Motherhood has given me extreme happiness, a lot of work to do, cleaning, feeding and you know a lot of people told me that it gets easier as the baby grows but I think once a parent, nothing is easy ever. Every age is a challenge – first it is a new born baby then a toddler, then that naughty preteen, after that rebellious teen, later not so wise adult. As a parent I will always have a lot to do.
But that’s all fine you know why, because I love my child so much. When I had to finally give up breastfeeding, as much as I wanted to do that, I was heartbroken because it felt as if something that was so much a part of life was now going to end. I felt I was giving up something that bonded me and my child together. Then there was something that kept me happy, it was my baby sleeping next to me, close to my heart.
One of my friends said, ‘You know, she has turned three now, you can shift her to her room.’ And I was like ‘Duh! No ways. I mean I can’t sleep without her.’ She looked puzzled and said, ‘Now a days babies sleep in their own rooms by the time they turn 1. Why are you practicing the age old methods of co-sleeping.’
The way she puts her tiny hands and legs on me, or rests her head on my chest, there is no way that I am letting it go unless that’s what she wants. I mean she is going to grow big and would want to be in her room and I will be okay with it but as of now I am not going to let her go away from me. I have got so very used to her that I just can’t imagine myself going to sleep without her.
I mean when I see her during the day, I can see that she is getting taller and everything but when she sleeps, her face looks exactly the same as she looked when she was just a day old. Eyes closed, head a little turned up to face me, calm and composed and a faint smile every now and then. How can I even think of letting her sleep away from me? She is always there between me and her papa.
This has never affected the love between me and my husband. We always have another room vacant for us, but when we want to finally sleep none of us want to be away from her. Neither I nor my husband can sleep without our baby. Co-sleeping isn’t considered modern now a day but it has worked out really well for us.
When my baby gets scared in sleep and raises her arms to hold me, I am always there to pat her and move her close to me so that she feels secure. I know she is going to grow big and would want her own room, her bed and privacy and I am all for that but till then I don’t want to miss any moment. I mean have you ever seen a baby sleeping peacefully, God! It’s so calming. In fact some days when I am too stressed, her fragrance is enough to calm down my senses.
Before sleeping she tells me stories, touches my cheeks and kisses me good night at least a hundred times saying, ‘Main aapko kina pyaar krti hun na’ and there is absolutely no way I am giving that up to fit in to the cool parents group.
Making a baby sleep in a different room might be working well for a lot of parents and I respect that. But for me, it is not the option right now. I just can’t sleep through the night without looking at my baby at least ten times before I finally fall asleep, or kiss her forehead ‘n’ number of times and praising myself for giving birth to something so precious. My husband and I share a wonderful bond, full of love and intimacy.
To be honest, it’s not that we did not try making her sleep in a different room, we did and she slept as well. We came to our bedroom and were quite happy that we have our bedroom to ourselves but may be after fifteen minutes or so, both of us knew that we can’t sleep without her so we picked up our pillows and went back to her. The hug, the smile we shared in that moment made us fall in love with each other even more.
Co-sleeping is not new to Indian parents, I have slept with my mother until I was in Grade 5 and even after that there were so many times when I slept with her because nothing else could make me calm down. Even today when I go back home, I hug my mother and sleep with her because that’s the heartbeat that works like meditating music for me.
So my dear baby, snuggle close to Mamma’s heart and sleep as much as you want. Your room is always there for you and so is your Mamma’s side, choose whatever you want.