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Sleep On It.

August 27, 2010

I have tried to write a new post for a couple of days now. There have been a couple of hurdles in the way. First is the fact that I am a brand spanking new nursing momma whose brain apparently followed her placenta into the great unknown. I have the attention span of a toddler and no memory what so ever. The only thing that can hold my attention is a certain 14 day old girl and Prison Break. The second thing in my way is my direction. Or should I say, lack there of. I am not sure where to take this little blog. Do I continue the path that I am on and document and comment on my life or do I gear it more towards my slant on parenting. Or are those the same things? Either way, I am going to just continue to rant in any way I see fit and if I have readers after all is said and published than great. If not, well, I will be left talking to myself which, these days, is not unheard of.

So, life has been pretty amazing these past two weeks. Becoming a parent changes how you look at things. Something as simple and basic as sleeping becomes this complex issue. Trying to get enough and figure out the best sleep arrangements for your family is exhausting. (Pun intended). It is amazing at how many people have very strong opinions on the matter. “Sleep when the baby sleeps” is advice I heard a thousand and one times. The only problem with that is that currently Elsa sleeps, nurses and poops. Sometimes all at the same time. If I followed her schedule I would starve to death and never see another soul. (And my dog would run away for sure).

Walking the dog while the baby sleeps. He agrees with my stance. (Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens)

My solution for a better nights sleep is the next thing that rouses some very strong opinions. Currently, Elsa sleeps in our bed.

(Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens)

Commence the strong opinions.

Bed sharing or co-sleeping is either very beneficial or very dangerous depending on who you ask. Our decision was based on my research, Elsa’s needs and our comfort. When put to bed in her bassinet she sleeps for about 45-60 minutes before waking up crying and wanting to nurse. In our bed she sleeps for about 3-4 hours before waking up to nurse. She usually will not cry and instead her little hungry grunts wake me up. This alone was enough to convince me. Additionally there have been studies which show a decrease in SIDS in countries where co-sleeping is the norm. The theory is that the mother and baby are in such close proximity that if the baby was to stop breathing the mother would wake up and stir the baby. There has also been studies that show a breastfeeding mother and her baby’s sleep cycles will sync up and the mother will come out of a deep sleep before her baby alerts her.

(Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens)

I have no issue with co-sleeping if done safely and responsibly. Elsa will not be in our bed forever. We are slowly trying to get her more comfortable with her basinet. I would imagine that being alone at night is pretty scary for someone who, up until now, was always with me. So, regardless of the disapprovers, she will be in our bed until we all are ready to sleep apart.

(Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens)

I guess my take on parenting in general is to do what feels right for you and your baby. Heed the major safety warnings but don’t sweat the small stuff. If something feels right and no one is getting hurt, no worries. There are just too many warnings and “dangerous” things out there. A new momma could go insane trying to do all the “right” things. Certain precautions should be made (car seat) and others can be up for debate (co-sleeping). No matter what you do, someone, somewhere, will have an opposing opinion. That I am sure of.

Oh, and just for the record, this post took way longer than it should have to write. I got distracted by the adorable baby on my lap at least five times and completely forgot my point twice. Oh, and thank goodness for spell check. I hope that wherever my brain is it is having a good time. I sure do miss it.

xoxo

~m~

*For more information on safely co-sleeping please visit: www.babyfriendly.org.uk

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 28, 2010 11:34 am

    Jackson slept between us in bed, bolstered by 2 foam triangles connected by fabric, for his first 11 weeks. Then we went to Star Island and had a double bed and there was no room for him. He slept just fine in the Pack ‘n Play all week. When we got back he spent another week with us while we cleaned out his cradle and then he slept in the cradle in our room until almost his first birthday. His cradle was next to my side of the bed for a few months, but then we moved it to the foot of our bed. (Mind you, BF did not work for Jackson and me, so we both bottle fed him.) Around his birthday we moved him into his crib (in the crap hole we call his room) and he sleeps just as well there as he did with us and in his cradle. Better, of course, because he is getting older. He is a great sleeper. Do you swaddle? I can’t say enough good things about swaddling.

    As for the naysayers, I posted on FB when Jackson slept in his cradle for the first time. We bumped into a friend of my mom’s at the grocery store and she said she was glad we finally got him out of our bed. Yeah, cause her kids turned out so well.

    Also, when he wakes up early, anytime after 4:30, he gets to come into bed with us and sleep until the alarm goes off. I love this time. I also love the going to bed time when we read books on our bed and then snuggle until he falls asleep. You hear about not making too much of a production of bedtime or they will never go to sleep on their own. We have not found this to be the case with Jackson. You just have to figure out when the window of going to sleep is and work around that. I don’t have to sing or rock him to sleep, we just cuddle with the room lights off and when he is barely asleep we put him in his crib.

    You are doing what is right for your family. That’s all that matters.

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