My son is turning four this month and we have co-slept since his birth. It not only felt natural to co-sleep, it was a deep-rooted intuition that sparked as soon as I gave birth. Everything about it felt right; I knew it was the best choice for us.
In the beginning and as a first-time mother, I worried about the possibility of rolling onto my son during co-sleeping. Very quickly, however, I learned that motherly instincts reign supreme for me and they were not going to allow me to harm my son while we co-slept. Some nights, in the beginning, I never moved. The way I laid down was exactly how I woke up. But as I became more secure with the idea and trusted myself that this was the right decision, I moved freely at night, simply moving my son with me in the crook of my arm.
It may be beneficial for new moms (be it a first-time mom or a new co-sleeping mom) to use a co-sleeping aid (like this one) to help ease the fear of accidental rollovers.
It is utterly natural for an infant to want to be near its mother, and unfortunately, it’s something that American culture has moved away from. We receive lots of advice from the “professionals” who often recommend letting children “cry it out” instead of soothe.
I never allowed my son to cry anything out; if he cried, he was picked up, rocked, fed, or changed… or all of the above if that’s what it took to soothe him! As a result, our bedtime routine has always been simple and peaceful. We both lie down, he nestles into my arms and is peacefully asleep within a half hour. Bed and naptime is not a time of fear, dread, and panic; it’s a tranquil experience because my son knows that mommy is within arm’s reach.
The cradle of a mother’s arms is not only a comfortable refuge for an unsure infant, but a safe haven for a child of any age. Children may grow older, but they don’t outgrow the physical and emotional need to be held and reminded that they are safe.