(Oh, gentle reader, if you are a hard core CIO parent or if your kids have really, truly never slept in your bed and co-sleepers make you crazy – I beg you – please go read the archives today – because this post will totally make you itch and you’ll hurt yourself rolling your eyes, and I don’t want you to hurt yourself. This is all about me wanting to take care of you – clearly not at all about me not wanting you to think I’m a dingbat.)
Okay, so it’s just us now? Here we go.
I had one rule before Alex was born – This kid isn’t sleeping in our bed.
And he didn’t. For 8 weeks. Because one of us slept on the couch with him. Every night until we moved cross country.
It started because I put his tiny self in his crib and he screamed, I put him next to me on the floor by his crib and he screamed. I was
tired exhausted about to die because I had 4 hours of sleep in 3 days, and I learned that my mommy paranoia (we all have at least one, c’mon, what’s yours?) was that at 1am, the fear of SIDS eating my baby was going to attack me. And it was going to attack hard and I was going to be helpless in it’s teeth.
was am deep down scared that if Alex sleeps alone at night that he will be still in the morning. The fear doesn’t shake. No matter how tired I am, no matter how strong Alex is. The fear has.not.subsided.YET. (I say “yet” I’m hopeful.)
I remember being in elementary school and being sent to wake my Grandpa up from his afternoon nap. My Grandpa who I loved more than anyone, ever. I would walk down the hall and stand in his doorway. I would watch him until I saw his chest rise and fall, letting me know that I was not going to find him still, before quietly saying his name and waking him. Always afraid for that moment that he was not going to wake.
It’s the same fear I have now.
The first time Alex slept in bed with us was on the drive cross country for the move. We had no couch so I placed him on my chest and we fell asleep in bed.
And Oh. Mah. Gaw. We had the BEST night of sleep EVER in the history of baby sleep. Okay, so there was no clock in the room that I could see, so at least I didn’t know how often we woke up but I felt fantastic when we got up the next morning.
After that, he was with us. Next to one of us, between us. All night, every night. I was an accidental co-sleeper.
Which was a habit born out of fear. I fully took responsibility for his bad sleep, because I could.not. try to have him sleep in his crib alone. I was scared. And fear does not bring on peaceful parent sleep.
But Saturday night. Holy fuckershit. The kid would not go to sleep, once asleep he would not stay asleep, then at 1145 I shifted him toward me as I went to bed – I was afraid that if he got cold that he would wake up. Of course the movement woke his little ass up. For 45 minutes, Scout walked with him, trying to get him to sleep. As soon as it was safe to stop moving…. he’d wake again. Oh. Mah. Gaw.
I put him in his crib to play. I sat back in the rocking chair, watching him cruise around his crib. Then I watched him sling an arm over the side and LIFT HIS LEG UP to prepare to launch his damn self out of the crib. WTF Evel Kineval baby?
So since we were all WIDE AWAKE at 115am, Scout went and got the tools and lowered the bed to the LOWEST setting (no gradual increments here). And he went to bed. I sat with Alex, I patted Alex, I fed Alex, I patted Alex, I fed Alex more, I patted him.
And he fell asleep.
In the crib.
I got pillow and blanket. Computer and Pump. I made a bottle, and I curled up on the floor next to him. On that same carpet I lay on 6 months and a week ago. Still couldn’t let go of my fear.
Lay there and thought about blogging it fo’ damn sure.
Woke when Scout came in. He sent my incoherent self to bed. It was 445. 2 and a half hours of baby sleep. I had this grand notion of real live baby sleeping through the night since I was trying this.
Yeah, that didn’t happen.
I think I’m pulling a mattress in by the crib. At least the next time I’m ready to try this crib thing, I’ll have a plush pillow top to try it with. Damn this fear has teeth that don’t let go.
Aw, sweetie, I understand the fear. I don’t have a problem with cosleeping if all parties involved want it.
My problem is only that I didn’t learn with Shortman (because he loved his crib and never slept with us) so I allowed that damn dog to sleep in our bed.
Can you say 35 lbs of stupidass lab? I knew you could!
As long as you are both content with the arrangement, who gives a flying rats arse what others think…but I liked the warning! 🙂 Sounds like a very long night…hopefully you can take a nap today!!!
I guess my fear was a complete opposite. My mom kept telling me stories of people smothering their babies when they slept with them…so I thought that if I EVER slept with my kids I would kill them. Between my two kids I think they have spent a total of maybe four/five nights (total hours) in our bed.
The Other Dawn
I can completely understand. Since Jake was tiny, I would make Jamie go in and check on him because I knew if I started checking on him I would not be able to stop. I now make him do it for both kids, even though I know statistically that most of the danger has passed for that particular fear. Jake was in our bed from about 5 months to 13 months. Annie never really was (she is a CRAZY sleeper) but was a foot away in a bassinet for four months.
Sleep is good for everyone. And the Kaiser is old enough to squawk if you squish him.
Kelli @ Gohn Crazy
I had the fear bad with my daughter and it only magnified due to the fact that I could not get her to sleep any length of time other than *GASP* on her belly. I went out and bought the AngelCare Monitor which would set off an alarm if no movement (yes even little baby breathing was picked up) occurred for a few seconds. It was the comfort I needed to finally get some sleep. The only downside to that monitor was when she would decide to get herself into a corner and the sensor pad wouldn’t be able to pick up the movement. We had a couple false alarms and my goodness I never knew I could move so quickly. But that thing was an amazing investment for peace of mind and restful sleep for all parties.
