Before I had my babies I hardly knew what it was to be a parent. I had no experience with children or babies and thus I had no idea what would be my mothering style. Hmm, I didn’t even know there were different parenting styles…
When my first one was born I was totally unprepared for the experience. I was frantically searching for answers and reading books to understand what I didn’t know. I was so naive and silly. I was surprized to find out that babies didn’t naturally fall asleep on their own when left in a crib (well, there may be a few exceptions). I was sleep deprived and exhausted when I was tending to my never sleeping baby at night. She was known to wake up as often as every hour and even after I put her down soundly asleep in her crib I wasn’t able to fall asleep when I climbed up my bed. I was tossing and turning listening for sounds coming from her room and I imagined I heard her crying again. Then, just as I was falling asleep she would wake up again and it would start over. It took me six months to realize how silly and unrealistic were expectations for babies. Babies don’t sleep through the night or follow strict schedules right from the start or ever, like mine. Instead, they need help and helpless they are for the most of their first year (and far beyond).
So after the first six months of trying to sleep seperately I decided finally to follow my instinct and take my baby with me to our bed. I was actully doing it part time since the beginning but now it was a conscious decision on my part and I loved it. I also noticed a big difference in my baby’s disposition after that shift. She became more happy and content and I believe it was due to the fact that she was now 24/7 with me, in constant physical contact with me that she was craving all the time. She became more mellow, too. I was also feeling better, more confident and loving towards her. Not to mention that I was finally rested and was getting more sleep because I didn’t need to listen for sounds coming from another bedroom. As soon as she was waking up, I would turn toward her and nurse her back to sleep and I would fall asleep too, all this knowing she was safe. Interesting thing happened when we started cosleeping. Our sleep cycles meshed and she started waking up at night only when I was coming out of a deep sleep. There is quite a difference when someone wakes you up when you are in a deep sleep and when you are in a light sleep phase.
Now, my baby is a happy four year old who has no problem joining new kids in a park play and loves to talk to people. She has her mattress attached to our mattress and still sleeps next to me, under my comforter, for some part of the night. I love to have her so close to me at night and am in no hurry to get her out of our bedroom. Her little sister is sleeping between me and my husband, but this time we co-slept from day one.