Before I was pregnant I knew people who coslept, they were hippies and “nesters” or people who coddled their kids. When I was pregnant my mind began to shift. I heard statistics like “in China they don’t even have a term for SIDS because it’s so rare, everyone sleeps with their baby” considering how much I loved the little fetus I wanted to do whatever I could to keep him alive.
Fast forward to baby’s first day out of the womb. He fell asleep on me who would have the heart to move him? Once home it only got worse. Sure he would nap in his basinet here and there, nap in his swing, fall asleep in the car seat but when it came time for the adults to turn in for the night, there was always a baby in the crook of my arm because to be completely honest I was overly paranoid about SIDS and I slept sooooo much better. Also a huge benefit was being a breastfeeder, when baby stirs in the middle of the night needing to eat all I had to do was pull down my shirt and drift back off to sleep. No getting up. No bottles to warm. Just sweet dreams and a wet puddle of milk on the sheet (I learned to put a towel underneath).
I said I would cosleep until 6 months. Then I realized that there is still a slim chance for SIDS so I went to 1 year. At 1 year we attempted sleep training. It was heart breaking and not right for us nor for our son plus we admitted to ourselves we loved our little warm snuggler in our bed. Finally at 2 years old we felt comfortable getting him to sleep in his own bed. We didn’t force him, it wasn’t cold turkey, it was gradual and positive. He did amazing sleeping in his own bed. Every night we would go lay down with him, read books, pray, talk, hug. Sometimes he did not want to sleep and we would vice grip him with our body while singing and humming him to sleep, sometimes he’d fall asleep in less than 5 minutes and we would quietly slip out.
Now at 3 years and 3 months old we no longer cuddle him. We tuck him in and tell him to go to sleep. He still wakes up sometimes and we find him in our bed with us in the morning but we love it and wouldn’t have it any other way.
I guess my reason for writing all this out besides to let our family know that he is officially”weened” from co sleeping, is to encourage others to do whatever feels right for them as parents. We didn’t set out to be cosleepers and we especially didn’t expect to do it for so long but your kids are only little for so long. We wanted Harper to feel safe and secure with us and in his home. We were selfish in that we loved cuddling with him, providing a constant affection between us, but that is just the way we are and luckily with little issue everything turned out perfectly for us. Now we just need to get him out of night time pull ups and he’s officially a big kid! gah good thing I have a new babe in my bed, now I’m a nester hippie