Co sleeping… the term use for sleeping within an arms length of your baby.
With an unusually large number of requests for cots at our last Mamaheaven our memories drifted back to our own sleep struggles of the past. Now with children who safely put themselves to bed (or stay up well after us!) we remember only the joy of waking up with a rosy smiley face right next to us, the angel breath of our babies and the bliss of it all.
Over the weekend we wondered through the world of co-sleeping issues with our new mothers feeling their wrought confusion between advice and their own instinct.
Listening to the mothers sharing we noticed how much confusion their really is to such an inertly natural thing.
Although it’s easy to understand the foundation for their fears and confusion – with the majority of official advice insisting on baby sleeping alone in a separate cot – it’s hard to watch the distress for both mother and baby. Mamas fear that hard placed routines will fall apart, babies will become needy, sex lives will diminish and life will descend into chaos. They fear that if they give in to the cries of their baby and their own yearnings to be close to them they will be berated by family and society.
Sleeping with your child surely must be the most natural of instincts and in primal situations the safest by far – how would we would save our infant from danger if they were in a separate ‘cave’ by themselves.
So we observed as the mothers empowered each other with stories and hints, how they dared to explore the option of sleeping with their babies, with no one challenging their decision. Just by being open about their different dilemmas amongst a non-judgemental group they were all able to reach their own decisions.
Finally, one mama and baby come down for breakfast, with rosy cheeks and clear eyes, ecstatic that they had finally chosen to co-sleep declaring “it’s the first full nights sleep I have had in four months”.
For more information about co-sleeping – the following article has great links http://www.drmomma.org/2009/06/truth-about-co-sleeping-how-stats.html
The best book we have found about sleep dilemmas is The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley and William Sears.
I booked Mama Heaven because I wanted some time to enjoy my baby girl without the daily chores getting in the way. But I gained so much more than that. The few days we spent at Florence House were blissful, inspiring and surprising…
Within minutes of checking into my luxury accommodaiton I truly relaxed for the first time since my beloved baby landed in my arms, six months previously. Relaxing came easy because we were in a beautiful, calm setting, surrounded by a team of amazing women with innate nurturing skills. And after creating a small being, bringing them into the world safely and nourishing them that’s EXACTLY what all new mothers need: a chance to slow down, be cooked for, listened to and told that we’re doing a great job.
What surprised me about Mama Heaven is that once cocooned in that safe, nurturing environment fears and joys of motherhood, that I was entirely oblivious to, came bubbling up. Expressing those emotions and being acknowledged provided some deep healing, and helped make my new role as a mother a bit less scary and even more joyful. Thank you Mama Heaven.
— Roxy, Seaford - Florence House