Thursday, November 13, 2008

Confessions of a (Reluctant) Co-Sleeper

Never in a billion years did I imagine that I'd be one of those. You know who I'm talking about...a co-sleeper. One who sleeps WITH their children.

That's right. Yes, you read it correctly.

Co-sleeper.

The Bean has a perfectly acceptable (and I'm sure, quite comfortable) crib in her own room. It's decorate quite nicely with warm flannel sheets with little sheep on them.

Prior to actually having children, I always imagined that parents who slept with their babies were simply crazy. I mean, give up a decent night's sleep to have your kid curled next to you?

Then I had children. And like most first-time parents the reality between what "should" happen and what "actually" happens hit me like a ton of bricks. Apparently, some babies do voluntarily sleep alone from the start. You can put them down and they'll simply sleep.

Not my Bean. Never has and probably won't for some time.

She liked to be held from the beginning, curled in the crook of my arm, on her side, facing me.

My one regret of parenting thus far was fighting this. I have tried night in and night out, months on end, to try to get her to sleep, alone, in the crib. But inevitably, she ended up back in our bed at some point during the night. She has never slept in her crib a full night. Not once.

So I am resigned. I have accepted my fate as a co-sleeping parent and have embraced it. We bought a king-sized bed. It's likely that she will not be moving out anytime soon.

And in my resignation, I have found that I love sleeping with my daughter. I love seeing her lips pursed in sleep, as if she is blowing kisses to me in her dreams. I love feeling her warm breath smelling of my milk against my cheek. I love how she reaches for my face at night, to reassure herself that I am right there, still next to her, still protecting her. I love feeling her little sturdy body next to me, being able to brush her hair with my fingers. I love that the first thing I see when I wake up is her round face peering at me, smiling at me with sleep in her eyes.

Why did I fight this for so long?

It feels so right.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

This made me cry. Especially the part at the end.

Audrey has just recently started sleeping with us. I was fighting it but now I love it. I love it for the reasons you stated. It's a beautiful thing.