. I feel I am judged and even looked at differently. Some 'old school' teachings suggest I am irresponsible or even negligent. Am I, are my loving ways actually causing ill-effect on my sweet baby? Will she be sleeping with us forever? What do we do when we want to have another child??

I some times wonder if I am coddling her too much or making her too dependent on me. Not being like everyone else has a tendency to make one question their own beliefs. This has sparked a little research on my part, and I am glad I did.

Babies were meant to be held and loved. It is more natural for a child to be close to their parents then to be sleeping alone, isn't it? Babies have so many needs, emotionally and physically, that must be met 24 hours a day, not just during daylight hours, or when convienient for mom and dad. I feel I can best meet these important needs best by having her with me at all times. Attachment parenting is a practice women and families have been doing since time began, and what the rest of the world still does!

As young adults we have that strong pull to find a mate to love and comfort us, support us and hold us at night when we desire. Why should my baby be forced to sleep or cry alone? It is just not normal to 'force' a living being to 'tough it out' on ones own. I won't do it.

Our daughter has a wonderful crib of her own in her lovely, pretty little room. It is everything I have ever wanted for her. She takes naps there, they are now generally 45 minutes to 2 hours two times a day. She has never been much of a sleeper. When she is ready we will convert her crib to a toddler bed, then later to a twin bed. I am sure she will be sleeping on her own by then.

She will let us know when she is ready.

Here are just a few really wonderful articles that I have found which should help answer any questions regarding co-sleeping and the family bed;

Answers to Co-Sleeping questions


Frugal Living Online said...

People make a pretty big deal about babies & sleeping. My kids slept with me until 18 mo. with one and 11 mo. with the other two and I have endured my fair share of eye-rolling and comments. Now that I have transitioned my 3rd out of my bed & into his crib all night, I have come to the conclusion that how & where babies/toddlers sleep is so unimportant compared to other stuff: obeying, having a good attitude, knowing Jesus, etc.

My theory on sleeping with babies: whatever gets a mama through the night.

Erin said...

Thanks! I totally agree. Having a close bond with their parents might actually HELP them to become a better and more well rounded person.

Anonymous said...

As an educator and behavioral specialist I can only applaud you, Erin. Our society is creating children with deep emotional problems as a direct result from limited bonding time with their infants and young children. Bonding and attachment is especially critical during the first 3 years of their lives, including pregnancy. Your child's emotional needs must come first. Your end result will be an emotionally secure, happy, and stable child. Be so very proud of your self Erin. What a wonderful giving, caring, loving and sensitive mom S. has. What a very very lucky girl!

Erin said...

gee, thanks, MOM!!

The Keevy Family said...

Erin, I think that you are definitely right that you can't love on your kids too much! We haven't done the co-sleeping thing here. I felt it was important when my kids were younger to learn how to fall asleep on their own. I did have them sleep with me at times that I wanted to get a close eye on them (when they were sick, or when I was up at night feeding them.) We've all got our opinions as moms and sometimes those get shared with others in a not so nice fashion. :( You have to find what works for you and your husband and go with that, being teachable to good advice along the way. (especially the advice and opinion of your husband.) Thanks for sharing your view.

Melissa said...

My 20 month old daughter will not sleep anywhere else but our bed. I tried "sleep training" and just had 8 very tired days and an insecure little one who was always afraid I'd leave her even during the day. I don't think there is one right answer for everyone. I think parents need to be sensitive to each of their childrens needs and do what their heart tells them. I know my daughter needs to sleep with us right now. My others didn't and maybe any future children won't, but she does.