DAY 16: Why We’re Still Co-Sleeping at Nearly 2 Years Of Age (30-Day Personal Blog Challenge)

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Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM) is a condition where a person is able to effortlessly recall their life experiences in extreme detail, even from the time they were infants. This condition provides interesting insight into life through the eyes of a baby or toddler, since the rest of us mere mortals cannot usually remember much before the age of 4.

I remember reading an article where one woman with this condition said that when she started dreaming at around 18 months of age, she literally thought she was being taken somewhere different each night. She couldn’t understand what was happening and it scared her so she would cry for her mum at night. Considering I am a sleep-deprived mother of a toddler, reading that line about how she would cry for her mum really moved me. It reaffirmed to me that night wakings are normal, and that kids really don’t call out for you or climb into your bed in the middle of the night just because they are trying to annoy you. They actually really need you and want to be close to you- the person they love and know they are safe with. You are their constant. Their safe refuge. It’s their instincts and biological drive kicking in. The voice inside them that says they need mum to survive.

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Miss 21mo napping on me

The world is a scary place for babies and toddlers. There are so many new sights and sounds to take in each day. So much to learn about how the world ticks and how humans operate. So much they can’t understand and are confused by. Sometimes they really just need mum or dad to comfort them and assure them everything will be okay.

So as exhausting as it can get, that’s why we still co-sleep, breastfeed, rock and pat through the night. No matter what the parenting books or “experts” say, believe me, your child will eventually sleep! I co-slept, night-fed, and rocked my older daughter until she was 2.5 years old and she weaned (you can read about our journey HERE). At that age, she suddenly told us she was ready to sleep in her own bed and transitioned without needing to be forced or “trained” at all (of course it was also a lot easier to put up with all this when you only have one child!). I have a feeling Miss 21mo is going to need me close a lot longer than my older daughter though. I also wonder how long I will keep breastfeeding her since she is showing no signs of wanting to stop. As we’re not planning to have anymore children though, I am fine letting her take her time to decide when to do all of that. I know they all do everything in their own time!

I’m in no way putting down people who choose to sleep train their kids. Every family is different and sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to survive. I know how tiring the wakings can get and that sometimes you just need sleep to function and/or go to work the next day. I have been there! When Miss 21mo was an infant, I did break at one point and tried my hardest to sleep train her…I eventually failed of course because I wasn’t tough enough to follow through with it strictly. As she grew older obviously she naturally started sleeping depeer and longer. She still wakes a lot, but things are definitely not as bad as they were when she was a few months old. And I know things will be very different again in another year’s time.

So to all my fellow sleep-deprived mamas out there, hang in there. Your child needs you now, and it won’t be forever. I promise. 

The 30-Day Personal Blog Challenge is a challenge to myself to consistently blog about my daily life for 30 days.

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