When I encounter a mother who tells me that she can’t get used to sleeping next to her baby (and this happens frequently), I do not feel triumphant, or superior or self-righteous on account of the fact that I have slept next to all of my children, every night, during their infancy.
I simply wonder how that mother survives, and my heart breaks a little bit for her, and for her baby.
I don’t practice co-sleeping, or any other “attachment parenting techniques” because of any perceived status associated with the concept.
I have slept next to my infants, because deciding to do so, and then learning how to, (and yes, it can require some getting used to) makes mothering, especially during that crucial first year, SO incredibly EASY. Because I have slept next to my children, they are contented. Because they are contented, I have never (very rarely!) lost sleep on their account.
I do believe that babies have a biological *need* to sleep next to their mothers, and to nurse at the breast–evidenced of course, by the simple fact that when babies are in-arms, and within physical proximity to their mothers, they are happy.
I am not interested in “mommy wars”. I am not interested in belittling another woman’s choices. We all–myself included–compromise at every step of the way.
But I am interested in the rights of babies to have their needs met as wholly as possible. And I am interested in seeing other mothers enjoy the first year of their baby’s life with as much peace and tranquility and happiness–for both Mother and child–as possible.
It can be an adjustment, to learn to sleep with your baby, and to nurse lying down. But it seems to me quite clear, that peace, tranquility and happiness–for Mum and babe–will be very hard to come by, if we convince ourselves that our infants can, or should, learn to sleep alone.