Been there. After trying for 10 years for that dream baby, you get all sorts of freaked out with the thought of SIDS. Even WITH the angel care monitor that will set off a piercing alarm if they are still too long.
I co-slept with the first, and the 2nd. Only till about 2 months though, then I started shifting them to their own bed at about 1am. I would put a hot water bottle on the mattress and cover it with a blanket, then when it was time to shift them to bed, it was still warm. Going from warm mom, to cold bed = trauma. LOL!
I remember the insane panic of “is he still breathing?” 5 minutes pass. “is he still breathing?” so well.
It does get better.
Even after Braden went to his crib (and while he was still sleeping through the night, before the Teething Devil came) we would go in the room and look at him over and over again. Sometimes he wouldn’t move, and we’d ACTUALLY RISK WAKING HIM UP by touching him, so he’d move, and we could stop holding our breaths.
You’re a great mommy.
So you got ate by a wolf and shit off a cliff? You’re a good mother.
I got a ritual with cats and ducks. The worst part is at 3 am when the cats use my forehead as a trampoline. I?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢m saying my prayers at 4 am. How I function on so little sleep. Yawn?¢‚Ç¨¬¶snore?¢‚Ç¨¬¶ (check to see if I?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢m breath?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢in).
We also didn’t intend to cosleep. Here we are at almost 16 months and still doing it. 😛 The kid wouldn’t sleep anywhere else, and I wanted to make sure I was able to respond as soon as he woke up because he went ballistic if he had to wait for boob, and we both like sleeping with our baby. Whatever works, I say!
I am a co-sleeper all the way. I didnt do it intentionally and with S it was A LOT shorter than Baby A (the little guy didnt sleep through the night in his crib until he was over 14 months old). I feared if I left them in their bed they would stop breathing (I had more reasons than I can put in this comment) and to be honest I still have this fear with S (hes 6 1/2). It is normal and you do what you got to do. Its your family and your child and you know them better than anyone else. Every family has its own thing and thats the way it should be.
*snort* fuckershit. Sorry, couldn’t get past it…
If you both enjoy it, then co-sleep!
Thank goodness I managed to stop our oldest son from sleeping with us by the time the baby was born… we’d have no space left in our bed otherwise 🙂
I made the same vow.
I, too, accidentally fell into co-sleeping, only in my case, it was because I was so desperate for sleep. AND I didn’t want to spend the night drifting between our bedroom and the baby’s ever time she wanted to nurse. It was so much easier just to roll over and shove a boob into her mouth.
First child ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äù slept with us for a year.
Second ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äù eight months.
The first rule of parenting: You’ll have to eat every “never” you say. Any way a family gets to sleep is a good thing!
Pull in a mattress – it may be a fear, but it is real for you. I always had to have the baby monitor right next to my ear in my bed, so I could hear my kids’ breathing – there will come a day when you let go of the fear – there will. Until then – I’m usually up late – blog me. See ya.
Read The Happiest Baby on The Block…and you won’t feel insane for letting him sleep in your bed.
Hydes Like Us
Oh you sweetie. Listen- you need to do what’s right for you. If that means sleeping in the crib WITH him- then you do it.
Stay strong sista
I am still paranoid if Amy sleeps for more than a few hours. Even if she sleeps well, I spend all night in and out of her bedroom checking on her.
It was my biggest fear when I moved her that she wouldn’t wake in the morning. I had to wait until I felt ready. Ready for me was 13mths.
Secret Agent Mama
I had the exact same fear with Mikey, my firstborn. I’d go so far as to jostle him to make sure he was breathing. That, or I’d put my hand on his chest to feel it rise and fall. I think the fear’s normal. Because, in truth, it’s so damn hard to watch your heart walk around OUTSIDE of your body.
Take care, dear, and try to get some rest.
I totally get the SIDS fear. I was the same way. I feel so bad for all the young moms (including me, back when) who judge ourselves by what other people are doing or say we should be doing. Please put the term “bad sleeper” out of your head. When did good or disciplined parenting begin to get judged by how well or how long our babies sleep at night?
It all works itself out in the end – the only difference is the amount of torture you put yourself through to get there. Do what you have to do to make sure you are well-rested enough to give him (and you) the best DAYS possible. 🙂
Um, what’s a CIO?
I don’t agree with co-sleeping, but I did it with every single kid I ever had. Funny how that works. What’s good int he heart and what’s good in the head seldom meet up.
I kept mine in bed until they were weaned. I really, REALLY miss it sometimes.
Dawn-He is way past the high risk SIDS months. Relax girlfriend! He will be fine. Let him sleep in your bed, but if you need the space, have you heard of the Arm’s Reach co-sleeper? We got one for the second baby and it satisfied my fear of smothering him but satisfied his need to be right on top of me at all times. He could just reach out and touch me. I LOVED it! On second thought, Alex is too old for it now, because the sides are so low that he would definitely be able to climb out, but if you ever have another…HIGHLY recommend it.
2shews is right, if he’s old enough to climb out of his crib, he’s old enough to struggle and squawk if you roll on him. No worries.
Here’s a thought though. Our first one didn’t start sleeping through the night until we moved him down the hall to his own room, in his own bed. We have a very sensitive baby monitor and I could actually hear him breathing through it. The first night, he slept peacefully and was way less crabby the next day. I think my hubby’s snoring was waking him up when he was in our room.
Good luck! You will pull through. You are a great mommy!