We choose to co-sleep. Two parents, one baby, one bed. When she was tiny we slept with her in-between us, up at our heads, waking often to check she was still breathing. She never cried out for us because we were there. If I heard her rustle in the night I would roll over and nurse her. It was as simple as that and I loved it. All three of us did. When she began to awaken to the world she would slay us with her early morning smiles of recognition. She would grin from ear to ear and kick her tiny little feet as if to say, "Good morning! I know you people! You belong to me!" She was a good sleeper in those early months. She loved snuggles and being swaddled, she was calm and content right beside us. Sleep was good.
And now... Eulalie is no longer tiny and we still co-sleep. She loves to kick, crawl and stand whenever she gets a chance. She wakes us up, babbling, reaching out, and pinching at all hours of the night. I wish I could say she still loves being snuggled, but it seems as if she prefers her own space, albeit still cozied up near us. As she grew so did our need for space. I would love to buy a brand new organic King size mattress, but alas that is not in our budget. Instead, we put our mattress on a box spring (without a frame) and converted Eulalie's crib (which she has never used as a crib) into a toddler bed that is at the same level as ours. Now she has her own little space and so do we. During the day she naps in her little nook with a pile of pillows keeping her in. She can steamroll her way over the pillows when she is determined, but we keep the monitor on and have never had a problem with her escaping off the bed. At night she starts in her bed until around midnight when she wakes to nurse at which point she re-assumes her postion from those early days in between us, except now she is no longer swaddled, and as such, enjoys taking up as much space as possible with her arms extended wide.
Sometimes I think about moving her crib into her bedroom and having her sleep by herself. When I am especially exhausted after a night of babbling, crying, kicking, and pinching I think I can't get rid of her soon enough. And then, all I have to do is look at her, really look at her and I know it's worth it. There will be a time, soon enough, when she will sleep in her own room, when she no longer nurses at night, when she no longer nurses period. My little girl has gone from just being born to 9 months in a flash and it is not lost on me how precious this time is. And so, it's worth it: to hear her soft inhales and exhales as I turn in for the night, the way she reaches out for me and rolls over to be closer when she dreamily realizes I am finally in bed, the way I pull her little body next to mine to let her nurse in those hazy early morning hours, and the way I find her an inch from my face, eyes aglow with a giant smile when she wakes up in the morning. And so we continue to co-sleep. Two parents, one baby, one bed.
You can stay a while yet my little one. We love you so.