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Baby no.1 was... well....the first baby, and it was so important to make sure that he was always by my side. Even with a cot for the baby, which was by our bedside, I still wanted to cuddle with him. When the baby turned 18 months old, I decorated his room in our new house with lots of cartoon characters, a glowing ceiling filled with stars and other things in the sky and it looked perfect to me. The little toddler loved it too. And with a few story telling sessions, the good little child started sleeping by himself in his room. A year and half later, he realised that the ceiling glowed in the dark. Maybe it was monsters he thought. Even as I tried explaining what it was, my heart went out to the little boy. Ok, I said, come to bed with mommy and daddy. It also saved me the trouble of attending to night time fears. Another year passed by. When we were planning for baby no.2, we managed to convince him to sleep in his own room, as he was a big boy now, going to school!!! It worked....on most nights!
One fine day, baby no.2 arrived. At first, we used the cot. Then lazy mommy decided she didn't want to get up, pick up the baby for night feeds, again and again. So every night, the cot lay empty, as the baby slept by our side. Older son, didn't want to be left out of all this. After all, every family member was sharing the bed, except him! So he squeezed in and slept soundly, even as the baby cried, even through night time feeds, diaper changes and the constant switching on and off of lights.
Every night, the wonderful kids spread their arms and legs, even as they slept, pushing mommy and daddy into wee bit corners of the big bed. Daddy slept facing one side of the wall and mommy slept facing another one. The crazy sleepless nights started getting annoying. It was time to do the right thing. After the baby turned 1, we decided, it was time to get back our space. What was stopping us? Was it our attachment to the kids? Was it the sheer laziness of dealing with night time crankiness of the kids? What was it? Whatever it was, I decided it was time! One fine day, I put the kids in their room, read a story and said goodnight. Switched off the light. Leaving the night light on, I left. I waited to see if anyone would wake up, cry, or walk up to our room. But NO. Big brother was happy to be sleeping with the little one. Little one was happy to cuddle with the big brother. They slept peacefully through the night. I just couldn't believe it! Wohoo! I finally had my space back! Till today, I continue to enjoy it!
Moral of the story : It's us, our laziness, our worries and our bonding requirements that prevents us from letting the kids sleep on their own. Parents.......please learn to let go and make the kids comfortable in their surroundings, so that you can enjoy your sleep space!