Madly in love with my Husband Adam and proud Mama to our son Brodie James Basil & our rainbow, Ari Rupert. Here you will find me chasing happiness & surviving life after Baby loss.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mrs Carrick x

Friday, 6 January 2017

Our Co-sleeping experience

I once got told I smother Brodie in too much affection. Apparently I kiss him too much, I cuddle him too much and that is the reason he is so affectionate himself.

Now don't get me wrong, of course Brodie has learnt his affection from us, his parents or other extended family members. He is a baby and we are his role models, he will copy what we do. He loves to cuddle, and he's never to shy to bless you with one of his sloppy kisses. However, there is no way I believe you can give your baby TOO much affection.

Everyone's parent styles are different. Having worked with many parents before I have seen how different parenting styles effect the behaviour of their children and how it can have an impact on their whole, overall development. Children need to feel loved and cared for and evidence has shown affection is needed for a good emotional development and can lower anxiety and stress levels as children grow up.  (If you want to understand a human's needs more clearly I suggest reading about Maslow and his Hierarchy of needs. I personally find it really interesting )

I do believe that being affectionate towards Brodie just comes naturally to me. I do not try to be over affectionate it is just part of my nature and I guess you have to be to work in Early Years. I understand that some parenting styles consist of very little affection but everyone is different. As a parent, I will always do my best to ensure Brodie gets everything in life he needs, and he is a little boy who needs to grow up feeling loved. This is why we co-sleep and where our co-sleeping journey begins.

Co-sleeping appears to be a much dreaded word amongst many parents. It seems that some parents don't want to admit they co-sleep, others are really open and some are really against the idea and therefore never tried.

Im not afraid to admit that before I had Brodie I said 'I would never co-sleep, I wouldn't want to take the risk', when you leave the hospital you get leaflets encouraging you NOT to co-sleep. However in my eyes, now as a parent, co-sleeping is one of the most beautiful things you can do.

Of course there are certain situations where you shouldn't co-sleep, for example if you have been drinking. But there are also so many benefits to co-sleeping. I personally think the bond I now have with my son is because of co-sleeping! Years of research now suggests that a child who is cared for during the night as well as the day receives constant reassurance of love and support instead of having to cope with feelings of fear, anger and abandonment night after night.

When I was pregnant we brought the Chicco Next 2 me. The crib attaches to the side of your bed which allows you to co-sleep safely with your baby. I knew I wanted Brodie to sleep in our room for as long as possible and by having him next to me whilst we slept I was able to comfort him through out the night.

However, myself & Brodie have always co-slept during the day from a really young age. Im not afraid to admit that in the morning, if the house chores are done, and we are not rushing off out anywhere, I always join Brodie in my bed for his morning nap. He has never been a baby who would fall to sleep easily in the day. Sometimes he will fall to sleep in the car, sometimes he won't. Sometimes he will fall to sleep in his pram but the majority of the time he will wake as soon as the pram stops moving. I have tried putting him to sleep in his cot, on the sofa everywhere but the only place he will sleep during the day is in my bed...with me.

Even now, a year later he will still not sleep unless I am with him. Its just part of his routine now. I know by now he should probably be napping in his cot during the day. But if he's not ready, I'm not going to make him?

From about 8 months Brodie has insisted on sleeping on me. Not just next to me, but actually snuggled on my chest. If I try to move him, he wakes. He just loves the comfort of his mum. Im not going to lie, I love that he wants to be so close. We never got the chance to breastfeed so the fact he needs me to sleep makes up for this loss.

Night times can be really hit and miss. Sometimes he sleeps through and sometimes he wakes. He started to struggle with separation anxiety from about 10 months and since then has been really hard to put down at night. I used to be able to set him down in his cot, turn on Ewan and within 5 minutes he would be asleep.

I have tried controlled crying once and never again. Its just not for me. I cannot stand hearing him cry hysterically just because he wants me. I know amongst other parents it is quite a common thing and thats fine, in no way what so ever will I judge you. But for me, I would rather sit next to his cot for 30 minutes whilst he falls to sleep than hear him cry for 45.

I honestly think co-sleeping is one of those things you will either love or hate. Some parents find they end up with less sleep as they worry or their little one keeps them awake whereas others like myself, have a really positive experience.

In no way do I want our co-sleeping journey to go on forever but I honestly don't believe it will. As Brodie gets older his attachment fears will change, he will begin to understand more and our nights of co-sleeping will slowly come to an end. But for now, if being close to us during the night is what he needs then I will continue to give him that.

As parents we are made to feel so guilty for so many things but I will never feel guilty for giving my children too much love, too much affectionate and doing my best to meet every need.

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