Kim Fields on Cosleeping
Every parent deals with the big question: "How do we get him to sleep by himself, without us?" And yes, that was me. My husband and I used to love it when Sebastian would fall asleep on us—it felt great. But once he graduated to a toddler bed, we knew it'd be best for Sebastian to be able to fall asleep by himself. In all honesty, it was harder for us to adjust than for him. I remember whenever he would sleep in the crib and not with us: Sebastian was happy and comfortable, but I was the one that was wide awake, listening for any little peep, and feeling lonely in the bed, even with my husband.
We didn't stop cosleeping cold turkey. It was a transition for all of us, so we did it in stages and we took our time. The first step was finding the way to encourage Sebastian that it was a really big accomplishment, instead of just, "OK buddy, now you are going to do this." We'd say, "Wow! What a big boy you are! You can climb up there yourself. You can do this!" We bought him a little music player and taught him to put on music by himself, so he could feel comfortable. And we came up with this sweet little routine where I used to cup my hand on his face, then he decided he was going to cup his hand on mine. After a short while, I only needed to be near him when he fell asleep, and then not at all. Even though part of me was like, "My baby's growing up! He doesn't need me to fall asleep!" I always made sure to support and encourage him along the way. We're really proud as parents that Sebastian takes pride in himself when it's bedtime or naptime now.
I know that some people think that cosleeping isn't healthy, but it's such a sweet and peaceful and personal time; it's time that you aren't going to get later on in their lives. Sometimes I wish Sebastian would just cuddle up and fall asleep with me, but I don't want to send the wrong signal. Yes, my baby's growing up! But he'll always need me. I encourage all parents that are co-sleeping that they can do it. They can make the change and get their child to sleep by himself. It's really hard, but in the long run, it's probably best for both of you.
In addition to being mom to baby Sebastian, you may remember Kim Fields as Tootie on the long-running TV show The Facts of Life.
What else besides cosleeping is on Kim Fields's mind?