There’s a lot written on the subject of co-sleeping with your infant or your very young toddler. (Some of the best advice can be found here at Dr Sears website. Emily and I co-slept in some form or fashion until she was at least three nearly all of the time. As she grew in to a more wiggly sleeper and when she finally started sleeping through the night she gradually started spending the whole night in her bed. If I am painfully honest I think I missed having her in my bed even more than she missed being there. I think a fair amount of that was missing the closeness of sleeping with another person. The way you can fall asleep faster if you have the steady rhythm of another person’s breath to call you in to slumber. And I think I doubted my ability to protect her, just me and me alone when we first moved out. Having her right there next to me made me sleep more soundly. And I certainly love her little face first thing in the morning. If we’d not still been co-sleeping last fall I’d not have heard what is now one of my favorite Emily quotes of all time. Upon hearing the birds chirping in the morning… “You hear those birds, Mom?”
“Mmmhmm….” wishing i was still asleep. “What are they doing?”
“Having a Bird Party.” (pronounced, still, a year later “Boid Pahty.”)
This weekend it was an extended Ladies’ Night. Whenever EM and I are alone these days she dubs it Ladies’ night and MQD was in Boston for the weekend. I had the opportunity to have Em in my bed all weekend. Little is written about the benefits of sleeping with your older children. The family bed is really not an uncommon practice anywhere but in the Western industrialized world. But for me it has two very distinct benefits.
1. I feel like a ROCKSTAR. I went to bed at 8 pm all weekend. And now I feel like a CHAMP. I can’t recall a weekend where I got so much sleep. At night. It is simply grand to wake up feeling like yeah… bring it, Monday, I got this.
2. Only when I see my girl asleep can I see that my baby is still in there… Otherwise all I can see is the mini-me ready to walk out the door…
I finished reading her a book and told her to just close her eyes, that I was going to read a few pages of my book. “Mom, I can’t sleep with the lights on.”
“Just close your eyes, baby.”
“Mom…. I love you….”
and she was gone…..