Sigh. My sweet little baby is growing up so fast, and while I am nostalgic about it, I am also happy that I have been sticking to my beliefs about all things sleep related. Since Potamus was born we have done a modified bed-share/co-sleep arrangement, based on all of our needs and wishes at night. During the day, Potamus was held or carried in a sling or ergo pack while napping. My goal was to have him learn and really believe that sleep was a safe experience to enter and exit, that Mama and Daddy would be there when he drifted off and would be there when he woke up. I’ve ignored the somewhat flak I recieved about ‘spoiling’ my baby and that if he gets used to being held for naps that he would ALWAYS have to be held for naps. I mostly ignored these well-meaning advices, as I was certain inside my gut that Potamus would not be going to college still napping in my arms (as he’s projected to be 6’5, that might be challenging even if he WANTED to be held. Ha!)
The past week or so, Potamus has been spending most of the night in his co-sleeper, but yesterday I thought I would try putting him down for a nap in our bed. There he was, tired,, nursing himself to sleep and I gave him his snuggly blanket and once he was asleep, I crept away. 2 plus hours later he woke up quietly and was smiley when I went to check on him. I relished the sweet time he was sleeping by himself (i was hosting some ladies over for afternoon treats and makeovers), but it struck me how quickly he has gone from needing to be re-assured to sleep and how he is now slowly becoming Mr. Independent. The safety we have fostered is, in my belief, part of the reason why.
So I tried this morning, a new experiment, where he was allowed to “play” quietly in the co-sleeper at 4:30 this morning since he was awake and I didn’t really want to get up (and Boof certainly wasn’t wanting to hang out, either)…and then around 5:15 I hear him quiet down, and I open my eyes and there he is…he rolled onto his side, facing away from us, holding his lovey and was out like a light. He put himself back to sleep. No crying it out traumatized battle for us. Just sweet peaceful sleep.