Thursday, September 1, 2011
I read an article recently about how there are parents who are ashamed that they sleep with their children in their beds with them. They were so ashamed they would lie to their pediatricians, family, and friends about it?! Why hide it, if you let your child sleep in your bed, you do. It's your decision - own it. So here you go.
We co-slept our children! It started with Elizabeth who slept in my bed, mainly in the mornings while Chris was deployed. I discovered by happenstance that I let her crawl into bed with me in the morning that I got an extra hour or two of sleep. So I let her crash and burn with me every morning in the name of sleep. Especially since I struggle with insomnia when I am under extreme stress and deployment is extremely stressful. So at that point in time I would have done almost anything for some extra zzzz's.
Then came Rebekah. She was a very light sleeper and for the first few months until we could successfully get her to remain asleep in her bassinet, she slept on Chris' chest in our bed. This served two purposes. First, it meant it was incredibly easy for me to nurse her and get some semblance of sleep. Second, it meant she got to bond with Daddy AND he got some great sleep. Her bed stayed in our room until she was almost 18 months old. This also served a few purposes. First, since she was breastfed, it made it easier for Chris to get her and bring her to me at night when she wanted to nurse. Second, it meant she slept better. Finally, we slept better because she slept better.
I should point out that when Beka was four months old, Chris and I started full time college. So Chris was working second shift, doing Army Reserves once a month, and carrying a full college load while trying to take care of his family, new baby, and finish his homework. This was a good plan until the second semester when he realized it was too much, but I continued on until I finished my second semester. By the end of that year though, we knew Chris would be deploying soon and so I opted to not return so I could do several things - the main one being catch up on sleep! By the end of Beka's first year, Chris and I had little energy to do anything - and I do mean anything. We'd often crawl into bed and look at each other and ask if the other person was interested in "snuggling" and then we'd be sawing logs before we could do more than kiss each other. It was definitely effect birth control - since we were too tired to do anything that might have gotten me pregnant again.
So there you have it, I co-slept with both of my children. Not until they were ready to go to school, but we did co-sleep. I do think having a family bed when your children are over the age of four is a bit excessive though. It is important that your children understand that you are a person. But that is another blog for a different day.
I hope you all have a good week. And yes, we are still homeschooling Elizabeth in case you were wondering.
Love in Christ,