Sleeping Beauty

Co-sleeping is one of those needlessly super volatile topics. The bed is sacred, shout some. Don't relegate your precious babe to the crib, shout others.

Frankly, I could care less about the debate. If you like having your kiddo in bed with you, knock yourself out. There are a lot of perks that go along with it. If you want your offspring in a different room? That makes good sense, too.

Our history? We didn't co-sleep with the girls as babies, mainly out of fear of smothering them, though I certainly dozed off while nursing, or immediately post nursing, now and then. I mean, you have to be superhuman not to.

We were a cry-it-out family, another controversial topic, as we felt the benefits of sleep training would eventually lead to a better night's sleep for the children as well as our worn-out selves. It proved true with Charlotte, so we gave it a whirl with Lorelei. And then again with Lorelei when we weaned her from the pacifier.

But one area we've been pretty wishy-washy on is the Charlotte-coming-into-our-bed-at-night thing. When she was younger and made a nocturnal visit, we'd occasionally walk or carry her back to her room. Often, though, we were just SO TIRED; it was easier to just let her sleep in our bed.

She's more of a mama's girl, which I meant I served as her mattress many nights. She was like a dog who couldn't get close enough to me. We have a king-sized bed, and I'd be relegated to the 4 inches along the edge while Charlotte draped her jammies-clad body over me. It was invasive.

Oh yes, we had made our own bed, literally, and now had to sleep (or not sleep) in it.

But lately, I realized I'm actually pretty fine with her coming to our bed, and after further reflection, I don't think we're screwing up. Now, about once per week, she meanders the hall, climbs onto the ottoman at the foot of our bed, and crawls up onto the bed. Synchronized, Chris and I raise the covers, and she slips under them, between us, and conks out.

Charlotte no longer invades my space, pops up and down, or kicks our faces/stomachs/backs (Lorelei is another story). She just sleeps. Angelically. In her assigned spot.

Therefore, Chris and me sleep. And that is major.

As I return to sleep after she comes into our bed, I experience deep maternal pleasure. Mainly from having her close to me, because,you know, I love her. But also hearing her rhythmically breathe, utterly and entirely safe--or as safe as she can possibly be--snuggled into her spot, between the two people who adore her most in this world.

She knows that this is her family, her place of love no matter what. She knows she's safe. It's pretty dang comfy and warm to boot.

I think it's a good thing.


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