Why This Mom Doesn't Regret Ignoring the 'Experts' Who Told Her Not to Co-Sleep


A Beautiful Alarm/Facebook

Co-sleeping is a major source of debate in the parenting world. While most people seem to sit pretty firmly on either side of the line, one mom's interesting take on the subject is going viral. After claiming that the experts may have been "right" about the risks but admitting that she has no regrets about her decision to co-sleep, she's drawing tons of support from moms across the board. 

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"'Don't let them sleep with you, you will create bad habits, don't give in to their cries, stay strong,'" wrote mom and blogger Esther Vandersluis in a moving Facebook post. "That's what the experts say. The experts know what they're talking about. Oh yes, they know. I know they know because I have had 21 very sleepless months." 

Vandersluis goes on to discuss the fact that she didn't listen to those experts for a number of reasons, but mostly because she refused to sleep train her daughter. "Here I am," she wrote. "21 months later. Still tired. Still not sleeping. Because I didn't listen. I created bad habits. I gave in to my baby's wants. And I guess, I did not stay strong."

More from CafeMom: Woman Thinks Her Stepson Still Co-Sleeping With His Mom Is Beyond 'Creepy

Along with these admissions, the mother shared that while she may be bearing the brunt of her choices now, she can't find it in herself to regret any of her decisions. "I don't regret my baby sleeping on me while I rocked her in the rocking chair, cuddling her close and soaking in her smell, for hours at a time. I don't regret bringing her to peacefully sleep beside me, watching her tiny body rise up and down with each breath," she wrote.


A Beautiful Alarm/Facebook

Vandersluis says she doesn't regret watching her daughter sleep every night or "nursing her to sleep every single time and one last time." The mother says that she has no regrets about bottle-feeding her daughter to sleep, either. "I don't even regret still having to do that now at 22 months old because she would rather mommy hold her close than do it on her own." 

The mother's views, while definitely sentimental, are also controversial. While experts like Dr. Sears suggest that co-sleeping may help babies rouse themselves from sleep better and "actually lower the risk of SIDs," the March of Dimes organization argues that the practice causes parents to get less rest and makes it more difficult for babies to fall asleep themselves. Many have also shared critiques of nursing babies to sleep, claiming the action is "hazardous" when done on a couch or in a chair. 

Still, even with these risks known and understood, the reactions to Vandersluis's admission have been resoundingly positive. Many moms left comments under her post, encouraging her to make the best decisions for herself and her children, regardless of what the experts say.


A Beautiful Alarm/Facebook


A Beautiful Alarm/Facebook


A Beautiful Alarm/Facebook

Ultimately, the mom shared that she doesn't regret her choices for a second, because her co-sleeping pains pale in comparison to her co-sleeping joys. "It was all exhausting (and still is many days) but it was all so worth it," she wrote.

And as her daughter continues to grow -- and starts to need her a little less and less every night -- she says her sense of security in her decision to co-sleep becomes clearer and clearer. "I see it as I finally begin sleep training her simply because both her and I are finally ready to try. (Yes, at 21 months old.)"

More from CafeMom: There's Finally a Giant Mattress for Families That Want to Co-Sleep Comfortably

Vandersluis concedes to the fact that the experts may be right about her losing sleep, but in the end, she still thinks moms know best. "I know you are right. You guys are dang good at your jobs," she says. "But I'm not really that sorry I didn't listen. In my view, the lack of sleep was worth all the extra time I got to hold my little baby as close as could be."

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