Monday, January 10, 2011

Sara Roses Co-Sleeping Compomise

Remember that a few weeks back, when I mentioned how my son suddenly was refusing to nap unless someone was lying right beside him? Despite months of peaceful napping on his own, in his own room, alone?  When he suddenly started to refuse to nap alone, in his bed with us in the room, or after us rocking/bouncing/soothing him to sleep on his own, it was time to do some research. IT was also time to re-open our mindsets and adapt.

According to a lot of natural and attachment parenting , regression to needing extra comfort can happen especially when your child hits normal growth spurt and teething stages.  Well, this is obviously going on here, because I had Owen stand next to the wall where we mark our kids’ growth every few months and within TWO WEEKS of the last measurement Owen had, he had shot up nearly two more inches.

I had also noticed that he’s starting to say more words, or attempt them and he has also managed to master some new coordination tasks.  Oh, and did I mention that the little guy can scale walls, Spider Man style?  No joke, I can’t WAIT until he and Eva share a room, and she wakes up with him swinging from the ceiling. I can just picture her hurtling into our room in a dead panic over this.  It will be another source of comedy!

A lot of the websites and even our own doctor mentioned that if a child has been used to co-sleeping or family beds, when they hit certain growth spurts, they can regress or get some serious insecurities going on.  Our doctor soothed me and said, “He’ll get back to napping on his own again.  But if he needs you with him for awhile, then remember, you only have so much time with them at this age.  He goes to bed at night just fine, so I’m sure you or your husband could afford an extra bit of shut eye during the day to catch up on lack of sleep!”

What she and a lot of other parents said does make sense, especially for me.  When I had Eva, for awhile, I was a single mother- both working and going to school along with raising Eva on my own.  While I had no idea that my husband and I would end up married sooner rather than later, Eva had to be independent from an early age.  I had to have her be able to nap and sleep on her own so that I could do home work, house work, or even just breathe for a moment.

I’ve been really lucky that I was able to do things differently with my son, and also find ways to spend more time with our daughter.  I truly consider our bed to be a family bed, one where both of our kids feel warm, welcomed, and appreciated.  If they have bad dreams, or have a night where they just need a bit more love and cuddle, we can accommodate and appreciate.  These days are limited!  Soon they won’t want to be around us at all, right?  (According to some parents- who knows with these kids I’m raising!)

I feel that co-sleeping really fosters a different, perhaps more solid sense of security between kids and parents.  Some of the best conversations I have had with my daughter has been right before we both drifted off.  I want that sort of openness to continue to be fostered as my kids grow, I Want them to be unafraid to come to us when they need someone.  Hopefully, co-sleeping is a way to encourage that.  This little regression won’t last and soon Owen will be happy to sleep on his own again.  As for me, well a few more minutes of sleep added into my regular schedule doesn’t hurt, I just have to do things a bit differently now.

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