Ever since my daughter was born over five years ago, I've been zigging and zagging my parenting styles depending on the stage, and situation with my babies. There is no "one size fits all" method of parenting, no matter how much you may dig Spock or Sears. However, I've always been pretty clear about not wanting to co-sleep.
My opinion was first developed when I was simply scared to roll over on my tiny preemie, and instead kept her in a bassinet next to my bed. The few times she did come into the bed as she grew bigger, and stronger, she became so excited she wouldn't sleep. So my husband and I cemented our belief that our bed was only for us.
This was only reinforced when my second child came along. After all, we needed all the alone time we could get. And the only time that was happening was after dark. Our bed was where we connected, in every way. Hell, no I wasn't going to share that precious time with anyone but my husband.
Until I did.
I'm finally having to admit that when my toddler (and now my pre-schooler) find their way into our bed five out of seven nights of the week, that we're a family of co-sleepers. It started when, at around 18 months, my son still wasn't sleeping through the night. His sister slept through the night at four months, so we were reaching the end of our rope. When it became clear that he wasn't hungry, he wasn't wet, and he was only soothed as long as I held him in my arms, I brought him to bed. There he slept peacefully, and usually later than he would in his own crib.
And that's why we kept doing it. Keeping the peace, and comforting our little dude became a priority. We were exhausted when he was waking up every single night, and this was a way for everyone to get much-needed sleep. It wasn't surprising when his sister decided to get in on that action, and that's when we realized what a fabulous thing a king-sized bed was, after all.
So while I still believe parents need to have their own time, and space, the benefit of cozying up is also becoming more and more clear. Which is why everyone starts out in their own beds, and a middle of the night migration happens more often than not. And that's cool with me.
How do you feel about co-sleeping?