Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Joy of Breastfeeding and Co-sleeping

Ayla, when she's half-asleep looking to nurse, looks just like a blind mole.  It is the cutest thing.  She keeps her eyes closed, but opens her mouth and starts rooting around with her head until I slip open my shirt and help her latch on to my breast.  The moment this happens she visibly relaxes, and often sighs with contentment when the warm milk floods her mouth.  When she's satisfied, she will often roll over and push her back up to me to snuggle right back to sleep.  If it's morning and she's ready to get movin', she will either gaze into my eyes and start babbling, or if my eyes are still closed, sit up and bat playfully at my face.
When Camille and Sylvia were at this stage, they were much louder about it.  Grunting, crying, or vocalizing until they were latched on.  Camille resembled a baby bird, with her eyes closed, bopping her head, and chirping "eh, eh, eh".  Sylvia was a little piglet grunting and snuffling her way to the breast.

Babies and children sleeping next to the warmth and safety of their parents is by far the most common sleeping arrangement around the world.  Co-sleeping and breastfeeding enrich my life, as well as my children's.  The ease of feeding Ayla without fully waking is so lovely, and these half-conscious moments are some of the sweetest moments that I get to experience daily.    Even Camille, who has her own room, will often come lay across the foot of the bed at some point in the night to seek the warmth that we provide.  I am not in any hurry to move my kids into their own beds, as I love snuggling with them so much.  The one down-side is that our queen-size bed is not nearly big enough.  For now, Papa can snuggle in (crowded), or sleep in a different room so he can stretch out, get to sleep early, and go to work well-rested.  I think it works out OK all the way around.  This is written in celebration of my family's choices, and is not meant as a judgement of anyone else's choices.

Here's to another year of each family enjoying their unique choices as we navigate through this life-journey!

5 comments:

  1. I love breastfeeding and co-sleeping too. Our bed is also a queen size and already too small for 4 children. I told DH that we need a king size bed in order to fit everyone in and not have to kick anyone out.

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  2. We have a double and single pushed together, which works quite well now J is older. Enjoy those precious snuggly moments. xx

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  3. We have had every bed configuration...the boys both slept with us until 4 in a queen was too much, and now they fall asleep in their 'own beds' or with each other in one bed, but we usually end up with me sleeping with one boy, Brice with the other. Cozy and room to sleep still. :)

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  4. I loved this. Especially the description of you feeding your lovely babies. I LOVED breastfeeding, and still miss it, five years after we stopped!

    And we have co-slept off and on for years. The kids, at 8 and 10, still want to share the room with us. Last night, after they'd mentioned it again, each at separate times, I lay in bed imagining how we could make it work with everyone still having space... Because one day, they'll grow up and stop asking to be so close. And I want to have them near while they want it too…

    Thank you for this; it was lovely.

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  5. Thanks for your kind comments. I visualize many years ahead of us of playing musical beds, that way there's the option of being extra cozy or stretching out on any given night...still a king-sized bed would be nice:)

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