Wednesday, March 11, 2015

But We Don't Co-Sleep

When I was pregnant with my son, co-workers would tell me that my sweet, tiny dog would soon need to find a new bed at night.

“Why?”
“Because the baby will be in the bed.”

“Again, why?”

We weren’t going to co-sleep. Psshhh. We had a bassinet and a crib for a reason.  I know if I roll over in the night, the dog has both the sense and the physical ability to get out of the way, whereas a newborn? Not so much.  

We started with the intention of leaving the boy in his bassinet, snug beside the bed so I could grab him and pop him on a boob with little fuss.  Then, when he was three weeks old, I took a nap in the bed without my son in the room, and Oh. My. Word. It was glorious. Glorious, I tell you.  I hadn’t realized what a loud little sleeper he was until that moment.  We moved him into his own room at less than a month old and never looked back.

Well, sort of.

See, I always brought him into bed to nurse, because, well, it’s my bed, and my bed is a happy, warm place where I don’t spend nearly enough time, snug beside my husband and the before-mentioned tiny dog.  We would both crash - he in his milk-drunk stupor, and I, in my new mom grab-any-sleep-you-can fervor, especially after a few months when I felt less afraid of smothering with my boobies.  But this wasn’t co-sleeping.

No, of course, not. He always started in his own bed.  That right there is proof that we don’t co-sleep.  

Then, when he turned one and started climbing into bed with us in the morning for a morning nursing session or to play Legos and read stories while we groggily attempted to make peace with the morning, well, that wasn’t co-sleeping, because no one was actually sleeping. And, I told you. We don’t co-sleep.

Fast forward to our oh-so-successful transition to the toddler bed.  The good news is that he still starts in his own bed.  He’ll actually stay asleep, tucked in his wee little bed, under his blankets, with his favorite stuffed animals, for a good four hours.  I know. You’re jealous.

Then he pops out of bed, opens his door, opens our door, and stumbles into our room crying, arms outstretched, “I want to sleep in your bed.”

We have a rule. He’s not allowed in the bed until after 5 a.m. Okay, maybe 4 a.m., because I’m not going to spend 20 minutes getting him back to sleep so that I can crawl back into bed for an hour.

Or, if my husband doesn’t answer when I ask him what time it is, I assume it must be after 4 a.m., because that seems reasonable, and it’s dark out, and the clock is too far away.  Also, 11 p.m. feels the same as 4 a.m. So, I just pull the child into bed, and we fall asleep, for what usually turns out to be about six hours.

I recently woke up with a tiny dog on my head (because the dog isn’t finding a new bed), and my son nestled beside me, his leg thrown across my leg, his pudgy hands gripping my arm.  I pet the dog, hugged my son, and went back to sleep.

But, we don’t co-sleep. No, not us.

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