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Dirty Little Secret

I used to dread when other parents would ask me how Miles was sleeping.  It seems like the ‘go to’ questions for parents to commiserate over.  But in my case all my friends had kids who slept 12 hour straight through the night and then took two -2 hour naps during the day.  And for us, we were lucky if we got a total of 12 hours per day including two very short naps.  And that was after fighting Miles to go to sleep every single day!  Even my mom (who has raised 4 children and helped raise 8 grandchildren) was surprised by how little sleep this child needed.  From day one he just never wanted to miss out on a thing!

We had many friends (not to mention books and Google) who recommend that we let Miles “Cry It Out”.   And I wasn’t exactly against it, but every time I tried I just didn’t have the guts to go through with it.  I know, I know — this little baby has me wrapped around his finger.  Honestly, it was just easier to give in and let him fall asleep in my arms.

My shoulder - his favorite place to sleep!

And after he was finally asleep he would stay in his crib until around 1 or 2 in the morning.  Then I would feed him in our bed and just let him sleep the rest of the night with us.  I knew once we started down this road it would be impossible to stop, but one look at this face when I woke up in the morning and I didn’t want to stop!

The system we had worked perfectly for us.  Miles slept half the night in his crib and then half the night with us.  On nights with Nick and Izzy over it was just easier to have Miles sleep with us all night.  And when Tony was working every other week in GA, Miles didn’t see his crib all week.  Miles loved it, we loved it, it was a win-win!

But not everyone was on board.  We had plenty of friends who had very strong (and very bad) opinions about co-sleeping.  And maybe it is a bad idea – for some kids.  But the one thing I’ve learned being a mom is that every child is different!  Miles is very easy going in some ways, but when it came to bedtime he just didn’t want to be alone.  So I had a choice —  I could fight him on it (and make us all miserable) or I could give in and we could all get a good nights sleep.

So, to this day, we lay down with Miles in his bed until he falls asleep.  And then around 1 or 2 AM he wakes up and wants to get in bed with us.  Every once in a while he just goes to bed with us.  And sometimes we pull him out of his bed when we are ready for sleep so he doesn’t wake us up at 1 AM.  It’s what works for our family… and we absolutely love it!  I love waking up and seeing his smiling face first thing in the morning.  I love waking up in the middle of the night and feeling his breath and knowing that he’s okay.  And I absolutely love when he falls asleep hugging my neck.

Of course, there are some draw backs – some nights he refuses to go to sleep in his own bed, he will only go to sleep with us.  And some mornings we wake up to find that Miles has made the perfect “H is for Hell” position between us.

But I would say the biggest draw back is that I feel like we have to keep it a secret. The other day I went to lunch with a friend who’s son is about 7 months. I asked her how her son was sleeping and she said “Great!” and then mumbled half under her breath that her son sleeps with them. I was SO relieved that I wasn’t alone!! I almost screamed “we co-sleep too! And we LOVE it!” I could see the relief on her face and her shoulders relax. She said that most people give her flack for it so she doesn’t like to talk about it.

As a mom, the last thing I want to do is judge other parents for doing something different than me. I am going to do what’s best for my son and I want to respect other moms for doing what works for them.

And after talking about it more I have found that some of my other friends let their kids sleep with them, or used to let their kids sleep with them.  All of my sisters tell me that they really miss when their kids used to sleep with them, so I should enjoy it while I can.

And I plan on doing just that — enjoying every cuddly second!

8 Responses to Dirty Little Secret

  1. Kelly March 15, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    I love your post – and completely agree!  Just as I would never try to make someone feel bad about using the cry it out method, I can’t stand it when somebody says to me “Just wait, once you let them in your bed you’ll never get them out!”  

    For the record, I have a 6 year old and a 3 1/2 year old who both co-slept and now sleep in their own room, and an 11 month old who spends half the night in her own bed and the rest of the night in ours.

    • Amanda Lauro March 15, 2012 at 10:06 am #

       Very well put!  So glad you got to enjoy having your babies in bed with you!!  It sounds like it worked out perfectly for you!

  2. Lyndsay_blackwell March 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Yes, only you know what is best for your child. What works for one might not work for another. My first child spent the first half of the night in his bed and the second half in ours until he was almost 4! But my second child has always preferred sleeping his own bed and he is 3. I like your attitude, do what works best for your child.

    • Amanda Lauro
      Amanda Lauro March 16, 2012 at 9:38 am #

      Awesome! You got the best of both worlds!!

  3. Kim March 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    It worked great for my son especially when I was still nursing.  Our son slept with us for some time.  Now he’s about to be 18 months and he sleeps in his own crib.  Before he hated it.  Every baby is different and he slept in his crib when he was ready. I also don’t believe in the cry it out method.  I loved having him sleeping with us. They are only little for so long.  I think it’s natural to sleep with your child, honestly.  Look at third world countries and so many of them sleep with their babies and then look at the country with the highest SIDS rate.. the US.  Thanks for sharing this! New follower of your blog too.


    • Amanda Lauro
      Amanda Lauro March 16, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      Thanks for the follow Kim! I’m glad you liked the post. Great point about SIDS also… the US is so backwards about so many things sometimes! Glad you got to cuddle all night with your little one too!! 🙂

  4. Christine March 15, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    Amen to what Kim said below and I love this post!!  Thank you!  You are definitely not alone.  Our 20-month-old still co-sleeps with us and – GASP! – even night-nurses.  It’s definitely something that many people frown upon, but you’re right, we have to do what is best for our kids and our families.  It makes me happy that my child is growing up to be very caring of other people, compassionate, and responsive.  She absolutely loves being around people and is gentle of other children.  I accredit a lot of this to attachment parenting and the fact that we’ve always responded to her needs.  Thank you so much for bringing attention to this!

    • Amanda Lauro
      Amanda Lauro March 16, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      I am so jealous that you are still nursing, if I could I would be!! 🙂 I just always hated the idea of letting my son cry and cry while I sit and do nothing when all I had to do is pick him up and love him to make it stop! And I completely agree that our love is shaping who they turn out to be. I never want him to think I won’t be there to rescue him!! Thanks for reading… I’m glad you liked it!

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