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Thursday, February 15, 2007On the rare day that I get to the mall to take the kids for a walk I always end up with a conflict. As I walk past the Cinnabon stand, my mouth waters, my eyes glaze over and my hips instantly expand by at least 1/2". Yep...all I have to do is smell them and I gain weight. Thus, I look longingly at them as we walk by, but deep down, I really feel like I'll regret it if I "give in."
And that, my friends, sums up my internal conflict with the idea of co-sleeping.
With Elnora, we never even considered it. Cause as you know, co-sleeping with your child results in:
1.) INSTANT DEATH!!! DEATH AND DESTRUCTION!!! YOUR CHILD WILL SMOTHER!!!!
2.) You'll NEVER have sex again.
3.) They'll sleep with you until they're in high school and that's just SICK.
So, like a good little American mommy, Elnora slept in a pack n play across the room for the first two nights she was home. Then, (due to more than a little pressure from well meaning family members) we moved her to her crib. I didn't sleep for the next three nights. Every single sound on the monitor made me want to go look. Every single LACK of sound on the monitor made me want to go look. I wrote it off as first time mom jitters. But deep down, I didn't really believe it. After all, I'm the mom that raised my first kid like she was a third kid. (Germs? Ehh...whatever...it's only been on the floor five minutes...who cares if the dog licked it?)
When Emmitt was born, I was bound and determined to nurse him. We spent the first week on the back porch. He was eating about once an hour so I'd simply sleep in the recliner with him on my chest. We tried side lying but we had a bad latch and I ended up with cracked nipples. (And woo boy, ain't nothin' more fun than big old cracks in your nipples...) Since his nursery was upstairs and our bedroom was downstairs (and there was no WAY I was traipsing upstairs eleventy billion times a night) we stuck him in a bassinet next to the bed.
Until three weeks later when he outgrew it. (LOL, yep...my four week old was too big for a bassinet...he's a hoss.)
So we traded our pack n play with my mom's because her's had a full size bassinet insert. (So I didn't have to lean over so far to get him in and out.)
Almost five months later, he still sleeps in there, in our room, next to the bed. In fact, he's never been inside his nursery.
Now you're asking yourself...why am I not co-sleeping this time around? Surely I don't really believe those three things I wrote above...
Not at all...but I DO have my reasons...
1.) I'm not going to be able to convince Greg to put the mattress on the floor. It's just NOT going to happen. Since we have a tall bed and hardwood floors, well...obviously if Emmitt did slip out, it would be bad. (I've already dropped him on his face once...don't really want to do it again.)
2.) Greg is a cover-guy. He wants sheets, blankets, comforters...all that great baby smothering stuff. Since I spent the first year of Elnora's life waking up in a cold sweat convinced that she was buried under the mounds of covers (while she slept peacefully in her crib), I'm a little hesitant to try it out in real life.
3.) While I LOVE cuddling up with my little guy and find side-lying to be a fantastic way to get some sleep while he nurses, I also know that I don't want a 3 year old sleeping with me. Heck, I don't want a 2 year old or even an 18 month old sleeping with me. (More on this later.)
4.) I don't sleep as well with Emmitt in the bed as I do with him in his pack-n-play. Sure, I can sleep while I nurse, but other than that, I end up being worried about him getting buried in covers, so I sleep SUPER light. That leaves me exhausted in the mornings...more so than I am with having to get up to feed him.
See, we do co-sleep sometimes and Greg would be fine with it if we did it all the time. (Especially when it's 4am and I'm ready to cry...his response is "just put him in bed with us!") Usually it's the last feed of the "night" which actually happens around 7. Greg's getting up to get ready for work then anyway and I usually have until 8 or 8:30 before Elnora's going to wake up. So...I snag Emmitt and the two of us sleep in the bed by ourselves for another hour or two after he nurses back to sleep. On the rare day that I have my work done early and I can nap while Elnora naps, Emmitt and I take a nap together in the bed during which he nurses once or twice.
Ok...all of that ramblingness was to get to this point...
I have no problem with co-sleeping...I think it's a great idea...I really enjoy doing it and I have no fear of "spoiling" my child. That said, I have an immense fear of forming a habit for my child that I will then be forced to either live with, or break.
Knowing how difficult it is to convince a two year old to do something that they don't want to do, I realize how tough it would be to get a two year old out of our bed if I decide that we don't want him there any more. As such, if I were to shift to co-sleeping, I'd pretty much be committing to doing it until he decided on his own that he was fine with switching OR until I was ready to go through the "fun" of making him move.
Neither one of those options appeal to me. In fact, they sound so awful that they're enough of a reason to keep me from going to full time cosleeping.
So while I love the idea (much like I love the smell of those Cinnabons) I'm just not sure that I want to live with the "consequences."
My current plan is to get both kids' rooms moved downstairs within the next month or two. (We have two bedrooms downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs.) That way, I can put Emmitt in his crib for naps during the day so that he can get used to sleeping in there, but he can stay with Greg and I in our room upstairs until he begins sleeping through the night. Once he does sleep through the night, it shouldn't be as hard to switch him to his crib because he'll already be used to sleeping there during the day.
Which leaves me curious to hear your experiences... Did you co-sleep with any of your kids? With one but not with others? How long did you co-sleep? How hard/easy was it to transition them to their own beds? How old were they when they moved out? (I'm not worried about the sex, you can have sex anywhere...lol...it's really the "habit" that worries me.)