I hadn’t always planned on co-sleeping with Rowan. The day I brought him home, I gently placed him in his cradle, underneath the window in my room. I had lovingly made it up with a bumper, a playful sheet, and the softest blanket I’d ever felt. The second his head hit that mattress, the screaming started. I hushed and sang and patted and soothed as best I could. He would have none of it. I picked him up, and placed him in the warm spot on my bed. Immediately he snuggled in, and fell asleep. I crawled in next to him, and he sighed contentedly. From that moment, I was hooked! I knew he would spend many nights dreaming next to me.
Sure, I have to put up with his talking in his sleep. Don’t get me started on when he sings! He’s a twitcher and a kicker, and oh boy does he like to cuddle! He snores from time to time, and I’m pretty sure he “eats” in his sleep. I’m a seriously light sleeper, so the slightest movement from him wakes me up. I don’t mind though. It reassures me that he’s alive and well, and thriving.
When Rowan turned one, he received a toddler bed from his aunt. For several months he played on it, and pretended to sleep on it. There were tea parties held on it, and lots of matchbox cars drove on it. Finally he decided he was ready to spend a night in it. I set the bed up right next to mine and nursed him to sleep. It was a proud night for both of us.
To this day he continues to fall asleep in his own bed, and then crawls into mine when he wakes up. As I type this, his head is firmly planted into my hip, his Taggie hanging over the side of my laptop, which I continually have to push out of the way to get to the right side of the keyboard.
Tonight Rowan woke up at 9pm, and I was still out in the living room, finishing up some side work I was doing, so I can get paid tomorrow. Instintively he got into my bed, only to find I wasn’t there. He started to cry and call for me. “Mom! Please Mom! Are you? (Where are you?)” While it was hard to hear him upset that I wasn’t there exactly when he wanted me to be, it was good to know he knew where to go. He knew that eventually I’d be there to help him calm down, let him know he was safe and that it was okay to settle down and go back to sleep. And he did, without the aid of milk or water or even me holding him. He just wanted to know I was there.
Rowan is almost two years old, and I catch some slack for still nursing him and co-sleeping with him. But you know what? At the end of the day he knows he’s loved and wanted and protected. He’s confident in the fact that his mom will always be there when he needs her.
That’s how I know I’m doing something right.