Tag Archives: co-sleeping

I can’t describe the feeling when I’m in my bed asleep…

Co-sleeping with a crawling baby is an adventure.  Snuggling up with your tiny newborn is easy to imagine.  Even someone that is not an advocate of co-sleeping has likely fallen asleep with a newborn on their chest so they can understand the powers of the sleeping baby.

But the sleep arrangements now that the goose is loose? It’s a whole new game.  A bedrail helps to contain her.  I am teaching her how to get off the bed, dangling her little legs off the side until they hit the floor instead of diving head first.  You get used to waking up with a little person sitting on your arm.  Or your face.  Or standing on your pillow.

Lots of people that co-sleep with their newborn begin to transition him/her in to a crib around this time.  If you’re not wild about having fingers in your nose or getting kicked in the groin it could be the wisest choice.  Unless, of course, you ever want to get any sleep.  As a newborn Lucy slept like a rock.  She woke to nurse once, maybe twice, in a night.  Since she has started crawling everywhere, cruising along the furniture and battling with the dog for his new bone she doesn’t have the time to devote to eating during the day.  She will nurse a handful of times during the day but it is a quick snack.  She does the bulk of her eating at night, when there is nothing better to do.  I can’t blame her.

If I want to get any sleep at all and she wants to marathon nurse all night I do not see an end to our current sleeping arrangements anytime soon.

People love to ask “So, how is she sleeping?” and ordinarily I say “Great!” or my all time favorite “Like a baby!” because any answer at all only invites advice.  And for the most part unless you are a been there done that co-sleeper/breastfeeder/baby led wean-er (ha! Baby led weaning is the term for skipping pureed food and letting your baby eat solid food when they are ready.  Baby led weiners – I have no idea what that entails) than even well-meaning advice falls on deaf ears.

I slept poorly throughout my pregnancy.  Lucy is nearly eight months old.  So, it is fair to say I have not “slept through the night” in well over a year.  I am used to it.  And while it is no secret that I am vehemently opposed to sleep-training an infant I am dangerously close to letting myself cry it out.  Me.  I might cry it out. Face down on the floor while Goose climbs on the dog.  Fish can look after her for an hour, right?

Because I am tired, guys. Nursing a baby takes a lot out of you.  And not just sleep.  Water.  I drink at least a gallon of water a day.   I am pretty good at getting myself a glass of water.  I went in the kitchen to get a glass of water just now.

Yup.  A bowl of water.  Sigh.  I’m tired, y’all.

Speaking of bed buddies….

I am a compulsive bed maker. I don’t like sleeping in an unmade bed and I don’t like getting dressed in a state of mess. (Keep your comments to yourself all those that may have seen my bedroom before I was about twenty years old.)

I walk in the bedroom and think what the hell? My room is a mess! I know I made the bed. And from behind the pile of blankets I hear the sigh. A contented sleeping dog. With his ass on our pillows. Good thing I love him. Can’t say I have ever had another roommate that I’d let get away with this….


Bed Buddies

I am a snuggler.  My big girl is a bed hog and my husband likes his space.  My dog will gladly let me sleep all wrapped up in him but he sheds like… well, a dog and he does not always smell fabulous.  For the better part of the last thirty-five years I have fallen asleep with my Snoopy in my arms.

My little girl is currently taking the place of my Snoopy.

20120409-121323.jpgCo-sleeping is an integral part of my parenting philosophy. It is also an excellent way to go to bed at 8:15 for the first year of your child’s life. I rock in my chair and hold my sweet girl and eventually I say that I am going to “put her to bed.” Those unaccustomed to my techniques might wrongfully assume that I will come back out of my bedroom at some point. It’s not likely. Snuggled with my girl, lights out, pajamas on… no promise of a glass of wine, a movie, an adult conversation can keep my eyes open long. And even if I can stay awake until she is peacefully slumbering there is always the risk that she will wake and I’ll be gone. And then we will have to start all over with our bedtime song and dance.

I don’t know how many times I have written of my love for Snoopy. I love him. I do. And last night I loved him even more.  It seems I can sneak out of bed if Snoopy hops in my place, nestled against Lucy he keeps her warm and smells like Mom.


Like a baby…

Co-Sleeping, specifically bed sharing,  is a hot button for a lot of parents.  Whether you sleep with your kids in your bed, in a crib, in a bassinet, it seems to matter to people.  How often do they wake  up?  How long do they sleep and even more importantly how do they get to sleep at all?  Do you hold them? Rock them? Nurse them?

When Em was little I spent a fair amount of time thinking about why everyone seemed to care so much about how long she slept?  Even strangers in the grocery store would say “What a pretty baby…” and then quietly ask “How does she sleep?” in a hushed, secretive  tone as if they were asking after your 85 year old great uncle’s 20 year old girlfriend.

I thought there was certainly a right or wrong answer.  And I quickly realized that for every person that asked there was a different right and a different very, very wrong answer.  I developed a quick and easy response “She sleeps like a baby, of course.”  That seemed to satisfy the strangers.  And I am fortunate enough to have friends and family that largely believe that how we choose to parent (including feeding and putting to bed) our kids is really not their problem.

That having been said… I feel pretty strongly about the choices we make as parents.  And one of the things I feel most strongly about is where my babies sleep.  With me.  Maybe some day I will write a big long informational blog post about safe bed sharing  and the numerous reasons that I believe it benefits both the parents and the baby.

But today?  Today I just want to share one reason why I like to sleep with my babies.  And it has nothing at all to do with the attachment, the ease of night nursing, the increased safety and decreased risk of SIDS in belly-to-belly, nose-to-nose sleeping by the mother and infant…. it has nothing to do with the sleeping at all.

It’s the waking up.

I am a morning person generally.  I like the morning. The quiet.  The promise that a fresh day holds.  But now, when sleep often eludes me for hours, even days at a time, it is harder to awake with a song in my heart.  Or even a kind word.

But if Lucy slept in another room…  I’d still be waking up just as often, to comfort her, to feed her, to change her.

But I’d miss the morning.  The moment she opens her eyes.  And finds the whole world all over again.  I’d do anything to spend five minutes inside her head.  See things as she does.  And the moment she wakes, her grabby hands on my face, her little feet digging in to my pajama pants, her big toe stuck in my belly button, this is as close as I can get.  And I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Bird Party Redux

“Which one do you like better,” she asked.  “Mine or Mom’s?”  MQD had brought us both home an ornament as an early Christmas surprise.

Ever the diplomat MQD answered, “I like them both, for different reasons.”

Ever the six year old she asked again “But which one do you like better?”

MQD did not reply.

We ate in silence for a moment.

“Which one of us do you like better?” I asked, ever the smartass.

And all at once, all three of us began to laugh.

It was spring in my old apartment.  Em was still sleeping with me nearly all of the time.   We had a rule.  No getting out of bed until the sun is up and you hear the birds.  Some of my favorite times were those early morning conversations.  Before we got out of bed.  One morning she told me she heard the birds.  Only Em pronounced it then (and still does) “boids.”  I asked her what they were doing out there.  “Havin’ a boid pahty.”

There is little in this life that makes me smile more than a bird party.  But the three of us, sitting around the dinner table, laughing.  That even puts a bird party to shame.  And let me tell you… birds can get down.  Merry Christmas, Birds.