Freaking Out About Co-Sleeping

In case you’re wondering why I look a little taller today, it’s because I’m standing on my mommy soap box. Check out Mommy DIY if you don’t want to read my statement, otherwise, read on.

I want to be a good mom, I really do, but I have no idea what I am doing! While I was pregnant I studied parenting literature, questioned other moms, and prepared myself for baby. Lately, people just tell me what to do when I’m doing something wrong… and by wrong I mean ‘different.’

My husband and I have made a lot of decision other moms, dads, and grandparents haven’t agreed with. But seeing as how it is OUR baby, that makes it OUR decision to make.

One of our most controversial decisions is also the decision I am most confident about; I enjoy co-sleeping.

Co-sleeping started out of nursing convenience. I didn’t even have to open my eyes for those night time feedings every two hours. Baby was beside me and my boobs were where I’ve always kept them. But we stopped nursing in December, so why are we still co-sleeping?

As a mom with a full-time job, my son and I don’t get to enjoy diaper changes, messy meals, and playtime together during the day. The greetings he and I share each evening say it all; Wow! I really missed you! We smile, share a tight hug and a hundred kisses to make up for lost time, and get into our evening routine of playtime, dinner, bath, and bedtime. Absent from that list are snuggles which we both really enjoy.

Every evening I put my son to bed in his room. Some nights he stays there, some nights he does not. Some nights I like sleeping without him, some nights I don’t. I do have one co-sleeping rule I follow to prevent abuse of the co-sleep privilege by mom, baby, or dad. Co-sleeping is for SLEEPING!

Co-sleeping (emphasis on the sleeping).

My son sleeps like a champ. No fussing, crying, or inappropriate activities (and by inappropriate activities, I mean lets-play-with-mom’s-hair-at-3am). He sleeps at night and I think that is a good thing. I thought that was what babies should be doing. So what’s the problem with where he does it? It’s just my bed, not an alligator pit. It’s a mattress, not a box of broken glass. I may not be the mom who knows it all, but I know alligator pits and boxes of broken glass are no-nos. Yes?

Please don’t tell me that children need to learn how to be independent. If that were the case, the first thing I want my independent 1 year old to do is change his own diaper. Self-soothing is less important to me than the smelly mess he can make in his diapers. I also wouldn’t mind if my independent son could learn how to buckle himself in to his car seat (save this thought for another day).

Do YOUR children a favor and worry about being the best parent you can possibly be for THEM. You don’t need to worry about mine. Our alligator pit has a child-safety lock on it.

As I step down from my soap box, I leave you with this thought in closing:

I don’t think I’m a better mom because I co-sleep, but I do think I’m a better mom because I don’t judge other moms for co-sleeping or not. -Me

Ponder.

26 thoughts on “Freaking Out About Co-Sleeping

  1. Amen, sister! Half the time (ok a lot of the time) our daughter ends up in bed with us. I look at it this way, someday I’m going to wish I could cuddle up in bed with her. And who wants to sleep alone. Everyone sleeps better snuggled up with someone else. I love our cosleeping time and kudos to you for not apologizing for it! :)

    • Phew! Got to admit that despite any confidence I say I have, I really have no confidence at all. Thank you for that Amen! Right back at you!

      I don’t mean to advocate that EVERYONE should be co-sleeping, but just that it is ok when some people do!

  2. Amen! I had both of my kids in bed until the older one was 4 and the younger one was 2 1/2 for the same exact reasons. We did not use our old nursery one single night…ever. They still do sleep in my room about once a week, although I stopped nursing the little guy just after he turned 3. You do what’s right for you. I think it’s really a special thing, especially for working moms who nurse and need to function the next day, or just anyone in general. I love waking up and smelling little baby breath the first thing in the a.m. And I love that my kids haven’t had to cry for me.

    • How did the transition go when you moved them into their own rooms?

      I too hated the thought that despite the limited time I spend with my son each day, he might be crying for me when I am there. Parents just need to do what works for them and baby. I have never met an adult and thought, Hmmm, I bet that dude was a co-sleeper.

      • Haha that’s funny. I’m going to get my kids t-shirts when they graduate college saying that they each breastfed and coslept for a lot of years… hopefully that will explain any abnormal behaviors.

