Thursday, September 26

Thoughts on Co-Sleeping WIth Baby

Our daughter Tenley is a great sleeper. Dalin and I have gotten into the unfortunate habit of going to bed between 11pm and midnight regularly (at least we've done away with those one or two in the morning nights), but so far it has worked great with Tenley. She nurses somewhere between those hours, then I place her in the bassinet in her room, which you enter through our room, and then I don't have to get up until she wakes me between four and (more recently) six in the morning. At that point, I go in and get our little munchkin (who has the saddest cry ever by the way), and then she joins us on our bed, right between us, and we (she and I) fall asleep while I feed her. Dalin gets up, depending on the day, at about six or seven in the morning, and it is around then that I usually feed Tenley again. Then she and I sleep in until nine or so. At that point, she usually needs to be changed asap or she pees our bed (it's happened like five times) or, worse, has a blowout (like yesterday). It's not a perfect routine, but it allows me plenty of rest. A few times, Tenley has even slept through the night (well, by my definition she has) sleeping six or seven hours straight.

The thing that is hard to understand is how a person so small can take up so much of our bed. I'm not kidding when I say I think she has more space than either Dalin or I do. I've woken up very close to the edge of our Queen sized bed and nearly slipped off. Dalin and I know the risks of co-sleeping (not that they apply to everyone--my brothers and I all co-slept with our parents and we're still breathing) and we think about it a lot because the idea of something happening to Tenley is scary. I'm not worried about myself so much as I am about Dalin accidentally rolling on her (which he worries about, too, though he's never come close) or a pillow covering her face and her not moving or crying to alert us. We are very careful about those things of course, but the trouble is not that we can't get her to sleep only in her bed, but that we miss her when she is in her own bed. Just last night, Dalin and I put her down in her bassinet in her room, then we visited her a few times to look at her, check on her, and give her kisses. Dalin said, "We need to get one of those co-sleeper things." And I said, "I know, I agree. It would be nice if she slept in her bed all night (if I took the time to put her back in there after I fed her) but I miss her when she isn't with us." And Dalin kind of laughed and said, "I know, me too."

It is hard for us to be away from our sweet girl. She is so snuggly and there is something about watching your own baby asleep that makes you feel so good inside. There is also the worry about her being alone, cold, and any other number of things. Example: the other day when I brought Tenley in her room to be changed, I saw a BIG GRAY SPIDER on the wall right next to her bed. I never thought of myself as super afraid of spiders, but saying so would be inaccurate now. Somehow the fear has worsened with age (despite all I know about spiders, they're just gross and I've heard too many horror stories) and this has prevented me from being the one to kill them. (I don't like killing any bug really though...the crunching sound they make when squished is what bothers me most.) I usually scream for Dalin who sighs and gets a tissue. But at this particular time, Dalin wasn't around and I did not want to take my eye off the nasty thing because there was NO WAY IN HECK that spider was going to live and possibly get into my daughter's bed and bite her in the night. So I manned up and got a tissue and, after mentally preparing myself for far too long, smashed the darn thing.

Anyhow, what was I saying? Describing that moment was almost like re-living it...anyway, the point is, that unknown things could happen to her while she isn't under our constant watch and that scares us! We still feel like we have freedom in our current routine so we are debating whether or not to change it, but ideally I would like to foster her sense of independence by having her regularly sleep from at least midnight to seven a.m. in her own bed.

Our routine, ideally, would be: I feed Tenley around 11pm, burp her, change her, and dress her in pjs. Then I read to her, sing to her, and snuggle with her before putting her in bed. Then she wouldn't wake up 'til morning for her next feeding and changing. So far, we do all these things, just not always in the same order. (Reading time is usually during the day.)

So my question for you is what do you think? What worked for your children? What is your opinion about co-sleeping?


  1. I tried to post something earlier, but the blog wasn't working well with my iphone. My little guy is currently 14 weeks - not much older than yours. We started co-sleeping with him more out of desperation than anything. Sleep deprivation is no fun. At one point we realized that it was safer for him in his crib vs. in bed with us. Anyway, it sounds like you want her sleeping through the night. I would suggest reading Babywise and The Baby Whisperer.

    When Ben was 9 weeks I started him on the Babywise schedule. He started sleeping through the night (9pm-5am) with in a week and a half. Now he sleeps from about 8pm-7am at 14 weeks. It's great. But before you get set in stone on co-sleeping with Tenley, read these books. I think it will help.

  2. PS. I wish I had read these books when he was brand new. It would have saved me a lot of worry and stress.


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