We like things cozy around here. When I typically announce to another mother that our family still co-sleeps with Lillian, I often get an “I feel sorry for you” face. I totally get it. Sleeping with a toddler is a constant kick in the face. Literally. We have had little feet in our hair, face, and kicking us in the chest many moons. Sometimes I have half my face off of the bed… the whole night.
I have often wondered what it is like to have a kid that sleeps in her own bed. We tried many times. Purple- faced cry it out sessions for Lillian. Read all the books, studied all the facts. Time and time again Lillian ended up back in bed with us. Sometimes Mom pulled her in. Sometimes Dad did. In the end, through blushed cheeks, Brian and I both realized we really didn’t mind having her in bed with us. In fact, we prefer it. We sleep better that way, and so does Lil.
The trade off for feet in our face is that bedtime and morning time are a family favorite for Daddy, Mommy and Lillian. We have the best tickle fights that typically end with all three of us out of breath and cause Lillian to crash hard. Many mornings have been filled with cuddle sessions that I would never get if we didn’t sleep together as a family. I definitely have a little cuddler on my hands, and before bedtime and first thing in the morning is the only time she is still enough to capitalize on these sweet moments. We sing songs, talk about our day, hold hands, and play hide and seek.
Every family does things different. I’ve been told I might be causing emotional harm to Lillian by causing her to be too dependent on us. Or to be careful because she might never sleep in her own bed. The worst is when people assume Brian and I never get “alone” time, if you know what I mean. Believe me, where there is a will there is a way, so we are doing just fine. There are plenty of places for Mom and Dad to get alone time other than our bed. (If you ever read this Lillian, I am sorry if I just grossed you out).
We love our family bed. It works for us. It is the only time after the long day of work and play that we connect, all three of us. It won’t last forever. In fact, I only foresee it lasting a bit longer. In the meantime, we will continue cuddling up, reading bedtime stories, playing with her little piggy toes, and playing fork and spoon with our little Lillybee.