Wednesday, October 3, 2007

why we co-sleep

Okay, I promised to write this journal a while ago but I've been putting it off. I wanted to find the perfect words, but that's not going to happen. So I'll just give it my best.

I began co-sleeping immediately with my first born. She was a "high-needs" baby. She needed lots of holding and LOTS of breastfeeding. At that time I hadn't read any parenting books, no one had told me what I was SUPPOSED to be doing. I just went with my gut and tried my best to meet my baby's needs. And what she needed was love, comfort and ME!

Over time I found that the best, most peaceful way for us all to get some sleep was for my baby to be in my bed. Most of the time when she woke up to nurse I would latch her on and go straight back to sleep. Much more preferable to me than getting up and sitting somewhere with her.

Fast forward 18 months. At this point we slowly transitioned DD1 into her own bed. It took about 6 months, but we got to the point where she was sleeping all alone. Then DD2 came along. At the time, DH was working in another country, and I was all alone with a toddler and a newborn. It was just easier for me to have both children in my bed at night, so DD1 moved back into our room.

Since then we have cycled through phases where both kids slept with us, one kid slept with us, or both kids slept alone. We "go with the flow" and whatever is needed AT THE TIME is what we do. Right now we are back to having both girls in our bed. For various reasons they NEED this right now. And I have to say, when I come home form a long night at work and crawl in between those two precious angels it is the best feeling in the world. I whisper to them I love them, hold their little hands and feel that overwhelming love wash over me.

So, why do we co-sleep? Because it is good for our children. Because it improves our family bond. Because it has helped my girls learn to care for and nurture each other. (Honestly I have never seen two more loving and empathetic children than mine (mother's pride aside!) and I believe that our years of sacrifice, nurturing and parenting has helped shaped these characteristics in them.) Because, in the end, it's what works for us.

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