If there is one thing I’ve learned on this parenting journey is there are very few things that are hard and fast rules. If I can encourage any new moms or even us veteran’s that are in the trenches, don’t take yourself to seriously and think of your rules as guidelines. You and our kids will be so much happier.
When my husband and I had our first child together we talked about a lot of things, from car seats to breastfeeding. We each had a lot of opinions about the right and wrong way to do things. One of the things my husband felt strongly about was that we didn’t let our babies and eventual kids sleep in our bed, and I agreed. Side Note – This is not a pro or con post for co-sleeping. I know people have a lot of opinions on either side, and honestly I can see both sides. I think this is a personal choice, and for us we decided this was the best choice.
We have a downstairs master so our little ones slept in a cradle in our room until they were sleeping through the night. I still distinctly remember the first night we brought our newborn home and he was crying. It was the middle of the night, and I was pacing back and forth trying to calm him and my husband sleepily said “just put him in bed with you, he wants to be beside you.” What??? I was so confused. He was the person that was adamant that we weren’t going to have kids in our bed. This was repeated many nights in the following weeks. I worried, are starting bad habits, will he sleep in our bed forever, will it ever just be my husband and I? NO… we weren’t starting bad habits. We were SURVIVING. In those first few months of life, you do what you have to do to get as much sleep as possible, which still isn’t enough. You drive them around in cars, you let them sleep in their swings, you do countless things you never thought you would do before you actually had a baby. Don’t worry, it will not last and you don’t have to do it forever. At some point you and the baby will start to ween off these habits.
Eventually all my kids moved from the cradle to their cribs upstairs. It was harder on me than it was for them. They loved their cribs and slept well. I will say I’m blessed with sleepers. I know not everyone is, but my toddlers are 12 hour sleepers, and sometimes more. The transition from crib to toddler bed was a little harder. With the new found freedom of being able to get out at will, each child tested the boundaries. They could now get up after I left the room or crawl into our bed in the middle of the night, and they did. Usually, my husband and I would take turns putting them back in bed, but sometimes we just let them stay because we were both too lazy to walk them back upstairs. Again I worried, are we starting bad habits, but secretly I loved the snuggles. Eventually they figured it out and they now stay in their beds through the night, except for one! My baby!
My last kid is a little blue eyed, curly hair boy who can just smile and melt my heart. Don’t get me wrong, all are cute, but there is something about knowing he is the last one. He will be three in November so he really isn’t a baby anymore, but he is to me. For some reason my rules seem to be a lot looser for him than any of the others.
Every night I put him to bed in his own bed. He goes to sleep without a fuss or complaint. But every morning I wake up to him snuggled up right beside me. Most nights he is so quiet and sneaky about it I don’t even know he is there until I wake up. But between you and me, even on the nights I know he comes down, I don’t care. I just snuggle him close and go back to sleep. I now know he won’t always come down and get in bed with me so for now, I will just enjoy this little stranger in my bed.