Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What nobody ever told me about Co-Sleeping

The hot topics on all the parenting blogs revolve around "natural parenting". And include concepts like natural diapers, organic baby formulas, the health benefits of prolonged breastfeeding and co-sleeping. My feeling for the first three are mildly ambivalent. Organic foods, diapers with smaller carbon footprints than something made of petroleum oil, are all rather personal choices. Co-sleeping however is dangerous! What if you roll over? What if baby falls down a crack? What if baby dies of SIDS right next to you and you go through the rest of your life convinced you suffocated your own child?

What if a meteor strikes your house while you sleep and your baby dies because it takes out your bedroom, but it somehow misses the nursery and the aliens institute a protective globe around the crib to keep the shrapnel and ensuing flames from harming your child, but he or she isn't there because you are a rotten parent and put them on the bed with you?

Unreasonable fears aside, I did not, per se, approve of co-sleeping. It seemed to me to be a great way to get extra snuggles, but create all sorts of separation issues later in life. My husband is such a sound sleeper, I was certain he wouldn't notice a screaming infant under his leg. It took me five minutes to wake him up to when we were having our first child, shaking him and yelling at him. So I went through life full of snotty superiority, especially when my single girlfriend told me her 2 year old still snuggled in bed with her.

Then Anya hit.

This child does not need alot of sleep. I think I need more than she does some days. She has serious separation issues, and has since birth. After trying for months to get her to settle into a normal baby pattern, my husband came up with a solution. He sleeps on the extra bed, and the third child sleeps in bed with me.
Suddenly I was sleeping! ME! I could close my eyes and sleep!

Oh yes, Co-sleeping is important. I've apologized to my girlfriend, and quit worrying about meteors, flopping on the baby and other crazy and obviously societal fears. Some children just need that extra love and touch. Parenting is part science but its also part instinct.

As for the Aliens. I'll just leave a note in the crib informing them where the baby they need to protect is located.

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