        We transitioned them together into their own bedroom. My boys are just under 2 years apart, so we figured they could share a room. They made the move together so they would have each other. The transition was fine – I think I ended up sleeping in their room from the first wake-up cry that realized I wasn’t there until when my alarm went off for several months. Even now, a little over a year later, I have the baby monitor on and answer to every cry. That’s just how I roll. :)

  3. My kids have just always been great sleepers in their own beds. So it’s never been a thing at our house. I have occasionally slept with them in their beds, but MAN are they restless. I couldn’t do it every night!! HA! I’m too much of a selfish sleeper. I agree that it’s not for everyone, but people need to just leave each other alone. If it works for you…great! I think that unfortunately two things happen: there are cases where a person rolls over on a newborn in a bed and there are much older grade school kids (I know some) that are still sleeping with their parents EVERY night and that makes co-sleeping look bad for all. Maybe I’m wrong for thinking a 10-year old should be able to fall asleep on his/her own and not sleep with parents all night? I don’t know enough about co-sleeping…what’s the “normal” stopping age?? I’d love to hear more about that. Great post…brave of you!

    • Thanks for the Twitter shout out and your different perspective.

      I will be the first to tell you, at first I was afraid of something going wrong with a co-sleeping newborn. In fact, I worry about the parents that don’t worry about things… at least a little bit.

      I too agree that a 10 year old should be sleeping in their own bed. I don’t think most parents do much co-sleeping beyond 3 and 4 years old and I don’t intend to extend beyond that. When we approach an age when I think it is time to spend more time in our own rooms, we’ll make that transition. I think the tweens co-sleeping is more of a parenting issue than a co-sleeping issue.

      Thanks again for sharing a different perspective! :)

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  5. Wonderfully written! We do here what is best for our child and don’t feel that we should have to explain to anyone else about our choices. We’ve done co-sleeping and I love(d) it! For me it was some of the closest times I could share with my son and wouldn’t change it for the world! Kudos for sharing – and doing what YOU feel is best! :D

  6. I agree as well. If we moms didn’t judge each other, it would a whole lot easier out there and it would reflect in our kids as well. It’s those small things that lead up to who are kids are and they watch us from the minute they are born how we act and react.

    We coslept with baby #1 in our bed. He would be right there at the very top and we had no pillows and my arm was like the ‘sleeper’ wrapped just so any movement I would jump awake. It worked out great for us b/c it was easier on us all as a family. With our little girl she was a different sleeper and would only sleep in the swing and then by that time we got her transitioned to her room. She didn’t want to cosleep and we didn’t force it.

    To each their own, we all have different ways of parenting and different ways for each of our own children. We all are working towards the same goal of trying to be the best at what we do. :)

    • Every child (and parent) is totally different! Otherwise, there would be a step-by-step instruction manual for us to follow. Co-sleeping is an on demand thing for our family. If my son (or my husband or myself) feel like co-sleeping, so be it.

      And you are so right! Despite the different parenting methods we all use, we are all working towards the same goal! So nicely said!

  7. Hell yeah. Lots of people are talking about co-sleeping today and besides my replies on their entries most of the stuff said is against it. I’m with you; It’s not for everyone but it was amazing for our family.

    • THANKS! It is important to remember co-sleeping is not for everyone. We always take serious consideration of the safety concerns raised about co-sleeping. I confess I am a paranoid momma. There was a time when our son no longer liked to be swaddled and was rolling over a bit more that I decided it wasn’t a good time to be co-sleeping. Now that he is more active and strong, we’re back to co-sleeping. It’s all about evaluating what works for YOUR family.

  8. Hey, love your blog and I couldn’t agree more. You do what feels right for your family. When it’s no longer working, change it. Until then, do what I do when people look at me all crazy and try to share their opinion in their best, Here, Let Me Tell You How it’s Done voice…look them straight in the eyes and picture yourself holding up your middle finger. I said, “picture yourself” but that part’s optional.

    • LOL! Although I don’t mentally picture my middle finger, I do kinda faze out the lectures or think about how I will counter their advice. If I want an opinion or advice, I’ll ask for it… and I have! Otherwise, just shush! :)

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  10. I totally agree with you about making the best decision for YOUR family. I don’t co-sleep because that works best for me… but I think it’s totally cool that you do. (The completely adorable picture proves it works for you!) I know my Zac would be the play with mommy’s hair at 3 am baby! So cheers to figuring out along the way! :)

    • How are you?! :)

      Although we have seen some different opinions in the comments about co-sleeping, I applaud each and every mommy for being respectful of others.
      Well done, moms!

      And if there was any hair playing going on at 3am I’d probably be too tired to notice. LOL!

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