Wednesday, January 30, 2013

co-sleeping: why we chose not to

I'm probably ruffling feathers already.

So, let me start off by saying that I don't think there's one's "right" way to do this. I do think that safe co-sleeping or room-sharing and safe separate-room-sleeping are both loving and legitimate ways to parent. I absolutely think that different babies need different things, and different families do, too.

I don't think I'm one lick better than anyone else because of the way we chose to set up our sleeping arrangements, but I do want to share why we chose the set up we did.

For the first weekish or twoish, I had Simon in a little bassinet next to my bed. I would swaddle him like a baby burrito and hold his paci in his mouth 'til he fell asleep, then I would stare at him for an hour....wondering When will he wake up? Should I put his paci back in when it falls out? Should I re-swaddle him? What if he stops breathing?

Looking back, I think the post-partum hormones are mostly to blame for my obsessive thoughts, but nevertheless,

I wasn't sleeping. And neither was he. And neither was N.

Every little noise Simon made would prompt me to check on him and fuss around him to make sure everything was OK. N. would try to talk me down off the ledge, but I had an idea in my head and by golly I couldn't sleep until I put it to rest.

My bed became a stressful environment for me and my marriage.

My marriage was probably the biggest reason why we chose to put Simon in his own room. There are days when I don't see my husband until our heads hit the pillow at night, so we felt like we needed to make our bedroom sacred and set apart for us. We need a place where we aren't mommy and daddy, where we're just husband and wife.

Simon is growing and thriving and happy and healthy. I know he's doing just fine without us at night, so I don't feel guilty that he doesn't sleep with us.

Separate room sleeping was the best decision for our family. What was the best decision for yours?

xo,

B










11 comments:

  1. we never had London in our room, for similar reasons. our bedroom is ours - we don't want her thinking she can come in any time she decides she doesn't want to sleep in her bed / crib. it was so hard the first night to put that tiny tiny 1 day old baby in her giant, far away crib. and i slept on the floor for three hours. but she's been in her crib every night and it's the best thing for us. i already obsessively checked the video monitor all night for several weeks (months?) bc of some retrodiagnosed post-partum anxiety, so having her in our room would've been just too much for me. the downside is that when we travel and she sleeps in the same room as us, she sleeps pretty rotten, because she's used to her own space.

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  2. I'm not a parent yet, but I can completely understand wanting to keep your bedroom a safe and sacred place for you and your husband! Matt and I have already talked about how that is a big priority for us, so we are hoping to go this route as well!

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  3. Well thank, y'all! It feels nice to be understood. :)I'm SHOCKED that a naysaying anonymous hasn't gotten on here to tell me what a bad parent I am.

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  4. Before my son was before I was told both "his own room first night is THE WAY to do it" and "he's SUPPOSED to be in the room with you in a bassinet until he's 3 months." This makes me laugh now, because, as you said, there isn't a right way to do these things. Anyhow, our son had a lot of trouble sleeping. Wouldn't sleep in a crib or pack and play. The mini cosleeper was bought by my mom and brought to us as a gift after sleepless nights and insanity - and it worked! He slept in a cosleeper by our bed for 4 months, and then was able to smoothly transition to his crib in his own room since then. It's what worked for us. I didn't mind him being in our room then, but was also fine/ready when he moved into his own room. You do what works...

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  5. Before my son was before I was told both "his own room first night is THE WAY to do it" and "he's SUPPOSED to be in the room with you in a bassinet until he's 3 months." This makes me laugh now, because, as you said, there isn't a right way to do these things. Anyhow, our son had a lot of trouble sleeping. Wouldn't sleep in a crib or pack and play. The mini cosleeper was bought by my mom and brought to us as a gift after sleepless nights and insanity - and it worked! He slept in a cosleeper by our bed for 4 months, and then was able to smoothly transition to his crib in his own room since then. It's what worked for us. I didn't mind him being in our room then, but was also fine/ready when he moved into his own room. You do what works...

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  6. When I was pregnant, I was told "you NEED to have him in his crib in his own room from night 1" and also "he's SUPPOSED to be in a bassinet in your room the first 3 months". Direct quotes. These things make me laugh now. So does someone being in my house, seeing the bassinet and saying "it'll be so much better on your marriage if you move him to the crib". I thought in my head, my marriage is just fine thank you very much (not that it is perfect, but it wasn't bothered with our baby). We hadn't planned on using a cosleeper beside the bed (it hadn't even been purchased pre-baby - we had planned on using the pack and play a few weeks and then moving him to the crib) but after sleep issues (he didn't like the crib or pack and play - too open?) we were thankful that the cosleeper beside the bed allowed us to all get some rest. He was in our room for 4 months, and then moved into his crib in his room. That worked well for us for him. But I'm not pro one method or the other. You do what works...

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    1. it makes TOTAL sense that a teensy babe wouldn't want to be out in the open when he's so used to being curled up in mama's belly. sweet little guy. i cant picture it. i'm glad you guys found out what works for you. that's the most important thing!

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  7. My daughter slept with us at first - in our bed (even though we'd swore we'd never do that), then in a bassinet nearby. Our house was under construction and we didn't have much of an option really. Our addition was completed when she was 3 months old - and she absolutely refused to sleep in our room anymore after that. She's been in her own room ever since. Except when we travel, when she inexplicably wants to sleep with us, still, even though she's now 11 and doesn't fit as nicely in the bed as when she was 2.

    I hate when people judge you as a bad parent because you do what's best for your family. What works for some does not work for others. My daughter has slept on a separate floor from us here at home since she was 3 months old. I can't tell you the number of questions I've gotten about that, especially when she was younger. It's really never been an issue.

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    1. Yes, and AMEN, Becky. It's really about finding out what works for you and your babe. That's funny about the traveling thing. I wonder why? Maybe the associations with traveling make her crave mom and dad time? Very interesting, indeed. Gotta love kiddos. You never know what they're going to come up with next.

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  8. you don't know me AT ALL...but my friend (who went to college with you), Ginny Marstin...passed on your blog to me. SO glad that she did that. My lil cutie is 3 months old. And I am a first time mom. I have always craved honesty. And you, my friend, are a breath of fresh air. I cannot count how many times I have felt judged for HATING breast feeding (I strictly pump). Or how much I have felt judged for the various decisions I make regarding my child. I am so glad that you stand by what is best for you and you are OK with it (even if people disagree). We also, have banned co sleeping. My baby girl sleeps in her own room. Best.decision.ever. For most of the reasons you stated. Not to mention it's a bit awkward when you are being, say, "romantic" and the little one pops their eyes open in the middle. haha. I think it's been a WONDERFUL decision for our marriage. I am so glad we have kept our bed for JUST us. I'm with ya, sister!

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    1. Jessica! Welcome! Thanks for reading even though we aren't in-person friends. We're e-friends, now, and in 2013, that totes counts! Yes, I crave honesty too when it comes to motherhood. I have found so much comfort in being honest, because it's brought people like YOU into my life who make me feel much better about dreading nursing....I mean seriously, who wants to take their shirt off when it's 25 degrees outside?!?!?! crazy people. that's who.

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