Saturday, July 24, 2010
Angel of the Morning
There are not many decisions we've made as parents that have been easy. Some of the things that we fretted over long and hard at the beginning have now become no-brainers. Sleep is one of them.
When Violet was wee, well, wee-er than she is now, Shawn and I talked to death the pros and cons of how she should sleep, where she should sleep, when she should sleep. She got baths in lavender scented soap to calm her when she was up too late. I felt something like guilt when she slept in until 10am since I knew so many babies rouse before the sun.
Now at two and change, Violet sleeps as she always has, like Violet. She stays up late, she sleeps late, she likes to snuggle with her parents in bed, and she naps pretty well but not on any sort of rigid schedule. And it works for us. We are rested, Violet wakes up happy and ready for her day, as do we.
I never imagined we'd have a family bed, but the more I read, the more normal it seems. Baby mammals, from lions to deer to chimps, like to sleep in close proximity to one another for protection, for comfort and for socialization. No other mammal mother would put a baby to sleep in one nest and then go off to a separate nest of her own. It just wouldn't happen.
Our baby human seems to like it, too! She falls asleep most nights in her room, in her big girl bed, and then when she wakes, anywhere between 2 and 6 am, she calls for us and sleeps the rest of the night between me and Shawn. I'll be sad when our mornings don't start with this baby face cuddled next to us.