I am embarrassed (and kind-of ashamed) to share this here, but I am hoping that some new lurking mama who is on the borderline of joining us will read this, to help her make wiser decisions....
I started out an uneducated mother...what I mean is that I was very educated in the mainstreamed ideals of parenting (I read all the mags and several common books pre-baby), but I was very uneducated in natural alternatives
to the mainstream. I knew about AP but it was limited to the short vague segments (albeit surrounded by non-AP advice and articles) in one or two of the mags.
So, to put it simply, I was a mainstreamed new Mom who was clueless to any other way of parenting than the one I grew up with.
We started out with a bassinet at the foot of the bed, which I felt the need to shine a flashlight on and check on dd often throughout the night for those rare times when I wasn't sitting on the side of the bed nursing her (
, we would have all slept better if I just kept her with me in bed).
Then we moved dd to a crib in her own room, where I spent most of my nights holding dd in the rocking chair and nursing her. Although the dr., mags and books (those dreadful
What to Expect books) were telling me to let her cry, I would not and could not do it
. That was the beginning of my realization that maybe, just maybe, all those "experts" were wrong.
After 1 year of exhausting nights spent mostly in the rocking chair in dd's room, one night (while dh was away on a trip) I woke up sensing something was wrong, so I went to dd's room to check on her. As soon as I entered her room, she was silently (and intently) hanging on the edge of the crib rail and, before I could get to her, she fell right on top of her head onto our hard wood floor! I screamed, she laughed (she still
is a little daredevil). She was fine, but the next day the crib was disassembled and put in storage.
From that night on we co-slept. We bought dd a cute toddler bed, because others advised us to (again it hadn't totally sunk in yet, and I had no support), but she wasn't interested and I didn't push it (I actually enjoyed having her sleep with us, a totally foreign concept to me except for what I had learned in college about other cultures around the World but "not my culture"
). I didn't (and don't) blame her for wanting to sleep surrounded in the comfort and security of her parents.
So here we are, still in the family bed 8 (or 7, technically) years later. Dh and I are in no rush to push her out, nor do we have any plans to. When she wants to sleep in her own bed, she will. She will grow up fast enough. There is no way I am going to watch my little girl go off the college one day and say to myself "I wish I would have...". This time is precious and now, finally, I know better