Expecting our Little Brother in November!

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Co-Sleeping

So James David does not have his own room. I just didn't see the point. Little babies need almost nothing. He has a dresser for his clothes, receiving blankets, and wraps and carriers--it is in our room. He has a changing area--in the bathroom--located in close proximity to the toilet, which is very handy while cloth diapering . . .

He has a cradle, located next to our bed, and then there's his cosleeper, which goes on our bed:

Since we would have wanted him near us at night anyway, the only thing that we maybe could have put in a nursery is the dresser . . . not a very full room.

So he doesn't have a room. I think by the time he is one or definitely by the time he turns two, we'll have designed and decorated a nice little toddler room for him, complete with his own bed, dresser, painted letters and animals on the walls, chalkboard paint, cork boards, the whole deal.

In the meantime, he'll sleep with us. This was, quite unexpectedly, the one point that my Dad freaked out about. It was fine that we had a midwife, a home birth, that we'll delay vaccinations and didn't circumcise, but co-sleeping was just too much for him. (It's sort of weird how everyone has their points of contention).

In the first few days, he was just in the cosleeper. Both James and I wanted him RIGHT THERE, between us, in front of our eyes, at the reach of our hands--we both woke up multiple times in the night with a gasp, reaching over to check that his chest rose and fell, poking at him to see his eyelids flutter--making sure that it was not all a dream--that he was there with us.

Now, typically, we'll get him to sleep "for the night" sometime between 10pm-12am, and we'll put him in the cradle. We'll have our opportunity then to snuggle with each other, hold each other as we fall asleep. Then James David will wake up between 3-5am, and at that point, we pull out the cosleeper and he'll sleep there for the rest of the night--easy to reach out and comfort if he is fussing--easy to get if he needs to nurse . . . accessible.

At some point in the future when he outgrows the co-sleeper and the risk of SIDS falls, he'll probably just sleep right in our bed, and so far, that is where James and I like him. It is by far the easiest situation for nursing and bonding.

Honestly, I can't imagine putting him in a crib in a separate room and closing the door. I carried him inside me for nine months, and such a drastic separation right away feels so unnatural. I want to be near him, to hear his noises and see him--all the time. It feels very very odd to be apart from him--even in a different room.

So I know co-sleeping isn't for everyone, but it is working great for us, so far. My Dad insists that we'll never get him out of our bed but I'm fairly certain that he won't take us to college with him, ;-) Anyway, at this point I have bigger fish to fry--sleeping in close proximity to your baby greatly reduces the risk of SIDS, promotes a good breastfeeding relationship, in short--helps a newborn grow into a healthy toddler. That's what I'm focused on right now--we'll worry about teaching him to sleep without US when we're ready to sleep without HIM, and that time is definitely not now!

7 comments:

Lilly said...

I feel the same way, I can't imagine putting my baby in a separate room, closing the door, and going "ok, you are on your own!" My daughter is 14 months and I still can't imagine her sleeping more than 2 feet away from me - she has her own crib but it's right next to my side of the bed. She usually ends up in bed with us from midnight on - we didn't cosleep at first because DH rolls around too much, but once she got big enough to defend herself I started laying her in between us.

Sounds like you are doing a great job, and I'm sure he will be sleeping in his own bed by the time he goes to college (At least that's what I keep telling DH when he says "Isn't she too big for this??) :-)

Amy said...

I loved co-sleeping. If our bed had been bigger we would have done it full time. We still co-sleep on cold nights to keep Jensen warm. I can't imagine a little baby in a separate room all alone either. I am having a hard enough time imaging my one year old in his own room lol!

Ella said...

We love our co-sleeping situation, too. I've found that people who criticize it know nothing about it and usually refuse to listen. Frustrating! We co-slept full time until Eliza started going to sleep before us; now she starts her night out in her room and then comes to bed with us when she wakes up in the middle of the night. It's a lovely way to wake up in the morning with her smiling milky face looking at me!

Alyssa said...

We were pretty adamant that Evan would sleep in his own room to start. But, after the first week in the hospital (where we spent 4 days rooming in with him), we couldn't imagine having him in a whole different room. He generally sleeps in a bassinet beside the bed, but I usually bring him into bed with us for part of the night and he sleeps on my chest. It's funny how opinions change once you're in the situation!

Ruby said...

Glad co-sleeping works for you guys! I never felt safe doing it when Maxim was small, I always felt super uncomfortable like I didnt have my own space and I was always freaked that DH would roll on him. The few times we were super tired and brought him to bed, it was for 5 minutes and he was back in his crib...it just never worked well. When we sleep at the in-laws, he is in our room in his pack n play. I still dont sleep the best because I can hear little movement and breath...just not use to it but its not bad...its still better than if he was in bed with us.

I can definitely see the benefits though and I certainly never think that babies will be in their parents beds forever, such a silly reason to be against it. We take naps together occasionally and I love those extra cuddles :)

justadrienne said...

Alyssa--Yeah I definitely think it is hard to know what it will be like once you are in that situation. I always insisted (to my Dad and others) that we're flexible, and if it didn't work out for us, we'd change, but so far we are really liking it.

Ruby--I would be nervous having James right in our bed, too--that is why I like his cosleeper--it has hard structured sides so he has his own space and we can't roll on him. But honestly since he's so long, he's going to outgrow it really soon--we only have about 4 extra inches right now. I'm a little nervous about what we'll do when he is too big for it but I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Kassidy said...

I have pulled Sloane into our bed for quite a while. She has a bassinet on my side of the bed but when I was home with her full time I always pulled her in at some point in the night. Now I do it on the weekends. I'm one of those people that as soon as I know she's in there I do not move. Matt still gets scared he'll roll on her so I keep her between a body pillow wedged between the bassinet and the bed and me. I think Matt is wanting to get a bigger bed (we have a queen) so she can co-sleep with me (I say me cause she's on my side) full time. This coming from the man who said he would NEVER let our kids sleep with us :).

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