My beautiful girl is currently 6 months old and I definitely feel the pressure from other mums, friends without babies and others to get her out of my room and sleeping by herself.
She is currently still sleeping in our bed – yes co sleeping! Shock/horror to those who disapprove! We tried her in the cot in our room when she was little a couple of times but she didn’t like it and didn’t seem ready, she settled so well in the bed with us and it was so much easier with breastfeeding her throughout the night. So this is what I kept doing.
People presume it’s annoying having her in the bed but actually I love having her close to me all night and knowing she is okay. It really does make my breastfeeding journey much easier having her right there too!
This got me thinking – why are so many people against co sleeping and why are so many people obsessed with getting the baby in their own room and sleeping through the night as quickly as possible? I mean, I kind of understand that parents want their space and their sleep, but why choose to have children in the first place if that’s what you wanted!
I must admit I am a bit of a hypocrite because before having our daughter I 100% was that person who would say ‘I’d never have my child in our bed’ and ‘I would let them cry it out, they will be fine’. Well I’m swallowing my words now and I’m sorry for any parents I ever judged. I guess before having a child I said things out of naivety and without understanding that emotional bond that a mother has and the instinct that let’s a mother know what is right for their child.
It’s a really interesting topic because since becoming a mom I 100% would not be able to and not want to let my child cry it out – I fully believe it effects their brain development if they experience too much stress as a child. I don’t believe babies cry to be manipulative – they have a need which is to be close to you and they just want it met! Who can blame them – we like to sleep next to someone in bed as adults too!
I think we have a culture of expecting too much from a baby too early on! A baby is meant to wake up in the night and want to feel their mother next to them. Did you know that human babies are actually born 18months prematurely in comparison to animals. This makes it obvious to me why they want to be with their mothers 24/7 as babies.
We have a culture of saying oh let them cry it out, but what really happens in that situation is that babies give up hope when they stop crying. They cry for a need to be met, they stop crying because they have given up hope and lost trust in their relationship with the caregiver. It makes me sad that our culture wants us to do this more and that there is not enough information out there to educate and inform parents and caregivers of how babies grow and how their choices as a parent/caregiver can effect a babies development.
I know this is a controversial topic and many people will disagree with me, that’s okay because everybody has the right to their opinion and to raise their children how they want. I also truly believe that each parent knows deep down what is best for their child and I hope they follow it and don’t allow themselves to feel bad for co sleeping a bit longer, breastfeeding a bit longer or sleep training if that is what they choose to do. I really do understand the temptations of letting a child cry it out, especially when you are exhausted, but it is my opinion that it just isn’t the right thing for a child’s development.
I write this because tonight my baby is 6 and a half months and she has taken all her naps today in her own cot in her own room and we have put her down for bed in there too. If she wakes up and cries I will be going in there and if I end up sleeping on the floor next to her I then so be it! I have no expectations, so if she is really bad I will take her back to the bed – why?! Well because I trust that she will sleep by herself when she is fully ready and she will only ever be ready if I show her the love she needs when she needs it. I’m not worried about her becoming clingy because the only way to allow someone to be independent is to allow them to depend on you first. She will sleep through the night when she is ready and in those moments of exhaustion in the middle of he night when I just want to sleep I will remember that the moment I chose to make a baby I chose this life too.
Whatever you choose keep going mammas – you got this 💪🏼