When I was a new mom I didn’t trust my instincts. I listened to the pediatrician, to my mom, to the scores of childless people. During one of Chase’s Wellbaby visits the pediatrician warned me “If you let him sleep with you now, he won’t leave your bed until he’s 5!!” Chase is almost five and a half and he still sleeps with us. It hasn’t been the doom she predicted. It has resulted in more sleep (and better sleep) for everybody.
We have a family bed; of sorts. Our two queen beds are on the floor, pushed together. Daddy and Chase sleep on one bed, Chloe, Desmond, and I sleep on the other. Every night and every nap with me, Chloe nurses to sleep. There is plenty of literature out there that warns of the consequences of nursing to sleep. The biggest “consequence” being nursing to sleep leads to a baby that wants to be nursed to sleep all the time. Yes, that has been true for me. But not because my kids are spoiled brats. Not because I gave them an inch and they took my whole arm. But because nursing to sleep is comforting and the most comfortable place for them to fall asleep. It’s warm, safe, and nourishing.
What’s the alternative? For my kids, it’s crying. Cry when they go to sleep. Cry when they wake up. Cry in the middle of the night. It’s too much unhappiness for me. I don’t ever want to leave my kids to cry because someone else says I should, or for the sake of “convenience”, or the sought after alone time. I’m not going to comfort my kids because it is what an attachment parent should do. I comfort my kids because it creates more peace. I parent my kids mindfully. Each decision is a conscious one. I chose peace.