Over 7 years ago when my first child was born I was trying to be the best mom I could possibly be. My sweet baby girl was so tiny and new and I was exhausted. I needed to sleep but society was telling me to let my little one sleep on her own, and cry it out so she could learn to comfort herself and I could get some sleep.
The few minutes I let my sweet baby "cry it out" were the longest few minutes.of.my.life. How could something that is so "normal" feel so incredibly wrong? This was certainly not a relaxing atmosphere to get some rest, instead i became more tense and couldn't take it anymore, I ran into her room and scooped her up and consoled her.
Having her near felt "right". Not only did it comfort her, but it comforted me. We were so close for so long (the nine months while she was in my womb) it didn't feel natural to let her face the world by herself, she wanted to be by me and I wanted to be by her. So I held her close and nursed her to sleep in my bed; and shortly after I fell asleep too. After some great rest we were both refreshed and happy. It felt, natural, and "right".
Who ever said that babies should sleep through the night? They aren't built that way. It is something that should be an easy transision, and until then, be there for your baby to comfort them when they do wake at night. It can be hard to find support out there that encourages you to follow your natural instincts, and was so relieved when I came across , 'Nighttime Parenting: How to get your baby and child to sleep’ by William Sears (La Leche League International book)
I loved this book. In a society that is bombarded with "independence" and early separation, it was so reassuring to know that it's ok to co-sleep. "Nighttime Parenting" by Dr. Sears is such an awesome resource for moms with newborns. Co sleeping with your baby isn't going to spoil them or create bad sleep habit, if anything it helps you sleep better and helps you create a stronger bond. Treasure these sweet moments while you can because they won't be babies forever. And for the record, my 7 year old sleeps peacefully and happily in her own bed now:)
So if you are a new mom, mom to be, or just supportive of natural parenting, give this book a read.
*Please note, I only recommend safely co-sleeping, which is easlily acheivable for mom's who breastfeed.