Co-sleeping with your kids

When we had my daughter I was paranoid of leaving her alone at night in her own room. Most parents go through that with the first child. However, I did try not to put her in bed with me but I kept the pack-n-play very close to my bed so I can grab her quickly if she did cry. I was a softy and keeping my daughter out of my bed was hard for me. I figured the only way I was going to get enough sleep was to just give in and let her cuddle next to me. My husband was not thrilled about this idea, so I would wait until she was completely asleep on me and slowly put her back in the pack-n-play.

When she was a baby I figured keeping her next to me was an easy way for me to breastfeed her and not risk dropping her because I was so tired. But as she got older I just couldn’t stand hearing her cry in her crib hoping she would eventually give in and just fall asleep in her crib. This went on until she turned one. My husband was very strict about it and was determined that she needed her own space and we needed our privacy back. We even saw a family therapist because our lives were solely revolved around the baby and our marriage was slowly falling into an abyss of bickering.

It was time to get my daughter to stay in her own bed and I needed to do this before she learned how to climb out of her crib. So we did the usual routine at night. First she had her bath, then her milk, read her a story and we stayed in the room with her until she would fall asleep. I used to lie down on the floor next to her crib and caress her tiny baby hand through the crib rails to get her to sleep.

Today my daughter is 7 years old and we still follow a similar routine. She brushes her teeth, has her night cup of milk while daddy reads her a story from the rocking chair. Then daddy has to stay there in the rocking chair until she falls asleep. He puts a CD with nature sounds to help her fall asleep.

I know many parents must be saying, “Oh god you are spoiling that girl.”, but for us it’s just enjoying that last years of her letting us be in her room. I know this is not forever and that eventually she will not want a bedtime story and she will kick us out of her bedroom to talk on the phone with her little boyfriend. So parents, enjoy every moment you can with your kids. Remember that nothing is permanent. As said by Heraclitus, “There is nothing permanent but change.”