Monday, January 17, 2011

Sleeping Arrangements

As I have mentioned before, my husband is frugal. When it came to choosing a bed for the baby we hit a bit of a roadblock. While Ross didn't object to cribs in general, he balked at the idea of actually spending any money on one. But this Christmas a gift from Remy's grandmother allowed us to finally go out and get a crib for our eight month old son.

Up until then we had used a variety of sleeping arrangements for him. We started out with the Fisher Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper. Ross liked it because it was only $39 and I liked it because I could cart it all around the house with me. For the first couple of months, when we were splitting baby duty over the night, we would park the sleeper next to the couch and Ross would keep an eye on him while he played video games and then at 3 or 4 I would come out to the living room to feed Remy and watch a little Poker After Dark before falling asleep on the couch. When Remy got better at sleeping at night, we brought the sleeper into the bedroom with us. Unfortunately he outgrew it around the time he turned 6 months old so I put the sleeper in storage and wheeled the pack 'n play into our bedroom. I would put him to sleep in that for the first half of the night and then move him into bed with me for the second half of the night. At this point Ross moved into the guest room (which was meant to be the baby's room!) Eventually though Remy realized that the pack 'n play mattress is utter crap compared to Mommy's bed, and he decided he would like to just go straight to the big bed at night.

I was chagrined to realize, at this point, that I had become a full-fledged co-sleeper. Before Remy was born, probably around the same time that pregnancy caused me to stop sleeping at night, I decided that I most definitely was NOT going to co-sleep (co-sleep being the fancy name people use for sharing your bed with your child.)

To me, co-sleeping represented a kind of anxious, insecure parenting style that made me cringe. And while I would like to say that my experience with co-sleeping disabused me of that notion, I actually found that it made me more anxious and more clingy. I was waking up all night long to check his breathing, feel his temperature, flip him over, adjust his blanket, or even just kiss him and hold his hand. While there is nothing wrong with those things, feeling compelled to do them frequently throughout the night when Momma and Baby should be sleeping soundly is not so good.

If we had moved right from the sleeper to a crib, I think I would have been
fine, but after my clingy, anxiety ridden stint as a co-sleeper I found it really difficult to start using our new crib once we finally had one. Every night there was another excuse. The mattress is in the wrong position, the room is too drafty, the baby monitor isn't working properly, he isn't feeling well tonight etc., etc. What finally made me bite the bullet and put him in his crib was waking up one morning to find that he had kicked away the barrier of pillows on his side of the bed and was dangerously close to falling off the edge.

That night I put him in his crib. To my surprise he slept soundly until 5 in the morning, but I was an anxious mess, checking on him constantly, and finally brought him to his pack 'n play at 5 so that I could look at him without getting up. The second night I did better, probably because I was passed out from utter exhaustion and not even able to get up and check on him. And he did awesome as well, sleeping until 7:50 am in his crib!

So after 8 months of various sleeping arrangements, including an accidental experiment in co-sleeping, Remy and I will both be sleeping in our very own beds and, thanks to that, getting much better rest! That is, after I re-acclimate myself to Ross's snoring...


Friar Tuck said...

We needed to move the baby to the crib around four months. She was outgrowing the basonett. Now the basonnett holds all the stuffed animals in the nursery.

We had her sleeping well for a long time. Then we went on a vacation and she got sick. Has not been the same since. That and the momma decided to put her to bed upstairs earlier in the evening. Before I was staying up with her and feeding her at midnight.

And we had to give up the swaddler. But that is another long sordid story.

Been too afraid to cosleep, and as a social worker and aware of all the stats on SIDS, Jennifer was dead set against it.

Kimberly Cangelosi said...

Yeah, I was very worried about SIDS while we were co-sleeping. I have this thick foam topper on my bed and Remy would just sink down into it. I felt like I was constantly waking up to make sure he wasn't face down on the bed.

We tried using the swaddler back when he was a newborn but he fought the whole time to get his arms free so we quit...was it just hard for her to give it up?

Sorry that things haven't gone back to normal for you. It seems like as soon as you get a routine going something happens and you have to start over. I've found Sleep Easy Solution to be very helpful.

Ana said...

My mother-in-law found a cute foldable mattress for playards that is tight fitting so it is safe. It folds in 3 so it´s great when traveling. Also it has the advantage of having a washable cover. It is from My son loves it. Good luck!