My son is asleep on me as I type this post, the rhythm of every sweet breath and his irresistible baby scent surround me... I hardly remember the nights before he was born, those nights without his delicious scent lingering on between my sheets and my pajamas, a tiny arm or leg flapping onto me in the wee hours of the morning and I wonder if all the parents that let their children cry it out have any idea of the wonderful experience they're missing out on... I guess it sounds a bit selfish, but nature intended humans, as well as other mammals to co-sleep; a simple solution that satisfies baby's need for contact throughout the night and is as pleasant for children as it is for their parents.
See these cats? Mamma cat hugs her kitten and calms him instantly after a nightmare :-) One of the many benefits of bed-sharing...
I really don't understand why talking about co-sleeping is such a taboo. Last year, I attended a conference in which Carlos González - a well-known Spanish pediatrician, author and attachment parenting advocate - commented on a study conducted in the UK where pediatricians asked parents whether they co-slept or bed-shared and most of them said they didn't. Upon being asked further questions, many of the parents admitted that they did ocasionally co-sleep or bed-share. Furthermore, when specifically asked whether they had slept with their kids the previous night, most of them admitted having done so! What a coincidence!
And that got me wondering... Why take the hard road? Why keep co-sleeping a secret from our friends or health care practitioners? Why so much outside pressure for small kids to sleep alone and through the night? Co-sleeping is natural, instinctive, healthy, pleasant and beneficial. It not only causes no harm, but also helps preventing SIDS, obviously taking certain logical safety precautions such as not sleeping with your child if you're a smoker, under the influence of drugs, drunk, severely obese, sleeping on a waterbed, and so on.
Last week Dagmar, wrote a post on The Taboo of Talking About Co-Sleeping, in which she mentioned another post about Coming Out of the Co-sleeping Closet and created a discussion in which she told her readers that she loved co-sleeping and asked them why they thought many parents felt the need to keep it a secret.
So a couple of nights ago, with my little one peacefully sleeping on me, I started drawing. I drew us - sleeping together - a feeling I will forever cherish and now have a drawing to remember by. I really think the more parents "come out of the co-sleeping closet", the better, so if you love being your child's pillow, co-sleeping, bed-sharing or any other sort of peaceful sleeping arrangement and want to tell the world about it, please feel free to use this image on your blog, Facebook profile/wall, or tweet about it.
The preceding illustration was designed by Louma Sader Bujana and published under a Creative Commons Attribution, non commercial, no derivatives License. Please feel free to distribute it to advocate for co-sleeping and make sure you link back to this post for credit. Thank you.