Monday, August 18, 2014
Oh the time of co-sleeping is over. We lasted 16 months together in one bed but at the beginning of last week it was time for Audrey to move into her own space. I put it off for long enough; thinking I would get around to cleaning and organize a magical playland sleep-space for Audrey (thanks a lot pinterest) but when it really came down to it we figured it would be better for her to get her own room regardless of how magical it was. So I packed up some of the crafty junk from the spare room and vacuumed. We moved the crib upstairs and off Audrey went. She cried a lot the first night and ended up in bed with us but as the nights progressed she cried less and less. In fact, she sleeps amazingly upstairs and we can go poke her and stare at her for as long as we want and she doesn't wake up until she's ready.
That said I do miss our kiddo at night. We were night nursing and now that is over too. Unfortunately I feel like this might be the beginning of the end of nursing for us although she is still plenty interested before naps and bedtime. Jeff and I are off on our first over seas journey this Fall, leaving Audrey, Carlie, and the chickens with loved-ones, and I have a feeling that my milk will dry up while we are gone.... Audrey will be 18/19 months by that time so I guess it will be fine to stop but nursing is such a wonderful experience and it will be a bummer not to have the quiet time with Audrey.
Although co-sleeping meant odd sleeping habits for me I feel that it was the right thing to do. I cannot stand a crying baby, especially at night, and co-sleeping solved that problem almost completely. We were able to have extra bonding and nursing time and I think in the long run has strengthened our relationship. Audrey is great with snuggles, kisses, hugs, and baby-wearing and I think a lot of it came from our co-sleeping. When co-sleeping Audrey rarely woke up in a bad mood in the morning and that carried through the day.
The downsides of co-sleeping are few; mostly around my sleep. I really only had 5-6 hours of sleep a night (for 16 months) and even less when I stock my cloth diaper store. This made me more reliant on coffee but sometimes that's not a bad thing. It did make me realize how easy it is to adjust to a new sleep pattern and require less sleep. At one time I was a 9pm to 6am kind of sleeper but now I am an 11pm to 5am sleeper with an occasional afternoon nap. Another downside was less snuggling with my husband and although he probably felt left out I at least got to snuggle with Audrey all night.
All-in-all, don't knock it until you've tried it for an extended period of time. I have received some criticism about co-sleeping and our continuance of nursing which is confusing to me since this is our life, our household, and our child. It seems, though, that everyone appears to be a better parent when they are giving advice to other parents regarding shortfalls. When I find something peculiar in another parent's method of raising their child I keep in mind that the child is happy, healthy, well-fed, clean, without injury, and with people who love them.
have a great day!