I was somewhat of a sleep-nazi with Emma. She went to bed the same time every night, slept through the night and NEVER slept in our bed. Then Molly came along. She was exclusively breast fed for the first year. She would nurse several times at night and she would sleep right next to me...in my bed. I was too tired to fight it. She slept the best (and the longest) right next to me (and the milk). The nursing during night lasted through the first year. After about 13 months I stopped breast feeding and in turn she stopped having her milk snack during the night. When she would wake during the night I would stick the paci back in her mouth and that was enough to help her to get back to sleep.
She was still coming in my bed with me. She starts out her night in her bed (a crib mattress on the floor). After a couple hours she wakes, I re-paci and she rolls over and falls back asleep in her own bed. A couple hours after that I hear her calling me, "Mommy, mommy...", in a quiet, soft voice. I go in her room and she has her arms reaching towards me. Although she can easily get out of bed and come to me, she still calls me and waits for me to come to her. I can tell that's when she is ready to snuggle. No amount of re-paci'ing will get her back to sleep in her own bed.
I bring her in bed with me. She immediately rolls over in my nook and falls fast asleep. That's how she stays until the morning. Sometimes I put her back in her bed once she's asleep....but that usually ends up in her calling me again and coming back in my bed.
I go through times of thinking:
I really need to get her to sleep in her bed all night
I need a king size bed
What is this doing for mine and Tim's "alone time"
I should just let her cry
Why do I have the only *almost* 2 year old who still needs to sleep with her mom
I hear stories of mom's getting diagnosed with cancer. Mom's with cancer being given 2 weeks to live. Mom's giving birth to still-born babies. Mom's giving birth to babies they can't touch due to a skin disease that makes the baby's skin blister with just one touch. Tragic car accidents. Couples who can't conceive a baby. Babies being taken from their parents too soon-being called home to Jesus.
...and I decide it's okay for her to sleep with me. And I don't feel guilty about it.
I will give her snuggle-time whenever she wants. I will be thankful for health and for the two kids I asked God for and for some reason He entrusted to me. I won't be worried about what other *almost* two year olds are doing and will focus on the one I have and the fact that she loves to snuggle with mom and dad in the wee hours of the mornings.