We moved to another country when I was 6 months pregnant. Leaving all our extended families back home, they weren’t quite aware of our parenting choices.
We had decided to co-sleep with our daughter so we didn’t buy a crib/cot for her. During the early weeks, my mom was quite anxious that we might roll over her. As weeks passed she would ask me, again and again, when we would buy a bed for her. I explained her that we loved her being with us in the bed and they shouldn’t worry. Above the safety measures, they were also worried that she wouldn’t leave our bed once she got used to sleeping there.
We had the chance to go back home when our daughter was 4 months old. During this holiday, mom saw first-hand that co-sleeping was perfectly safe and it was lovely having your newborn beside you. It also made night time feeding easy for us.
Once our baby was 6 months old, she began to ask when we would start her offering solids. My daughter was not interested yet. But mom and grandma were very concerned. They’d ask me every time, as if I was depriving her of food. I’d tell them that, during the first year, solids are only for fun and tasting. As long as the baby is breastfeeding and gaining weight, there’s no need to worry.
During our visits to home, they had the chance to observe our child and our practices.
My mom loved wearing her first and only granddaughter and taking her on walks. We talked a lot about attachment parenting, about why we have to fulfill our little one’s needs during their childhood and how such children turn into well adjusted adults. We talked about extended breastfeeding and why we had the intention of co-sleeping until our daughter feels ready to move to her own bed. I’m very happy that she understands it all and has become very supportive.
Recently mom told me that my cousin and her wife decided to let their baby cry-it-out. Hearing this broke my heart, but after all, everyone has their own parenting choices and unfortunately there wasn’t much to do.
Last week, as I was speaking with my sister (she’s expecting her 1st baby, due in November), she told me that mom had told her to make a decision about the baby’s sleep arrangements. She added that deciding where the baby would be sleeping was very important, as any change to that affected the baby badly. I was glad to hear that she mentioned the family bed, and that she has normalised this in her head.
Now, if only she doesn’t ask me repeatedly when we would wean Defne now that she’s 18 months old!