Well, I ate too much for dinner and now I have heart burn, I may as well stay up and write this post on co-sleeping until the food goes down a bit (36 weeks, no room to pig out anymore). The Jewish superstition sort of goes against buying anything for the baby before it’s born. My 80 year old Jewish grandmother told me that she made a makeshift baby bed out of a dresser drawer when she brought her first home from the hospital in the 1950’s, and Art’s 80 year old Jewish father recommended that a camera bag is usually big enough for them to sleep in. He said, ‘Don’t buy anything until you’re holding that kid in your arms!’. So, we just decided to hold off. We really didn’t have the room , or the money to buy a crib or bassinet, so it was okay anyway. We bought this thing called a Tetra cot, sort of like an au-natural bassinet made from tea tree bark, just as a of last resort thing.
Sometime just before I had Margo, I was reading that stupid book, ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’, it’s ok for the basics and I have to say that I had a good laugh or two while reading it, but really, now that I’ve been through it, I wouldn’t recommend that book to anyone. Somewhere in it, it talked about this thing called co-sleeping. Mostly it talked about how dangerous co-sleeping is… and I thought to myself, well, now…. co-sleeping, that sounds like a pretty good idea actually! I had never ever heard of allowing a baby to sleep in the same room as you, let alone in the same bed! What did our cave ancestors do? Surely, they didn’t put their precious offspring on the other side of the cave to freeze or be eaten by the lions? Did they? And, wouldn’t it be easier to just roll over and feed a waking baby rather than roam around at night into another room to get a crying baby? And, wouldn’t that little babe feel a bit safer if it was right near its parents? Of course, babies who sleep in separate rooms now a days don’t know that the lion isn’t coming to get them,,, but how do they know it’s the year 2012 and we have four walls around us? Hmmmm…. a strange, unconventional idea was brewing in my head.
So, that’s how the co-sleeping started. We used that tetra cot thing a little bit, and it was nice, but very quickly, I found it was just easier to roll over and stick a boob in a waking baby’s mouth, let her fall asleep and then just roll over when she was finished and be done with it. Also, for doing Elimination Communication, it was pretty easy too. Baby wakes. Take baby to potty near the bed. Stick boob in baby’s mouth. Baby falls asleep. Empty potty if I could open my eyes. Go back to sleep. It was so nice and easy. I found I got plenty of sleep all throughout Margo’s first year.
At 11 months, we bought Margo a toddler bed from IKEA and smooshed it up against ours. We never made a big deal about her having to sleep in her toddler bed. It was there if she wanted. Since then, she has almost always slept in it. Or sometimes, as you can see in the picture above, she ends up on the big bed and I end up on hers… funny, isn’t it? I can’t imagine her sleeping away from us. It’s always comforting to know exactly what she’s up to. I can fix the covers for her if she stirs, pat her back if she’s starting to wake, feel her forehead to see if she’s hot or cold, and even at 5:30 am when I hear that sweet little voice say, ‘Mommy, Margo’s awake’. Sometimes, I can quickly cuddle her back to sleep if she’s still drowsy. I can walk her to the toilet at night (she occasionally gets up to go, but hey, I’m pregnant, so it’s almost guaranteed that I have to go too). And then she instantly falls asleep as soon as she’s back in bed. We never have bedtime battles, she even tells me when she wants to go to sleep or take a nap.
There are lots of websites out there that talk about safe co-sleeping. Common sense is usually the best tip of all. I’m in no hurry to get her out of our room. When she feels like she wants to sleep somewhere else, that can be up to her. It hasn’t affected intimacy or anything either… um, hello… baby #2 on the way? The only thing I’m wondering is where we will put the next one? I’m sure he/she will fit somewhere 🙂