Extended co sleeping.
There’s an extra pillow in our bed. It lies right between Daddy’s pillow and mine and neither of us have the heart to remove it when we go to sleep. It started a few months ago. Bad dream, funny noise, scary shadow.
You kept coming in in the early hours and snuggling down next to us. Which was fine but then I got so uncomfortable sharing my pillow with you that I told you you had to bring your own if you came down. So then you started appearing, pillow in hand, a little figure in the dark. Finally it became easier to just leave a pillow there and now you creep in so stealthily that I often don’t realise that you’re there until the morning when I wake up and turn over to see you sleeping peacefully in the middle.
I realise co sleeping at all, never mind extended co sleeping is something that a lot of people frown upon but I don’t really see why. As the years go by, I am starting to realise more and more keenly that the amount of time I have of being your entire world is so short, and getting shorter by the day.
Already a teacher takes favour in a story of your day, a picture is drawn for someone else, friends are talked about incessantly at home. And although I love that, I love that you are becoming independent, I can see flashes of the girl you’re going to be, the teenager (and I fear we will have turbulent times ahead of us, you seem to have inherited an extremely stubborn streak and I can’t think where from. :D), it also makes me sad.
Gradually you will slip away from me, you will want to walk to school alone, you won’t want my hugs and kisses, you won’t find my jokes funny, or think that my clothes are cool as you do now. You will wish desperately for me to conform, to blend in, to be invisible,to just leave you alone to be with your friends, or even worse, boyfriend! 🙂
And so for now, I will try my hardest to appreciate these little moments, waking up and seeing your peacefully asleep little face. Utterly safe and secure in your warm space in the middle. Happy to see us, snuggling in for a cuddle to start the day, your brother jumping in too, all cosy until the silliness starts and we know that we need to get up!
Extended co sleeping is what it is I suppose, although you go off to bed in your own room, plus it’s not every night, and I know that it is something that really divides opinion and is not considered good practise in our Western countries, but equally, that it is something that is totally the norm in other countries who struggle to understand our ways.
From when you were a little baby, I have been firmly of the opinion that sleep equals happiness for me and so I needed to do whatever it took to get some! I was quite nervous about co sleeping with you at first, but as you got bigger, it was much easier to just bring you into bed for a feed and fall back to sleep together. As you got older, you moved into a cot with a bit of protest, but we persevered and gradually the night wakings got less and less. Until recently!
I stick to my mantra though, sleep equals happiness, and just the same as when you were a baby, I would much rather have you in bed and all back to sleep then going through the arduous task of returning a reluctant child to bed. Possibly lazy parenting but then I’ve done 6 years of the sleepless nights and so I feel I am owed some laziness!
So while I’m not necessarily encouraging it, I’m also not doing anything to put a stop to it, aside from offering lots of reassurance that there are no such thing as monsters, as long as everyone is getting some sleep, I don’t really mind!
Last we had four in the bed though, now that was too much! 😀 What are your thought on extended co sleeping or co sleeping at all, are you with me or do you firmly disagree?