“Don’t let them sleep with you.”
It’s a warning every new mama is familiar with.
Various medical groups and health professionals caution parents that bed-sharing with their baby can create bad habits and pose health risks. However, Beautiful Alarm blogger Esther is out to encourage moms who decide to go against the grain of conventional Western practices.
In a viral Facebook post shared by Love What Matters, the mother of two shares why 21 months of sleepless nights with her newborn by her side were worth every second.
Though she knows not everyone will agree with her, this strong Christian mama is confident that the choice she made for her baby girl is one she will never regret:
“‘Don’t let them sleep with you.’
‘You will create bad habits.’
‘Don’t give in to their cries.’
That’s what the experts say. The experts know what they are talking about. Oh yes, they know. I know they know because I have had 21 very sleepless months.
I didn’t listen to those experts.
I couldn’t because of eating issues, but I also mostly chose not to sleep train. Here I am. 21 months later. Still tired. Still not sleeping. Because I didn’t listen. I created bad habits. I gave in to my baby’s wants. And I guess, I did not stay strong.
You know what I don’t regret?
I don’t regret my baby sleeping on me while I rocked her in the rocking chair, cuddling her close and soaking in her smell, for hours at a time.
I don’t regret bringing her to peacefully sleep beside me, watching her tiny body rise up and down with each breath.
I don’t regret nursing her to sleep every single time and one last time.
I don’t regret giving her that bottle and holding her close while she fell asleep sucking. I don’t even regret still having to do that now at 22 months old because she would rather mommy hold her close than do it on her own.
You know what I miss?
I miss her falling asleep easily in my arms wherever we were. I miss her needing me to cuddle her to sleep.
It was all exhausting (and still is many days) but it was all so worth it. I see it now especially, as she slowly starts to need those cuddles less and less. I see it as I finally begin sleep training her simply because both her and I are finally ready to try. (Yes, at 21 months old.)
So yes, experts. I know you are right. You guys are dang good at your jobs. But I’m not really that sorry I didn’t listen. In my view, the lack of sleep was worth all the extra time I got to hold my little baby as close as could be.”