Saturday, July 17, 2010

Co-Sleeping is for Everyone

Attachment Parenting, the Continuum Concept, Creative Parenting......however you want to call it, has become more of a lifestyle-parenting choice for us, than a certain technique we picked up. (Although, these are the various labels most closely related to how we roll around here, and there's some pretty good books out there that speak my language. But to be honest, I don't like that there's a label to describe what parents should be doing instinctively anyways)
I think the real trick to parenting is being flexible and creative, and not letting yourself get stuck within the limitations of any technique. I'm realizing more and more as our boys get older, that watching them and their feelings is more important than any book I've read or technique I've learned. They are such unique, little characters, and each have needs distinctly their own. I've learned to use my intuitive, Mama-radar to read their feelings, and help them feel loved and secure, when they need it most. They are truly happy kids, and I feel a closeness to them that I never imagined. I know Micah feels the same way, and he has been my greatest example in how to raise our children.

I think that if we really wanted to, we could rearrange our entire house, so that our second bedroom was "the boys room," but we don't care to. Sharing a bedroom with our kids was a choice, and having them with us at night, a blessing. We don't believe that babies and kids should sleep alone until they are ready. Plus, it's a lot easier to take care of their nighttime needs when they are right next to you. It all began with little babies nursing in bed, and now there are many nights when our boys have needed a changed diaper, a drink of water, an extra cuddle during a nightmare, words of reassurance when they've felt scared or alone, and of course, those early morning snuggles that I love so much.

I don't think our arrangement is right for everyone. Some couples don't agree on bed-sharing, and what a couple decides together is most important for the whole family. Some people simply can't sleep at night with extra bodies cuddling them, and some people just shouldn't sleep with their kids because they're drunk or on crack, or have narcolepsy, and that's just dangerous. But, for those that want to enjoy the family closeness that comes with the family bed, I think it's the best thing in the world. And no parenting technique existing out there, can tell you that your human intuition wrong.

Our family-sleep room. 3 beds, 4 people, one little bedroom, and a partridge in a pear tree. And when we're not sleeping, you can find our family venturing out for many other fun things in the world......


Laura Hopper, Midwife said...

Ben and I always joke that we don't need 4 sleeping rooms. 9 nights out of 10, we have at least one besides Cam in our room with us.
Our kids transition from cosleeping with us to cosleeping with their siblings...when they actually sleep in their rooms. LOL

chelsea mckell said...

Best part of this post: "some people shouldn't sleep with their kids because they're drunk or on crack...and that's just dangerous."

Love it!