Co-Sleeping, specifically bed sharing, is a hot button for a lot of parents. Whether you sleep with your kids in your bed, in a crib, in a bassinet, it seems to matter to people. How often do they wake up? How long do they sleep and even more importantly how do they get to sleep at all? Do you hold them? Rock them? Nurse them?
When Em was little I spent a fair amount of time thinking about why everyone seemed to care so much about how long she slept? Even strangers in the grocery store would say “What a pretty baby…” and then quietly ask “How does she sleep?” in a hushed, secretive tone as if they were asking after your 85 year old great uncle’s 20 year old girlfriend.
I thought there was certainly a right or wrong answer. And I quickly realized that for every person that asked there was a different right and a different very, very wrong answer. I developed a quick and easy response “She sleeps like a baby, of course.” That seemed to satisfy the strangers. And I am fortunate enough to have friends and family that largely believe that how we choose to parent (including feeding and putting to bed) our kids is really not their problem.
That having been said… I feel pretty strongly about the choices we make as parents. And one of the things I feel most strongly about is where my babies sleep. With me. Maybe some day I will write a big long informational blog post about safe bed sharing and the numerous reasons that I believe it benefits both the parents and the baby.
But today? Today I just want to share one reason why I like to sleep with my babies. And it has nothing at all to do with the attachment, the ease of night nursing, the increased safety and decreased risk of SIDS in belly-to-belly, nose-to-nose sleeping by the mother and infant…. it has nothing to do with the sleeping at all.
It’s the waking up.
I am a morning person generally. I like the morning. The quiet. The promise that a fresh day holds. But now, when sleep often eludes me for hours, even days at a time, it is harder to awake with a song in my heart. Or even a kind word.
But if Lucy slept in another room… I’d still be waking up just as often, to comfort her, to feed her, to change her.
But I’d miss the morning. The moment she opens her eyes. And finds the whole world all over again. I’d do anything to spend five minutes inside her head. See things as she does. And the moment she wakes, her grabby hands on my face, her little feet digging in to my pajama pants, her big toe stuck in my belly button, this is as close as I can get. And I wouldn’t miss it for the world.