I have three kids who are 14, 13 and 11. They have all grown to be independent children who developed healthy habits, make good decisions, know how to say no and can adjust to new situations. They aren't the least bit clingy (I'm sure they even long for time away from me). Instead, they have grown to be confident individuals who can think for themselves.
I’m telling you all of this because, to be honest, there was a time when I questioned if I was taking something away from them by falling asleep with them every night, simply because it was easier on the whole family.
All three of my kids slept with me. And I don't mean some of the time. I'm talking about co-sleeping every single night. In fact, my youngest still sleeps with me on occasion.
Just because it was the easy way out doesn't mean sleeping with my kids was harmful.
I remember when my first child literally could not fall asleep without me. It would make me wonder if I was doing my baby a disservice. It made me question if I was just taking the easy way out. Because it was the easy way out. Falling asleep with my child was so much better than listening to them cry alone in a crib. Plus, we both needed the extra rest.
But just because it was the easy way out doesn't mean sleeping with my kids was harmful. I wasn't doing damage to their future years by having extra cuddle time. In fact, it's known to be healthy for parents and babies alike.
Co-sleeping may not have been in the plan, but after stressing and feeling anxious for a few months, I quickly gave in. I realized that I wasn't doing something wrong because my kids were having a hard time falling asleep on their own.
Now, as a seasoned mom who has watched my kids grow and thrive in all the ways I hoped they would, I want parents of the world to realize that whatever you do—whether you decide to co-sleep or not, whether you choose to sleep train your child, whether you stop putting them down for naps at a young age because it affects their nighttime sleeping—it's right as long as it works for you and your family.
Don't listen to what your mom friends are doing, then think you need to be doing that same thing even if it doesn't seem to fit in with what you want for you and your family.
Listen to yourself, listen to your family and listen to how you feel. In the end, no matter what you choose, if it feels right, it is. Your kids are going to turn out just fine.