Cosleeping and Independence

I’ve written about cosleeping with my daughter a few times, but never actually done a post on it or told exactly how I feel about it or why we did it.

In the beginning with my daughter, the only way I could get sleep was when we coslept.  I didn’t know that it was considered “dangerous”, all I cared about was that my daughter slept and I slept.  And being a new mom, that was number one on my priorities.  I wasn’t ever worried about my husband or me rolling over on her, because even in sleep you are hyperaware of another person in bed with you.  Most people don’t roll over on their spouse, and they sleep in the same bed.  It is the same thing with an infant.

We tried to transition her to a crib about the time I weaned her (at nine months), and it would just end in tears for me and her.  We got her a twin size mattress and put it on the floor in her room, thinking that she might just not like her crib.  Tried to get her in their when she was about a year old.  Hated that too.

Eventually, we just gave up and went back to cosleeping full time.

Now, this was when I didn’t have twitter, I didn’t have friends that coslept, I mainly didn’t have friends so I was just doing what I was told from my mom and mom in law, and didn’t question that Glade was just getting too old to sleep in our bed.

And so we started lying to people, saying she slept in her bed until about 3 am and then would come in with us for the rest of the night.  It was just too depressing when they knew that she was still in our bed, and we would get a lot of unwanted and really bad advice.

Well, when I found out I was pregnant this last time, Glade started showing an interest in sleeping in her own bed.  I was so excited that she was deciding on her own, and we could transition her slowly so when I got bigger she would be in her bed, and then the baby could be with us.  It was a great plan.

I lost the baby, and I didn’t want her to move out.

So, I kept putting off cleaning her room.  Since she never slept in there or played in there, it was just a storage place for all her stuff.  It wasn’t really her room.

My brother and sister in law were coming this week, so I decided to buckle down and clean Glade’s room in case they wanted to sleep there.  Glade helped me clean, and we washed everything on her bed, and the first night it was clean, Glade went to sleep in her room.

I needed to lie with her for a few minutes until she crashed, but she slept all night long in her own bed.  And woke up so happy that she was a big girl.

My heart just broke.

The second night, she wanted dad to put her to sleep, so she went to bed without a problem with him and slept through the night again.

Third night, she put herself to sleep.

Tonight, she put herself to sleep.

My cosleeping days are over.

And, I am so sad about it.  I miss her cuddling with me as she slept.  I miss that she needed me.  But I think I needed her more than she needed me.

Even now, I just want her back in my bed.  And she doesn’t want to be in here.  She won’t even lie down with us because this isn’t her bed.

I never thought the day would come when she would decide that it was time to go to her own bed.  All of my cosleeping friends said it does happen, and they are so much more independent because it was their choice to go to their room rather than being trained to go to their room, but I didn’t want to believe them.  I never thought that she would ever get to that point, and I was okay with it.

Cosleeping worked wonders for us.

Looking back, I wish I had enjoyed it more.  Had savored those last few days more.  Had hugged her more.

Where did my little baby go?  She is just so grown up, and I don’t want her to be.

I truly believe that she is such an independent child because of the way we have raised her.  Not just the cosleeping, but just letting her be her own person and loving and keeping her in the same room as us.  Letting her learn at her own pace.  Just letting her be herself.

She is such an amazing child.  I always feel bad that she plays alone and loves doing it, but at the same time, I love that she is able to do that.  I love that she loves to share her toys with other children.  I love that she loves babies so much.  I love that her favorite movie on youtube is an elephant giving birth.  I love that she knows the correct terms for body parts, and she knows what they are for.  I love that she is so smart and so social.  I truly love that she is independent.

But sometimes, I miss the little baby that relied on me for everything.

And yet, things always change for a reason.  I just hope that I can keep that in mind as I hold back tears when she goes to bed on her own night after night.

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5 Responses

  1. We co-sleep with our 8 month old. I was brought to tears reading this and imagining the day when the co-sleeping time comes to an end. I’m so sorry that you lost your baby recently too. This might not be appropriate to say, but I genuinely hope and think you’ll have another baby in your bed someday too. Hopefully soon.

  2. Ur post got me teary eye, sometimes I wish my kids had their own room n bed so I can finally stretch on my bed n not wake up with a sore neck n back but after reading this it has made me realize that I should enjoy cosleeping with my kids because they r going to grow up n not sleep w me forever, I luv smelling them on my sleep n their cuddles in the morning when they wake up.. I cosleep w my 2 year old n 6 month old.. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. “Most people don’t roll over on their spouse, and they sleep in the same bed. It is the same thing with an infant.”

    This is my problem. We DO, big time. And it makes me sad. DH and I beat the living crap out of each other every night. We have a queen size bed, yet it’s not uncommon for one of us to end up with a fat lip from the other’s elbow, and for all of our pillows & blankets to be MIA in the morning. In our situation, I really feel that cosleeping with our baby would actually be dangerous. I’m nervous to even put her bassinet too close to our bed in fear that a rouge pillow will make its way to her.

    Depressing. =(

    Alyssa
    @alyssa2047

  4. Sometimes I wish Ian would cosleep but even in the beginning he didn’t want to be in bed with us. He has never liked being swaddled, he has always enjoyed sprawling out in his own space. Even now if he falls asleep with me he will get up and walk to his bed as ask to be placed in it.

  5. @Alyssa oh wow! See everyone has a reason not to cosleep. Yours definitely sounds like a really good reason. Depressing though, indeed.

    @Bobbi a lot of kids don’t like it. Glade hated being swaddled. Even in bed with us a newborn she was sprawled on half the bed haha. Amazing how kids preferences sometimes make the choices for us.

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