You know, I was quite young when I had my first daughter. 21 matter of factly, and I had never heard of the terms Attachment Parenting. All I knew is everyone was offering me books to read on how I should parent. Needless to say those books never got read and sat in a stack in my bedroom corner collecting dust bunnies.
The man and I had fun decorating the nursery and putting the crib together. I just couldn’t wait to bring her home and let her enjoy the nursery that we had spent to much time in. Well… the time comes to bring my first born daughter home and you couldn’t take her from my arms. I thought now what human being would allow their baby to sleep in the dark night all alone in an room. Heck no… not me. No way and no how. Which confused me, because I had none of those feelings before bringing her home.
Needless to say, Madisyn never once saw her nursery. I am such a worry wart mom anyways, and you can believe that I would just lay awake and putting my hand on her chest to make sure she was breathing or put my hand under her nose to see if I could feel her breathing. We nursed as well so I was scared to death to nurse her and fall asleep so I made sure I was up sitting up in the bed with the boppy pillow at night nursing.
Well this went on for about 6 months and I finally brought her crib into my bedroom and took the front off and started side carring up against our bed. I learned real quick that I could just lay down and nurse her and fall back to sleep. I was finally getting into a routine, but you know what… I would pretty much end up in the side car crib with her because I couldn’t stand her not being right at my side.
We continued like this for a long time and when she was 21 months old, I had my second daughter. I thought this will be interesting. So we purchased Madisyn a princess doll house bed for her to sleep in beside us. I was all gung ho about that and yea ok… Madisyn never slept a night in that bed either when we brought new baby Lyndsee home. We just all got into bed as one happy family and Madisyn would not go to sleep at night unless she knew her little baby sister was right there in bed with her. We never had one problem and I know I got more sleep because of the co-sleeping.
Fast forward almost 6 years now and we are still a full co-sleeping family with my 5.5 year old and 3.5 year old. I just can’t even imagine them sleeping in their rooms all alone without me. All the worries go through my mind… what if Lyndsee has an asthma attack and I don’t hear her, or what if someone comes in the window or something… all the what ifs just drive me crazy and I would never get a good night’s sleep. So for now and until they are older… we will be one big happily co-sleeping family. I wouldn’t have it any other way either 🙂
We do have a particular way that we have to sleep, Lyndsee HAS to be beside me so she can have my hair as well as her lovey, and then Madisyn is beside Lyndsee. Some nights Madisyn will get beside me when Lyndsee goes to sleep first and its so funny because Lyndsee will wake up and high tail it between Madisyn and I so she can make sure Madisyn is not taking her space.
I do want to say, I am in no way saying its wrong if you do NOT cosleep with your children, but I just wanted to share our journey and what I feel is best for us!
I love co-sleeping! We did it with our babies and even now they still sleep with me sometimes. There are moments when I just want them in the same room as me.
Heck, whenever we go somewhere with my Mom I still sleep with her. LOL 🙂
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We are co sleepers too! I did move my middle dd at the age of 5.5 but she is 12 now and will still sleep with me when daddy is over the road but Meadow my baby girl will be 7 in July and she is still in my bed. I love having them with me! I do however have a system worked out if dh and I need alone time, its at this time Meadow will take turns sleeping with Heaven my oldest dd who is 17 and Sky my 12yo.
Meadow has on occasion slept in her own bed but you know what? I snuck in her room and carried her back to my bed. Gosh I MISS the snuggling when she isn’t there. With Tony being an over the road driver there are night that the four of us are piled in my King sized bed! Ha what a sight! 🙂
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We coslept with Hailie until she was a year old and I LOVED IT. I like to nap with her a couple days a week, but she’s in her bed now. She moves way to much – and for me I’m a much better mom when I get a good nights sleep. Thankfully she sleeps through the night so I never have any problems.
Kudos to you for keeping that up
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Jen – I felt like I was looking in a mirror when I read your post. Quite accidentally we became a co-sleeping family, too. I had never read about it when I had my first 6 (GULP) years ago. And now with number 2, at 7 months old, I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. Our 6 year old is starting to sleep in his own bed, but it does feel weird when we’re not all snuggled in the big bed together!
