I have to admit, co-sleeping is not something my partner and I intended to do with either of our kids. Somehow, though, neither of them spent more than a month or two in their own cribs. I don't regret it at all; the snuggles, the safety, the warmth, the smell of my babies' heads, the sound of their tiny snores and, of course, the things a baby thinks when you co-sleep (or, at least, what I can only assume babies think). When you co-sleep, you have plenty of lazy time to lay in bed and think about the thoughts going through your peacefully dreaming little; thoughts that, I hope, revolve around a large amount of gratitude for the sacrifice made by my husband and I.
Is that wrong? Am I supposed to love every moment that is the journey of attachment parenting (a journey I didn't even realize I'd begun), when my first child was born? While the early days of co-sleeping are amazing (especially with a child who is small and doesn't move around much), once they become toddlers it becomes way less fun. And then when they become preschoolers and still don't want to leave your bed, it becomes even less fun. It actually just turns into hours of trying to sleep while avoiding being kicked or hit in the face, or at least avoiding it in a way that prevents permanent damage.
Would I trade any of the annoying, painful, and downright ridiculous facets of my co-sleeping experience with my children? Not in a million years. I think. I'm almost positive. You know what, ask me in a few years when it's all over. Either way, and especially when co-sleeping isn't that great, I can't help but think back to when my kids were babies and we all slept soundly in the same bed. I can't help but think about what went through their little minds in those moments, because I acutely remember what was going through mine.
So, in the name of curiosity and in remembrance of the simple, pre-toddler co-sleeping days, here's what your baby is thinking when you co-sleep (or, you know, what I can only hope they think):
"This Is So Cozy"
I won't lie, I love the warmth of all that body heat in the dead of winter, and I know both my son and daughter have appreciated it too, over the years. My husband? Well, maybe he doesn't love it quite as much.
"How Convenient, I Don't Even Need To Cry To Get Their Attention"
This is one thing that has always been a huge bonus for me. There was always far less crying happening in our house at night, because I was responding pretty much immediately, if my baby was upset in some way.
"I Feel So Safe Here"
I'm not saying that kids who grow up sleeping in cribs by themselves are neglected, but I really think that sense of security a child develops around their parents is something that co-sleeping can only help foster.
"My Parents Must Love Me A LOT To Sacrifice Their Bed Like This"
All the same, I hope my kids have some serious gratitude for their parents doing this, one day (or ever). Because I don't even remember what sleeping next to my husband feels like, anymore.
"I'd Better Try Not To Move Too Much, So My Parents Can Get Some Sleep..."
Aren't I funny? Because clearly this is something every child thinks, when they're in bed with their parents.
"Don't Worry Guys, I'll Be In My Own Bed Before You Know It"
Yet another thought I'm praying my kids are thinking as they sleep in my bed. Let me tell you, if you're worried about time moving too fast as a parent, just get your kid to start sleeping with you. Time slows right down.
"The Boobs Are RIGHT HERE! That's So Great!"
This is a serious convenience that I can't imagine having gone without, during my almost-four-years of breastfeeding my children. I think I would have weaned a lot sooner, if I'd had to get out of bed to breastfeed in the night.
"I Know I Woke Up Early, But I'm Just Going To Quietly Snuggle With You Guys, So You Can Continue To Sleep..."
This is a total pipe dream, my friends. I think it's probably happened once or twice in the five years that I've been a parent.
"Gosh, I Am So Lucky To Get To Sleep Next To My Parents"
Did I mention gratitude already? Because there's needs to be some serious gratitude going on, dear children.
"Maybe This Time I'll Wake My Daddy/Other Mommy Up"
Let's be real, here; most of the time, the kid just wants me if I'm right there. A mom can dream though, right? I mean, it's possible...
"Yeah, You Two Definitely Aren't Having Sex. Ever."
I, personally, think all co-sleeping babies have a super secret mission to ensure that they're the only baby you ever have. They're going to keep you from having sex ever again so you can't procreate. I'm telling you, this is a thing.
"I Should Get Up And Make Them Breakfast, While They're Still Sleeping"
OK, just kidding. This clearly isn't going to happen with a baby, but a mom can dream, can't she? Maybe in six or seven years?