Mention co-sleeping to any person on the street, and inevitably you will find opinions abound regarding the relatively taboo parenting practice. On one side of the aisle, people will suggest that sleeping in the same bed with your infant or toddler may make them more dependent in the future. On the other side of the aisle, people will justify the co-sleeping practice as simply an extension of their love and affection toward their young one….. Which side is correct? In my humble opinion, both sides offer their merits and downsides, so each should be viewed more as a guideline rather than a hard standard.
For instance, I completely understand the need for infants and toddlers to learn how to self-placate in a familiar environment; however, it is important to remember that these tiny human beings have only been recently introduced to this difficult and terrifying world, and they should be justifiably coddled from time to time. Of course I want my baby daughter to grow into a healthy and independent young woman, which I am confident she will – yet at the same time I understand that, from time to time, she needs the love and cuddles of her affectionate mommy and daddy.
For me, the only solace I gain from working late shifts at the shop is the knowledge that (when I get home) my baby daughter “might” have thrown her little Dora pillow and blanket into our bed and settled in between the warm, comforting spaces that my wife and I typically occupy in our bed. On nights such as this, I relish the opportunity to climb into my bed to cuddle with my little Ava Skye Walker – she would likely have one hand on my face, and another on my wife. For some reason, she feels a need to be in constant physical contact with each of us, at all times whenever possible.
Regardless of the situation, I understand from these brief 26 months with my baby that time passes faster than any of us could possibly imagine. Two years passes in the blink of an eye, and I am painfully aware of the fact that my tiny human being will be cruising off to college and shunning her own parents before I can even process what is happening – she could only fit on my forearm for a brief couple of weeks, and her time as a babbling baby passed all too quickly. She is now running, jumping, climbing and talking virtually nonstop, while taking in the world around her and developing at an incredible rate – any time I can sneak in for extra cuddles is time well spent, without argument.
Any time spent with my little girl is indescribably precious, and I’ll take it wherever I can get it. Additionally, I am confident that my child is no doubt learning independence and self-confidence in all other aspects of her daily life (between school, family visits, our home life and literally every adventure we ever embark upon when we dare venture into public with a toddler). I have literally zero fear that the precious time spent cuddling with my baby is going to cause her to be more co-dependent or to have any potential issues living as a capable adult in the future. Quite the contrary, our bond is even stronger and she knows without doubt that her daddy will be there for her, no matter what – this provides the necessary foundation for her to become empowered and self-confident in the long run.
When Ava is ready for her big girl bed, she “jumps ship” by tossing her pillow, blanket and cuddly-stuffed-animal-of-the-night over my wife and back into her own bed (located right next to our’s). She does not necessarily need to sleep in our bed all night, but from time to time she requires the reassurance which comes from being nestled in between her adoring and loving parents. Below is a slideshow showcasing a number of times my baby has cuddled next to her daddy for any number of reasons (scary dream, sudden onset of loneliness, monsters under the bed, simple reassurance that her parents are still alive and well, etc). Peruse and view at your leisure – Ava Skye Walker is my life and these photos represent precious moments which I will never get back… Before I know it, she will be applying to colleges and bringing home tattooed / pierced man-boys who I will inevitably disapprove of… I will never regret the time she spent in my bed, cuddling and holding my child (who happens to be the love of my life). She will grow up soon enough, and those nights when she feels the need to sleep next to me will be treasured forever, never taking away from the woman she will eventually become.
<<< SLIDESHOW COMING SOON >>>