Before I was a parent, I was never going to co-sleep. How could you? How dangerous. How irresponsible.
Fast forward to baby #2, and she’s either slept on me or been rocked to sleep and held. I savored every moment of spoiling her to my arms (and to my bed), because baby #1 was (and is) my proof of how fast it all goes.
Would I co-sleep and rock her again? The hours during the day dedicated to her resting, the uncomfortable, halfway-asleep sleep during the night?
We halfway used the cry-it-out method. My heart just couldn’t throw her into it, but by night 3, she had it. She loved it. And don’t get me wrong, she’s not completely sleeping through the night in her crib, but the hours keep increasing.
Half of me feels freedom, the other half of me feels empty. I barely put my baby down because I wanted her to stay my baby. I carried her for 9 months, then I carried her for many more.
When she slept in bed with us, if she wasn’t literally on top of me, I would wake up and think “Where is she?”, take a mental note, pull her to me, repeat. Constantly making sure she was safe, warm, cozy, close.
I miss her.
I didn’t struggle with this as much with our son, and we had him in his crib by 5 months (and we didn’t co-sleep). It seemed like attempting to get him in his crib at an earlier age was a huge, helpful factor, and the very first night we attempted was his first night sleeping through the night. We were all happy.
But with her…
She may or may not be our last baby. It plays in my mind constantly that I might be having a lot of “lasts” lately.
And I don’t know that a mama ever really stops waking through the night. I think when my babies are kids, teens, adults; I’ll still wake and wonder “Where is he? Where is she?”
I’ll still try to make sure they’re comfortable, but in different ways than just pulling up the blankets.
I’ll still hope that they’ll want to stay close to me.
I’ll still miss her. I’ll still miss him. The times they were so tiny that they fit so perfectly against my chest.
I’ll feel a combination of freedom and emptiness tonight, but co-sleeping or a crib, a mama does her best to keep her baby safe. From co-sleeping to sleeping in her crib, my baby is safe, warm, cozy, and close tonight.
Always. No matter how near or far, I’ll do my best to make sure of it.