Do you co-sleep with your kid?
One of the things I was sure of when I was pregnant was that I would not co-sleep with my kid. But what did I know? I was just a pregnant woman with romantic notions of motherhood. Remember the time when I planned not to let my daughter use any gadgets while eating dinner? I know a whole different level of stupidity that was in spite of being a millennial mother. Well, I guess that only makes me human but I do blame the books and English movies for this a bit. Anyway. So, when M was born after the first few nights of going from bed to crib and crib to bed every few hours, I thought co-sleep it is. And ever since, I have been co-sleeping with my daughter who is now 3-years-old.
Now, maybe it’s a cultural thing but in India, we mostly co-sleep with kids for the first few years. Things are, of course, changing and my very own best friend has been doing that but more often than not co-sleep is the most prevalent practice in this country. And as many articles would have you believe that it’s a strict no-no, and there might be some valid reasons too, it’s really not that bad at all. Well, I co-slept with my parents for the first few years of my life before moving to my own room and I think I turned out quite alright.
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There are pros and cons to both I think. Co-sleeping helps in bonding for sure. As a mother, it helps me know that she is safe right next to me. But it also affects my sleep and therefore my health in some ways. I think a lot has to do with what works for every mother to start with. What works for one might not work for the other. I co-sleep with M because it works for me. And no, it doesn’t affect the relationship between the husband and the wife which if you would believe people ask me when I tell them we co-sleep with M. In fact, it’s not even the question here.
Now, I don’t know how much M is dependent on me for sleeping because she needs her dad’s shoulders to fall asleep on most nights. But I cannot imagine sleeping in peace if M is not next to me. One day a few weeks ago M was insisting on sleeping with my sister and I had to let her. But then I literally stole M from my sister’s arms after she had fallen asleep because I just couldn’t relax without her. Well, that’s just typical mother behaviour, I think. My sister thinks I’m crazy but then when hasn’t she.
One of the things about co-sleeping which helped me when M was an infant was that I didn’t have to wake up and walk to another room to feed her. Well, when you have to do it so many times in a night you rather reduce the exercise it entails. Of course, I had to be extra careful because you have to when sleeping next to an infant. And I was and it worked out great for us at least. Now that she is a little bigger, it has gotten a little easier though she ends up playing football with my neck for some strange reason. But now I have started to often wonder when would be the right time to make her start sleeping in her own room. Also, I wouldn’t mind waking up in the morning without being kicked the whole night or having had to play hide and seek with her legs and the blanket the whole night. Will I be able to, when I’ll be able to or will it be easy, I don’t know!
If you are a parent and have made the transition from co-sleeping, do tell me when would be the right time? And what measures do I need to take to make it smooth for both of us?