Co-sleeping

Before Willow arrived, I had a million and a half ideas about things I would do and not do. I was very drawn to the principles of both the Waldorf and Attachment parenting styles. However,one of the thing I decided early on, was to let her sleep in a bassinet next to our bed, rather than in it with us. I wanted our bed to be ours ( as in simply mine and Ben’s). I rationalized that she would spit up, there would be diaper blowouts! What if we rolled over on to her?And lets not forget sex, people. Because who really wants to live without that? I thought about all of that, and it seemed like a no brainer. That is until I actually had the baby.

The hospital discouraged sleeping with your babies while under their care. While the baby stayed with us in our room, she slept in a tall rolling bassinet of sorts. I can understand why the hospital had the policy since it was to ensure everyones safety. Even only 2 feet from me, she looked so lonely there, in that weird wooden and plexiglass box. I was so eager to leave. Apparently, not six hours after she was born, I asked the doctor if I could go home later that afternoon,pretty please?  To which he chuckled, and pointed out I was falling asleep while asking him the question and perhaps I should stay for a day or two. It seemed so impossible to get any rest or peace. Nurses and doctors passing in and out for blood pressure, shift changes, checking baby, checking me. How could anyone rest there? I was so very anxious to get out there, for the real bonding, in the gentle quiet of our home. After what seemed like a veritable eternity, we were finally finalllyy released. It was all I could do to not take the baby, Ben’s hand and make a mad dash for the door like a sleepless, crazed lunatic.

When we finally arrived home, relief washed over me and brought sleepiness crashing down with it. We were here! We were safe! I delivered a baby and still had all my limbs and organs, thank God! As I climbed into our wonderful comfy bed, I noticed Willow’s bed seemed to be a million miles away. Even butted right up to the bed it seemed too far.She just looked so tiny  and lonely there all by herself. So I scooped her up and nestled her next to me. We haven’t looked back since. Sure, sometimes she spits up and thankfully, no diaper blowouts at night (though the daytime is a decidedly different story!). Once she falls asleep, she sleeps well and never seems to notice if she is placed in the bassinet if we want to get a little frisky or even just hold each other quietly (something thats become quite a luxury indeed!) We never roll over on to her and it certainly makes breast feeding less bothersome at three in the morning. She has her own little pillow and the cats both sleep at our feet. Waking up to my whole little family right next to me is pretty amazing.

While some groups advise against cosleeping, it is a very common practice in nearly every other part of the world. I don’t want to go into all that now, but here is an excellent reference if the subject is of any interest. http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/t071000.asp

How long will she share our bed? Who knows, and who really cares? The most important thing  I’ve learned so far, is to roll with the punches rather than fret over things I can do little to change, or plans that fall through.Parents, whether they’ve spoken the words aloud or not have basically announced to the universe “I accept that I no longer control my days and nights. No longer can I spend my time any way I see fit. I am controlled by a tiny little baby. Thats right, a little tiny baby. And I just have to accept it… at least until they come into the age of chores, which is when I shall exact my sweet sweet revenge…”.

There will be crying and puke. Dirty diapers, late nights and fussy days.But there will be smiles and songs and laughter. There will be memories made and shared. There will be joy. Until then, I’m just going to go with the flow.

You other mamas out there, I’d love to know your thoughts on the matter!

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About Alexandra

Mother. Chef. Artist. I live in beautiful Portland, Oregon with my husband, Ben and our daughter, Willow. This is an account of our rambling adventures and a place for what's inspiring me right now.
This entry was posted in attachment parenting, cosleeping, family, motherhood and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Co-sleeping

  1. Came across your web site via yahoo the other day and absolutely find it irresistible. Continue this fantastic work.

  2. Rivka Munir says:

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  3. Valerie says:

    I was always scared silly about having her in the bed. I tried it and didn’t sleep well. Clare didn’t either. We woke each other up and let me tell you that girl’s diaper blows more frequently than I care to say. I’m so glad you love your family and if you find peace in keeping her close to you…well then you go girl!

    • Alexandra says:

      I think at first I didn’t sleep that well, but partly because I kept looking at a very tiny baby not really believing I’d arrived at Motherhood. I did worry about one of us rolling over on her, but you just develop this strange awareness in your sleep or even just the dark of night. When she indicates she’s ready we’ll move her to the bassinet, but for now, girls BOSSY and so we just submit to her whims. We get so much more sleep that way.

  4. Great pic and great post. We use attachment parenting methods with our kids. I would never do it any other way. This is the most natural form of parenting there is.

  5. sarah says:

    dude totally!! we let p sleep in our bed a while. it just felt way more natural to me. yes, we are the only country that is worried about letting your baby get too dependent. too dependent??? um, excuse me. its a BABY and from everything i’ve read in the 6 weeks after she is born she should be as close to her mother as possible as much as possible, the so-called “fourth trimester.” we had no trouble getting piper in her moses basket next to the bed and then her crib when SHE was ready. having that closeness is actually supposed to build trust and make her a more confident person. FAMILY BED RULZZZZ.

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