Tuesday, May 24, 2011

our sleep solution.

Have you noticed I haven't mentioned Liza's lack of nighttime sleep lately?  There is a very good reason for this....basically, I've adopted the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality.  Yes.  We are officially bedsharing.  Nights were too long and I was too tired to function from rocking a fussy baby back to sleep all.night.long.  Now, Liza goes to sleep in her crib and the first time she wakes up after I am already in bed, I bring her to bed with me and we snug down for the night.  I knew the switch was official when we took off one of Henry's bedrails and put it on my side of the bed so I can sleep soundly without worrying about a certain little baby girl rolling off our ridiculously high bed in the middle of the night.

This is a big deal, people.  A big deal indeed.  When Henry was a newborn, I was sure of 3 things:  he would breastfeed, wear cloth diapers, and only sleep in his crib.  I was convinced that one night in our bed would lead to a lifetime of kicking, squirming little people ruining the little bit of sleep I was afforded.  When Henry woke up we rocked.  And rocked.  And rocked.  And then we rocked a little bit more.  Around 10 months old,  after a very carefully implemented plan of systematic less rocking for the previous month, I regimented how much and how loud he would be allowed to cry until he learned to sleep on his own.  

But, Liza is not Henry and this is not two years ago.  I have no plans of letting Liza cry and I try to block the memories of Henry crying in his crib all by his lonesome out of my mind.  I think about it this way.  If Henry starts crying now during the night, we run into his room so he can tell us what is wrong.  Why is it different when a non-speaking baby is crying?  Crying is crying.  And, unhappy children need to be tended to whether the tears are caused by an ear infection, a hungry belly, or the simple fact of needing comfort.

You know what?  I don't worry about Liza sleeping with us forever.  Why should we all suffer for lack of sleep now because of a fear I have for the future?  It simply isn't logical and if she needs me, now or in 10 years, I want to be there for her.

So now Liza sleeps in our bed.

And, I won't lie.  I like it a lot.  I like her little snuggles and the way she lets me know she is ready to nurse without making a peep.  I like the way I can rub her belly and bicycle her legs so she can pass gas and instantly fall back asleep.  I like the way I subconsciously scoot away from her in my sleep to get a little space to myself and end up snuggling with Taylor.  And, to be honest, I really really like not getting out of bed at night. 


It's a nice concept.

Do you cosleep?


Amanda said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. I am on my first (he's 2.5) and I thought the same things you did with your first. I wouldn't let him cry though...but I did lose a LOT of sleep because I didn't want him sleeping in our bed. I even put an air mattress in my son's room so he would sleep better. BUT, now my ds sleeps in the full size guest bed and I fall asleep with him if he needs me to. I also go to him and sleep with him in the middle of the night if he needs it. I don't have to every night now, but I love that I don't have to sleep on the floor or rocking chair anymore.

My favorite part of your post was the paragraph about you running to your older child if he cries, why shouldn't you with your baby? I may have to share that paragraph with everyone I know. :)

Amanda said...

(after reading my comment, it might not make sense that I put the air mattress in my son's room so I could sleep on it. Not him.) :)

Mama Lake said...

Yes!! We LOVE cosleeping/bedsharing! All my babies have been bedsharing babies until they are about 18months... then we put them in their own room, but they still are allowed to sleep on our floor (and sometimes the bed). I have never lost sleep after having a baby & that is why I do it.

Jen said...

excellent post!! i have to admit, i used to keep children in Nashville that were majorly into attachment parenting and cosleep was apart of that and I was convinced i would never do that. of course since i don't have kids it really doesn't matter but i LOVED your perspective on it. totally changed mine and I think i'm right there with you!

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

Awesome post Laura! We're flexible with Hannah's sleep...ie-we do whatever works at the moment. She spends most of her time in the cradle next to our bed, sometimes needs to be swung to sleep and stay in the carseat all night, sometimes cuddled next to me and sometimes in bed between us. If it works-we're happy. And yes-I LOVE being squished in between Ted and Hannah. There is no better place on earth.

Jude and Alisha said...

I'm so glad things are working out better for you guys!

The Brown's said...

nothing like waking up to a gummy smile and baby breath.....the way we've looked at it is that there will soon be a day where they won't want to sleep in the same bed as us or even be in the same room as us!

Laura @ our messy messy life. said...

Amanda, do you think you'll let subsequent babies sleep with you? And another thing I was thinking about not letting older kids cry is that if a baby cries in the middle of the day they are tended to, why should it be different at nighttime?

Mama Lake, why 18 months old? Is that when you felt they were ready?

Jen, thanks! You are going to make some sweet little children one day :)

Kaitlin, I think the flexibility is key so you aren't stuck in one mold, esp when they are still so little like Hannah.

Alisha, what are the chances of Charlotte ending up in the bed with you with Jude gone?

Andrea, the baby breath is pretty sweet :) and the way she wakes up smiling at me like I'm the best thing in the world.

Megan said...

YES! For me, co-sleeping is the only way. I WILL NOT get out of bed at night. We slept in a family bed since night one, and I've only ever gotten out of bed 3 times in 10 months. Lovely! It's not all easy and there are some serious trade-offs, but I get to stay in bed. It's the best.

KazVik said...

Yes, we love co-sleeping! We did the same thing with Alex (our first one) what you did with Henry. Bryan didn't want to spoil him, and he was afraid that Alex will sleep with us till he is 12 or something. (We actually have friends, who's children still sleep with them. One is 7, another is almost 5. Their kids can't go to bed without their parents, and they have to sleep in different beds, one parent with one child, and another parent with another.) So I understood my husband's concern. And then we had another baby. Daniel slept with us till he was 11 months. We did the same thing with him what you do with Liza. We put him down in his bed, and then when he woke up to nurse around our bed time, we put him to bed with us, and all went to sleep. That was the best solution ever. That's one reason why we had another baby. With first one, we were sleep deprived all the time. With second baby Bryan didn't even know how many times Daniel woke up at night, neither did I. We are doing the same thing with Benjamin, and love it. Sorry for the long comment. I can make my own post from my comment.

PS One more thing. Daniel started sleeping through the night and in his own bed at the same time. He was 11 months. One night we put him down in his bed, and when he woke up,it was time when I usually nurse him and put him with us, I didn't make in time. He started crying, by the time I went to pick him up, he stopped and went back to sleep. He slept through the night, and since then he sleeps in his own bed. But he still likes to come in the morning in our bed and snuggle with us. And we love it!

Blair said...

Co-sleeping is the best! I loved sleeping with Wyatt from day 1,although it is scary when they are tiny. I believe mothers are equipped with an inner radar to keep their children safe with them while sleeping though. I had to quit co-sleeping with Wyatt when we were weaning at 19 months, so his Daddy took over. I still do on the weekends though or when he's sick. I get up too early now to co-sleep with him. I got so much more sleep (in the beginning) since we co-slept. Amen to not having to get out of bed!

Jessica said...

I enjoy reading your blog. :) It makes me smile.

Isn't it funny how parenting changes once you have children, and changes even more with the next child? I am constanly realizing that the idealism of youth over how I would raise my little ones does not work as well in practice as in theory. In fact, it has been brewing on my mind that last few days. It's like a part of me died. :)

joyfilled said...

We have co-slept with all of our children and I wouldn't do it any other way. It's so practical and I am WAAAAY too lazy to actually get up out of bed in the night!! LOL Our 15 month old is in our bed now, and our 5 and 3 year old share the room over, but until shortly after the baby was born the were both in our bed (or at least our room) still, and they transitioned seamlessly. :)