Sunday, September 26, 2010


For my non-parent readers, co-sleeping is the a fancy word for not being able to get your kid to sleep in their own bed. Just kidding, that's just how we ended up as co-sleepers. This is a hidden secret in our society that drives me CRAZY! Despite the fact that in nearly every country besides ours, families co-sleep. Despite the fact that many people in our own country have done it for generations and continue to do so.. Everyone feels the pressure when the pediatrician asks "Does she sleep in a crib?" to say, "Of COURSE she does! All night like an angel"... Right??? When your co-workers or mommy friends ask how she's sleeping... somehow the fact that how she's sleeping with her head wedged into your ribs and her feet in daddy's back isn't what you tell them. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns against it so instead of talking about how those of us that do it make it work, it becomes another measure of how you are as a parent. Like if you can get your child to sleep in a crib than you must be a more disciplined parent than I am, or I must be a crunchy hippie parent (not that they are bad either).
My daughter has always been very attached to me. She also inherited her father's need for very little sleep. As a newborn baby she would wiggle herself across the entire bed to get to me. I'd move her to the middle and wake to have her snuggled right up. It was really sweet to watch! She could smell me from a mile away. Even very young if we tried to put her in her crib she would cry until she made herself throw up. We had a friend over one night who said let me try. We let her.. She came back in less time than we would have saying "I guess your right! She is so upset!" It became easier to stop fighting her! Then after a while we stopped trying to get her to sleep on her own. It got to the point that I couldn't sleep without her. People that say you might roll over on her I just don't understand it... My daughter is like an extension of me when we sleep. We breathe at the same time, her little fingers curl up around the collar of my shirt, my hand, my hair, my sleeve without either of us realizing it... I guess the risk increases when you are drinking or doing drugs but fortunately she hasn't driven me to either yet so we are OK!
All this being said, Daddy doesn't have the same sleeping bond with her that I do. Naps on the couch are their thing. At some point the feet in the back got to be too much for him (have you ever seen how much room a sideways toddler can take in a bed?)so we started to discuss moving her back to her own bed. Grandma helped with the transition and she now sleeps most of the night in a big girl bed... I think I miss it more than she does... but still on the occasional Saturday night when I'm too tired to move her back to her own bed she still curls her fingers around mine and snuggles up in between...

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