No, we have not jumped to the Attachment Parenting camp. My wife jokingly admitted to co-sleeping with our 15-month old for an hour or so each morning during our recent trip to Washington, D.C. Josiah was sleeping through the night in a pack-n-play in the same room with our two older boys, but he was waking when I left for work. Sherry brought him in an had him lay with her for a little more than an hour until it was time for the rest of the gang to get up. Both she and Josiah were able to easily go back to sleep this way without waking Riley and Caden.
Babywise and Preparation for Parenting are pretty clear on the subject of co-sleeping and we completely agree with the Ezzos on this subject. That said, there might be a night or two when you can safely deviate on the co-sleeping issue with an older kid without messing up all the great nights of sleep you have been given by following the priciples taught in Babywise? An yes, I know that a 15-months old is well out of the ages covered by Babywise but I thought the title would be cute and catchy.
This post is really not about co-sleeping an, but it is about the two big C’s of parenting. The two big C’s are Context and Characterization. What is the context of the situation? Are you characterized by this as a parent? The context of this situation was pretty obvious in our case. Sherry was considering the preciousness of others and wanting to allow our older boys to get the amount of sleep they needed. I am sure this was also the easiest way to get Josiah back to sleep for an hour or so without having a big power struggle.
We are certainly not characterized by having our children sleep in the same room with us even though there have been some (a lot of) occasions where Sherry or I would bunk in the same room with Caden for health and safety reasons. Caden has got very congested with a cold in the past and he has required frequent suctioning at night to help him avoid aspiration of his secretions. At four years old Caden still does not swallow at all, not even his own saliva. If we didn’t help him keep his airway clear then we could have ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. We ended up in the hospital a few time anyway, but I am sure there would have been many more hospital stays if we had not taken the extra precautions. Other than those occasions I can probably count the number of times we have slept in the same room with our kids on my fingers. Most of those other occasions happened when we were visiting relatives or friends.
So it is not unheard of for a Babywise mama to co-sleep with a child, but you can be assured that in our family it will only happen on special occasions based on the context of the circumstances.