Secret Sleeper

This is the post where I admit it: I’m a hypocrite.

You see, before baby Keira was born, I researched cosleeping. I read the articles and the research and what I determined was…. I’m against it. I realize it works for a lot of people and many sing the praise of cosleeping. But I couldn’t wrap my head around trusting myself with a tiny baby in our bed. With all the pillows, my husband flopping around in his sleep and our heavy comforters, I just didn’t find it safe.

Flash forward to the night after Keira was born. I was sore from the c-section and couldn’t move from my bed and was highly relying on skin-to-skin time to encourage breastfeeding. I remember waking up to the nurse coming in the door around midnight to check on us and little Keira was fast asleep in my arms in the hospital. I panicked! I chided myself for being so careless to fall asleep with Keira in my arms. What if she fell? What if I moved and I dropped her? I asked the nurse to promptly re-bundle Keira up in her clothes, swaddle her and put her back in the hospital bassinet.

From that point on, I was done with cosleeping. I was so scared that something could go horribly wrong and I would lose the little girl we’ve been dreaming of for years. My compromise was keeping her in the cradle next to our bed for the first four months until finally moving Keira to her own crib.

Fast forward even further to our trip to D.C. last week. The entire family was staying in one room with Keira in our pack n play. In the middle of the night, Keira woke up crying. I immediately picked her up and rocked her back to sleep, fearing that she would wake the boys up. But every time I tried to pull her away from my chest, she would cry instantly. I gave up and laid down with her in the hotel bed. I reasoned with myself that if I stuck a pillow between Jason and her, he wouldn’t roll over her. And at 6 months, Keira was strong enough to move or cry out if a blanket got in her way. We both slept great from that point on. And woke up feeling happy and refreshed.

The 3-day weekend came and every night Keira would wake up around midnight, crying. I reasoned with myself that she missed me and needed to sleep near Mommy. Then we both got sick and I justified that she didn’t feel good and of course needed Mommy Magic to sleep.

Then came my work day. My alarm went off at 5:30am, bright and early! I quickly turned off the alarm before it woke Keira. But she had already opened her eyes. She looked at me, grabbed my pajama shirt, pulled me close and then fell asleep. We both fell asleep. Until 7:00am when the boys knocked on the door. Crap, crap, crap!!! I’m late for work! I scrambled out of bed, handing Keira over to Jason and running into the shower.

The next morning, my alarm went off again at 5:30am. Somehow, it didn’t wake Keira. I gently pulled her out of bed and put her back in her room, as Jason was already heading off to work and wouldn’t be able to watch her as I showered. As soon as I got out of the shower, Keira was wide awake and ready to start the day. An hour earlier than her usual time. Ugh.

Now I wrestle with how to handle this cosleeping arrangement. Do we break it cold turkey, knowing that she just can’t sleep in our bed due to our morning routines? Can we balance the nights where there’s cosleeping and other nights in the crib? How do I calm the shouting Mommy Guilt that I’m not convinced that cosleeping is 100% safe? Or calm the Mommy Guilt of putting my baby in her relatively cold crib compared to Mommy and Daddy’s warm bed?

But every evening before bed I hear Jason say, “tonight, Keira sleeps in her own bed!” And then every night he retracts, “should we just let her sleep here one more night….?”

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sara
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 17:05:21

    We’re half & half-ers. When pressed I say we’re cosleepers, but Nomi has her own mattress sidecarred to our bed and Toby has his own bed in the next room. Both may end up in our bed some nights, and some nights they don’t. Whether you’re crib/co sleeping, just do it safely (and I know you’ve researched about crib safety tips as well as cosleeping safety) and be flexible. You don’t have to be one or the other.

    Reply

  2. Mia
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 21:08:51

    There’s a little “Bed” type barrier you can put in the bed in between you guys for the nights that you want her in there. I’m not a mom. But I have doggies! And even though sometime I want my cuddly little puppies in bed with me, they are invading our space. Talk about a romance killer!!! lol. Good luck!

    Reply

  3. Deana Hager
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 11:26:58

    I went through that with Maddie, having her in my bed at times out of guilt and needing to be close to her. When she was a about 18 months old Jon and I separated and was going through a nasty custody battle in court. In the end a year later we resolved our problems and fortunately our marriage survived. We kept keeping Maddie in our bed on and off after we all came to be a family again. We though it was important for her. The only downside was a month turned into a year, a year went longer. ….when she ended up getting too big and we decided it was time for the big girl bed THATS when times got really rough, she *needed* someone to stay with her until she fell asleep. Bedtime turned into battles. I don’t regret any of it but you may want to give it a lot of thought. Even at age 5we still have bedtime issues, some good some not so. Good luck!

    Reply

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