I think most parents like the idea of co-sleeping. There’s just something so sweet and wholesome and familial about it—that image of doting yourself to sleep, staring at the peaceful slumber of your offspring. But then sometimes reality can paint quite a different picture.
We tried co-sleeping with Bub. That consisted of getting one of those boxy little protectors that take up just a little too much room in bed and negate any kind of human touch. Even though he was right between us, completely protected, and without the physical acumen to even roll over, it was like sleeping on a fault line. Every time he snorted or moaned or cried or otherwise tremored, we sprung to like this was the big one. We were scared, he didn’t really seem to like it; it didn’t last long.
Okay, take two. HP outgrew her bassinet pretty quickly, as evidenced by the tiny fist marks on those poor, unsuspecting walls. Daddy’s Little Hulk, she already squats 250. Anyway, the doc said we couldn’t sleep train until four months. And, as she is sharing a room with Bub (theoretically, anyway), we didn’t want her waking him up multiple times a night. So…we tried again.
Started out as an awesome idea. We created a gentle, flowing ravine in the recess between our pillows, and nestled her in there, snug as a bug. She even took to smelling my pillow, which even I will tell you, is about as pleasurable as playing catch with a ninja star. She slept like a slug on Quaaludes. Yes, SHE slept just fine.
I love the term “co-sleeping” as it applies to newborns, mostly because the ‘co-‘ implies that there are multiple parties actually sleeping at the same time. Sure, it was nice to feel her breath or foot resting against my arm, but it’s every parent’s nightmare that you will somehow roll over onto your child or drape an arm across all available airways and not notice. Every time I woke up, I had to check her pulse, temperature, cholesterol, etc. It was like being on call all night, every night.
But the real trouble started when the bed got good to her. She liked it so much in fact that she wanted more, and the only way to feed that monkey was to kick Daddy right to the edge of the Tempur-Pedic one roundhouse at a time. As mentioned, she had the brute force to pull this off, and what she lacked in reach, she made up for with pure resolve.
It made sense—I wasn’t getting up to feed her or change her or really serving any other utility. I was simply taking up prime mattress real estate. A deadbeat, squatting in my own little deadbeat bed. And she was little Miss Foreclosure, serving notice, relegating me to the hardscrabble lumbar support of the sofa.
We tried her crib a couple of times, under supervision, i.e. before I went to bed. The idea was to get her used to her sleeping space. But again, pre-sleep training and without being able to sleep more than four hours at a time, this didn’t work so well.
So we’re kind of in sleep limbo, and looking into alternatives. So far, we’ve opted with the swing, which she has taken to nicely from the beginning. Any suggestions are always appreciated!