This morning, an article entitled: Why we ditched attachment parenting showed up in my newsfeed. So, I said to myself, Hmmm, that looks interesting, I think I can waste a few moments of my life reading that. So, I did..because I love reading blogs
While the author was careful to state that different parenting styles work for different parents, she also seemed to say that co-sleeping turned her son (and lots of other children she knew) into a clingy, sleep-deprived mess, while her sleep-trained daughter was happy and content and slept well and everything was all rainbows and butterflies. And, while I have no doubt that is true for her, I don't by any means think it is a universal experience.
|Love my Kozy! I think it is my favorite baby carrier!|
|The baby in this picture is Heidi. And, I have no idea why there is no sheet on that mattress?? This picture was taken in RI, while we were on vacation one summer, visiting my family.|
Yes, my not-quite 6-month old still nurses during the night...but. really..it's super easy when she's in bed with me. I just latch her on real quick and go right back to sleep. Hardly any sleep disturbance at all. And, lately she's been giving us a good chunk of time when she first falls asleep for the night, where she sleeps alone in bed..which is wonderful. And, all my kids did that as babies..they'd fall asleep around 8:00 or so and give us about 2 hours where they slept alone, before waking up around 10:00 ish..which is when I go to bed anyway.
Now, you may remember that last Friday, I posted about how I was sleep-deprived and tired, due to Elsa. But, that wasn't totally true (ok..I admit it..I sorta lied... I better go to Confession now). The reason I was sleep-deprived wasn't so much that Elsa was keeping me up, but that *I* had stayed up too late a few nights that week (and especially the night before), and it had caught up with me. Yes, Elsa does wake up to nurse, but the real reason I was so tired was that I hadn't gone to bed early enough the night before or a few previous nights that week as well. Ever since I was a kid, I have had an inability to "sleep-in". I'm totally wired to be a morning person, so when the sun starts peeking through the shades, I wake up..and can no longer sleep. Which means, that I can't make up lost sleep from the night before, by sleeping later.
Which brings me to my next point..the reason I was so sleep-deprived last week. It's because the night before I had gone to a fun Mom's Night Out with friends...with baby in tow. And, it was totally fine. I held her some, a friend held her some (and showed her off to the snowbirds at the next table) and eventually she nursed and nodded off and I just held her in my arms while chatting with my friends, relaxing, and having a great time NOT being at home, while my wonderful husband dealt with the older kids and put them to bed and all that. You see, having a baby that always nurses to sleep does mean that *I* always have to nurse her to sleep, but it also means that she is totally and completely flexible and portable. She will fall asleep anywhere..we don't have to worry about cranky baby while out, or having to take her home so she can nap. Saturday night, we were also out with her past her bedtime...(at a wonderful friend's house for a lovely First Saturday Rosary and social time) and she was passed around and held by lots of friends, and then when she got tired, I just nursed her and she fell asleep and was still passed around while asleep. Lately, it's worked out that Sunday Mass happens to fall during the time she would nap, so I just nurse her in the pew, she falls asleep and we just hold her for the duration of Mass, and all is well.
You see, I value social time, and outings and getting out of the house and being with friends. It would drive me CRAZY, to have to schedule my life or our outings around a baby's nap or bedtime. Seriously crazy. With 3 older homeschooling kids, I need to be able to take them to activities or coops or field trips without worrying about a baby's nap.
|The one time she slept in a crib..I think it lasted about 10 minutes.|
I don't follow attachment parenting because I think it is "better"..but because for the most part, it is what works for our family. And, I think really..that is what parenting is all about. It is about finding what works for each family and baby. So, for some families, co-sleeping may be an absolute disaster and lead to sleep-deprived parents and babies, while for others, it may be blissful and lead to happy parents and babies. It's all about finding what works, and then letting go of labels and styles and preconceived notions.