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Nell @ Casual Friday Everyday says
You have a beautiful relationship with your girls. Very close! We aren’t co-sleepers in the typical sense of the word. We sleep with the babies until they are about 2 months old. And now when they are upset or wake up at night they are welcome to join us.
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I had never heard the term Attachment Parenting till I met you Jen but that’s what I am. Our 5 year old still sleeps with us even though I am trying to help her get used to her toddler bed. My son slept in the toddler bed next to us holding my hand. Didn’t even know it had a name but I love the closeness we have always had with the kids.
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I am not fond of co-sleeping as I am always afraid I would somehow smoosh/suffocate my dd because we sleep all over the place. With that being said, dd does sleep in our room, but in her own little bed. I could not stand 2 kids in a bed with dh, there would be no room! 🙂
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We have co-slept with all our kids. It is funny because I never wanted to be a co-sleeper but when I had my first son I just couldn’t leave him in a crib all night all alone and he ended up sleeping with us. At first I felt guilty but then when I met more moms that did this I knew there was no reason to feel bad. We totally enjoy co-sleeping.
Nicole Dean says
There’s nothing quite like snuggling with your babies — even my 11 year old loves snuggling in our bed sometimes, and I sure let him!
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We co-sleep, too. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
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Nicole Dean says
I like to call it “snuggle sleeping”. 😉 We don’t co-sleep every night, but I certainly welcome the kids into bed whenever they need or want a little extra snuggling. My 11 year old will still jump at the opportunity to crawl into bed with me and his sister. We have some of our best conversations when we’re all in bed together in the morning.
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single mom. 11 year old son. co sleepers til he was 8 then we moved to a different province when he was 9 and he started sleeping with me (both fully clothed)cause he was really upset about the whole move etc(he doesn’t like change). Now I feel that it is time for him to learn to do this on his own again. I’m uncomfortable because soon he will be entering puberty. But everytime we try a night with him alone he cries and cries and just doesn’t seem ready. My question is will he be ready eventually on his own? last time it was initiated by me. Or will he go through college sleeping with me. Don’t get me wrong it’s nice sleeping with him knowing he’s safe and sound but I feel awkward about it as he ages especially given our north american culture. Also, I need help with making the trasition. I’ve tried bribes but he still doesn’t think it’s worth the tears.
I have been a single mother of a son for almost 9 years now and we have ALWAYS slept in the same bed. He has his own room – more for his stuff… lol… but He sleeps over at his friends without ANY problems. He is outgoing and compassionate. He is sensitive and very aware of the need for how important the human touch is. I in my opinion, for my son to learn to give comfort to another in the simplest of ways as sharing your sleep space is giving his the RIGHT way of thinking to share the rest of his life with the wife he winds up marrying. We are always dressed yet have a very comfortable acceptance of our bodies. He already knows the plethora of levels a woman goes through on her cycle. because I ask him to work with me during these times. He has a better handle on how to be a man then most men 20 or even 60 years older than he. AND YES, he likes girls! Had his first girlfriend in second grade last year. And YES, we communicate all that is in our hearts. He is NOT afraid of intimacy on an emotional level because he has my support for all the emotions he is not mature in. I love him, he loves me and we are to connected that I think his teenage years will be a breeze compared to many parents I see struggling to connect to their older children. I am perfectly happy the way it is for now. He will pull away to be himself when he is ready (which I suspect to be when he hits puberty) just like he did with nursing, potty training and using a fork. He will NOT be sleeping with me when he walks down the marriage isle. Just like he won’t be wearing diapers or drinking out of a sippy cup or be unaware of how to use a napkin.
Work At Home says
Wow! You’re a mum by 21? It’s too early! I would lend a book too on parenting section to you. Anyway, it is good to see that you have close connection with your childrends. I have 2 years old kid and I never let him sleep alone in a room. We shared one bed for 3 of us. I am glad that I’m not alone here.
Mike@Private Air Charter Flights says
Very enlightening heartfelt post. We also have a beautiful newborn that sleeps with us. There is such a strong bond when co sleeping at this early stage of development and growth. This is where the strongest bonds are formed.
We co-sleep with our kids too. I can’t imagine not doing it. It’s one of the ways that we show our kids how much we love them.