I’ve never been a big advocate for anything that has to do with motherhood, because I truly believe you just have to do what works best for you and your baby. Every single baby is different, and not the same thing is going to work for every child. I’ve made many mistakes in my short time as a mother. It’s all trial and error. You have to find a balance, and what works for your family.
“Nobody’s perfect (I gotta work it!)”
— Hannah Montana
Still, there are labels for everything we do in parenting, as well as a stigma to go along with it. With this being said, I am a breastfeeding, co-sleeping, cry it out Mama. Not everyone believes in these tactics, but it’s what has worked for our family.
Although we are no longer breastfeeding, or crying it out (unless of course it’s in time out), we are still co-sleeping. This time, it’s not my choice. I want my bed back! I’m not pregnant anymore, and I don’t want small toes poking me in the ribs. Yes you can say I did it to myself, but she wasn’t always a co-sleeper. In fact, between the ages of 1-2 she would only sleep in her crib!
Here’s a brief history—
•Newborn— Co-slept from Day 1
I never intended to co-sleep; it just happened. We mainly co-slept for breastfeeding purposes, but also because I felt lonely at night. My husband worked 2nd shift, so it was just me and her all night. I used a small bassinet in the middle of the bed when she was small, then later moved to a napper beside the bed once she got bigger.
•Age 1—Stopped breastfeeding and transitioned into crib.
•Used Cry-it-out (CIO) method after her last bottle of the night for this transition.
It was surprisingly very easy for her. She would cry herself to sleep within 10 minutes, and eventually bed time was a breeze.
When using CIO, I could tell the difference in her crying because she is scared or hurting, and just crying because she is tired. I hate that I even feel the need to explain myself on this, but it’s also an important part of the CIO method.
“My biggest parenting conundrum: Why it is so hard to put someone who is already sleepy to sleep?” —Chrissy Teigen
•Age 2— Starts climbing out of crib, so I felt the need to transition the crib to a toddler bed for her safety.
•Wants nothing to do with toddler bed, or the big girl bed we got for her. Says she is scared of the dark, monsters, and has bad dreams.
•Here we are now, at almost 4, still in my bed. My husband is now off of night shift, and back in bed with me. That makes 3 humans, 2 morbidly obese cats, and 15 miscellaneous toddler toys all sleeping in the same bed. We get great sleep! 👍🏻
The move to the big bed is inevitable. I will win the war! I just haven’t won many of the battles lately. 🤦🏼♀️ Mama is tired 💤
Even though we co-sleep, I would feel like such a hypocrite if I told anyone that co-sleeping was the best way. The same with breastfeeding, CIO, or any other debatable topic out there. I know everything just simply doesn’t work for everyone. Some women chose to breastfed, and it didn’t work out. That’s ok! You’re doing what is best for your child, and no one knows that better than you.
We co-slept because it was what worked for us. You too? That’s awesome! Nothing beats snuggling with your baby.
Not your cup of tea? Good for you! Uninterrupted sleep and alone time is what every Mama needs.
We used CIO because it was what worked for us. You too? It’s so hard at first, but effective! Hang in there Mama!
Can’t fathom? Babies are only little once, hold that baby all you want!
We breastfed because it was what worked for us. You too? There’s nothing like that bond! You will never forget the way it makes you feel to supply nourishment to your own child.
Couldn’t/Didn’t want to breastfeed? Isn’t the modern world marvelous! Your baby can get all the vitamins and minerals they need from a bottle and formula, AND Mama gets a break from feedings sometimes. Double win!
As Mamas we need to build each other up, not tear each other down. Being a parent is hard work no matter who you are. Motherhood is your OWN journey, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.