Are you a crunchy parent? I am for sure 😉 To start easy…. Are you Co-Sleeping? Meaning per Wikipedia definition
Co-sleeping is a practice in which babies and young children sleep close to one or both parents, as opposed to in a separate room. It is standard practice in many parts of the world, and is practiced by a significant minority in countries where cribs are also used. Bed-sharing, a practice in which babies and young children sleep in the same bed with one or both parents, is a subset of co-sleeping. Co-bedding refers to infants (typically twins or higher-order multiples) sharing the same bed. There are conflicting views on bed-sharing safety and health compared to using a separate infant bed.
Yes, we are Co-Sleepers and it’s wonderful 😉 Even my husband had to convince me about that one, cause when I was pregnant I said no I don’t want my kid in my bed until she is 8 years old. I was naive. I was (too) hard. And I was the first time expecting. I had no clue about breastfeeding and thought it was comfortable to stand up several times each night when my baby cried and was hungry. We did fight about this choice and I am so happy and proud to have such a sensitive and compassionate man to call my husband. And I am happy that I listened to him. So of course he won and the baby is with us and not alone in a separate room. I am happy to have grown and evolved a lot on this motherhood-journey. And I am so happy that I let go this hardness.
So no she did not sleep alone in a room. Not one single day or night. She would not sleep a minute 😉 btw. She was and still is with us from the very beginning. She needed and still needs very much closeness and when we bought the BabyBay we thought that this would make her happy. Being so close to us, but in fact she just slept happy when she was even closer to our bodies. She needed to hear us, and feel us, and smell us and to feel the warmth and being in touch all the time.
What our intuition says
So we decided to sleep this way as a family (also when we have more kids) and we plan to do it until they say I want my own room. So basically when they’re 18, just kidding folks. 😀 Kids want their own space, especially when their needs for closeness is filled. So we believe that kids growing up with closeness, attention and love will be adults who are confident, secure and able to give closeness, attention and love.
What studies say
Co-sleeping is definitly not for everybody, for us it is and we feel it’s intuitive and also a tradition in a lot of countries. Studies link co-sleeping to greater levels of happiness, fewer tantrums, less fear and fewer psychiatric problems. In adulthood, children who once co-slept have been found to have higher levels of confidence, self-esteem and intimacy. No evidence was found that co-sleeping children became clingy or dependent as a result.
What opponents say
They are often worried about the fact that you can roll over your child. I understand this and I think it’s really important to make sure that you do absolutely safe Co-sleeping. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts.
This is how we do it
We have a 1.80 metres mattress and an additional 0.90 metres mattress meaning we have a lot of space almost three metres, but we really need it The little one sleeps next to me and sometimes in between us, but mostly very close to me because often she wants to drink some milk at night. In the beginning I always made sure that she is on top of us, so I moved my pillow down a bit, so that I can place her (head) higher up in the bed. This ensures that she has nothing to do with the blanket.
The positive affects:
- Closeness of all familymembers
- Cuddles all morning and late night
- Easyness of breastfeeding
- A very happy child every morning
- At night when she has a dream or get frightened at night I am there to hug her, like immediatly
Nearly no thing. But sometimes it is a bit enough to handle, a man who snores, a baby that wants to sleep on you, a mother (or also a father) that sometimes needs space. But we have another bed to go to, when one thinks it’s all a bit too much. I love this option. We also allow us some space during the day. Sometimes a bit space is wonderful, and you go back to your beloved ones with new energy.
Me and my hubby we look forward to have our own bed back again. Having sex all night long and lots of space. Walking naked around in our appartment and drinking wine, eating whenever we want, having fun again just the two of us. But we really know our children are young now, and they need us now. When they are 20 they will sure not crave a night in our beds. 😉 For us this is part of parenthood to give up a little bit of who you are, but only for the good of it! And our main goal is to keep our relationship that stabile, that awesome, that magic for years, so when the kids are all gone, we are really interested in each other and look forward to connect again again and again.
According to Dr. Sears here are the seven B’s of Attachment Parenting
1. Birth bonding. Take an active role in the birth you want. Educate yourself. Speak openly with your obstetrician, midwife, and/or birth attendants. Be present for the birth.
2. Read and respond to your baby’s cries. Newborns don’t misbehave. They communicate. We just need to watch and listen. And try things. Even if you misunderstand a cue — offering a nurse when all little Jimmy wanted was a cuddle — he’ll tell you and you will refine your ability to understand. This is similar to honing your intuition. That is, the best way to cultivate and hone intuition is by listening for and then following intuitions as they arise. As Malcolm Gladwell teaches in his bestseller Blink, each time you follow an intuition, your intuition strengthens. This, I’d say, is a great example of what’s meant by follow your parenting instincts. I love seeing this as a skill that, with practice, I can hone.
3. Breastfeeding. The benefits of breastfeeding are endless. Mom gets happy hormones. Baby gets antibodies. No one has to get up in the middle of the night and walk across the cold linoleum to mix a bottle.
4. Babywearing (carrying baby in a sling or carrier). Trust your instinct to hold your baby. Sears says carried babies cry less and grow more. And they feel safe and get to snuggle up to you. When I see a baby in a very crowded mall being pushed in a stroller, the baby always looks the way I feel on a roller coaster. “Where am I going? Where’s Mom? HELP! Ahhhhh!!!” That dialogue, by the way, is a direct quote from me at age thirty on Disney World’s Space Mountain. In my town, parents favor baby carriers and wraps and are embarrassed by their strollers. There’s always a qualifier: “I’d have all three boys in a carrier on my back, but I threw out my SI joint in chaturanga last week.”
5. Bedding close to baby (co-sleeping). Sears wonders when and why this practice became so controversial. He has found that because it’s so discouraged in the mainstream, lots of families who actually do cosleep don’t admit to it. Plus, he reminds us that most babies the world over sleep with their parents. And that we evolved to do so, which makes pretty good sense. Historically, babies left alone would be threatened by predators. I can’t imagine ancient peoples put their baby to bed in a small cave nearby.
6. Balance and boundaries. Take care of yourself. Put on your own oxygen mask first, as they say. A healthy baby needs a healthy mom and dad. Take a night off. Hire a sitter or call Grandma. Exercise. Eat well. Dust off the Barry White LP and have some sex, for Pete’s sake. You’ll be a better parent when (at least a few of) your own needs are met.
7. Beware of baby trainers. Don’t be convinced to follow any dogmas. Ignore any advice that counters your parental instincts to nurture your baby. Turn off Supernanny. Parent from your intuition and your heart.
I love that the seven Bs of Attachment Parenting are not dogma but a call to empowerment. They are a call to wake up to my instinctive parenting wisdom: being alert to each moment, assessing what is needed with clear eyes and an open heart. Intuition. Flexibility. Mindfulness. If nothing else an excuse to keep doing yoga and meditation, now that there’s really no time for it.
Just want to make sure that you do get me right. I am only talking about my family and our needs and what works best for us. If you see this any different this is absolutely perfect. I am an advocate of the positive and attachment parenting – style. And I am responsible for my family, you are responsible for yours. I am not convincing anyone and still I am happy if you parent intuitive and do what works best for your family.
Wish you a wonderful day and lots of love ! Mama Leone