We co-sleep. Always have, always will. PERIOD
My first child, our daughter, is 13yrs old and today is her 2nd day of 8th grade. I’ve been finding myself extremely emotional lately when it comes to our relationship. She pushes me away at every turn. She’s working on becoming a grown person. She’s fierce, competitive, proud, opinionated, stubborn and needy- although she’d never admit to it. She’s just like me- again, something she’d roll her eyes at the thought of. She’ll learn to embrace vulnerability one day, just as I have, but right now and for the next several years she’ll go to war with it and I’ll let her. She and I have something else in common, we both prefer to co-sleep. I can’t blame her, upon reflecting on my life I realize that I co-slept with my parents off and on as they’d allow until I was at least her age. Co-sleeping takes on a different shape as your kids age. When I was a child, after finally learning to fall asleep in my own room, I’d go to bed alone, sleep all night and then wander into my parents room early in the morning squeezing my body onto the very edge of the bed next to my mom until it was time to wake up. After all, aren’t our parents beds always the most comfortable? Similarly, my now 13 yr old daughter sleeps alone, she is capable of it and has been for years, but on nights when my husband is on shift and I have my bed to myself she asks that I come get her, no matter how late it is, when I am ready to go to sleep. I oblige. Of my 38 years of life I’ve slept with people I love for the bulk of it. I slept with my parents exclusively as a baby and toddler and as they’d allow it growing up. I went from my parents house to sleeping in the same room as my my college roommates. From there I met my husband, who was then my boyfriend, and we were inseparable. As a mother, my babies each slept at my breast for two years and now my growing children sleep with me as they need me. Truth be told, I rarely sleep alone. As parents of young children it’s normal to WANT them to put themselves to sleep in their own room, to NEED your bed to yourself for your sanity and your marriage’s sake, but it’s also normal as human beings to want to be close to the people whom we love. I’ve been through the co-sleeping struggles, the bed-sharing doubts. “Did we do the right thing?” “When will it ever end?” “They’ll never learn to fall asleep on their own!” “I just need a good night’s sleep!” “I want my space back!” It was hard but it was the life we’d chosen for our family and we’ve made it through. We’ve now come full circle. She claims it’s the King size bed, pillow top mattress or cozy blankets, but I know her reasons for wanting to sleep in my bed is about more than that. These precious nights are numbered and the times when I appear in her room only to have her roll over and stay in her own bed are becoming more frequent, but until she’s done I plan to soak up every moment of co-sleeping bliss that this family life has to offer. Do you co-sleep and have you considered how your bed-sharing relationship with your children will grow and evolve as they mature?
I’m Julie, a former cloth diaper retailer who discovered a passion for the industry. Now, instead of selling cloth diapers, I advocate them and promote small businesses I love who sell and manufacture them.
I’m the wife of a fireman and mother of three. I have a 13yr old daughter and identical twin sons who are 10yrs old.