We've done everything wrong...and I love it.
Don't let him sleep in your bed. You'll never get rid of him. He'll never learn to sleep on his own. Don't rock him to sleep. He needs to learn to self settle. What does he sleep like? Does he sleep on his own?
The sleep advice came streaming in from day one. Not day one of his life, but from the moment I announced I was pregnant I started receiving advice. Some advice I'll take, some advice I use. Sleep advice though, I'll leave at the door.
All the advice I never took:
Advice #1: Never let him sleep on you. Hunter sleeping on me in the early days was the most amazing feeling and it still is. I learnt very quickly how to eat with one hand and not spill food on his head...except the beetroot relish that stained his clothes. Watching his peaceful face while he slept on me are memories I will cherish.
Advice #2: Let him cry it out. This method might work for some, but for me it's torture. Knowing that by simply picking him up he will stop. Knowing that all he wants is his mum. How could I deprive him of that? I had a baby so I could love and nurture him not so I could let him cry in an empty cot on his own.
Advice #3 Don't rock him to sleep. This child will not self settle. Never has. Never will. No, I am hopeful that oneday he will but I have no issue cuddling him to sleep at the moment. Honestly, if someone would stroke my hair and rock me to sleep I would gladly accept.
Advice #4: Don't let him sleep in your bed. He decided at 3 months he needed more than to be in our room. He needed to be in our bed. I fought it for a few nights. I was up for hours trying to re-settle him. The moment his head hit our mattress though, he was out. Why was I fighting it so much? I needed my sleep. So in he came and there he stayed. 8 months old and he hasn't left.
Here's the thing, since when did a child sleeping through becoming the defining moment of successful parenting. Why are we judged on whether or not babies sleep in their own cots? Why does it matter? The more people I speak to, the more that tell me their children slept in their bed for years but they never said anything. Why is this something we are keeping secret? It's not anything to be ashamed of. Waking up with Hunters little face next to mine, waking up to the sound of him laughing at the ceiling fan, holding him in my arms as we both sleep. It sounds pretty amazing to me. I don't see what the problem is. Babies spend 9 months of their lives apart of you, why are we so determined to make them sleep without us?
Sleep is a topic that consumes parent hood. It's the first thing people ask you. It's a boring topic if you ask me, some sleep, some don't, lets's all move on. The pressure to be a good mum is high enough, let's not add to it.
Co-sleeping - except for the occasional kick in the guts, and the dead arm I have from spooning him all night, I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't know about you, but I'm taking every cuddle and kiss that I can get. Time is moving too quickly, and one day he'll be to old and embarrassed to snuggle with his mum. So for now, you'll find Hunter nestled in between us and I love it.