Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Momisms: Our Co-Sleeping Journey

When I first had Lainie, I had her little crib all set up with cute little blankets and bumpers and even a sweet little teddy bear tucked into the corner that would watch over her whilst she slept. I had the nicest fantasies of her sleeping peacefully in her beautiful, luxury bed, fit for any princess. 
The crib was in my room, only a few feet from my bed and at the time I really thought that was the closest to co-sleeping that I was ever going to get. 
Boy was I wrong.
After bringing her tiny-ness home from the hospital, all fragile and demanding, I was shit scared pretty much 24-7, and nothing heightened my new mom anxiety like not having her within 6 inches of my grasp. Add to that the difficulties of learning how to breastfeed every random hour of the night that she decided she was hungry, and I was basically a big pile of sleepy, scared nerves. 
Within 2 nights she was in my bed, sleeping sound beside me and night nursing on her side like a pro. 
Everyone was blissfully happy.
She continued to sleep with me through most of her toddlerhood, until she was about 3, at which point she was all about her own bed, and only took naps in my bed with me.
Flash forward to when I had Jackson.
He was my second baby and Lainie was 4 and a half. I knew enough by then to know I needed my sleep, and I had these wonderful memories of how easy co-sleeping made my life when Lainie was a baby, and this delusional idea that all kids stopped co-sleeping as easily as Lainie did. Naturally, I would co-sleep with Jackson as well.
In the beginning, it worked out great. We slept snuggled up together and his chubby warmth made me all blissed out all night long, and night nursing couldn't have been easier. 
When he was 2, he started sleeping in his own bed seemingly as easily as Lainie did. 
I was quite smug about my co-sleeping success stories.
Until now. 
Jackson is now 3, almost 4, and has always been a big boy. 

That picture is from April, 2010, before the sleeping giant even turned 2. He was ginormous. 
Notice however, that he is in his own bed.
Somewhere along the lines though, in 2010, he started getting up every night around 3 in the morning and standing in his crib crying until I came and got him. Nothing would soothe him except getting in my bed with me. And I mean nothing. The kid would outright wail, sobbing uncontrollably at the top of his lungs, whether I held him, rocked him, sang to him or left him to cry it out, until I put him in my bed. 
As soon as his head hit my pillow, he was back out like a light.
I was working full time and it was such an easy solution: just let him get in your bed at 3 a.m. and he goes right back to sleep. It seemed so much better than trying to battle it out every single night and force him to sleep alone.
So I did. 
And when he was big enough to take the side off his crib, he would get up, stumble across the hall to my bedroom, and snuggle in beside me, every night, at exactly 3 a.m.
To be honest, I probably could've fought him harder, but he didn't move around much, he was a sound sleeper, and I had a whole bed to myself. I won't deny either that I really loved the cuddle time it provided us, and the happy, giggling baby I woke up to each morning.
Again, until now. 
Jackson is even bigger now, and his nightly ritual of getting in my bed at 3 a.m. has turned into a nightly need to be in my bed from the time he goes down, until he wakes up. He's bigger, he moves more, and he's recently taken up this really cute habit of sleep fighting the shit out of me until I am in a terrified ball in the corner of the bed with no blanket. 
It's bullshit. 
I'm not sleeping as well, and aside from that, he won't go to sleep until I get in bed with him. So when I put him to bed at 8, he often lays there and cries until either I get in bed too, or he cries himself to sleep, sometimes over an hour later. 
It's heart breaking, and it stresses me way out to hear him sobbing upstairs while I'm trying to finish the laundry or do the dishes or eat some ice cream in peace for the love of God!
As I type this, at exactly 10:06 p.m. he lays beside me thrashing around like a wild honey badger, and I am already anticipating a sleepless night and a bruised ribbed morning. 
Sadly, the co-sleeping has to stop. 
I've gotten suggestions all over the board, from letting him cry it out {which at his current age and stubbornness level can take half the night} to putting a little twin bed between my bed and the wall, and pushing him over onto that once he falls asleep. Not a bad idea, but I'm not sure it's right for me.

At this point I am not sure what I'm going to do but I need to do something. My sleep is damn precious to me and I feel like I'm cuddling up to a Russian war pony every time I lay down.

So to all the moms out there currently struggling with co-sleeping in one form or another, y'all, group hug. This shit is hard.
And to all the moms who had to endure my smug stories about how great co-sleeping is since Lainie was born, I am truly and deeply sorry. 
You had every right to punch me square in the taco.

Wish me luck.

No comments:

Post a Comment