Co-sleeping with my own child is the only child rearing style I know in terms of nightime parenting. We had no question about it when Pristine and I got home from the hospital four winters ago. Where co-sleeping is controversial in some countries, it is perfectly normal in Japan and in the Philippines.
At three years old, our daughter is still sleeping with us, sometimes using my arms as her pillows. I do get cramps sometimes but I don’t mind, not at all.
I admit that I enjoy the cuddling. The most love I get from anyone is the simple snuggling with a sweet smelling infant at bedtime. I’m reasonably certain that co-sleeping or sleep-sharing with my daughter will only happen one time and she would seek to transfer to her own room one day. I intend and I decided to enjoy this precious time, while it lasts!
But there are times when I do have the mental back and forth that I always do when faced with the advise from “experts”, including one of my favorite author, Zig Ziglar (Author of Raising positive kids in a negative world). Is it really a problem? Do I actually have the energy for it? Are there bigger things I should actually be attending to?
I have imagined attempting to get my three year old daughter to sleep in another bed, in another room. Although this is still all in my mind, I cringe at the fact that I am probably lazy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actually care waking up in the middle of the night or in the wee hours of the morning to get her to go back to sleep when she has some sort of nightmare. I don’t care singing in the dark to calm her when she’s frantic and insecure. Also, I have to go to work in the morning and I’d rather get my rest. I don’t like to struggle at bedtime and sleep-sharing would mean I don’t have to get up and bump my head in some wall on the way to the other room where my precious sleeps.
While several reasons, mostly (west) cultural says negative info on co-sleeping, in my family it has promoted bonding, more sleep for me and facilitated breastfeeding i.e., increased access to nursing with less disturbance of sleep for both mothers and infants.
Of course, where your child sleeps – whether it’s in your bed or a crib is a personal decision.