Even with a bloodied lip, I still wouldn't trade our co-sleeping ways. Even with 10% of the bed, I wouldn't give this up. Because she needs it. She needs the connection that kicking mommy in the face at 3am brings. She needs to know that it is mommy's bloodied lip that she is laying next to.
Once we got home and started our lives together, I chose to co-sleep, breast feed on demand, and I often "wore" him in a sarong-type carrier popular in African countries. And guess what? I was criticized almost every day of his childhood.
These moments are precious, and I don't want to waste them.
These fleeting daily connections we can make with our children often feel like chores. Sometimes it takes a moment of darkness to shine a light on the privilege we are blessed with in being parents.
My husband and I never intended to share our bed with our children but we didn't really try to stop it from happening. We don't have any ideological belief about sharing or not sharing our bed with our children. We are simply two adults that just want to get as much sleep as possible.
I lie next to my four-year-old son in his full-sized bed. He's facing away from me, and my arm drapes over his shoulder. If he were bigger, I'd say we're spooning, but his legs are still far too short for him to be the little spoon yet.
Well, there is a high chance that if you have little kids at home your family has experienced this at some point of your life as a parent. When children are young most parents suffer sleep deprivation to some degree.
I never took any parenting classes. I never read any books that would prepare me to be a father, let alone the primary-caregiver-type. Much like an apprenticeship, this is one of those "on-the-job" training situations.
At this point in my life as a parent (8.5 years!), I don't really think about my parenting choices, at least not in the way I used to when my first child was a baby. It basically works, and if it doesn't, I'm too tired to question it.
Dr. James J. McKenna is a professor of anthropology and the director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame. He is a world-renowned expert on infant sleep -- particularly the practice of bed sharing in relation to breastfeeding. In our conversations, he shared his insights on co-sleeping and bi-phasic sleep patterns and offered tips for new parents.
My girl will not want to be with me forever. Our children will not want to be with us forever. My daughter will spread her little sassy wings and fly away without looking back once, and that's the truth.
In the throes of my years of IVF, I never really spent time thinking of actually parenting these kids. I was so focused on growing them and keeping them in there and then birthing them and then having them not die in their sleep. And I did it. Three times.
Neither my husband, nor I, was raised in co-sleeping homes and it just didn't seem to fit our lifestyle. I was never against it; I just knew it wasn't for us. My daughter slept in our room in a bassinet for the first few weeks, but after that, sleeping was reserved for our separate rooms. And it worked. Until it didn't.
My husband and I deserve to lounge in our room alone. We are a happier family when my husband and I do not have to sneak around for sex (thank god for our bathrooms and closets!)
Maybe it's a mistake to co-sleep for so long. Time will tell. All I know is that no one knows any better, really, how to deal with a child who struggles to control his extreme emotions. We're all just feeling our way in the dark, trying, like my son, not to be scared, and seeking some comfort.
Despite 20 years of public education about SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths, the practice of sleeping with infants and babies has become more common -- especially in the Hispanic and African-American communities.