Curled into me last night, I lay down with Jack to help him to sleep. He doesn’t go down easy. He needs contact and cuddles and I’m sure we are doing something wrong in some expert’s mind about getting our boy to eventually sleep by himself, but when we’re all tired and he goes down next to someone in 5 min instead of 30 min of hysterical crying, um, you pick the 5 min. Plus, it’s extra time with him. Pat and I seem to switch off nights. We’ve only really been doing this for a couple weeks, when the double ear infection-teething-road trip without a crib happened. I used to worry about it. I don’t care anymore. I figure for the next 10 years, we’ll have a kid in our bed for some reason or another. And we both like hearing him giggle in his sleep, so for now, as long as we are breast feeding, as long as he’s continuing to wake up a few times a night, we’ll let him continue to kick us in the stomach/throat/boobs (my boobs, not Pat’s)/back.
I was reminded last night of what it felt like to be pregnant and have him that close to me. He was pressed into my chest. He’s getting so long now, his feet resting on my thighs. And somewhere in between the dim light of the bathroom and his small snores, I felt peace, a real peace, the kind of peace where your whole body is floating, there’s nothing grinding in your heart, no worries, things to do, anxieties about the next day, nothing tugging just the lightest air.
I’ve read that human babies are born before their brains are fully developed. Because we stand upright and the monstrous size of our melons, we are born before we are totally ready – “exterior gestation” – meaning we still need our mothers to regulate our breathing, nourishment, digestion after birth. When a baby breaths in a mother’s CO2, it tells the baby’s brain to take a breath. That’s pretty cool when you think about it. Jack and I are still a unit like we were. What’s nice now, is he and his dad can be a different unit.
I just think back to our ancestors, how they used to sleep and react to their babies. I’m trusting my instincts, not reading sleeping books or parenting books, not stressing about what a certain group of people think is best for my baby. I feel like so far we’re doing pretty good. And who doesn’t like extra cuddles?

like father, like son

like father, like son

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6 Responses to Cuddles

  1. Ms. Moon says:

    I always thought (and still do) that sleeping with a baby is about the best damn thing on earth. If it feels so good and so right, how can it be wrong?

    • rachelvb says:

      I was terrified to at first, but I got over that pretty quickly =). I mean, how do all the “experts” think people slept with their babies way back in the day?! We all sleep better. It just makes sense. Plus, he’s warm and cuddly.

  2. Angella says:

    That photo is so darn cute! Of course you want to keep him close. After she started school, my daughter and I used to have an hour each morning where we just curled into each other and went back to sleep. We called it “cuddle time.” It went on almost to high school. It was to best.

    • rachelvb says:

      It was taken like a month ago, but they both sleep with their arms above their heads!
      I love that you and your daughter still cuddled. I remember going into my mom’s bed all the time in the mornings. My brother would join too. For some reason her bed seemed so much more comfortable. =) xoxo

  3. Martha says:

    Our kids lived, lived, lived in our bed. I do admit that a family of 5 in one bed got a bit crowded. Anyway, one thing that had been bothering me for a long time was that folks just hauled their kids around, instead of carrying them in their arms. I love that every picture of Jack is in your arms, Pat’s arms, your mom’s arms, family arms. As it should be.

    • rachelvb says:

      We’ll have to get a bigger bed!
      Yeah, I don’t like seeing kids in “stuff” as much as I do. We always wear him. We never take the stroller. He loves being close and the feeling is mutual.

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