“Oh, no, she said the “C” word.”
“Nobody talks about that. It is so controversial.”
Oh, no! Here she comes! She is going to talk about it! Ahh!
Yep here I am. And I am here to say, loud and proud that I co-sleep with my kids and I am not ashamed of it. I may be exhausted, but I am not ashamed. And, I am probably not as exhausted as you think. Well, maybe. Honestly, it depends on the night.
Hilariously, sometimes I end up in bed with all three kids while the hubby sleeps in one of their beds. Sometimes I end up on the couch with just one or two or all three of them. One time I even slept on the ottoman because the three kiddies wanted to sleep on the couch, but all desired to be “close” to me. Ridiculous, right? Wrong. There is nothing ridiculous about me doing what I need to do to get everyone in the family the most and best sleep possible. Well, everyone except me? Confused yet? Me too. ALL. OF. THE. TIME. Maybe my lack of sleep is to blame! Ha!
Actually, I blame my typical confused state on the lack of quality sleep that I get, although I should just probably blame it on parenthood in general. It is pretty funny though, how two or even just one hour of uninterrupted sleep, feels amazing. I guess this is the new normal when you choose to co-sleep.
Be sure to hear this though — I am not, in the least, telling anyone to co-sleep with their children if it something that their pediatrician has warned against or if it is something that they don’t feel comfortable with, and especially not if their child is an infant. For an infant, as the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests, “the safest sleep environment for them is to be in a crib or bassinet in the parent’s room for the first 6 months to a year”.
So… let’s get back to it — the topic of co-sleeping with your non-infant aged children. Some of you are probably thinking, why in the heck would an adult want to share a bed with their noisy breathing, periodic sleep talking, body moving children. Well, some wouldn’t and some don’t, but me, I do.
Maybe it is my personality and/or the fact that I slept on the floor of my parents’ room until an embarrassing age, but I “get it;” I understand my children’s desire to want to be near me. Sleeping by myself or with my husband is just not as important to me as meeting my children’s need for night-time comfort and a sense of security.
Yes — security is what I believe they feel that they receive when they lay next to me in bed. It is always comfortable to be physically close to those we love. Think about it…we love the smell of our husband’s cologne when he walks by, we can’t let a toddler hand come within 2 feet of our hand without wanting to hold it. We all love to hear our children breathe and we can’t help ourselves from wanting to look into their eyes and imagine all learning taking place behind those eyes.
Think about it. Throughout our lives and our days, we use our five senses — sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing — to make sense of the world around us, which allows for us to plan how to navigate it. Kids are no different. They are using their senses to decipher this world and to find their level of comfort inside of it. When children surround themselves, at their most vulnerable time — sleep time — with familiar sights, sounds, tastes, touches and smells, they are ensuring themselves a sense of safety and happiness.
So yes, I co-sleep with my kids and I am not ashamed of it. I may be exhausted, but I am not ashamed. Why in the world would I be ashamed of the fact that I am meeting my children’s needs in a healthy age-appropriate way? You’re right, I shouldn’t be and so I am not. And, yes, since some of you may be wondering, I do know when my children will be too old to be sleeping with Mommy and/or Daddy and we will stop co-sleeping when it gets to that point.
According to Naomi de la Torres, author or “Six Benefits of Co-Sleeping with Your Children” posted on SheKnows, “research has shown that children who co-sleep with their parents have increased self-esteem, increased independence, experience less behavioral problems, are less prone to peer pressure and report more happiness and general satisfaction with life”. The fact that my open-mindedness and flexibility with our sleeping arrangements promotes happiness for my children is reason enough to do it.
Still, do you know what is reason enough not to co-sleep? If your current, non-co-sleeping arrangement promotes happiness for you and/or your children. If that is the case for you, then you are one lucky duck and I admire you.
No judgment here, either way…only honest dialogue on a ridiculously controversial topic.