Co-Sleeping without Labels…

Photo submitted by: barefootocmama.

I didn’t co-sleep with my mother when I was little. Nope. I don’t even think they had co-sleeping when I was little. What they did have though, was 24 hour parenting. That’s what my mom did. I knew that my mother was available to me at any time.

I had my own bed. I slept in it… sometimes. Other times, I slept in her bed. I slept in my mom’s bed when I was sick. I slept in my mom’s bed when I had a bad dream. I slept in her bed when I got lonely. Simply, I slept in her bed whenever she or I felt like it.

Do you co-sleep?
Photo submitted by: Lydia Loe

Why do we have to have so many labels? In truth, labeling ourselves is what makes it easy for people who don’t parent exactly like us talk a bunch of smack about us or try to control our parenting. Do you think the pediatrician would have the same condescending look on his face if we said, “No, I don’t co-sleep. Though she regularly comes to bed with me when she’s lonely, sick or scared.”

I co-slept with my first son, and I got a lot of crap for it even though I did it safely. These days, he falls asleep easily on his own just a few minutes after I tuck him in. The pediatrician warned me that if I co-slept with him, he’d never feel safe sleeping alone. The pediatrician was wrong. On the contrary, I could even shut off all the lights and leave the window shades open if I wanted to and the little pumpkin would still fall asleep.

family bed sharing
Photo submitted by: Vanessa Radley

But you see, after all that crap I went through for “co-sleeping” with my son, I finally learned my lesson. (Though maybe not the lesson the peds were hoping for.) I don’t “co-sleep” with my daughter anymore, in case they were wondering. Nope. She’s got her own bed. She sleeps in it… sometimes.

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