There is one question I avoid, at all costs….
?Is Paige sleeping in her crib yet??
Depending on my mood, I either mumble ?Nosheissleepingwithmebutsometimesshenapsinhercrib…? Or I sigh and go on my tyrant about the joys of co-sleeping. How it’s easier for me, since Paige gets up two, or three times a night to just hand her a pacifier, or a nip off her bottle without completely waking up. How I love sharing a bed with her, how in the morning I can let her sit there gurgling while I get an extra thirty minutes of rest.
They don’t understand.
Before Paige was born I insisted we move out of our one bedroom apartment because ?the baby under NO circumstances would be sleeping in our room…? We needed to make love, have privacy, etc and by god my child was going to learn independence! One six hundred dollar crib later I decided for the first few weeks of life Paige could sleep in a bassinet in our bedroom…It’s just easier, I told everyone and they agreed. One baby later, I found myself obsessed with Paige. She was small, and needy…she slept in the changing station of her bassinet because it was small, and cozy and easier for me to check to see if she was breathing one or one thousand times per night. I read articles on SIDS, and I learned that it can peak at two, and four months. I told my husband we will have to keep Paige in our room, until she’s six months ?just to be careful…? I read a poor review about our bassinet and went out and purchased a better, safer model that vibrated and played soothing music….and took up half our bedroom.
Phil was establishing his own business and started working late into the night, often falling asleep on the couch. On those nights Paige would sleep next to me, nestled in her Boppy and those were the nights I got the best rest. I began to use the crib for the two, or three hours Paige slept before I went to bed…when she woke up, I would take her to the couch to snuggle for her feeding, more often than not falling asleep with her in my arms. At four months, while most babies slept five, or six hour stretches Paige got up three, or four times a night. I started toying with the idea of really co-sleeping, not camping out on the couch at night.
Paige starts off her nights in her playpen, sleeping soundly to the buzz of our evening routine- keyboards clicking, a movie, the pages of a book flipping. When it’s time to hit the sack I scoop her up, and carry her into our bed. Since forever I’ve been going to bed before midnight; my husband is the night owl; he’s at his most creative when the apartment is silent and so for the most part it’s just my daughter and I snuggling in our queen sized bed. She still gets up two or three times a night, but it’s only for a second. I like to think she wakes up and sees me curled up next to her, and is comforted enough to fall back asleep. When Phil joins us at night, she sleeps in between us, a kind of family sandwich.
Sometimes when I talk to other moms about co-sleeping they are horrified. One woman went on a rant about how I might just roll over on her while I am sleeping and smother her. After explaining to her that I really can’t see myself rolling onto a 17lb four month old unless I was heavily intoxicated (and if that was the case, I wouldn’t have her in bed with me), she told me to ?go tell that to all the other moms, who have smothered their babies during the night…? Some people think I’m going to create a clingy baby who will never go to sleep in her crib, and others just think I’m crazy because apparently the night time is the only time for sex and cuddling.
Paige is five months old now; she isn’t clingy…she can spend time playing in her playpen with her dinosaur that speaks French, or her zebra print mirror that giggles if she assaults it hard enough. My husband and I have a healthy sexy life and the other night fell asleep holding hands above our daughters head, I (most of the time) get a full nights sleep, and I have no plans to stop co-sleeping. My husband asks when we are moving Paige to her crib, insisting that he’s just wondering and has no problems with her sharing our sleep space, and I just smile a little and say, quite clearly ?When it’s a toddler bed…?