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.
This is far more than a pampering weekend, it's a precious opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the incredible journey of motherhood. It was such a special weekend, led by inspirational women. I have come away so appreciative of my daughter, totally refreshed, and inspired to keep up a dedicated yoga practice (something I had thought was part of the old me, that I might not have time for now...) and excited about all the joys and challenges being a mum will bring. I want to be awake to it all. I feel the retreat has really enriched my life. Thank you.
— Frances Brodrick, London