Sleeping soundly

By Published On: December 14th, 2015

Spooning is my favorite. I’m not that picky about positions, […]

Spooning is my favorite. I’m not that picky about positions, but I generally end up being the little spoon while my husband assumes the position of big. We fall into the arrangement naturally, and it gets us extra cuddles, warmth and white noise (err, snores). The highlight? Waking to our favorite person, ever ever. It’s a great arrangement and so …
1It makes sense that a bitty babe would wanna get in on all that sleepy goodness. My Mr. Max, for example, refuses to sleep unless he’s tucked tight between my husband and me. Are alarm bells going off in your head? Are you anxious to tell me about how babies belong in a crib? You’re not the only one.
The crib! The crib! The baby belongs in the crib! I hear the well-intentioned advice from everyone including my mother-in-law, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Product Safety Commission and, most recently, complete strangers.
“I’m so grateful! Ryder’s been such an easy baby since the beginning.” My church organized a celebration called Baby’s First Christmas, and new moms had gathered to make handprint ornaments and drink Kool-Aid. I confirmed that Ryder looked like a sweetheart, and then my new acquaintance, Sarah, finished speaking, “I’m just lucky to have one of those babies you can put down, you know? I mean, my friend’s baby won’t sleep unless someone is holding her.”
Max squiggled in my arms, anxious to get down, crawl around and mingle with other babies. I kissed his ruddy cheeks and laughed: “That sounds exactly like my Max. Little man sleeps in my bed every night … he screams and shouts if we go near the crib.” My confession surprised the table of newly-minted parents, and I watched their eyes go wide and their jaws drop low. And then someone said it: “He really should be in the crib.”
IMG_4403A man holding a baby with the nametag “Mabel” laughed as he bounced his little girl from knee to knee. Without flinching, he explained that he was a pediatrician and even he wasn’t able to figure out sleep. The man got paid mega bucks to give us sleep advice, yet he admitted that what actually happens in his nursery/bedroom deviates from his medical books. You know, one of those “do as I say and not as I do” scenarios? Mr. Pediatrician, father of Mabel and man with the jolly laugh: Thank you for rescuing me.
IMG_5331Our bean slept soundly in his crib until we reached the infamous 4-month sleep regression, and then the wheels truly went off the proverbial track. We tried every trick in the bag to teach Max to sleep—sound machines, bedtime routines, pacifiers, no pacifiers, magical sleep suites and an earlier/later bedtime. Nothing worked, and after two weeks we all felt (and looked) like the walking dead. Max was tired, I was tired, and Jon was using his keyboard as a pillow. The struggle was real.
Our babe had figured out that mom and dad had a pretty sweet situation in the room next door, and he wanted in on it. And so, at our house, my husband sleeps on the right side of the king, I claim the left and our Max takes center. My family spends the night competing for space, pillows and a piece of the duvet. It’s not advisable, of course (just ask anyone!), but it does make for some incredibly happy moments. Ready for this?
Our 7-month-old rises earlier than a barista, and his coos let us know when it’s time for coffee (us) and jumperoo (him). Usually the coos are just that—babbles—but a few days ago, there was a grand change: Max rubbed his little hands over my face and said, “MOMMA.”
I typed it four times, but Max only said my favorite name once. Y’all—it was the sweetest sound. I scared the poor boy by squealing, grabbing him close and covering him with kisses. Those kisses were my way of saying good job and I love you too and good-morning, sweet baby.
So it’s advisable that my babe sleeps in his own crib … but having him close lets me hear “MOMMA” early in the morning. I say I’m coming out ahead? We’ll see.