Oh dear oh dear.....Thursday post is coming on friday isn't it? Gotta get this right! I swear I try but oh....it is hard! Anyway, we're already in the early minutes of friday and I don't expect to be online for long, so I better get on with today's (or should I say yesterday's) post.
This is NOT a technical post on co-sleeping. I won't talk about safety tips about co-sleeping nor will I advocate it or advise against it. i do it with my 7 month old. Have been doing it ever since she was about 4 months. Before that I would do it for half of the night. If you do want to co-sleep please find a good article about the rules for doing it safely. It is good to do things in an informed way. And co-sleeping without taking notice of safet rules can indeed be dangerous.
What I want to share with you is my experience of it. I started doing it out of convenience. My baby always woke up too many times during the night and I cope very badly with lack of sleep. If you breasfeed, co-sleeping can make your night a lot more comfortable and garantee you some good rest. At least it did for me. What I didn't know was how co-sleep was going to feel. Can you imagine how good it feels to share your sleep with your baby, feel her next to you all through the night. From the beggining it made me feel so much more in touch with my deep instincts. I feel like the female wolf who has her children safely close to her body during the night. Everything seems so natural and instinctive. It feels right and it feels incredibly good. It's amazing how when she falls asleep on my chest (which she will some times, if I am trying to sooth her to go back to sleep) I won't move even when I am supposed to be deeply asleep. The position in which I fall asleep, is the same I have when I wake up.
The other night she had a cold. She wouldn't settle anywhere, not even on the bed, right beside me, as always. So she spend a good part of the night sleeping on me, literally, like a puppy would sleep on their mother. And waking up with that fragile little thing sleeping confidently on my tummy or on my chest is being one with the nature, is being one with the universe.
But in general, she sleeps right beside me. When she wakes up, even if not properly, she will turn to my side and stretch her little arms and hands looking out for me. On the nights when she doesn't wake up so often, I wake up naturally and check on her. After all these months I still check on her breathing. I wonder when I'll stop doing that. Will she be nineteen and I will snick into her room and check to see it she's breathing? Strange thing being a mum. Strange and marvelous thing. I know deep down she is safe. She is healthy and she will grow up to be a confident happy child. But still, we mums always worry, always.
Co-sleeping made our bonding even stronger. I remember when she was very very little and my mum was staying with us for a couple of weeks, I would leave her with my mum while I napped for half an hour in the afternoon. And I used to miss her. I swear I did. It didn't feel right to leave her there. Ok, it is my mum, and I wanted her to have the chance to bound with her as well, but still, it feels right when nowadays, if I need a nap, we both lay down together for a nap. I mean, this sort of closeness, this sort of bounding that makes your baby almost a part, an extension of yourself, won't last for long. Soon she'll need more independence, and eventually she will go and live her own life. But these first months, these very first years, are ours. Of course, I include my hubby as well. Although I know and he knows the sort of bonding I experience is very different from the one he experiences. I can easily dedicate 24h of my days to her. Even when I am doing something else, she comes first. And when I sleep, her presence is there, right there by my side. I hear her breathing as I fall asleep.
People say if we start co-sleeping we'll never get them out of our beds. Which is probably why there are so many teenagers still sleeping with their parents,right?? I know, she'll probably want to stay in our bed for a while now. And do I mind? Of course not. It's a wonderful experience. I wish there were words for it, because if they existed, then this would be the most poetic post ever. But words are no enough to describe it.