...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Co-Sleeping

Once in awhile I get an email from some random mom site I signed up for long time ago. 99% of the time I tend to trash them without giving them a look. But one title last week stood out to me. It was "Is Co-Sleepin​g Always a Bad Idea?".

If you had asked me this three years ago I may have tilted my head to the side as I pondered that question with serious thoughts to both sides of the argument. However, three kids later my answer was fast and furious: NO!

Let me explain:
BC I never would have even thought about co-sleeping. I am a bed whore. I like room. I use giant blankets so J and I never have to worry about the other hogging it. My pillows are so important to me that I tend to bring them with me to hotels instead of their crappy ones, and I brought MY pillow to the hospital when Xavier and Ashe were born. I sleep hard. I don't fuck around with sleeping. And there was no way I would ever feel comfortable with a tiny infant in my bed. I would be so worried that I would never get any rest.

This worked for all of us as a family. Xavier and Ashe slept perfectly fine in their crib (or car seat as that seemed to be their ultimate favorite spot to sleep). Co-Sleeping was a non issue for us and I would have stayed blissfully in the middle of the fence in regards to this topic.

And then I had Soren.

Soren threw our world upside down in more ways than one. This was just one little topic where I had thought, as a parent of two already, I was knowledgeable. HA fucking hahah!

For the first 6 months of his life, Soren refused, REFUSED to sleep unless he was touching me or J in some way. It just wasn't happening. I tried all sorts of different ways to try and get it so that we were touching while he was in his crib and I in my bed. It was never good enough for him. After endless days and nights with no sleep, in a fit of desperation I brought Soren into our bed. He was out like a light. And he slept the entire night through.

The first couple of weeks I kept myself awake almost nonstop, scared witless I would crush him. I moved pillows out, had no blankets. I refused to be one of those moms who woke up and found out she had smothered her precious darling while passed out, dreaming about the hunk of the month. But after while I started relaxing, and bit by bit we all got comfortable and most importantly... sleep.

It really wasn't that bad. As a new mom I don't sleep heavily anyways. I'm always on the alert. So the moment my baby made a sound that could be heard I was up, and aware. Most of the time it would just be him snuffling in contentment and he scootched closer to me.

If I hadn't given in and brought him to our share our bed, the household would have been a wreck. Everyone would have been at each others throats due to lack of sleep. You don't get much sleep with an infant anyway, so *any* sleep you can get you take. And from his perspective I get it. Your baby is nestled quite snugly for 9 months and then all of a sudden you expect him to sleep by himself? Hell no!

With three unique kids, I have learned on this path of parenting that there is NO such thing as one right way to parent. What works for one kid wont work for another. I've seen it time and again with my three kids. And while I would prefer to have my own bed, I also can get behind co-sleeping. Sometimes, it works. And I admit, I miss waking up once in awhile to find the most amazing little guy snug in the crook of my arm sighing happily, knowing he is safe and loved. It's one of my favorite memories.

Everyone has the right to their opinion, and feel free to disagree with me. But no random email from some moms site, I don't think Co-Sleeping is always bad. I think judging other moms for the choices they make to fit their family is bad.

7 comments:

Helene said...

I'm the same way with sleep. I need to get a solid 6 hours (at the very least) to be able to function. But our 1st set of twins co-slept with us and I don't think I slept for like 2 years straight. It was a nightmare. So when the 2nd set came along, I told my husband no way in hell are they sleeping with us.

You are so right that every child is different and what works for one child, may not work for another. As a parent, you have to keep your options open. As I told one friend who was pregnant with her first child, "Never say never when it comes to parenting" after she told me she'd never let her kid have a pacifier.

I totally LOVE your tagline at the top of your blog!!!! You should have that made into a bumper sticker for your car!!!

SRM said...

Thanks for the comment, Helene! I wish that more moms could realize that as each child is unique, so will their needs. Regarding pacifiers, 2/3 of my kids couldn't live without them. The other guy used to roll his infant blue eyes if I even thought the word.

Glad you like my tagline! Ironically enough, the tagline comes from a bumper sticker on my car ;) Where I live, it's required to have at least 2 kids, a minivan, and a bumper sticker tooting how your kid is an awesome honor student. I had to rebel against the norm. I saw the bumper sticker once on another car years ago BC and swore I would get it once I had kidlets. I love it =D

Alison@Mama Wants This said...

I completely agree with you!

My son co-slept with me for 18 months. We finally had to move him out as he started to wake up a lot more WHILE sleeping with me, and once he was on his own, he slept through the night at last. I guess he felt it was time :)

With my second on the way, I'm going to try putting the baby in his crib. But if it comes down to it, if co-sleeping is the way to go with him too so everyone gets rest, then I'll do that too.

You're right, there's no 'right' or 'wrong', it's just what works for that particular family.

Lisa/little monster said...

I agree with you completely! When I was pregnant I never in a million years I would have slept with my baby. I thought that was for hippies and weirdos. Then came Rowan who would not sleep unless he was on my chest for the firs 4 months of his life. He took to naps on our chests, he slept at night on our chests and actually he would literally not let us put him down that much when he was awake. Now he is in a crib but I will never say never to ANY parenting technique that is for sure.

Loved the post. Following you on twitter now:)

SRM said...

Thanks for the comments, Alison and Lisa, and welcome to my blog! It's funny how we have these ideas on how we will raise our children BC (before hildren) and how those ideas are shot down when we're faced with reality ;) I'm glad to see you both here!

insomnia said...

I have co slept with both kids. I still co sleep witht he 7 year old. My co sleeping nightmare started when the girl went to kindergarden and came down with a massive case of head lice that, because we co sleep, she passed on to ME. That was awfulness right there. Survived 35 years to get headlice from my 5 year old. Other than that it's not a problem.

SRM said...

Oooooh lice! That sucks. Knock on wood we've been lucky here in that regard. Im so glad co-sleeping works for you and your fam!