We bedshare - do you?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Iwas inspired to write this entry after reading this --> http://moms.today.com/_news/2011/03/07/6212018-mayim-bialik-why-we-let-our-children-sleep-in-our-bed?GT1=43001
Which I found when The Cloth Diaper Whisperer posted it on their Facebook --> http://www.facebook.com/theclothdiaperwhisperer
This was a great article!!

I was raised in a family bed. My little sister and I would sleep in our parents bed when we were little. When I was 6 we moved houses. Sometimes I slept in Mom's bed, sometimes I slept in my own. When I was sick I always slept with mom. I loved the comfort I felt sleeping in my mom's bed. Even if I was home sick from school and I was the only one in bed, I liked my mom's bed because I just always felt better there.

While I was pregnant Toad and I determined that we would definately not bedshare. For us, it was an idea that seemed too dangerous - I couldn't trust him not to roll over and squish our child! And absolutely nothing wakes him up. Well, you know what I mean.

Our son spent his first night in the world with his head under a clear plastic bubble - an oxyhood. He wasn't allowed out of the nursery. We couldn't hold him. It was sad. Know what everyone told me? ..."Enjoy it now, sleeping through the night. Once he comes home you wont get the chance"...  Did people really expect me to sleep through the night? While my son was alone (aside from his nurse) in a bed with a lamp for heat, and machine noise for comfort? Really? The next night he spent at a different hospital, in the NICU. He was now hooked to a CPAP machine instead of under an oxyhood. We still couldn't hold him because he had an umbilical line. He certainly couldn't leave and we couldn't sleep there. He was doing so much better already though, and in the NICU - it was easy to see we were very fortunate by comparison.

A week and some days went by and Cooper got much better. He no longer needed the CPAP, not even a nasal cannula (think old people oxygen tubes). We had started holding him, and Cooper and I had begun I journey breastfeeding. The NICU has a special family room. Since Cooper was no longer on any machine other than monitoring, and he no longer needed the warmer, and we were breastfeeding, we were allowed to room in with him. Finally we could spend the night with our son. They told us not to put him in the bed with us. My response ... "Are you serious? Of course I wont! He is way too little! We've always said bed sharring wasn't for us anyways." At that point Turtle-Love weighed about 5 and a half pounds. That night Turtle-Love spent the night next to us - him in his little hospital bassinet, us in the bed next to him. I was terrified I wouldn't wake up to him. That was pretty much my biggest parenting fear. But, when the time came I woke to every whimper. We spent two nights at the hospital rooming in.

Finally it was time for Turtle-Love to come home! I had a crib, a pack n play with a bassinet, and a moses basket. We also had a pooh bear bassinet I dispised but my best friend gave ti to us for free - they had used it at her MIL's house for thier son. With the pack n play downstairs we decided Turtle-Love would sleep in his moses basket, in the crib. The crib is in our room.

He wouldn't sleep in the moses basket. He fussed, not cried. And I spent every fifteen minutes checking on him because I was afraid he would wiggle himself into the side, which was thick fabric, and suffocate. Finally I reluctantly but him in the bassinet and pulled it next to my side of the bed. He would whimper and whine a bit at first, then slept for five hours. Oh thank heavens!

Soon, that changed. He started waking up every three hours or so. Then wouldn't go back to sleep. One night he woke me up every hour. Then the same thing the next night. That night I figured out nursing while laying on my side. I dozed off like that and immediately moved him to his bassinet when I woke. I scared myself. The next night I caved. He had woken me up everyhour if he didn't cry through that hour. Around 7 am I put him in the bed with me, I scooted all the way into Toad and put Turtle-Love on my other side with the bassinet and my night stand against the side of the bed, and we both fell asleep. The next night after he woke me twice and refused to go back down, I tried the bed again and he was immediately out. We splet that way, but I was still afraid of him being in the bed with us. The next morning we figured out the bassinet I hated actually had a side that came off and tucked under the mattress to become a co-sleeper. We tried that for a few nights, but again it came to the point where in my exhaustion around 6 am I would put him in bed with me. The next night we had plans to be somewhere in the morning and I knew the only way I would get any sleep was to have Turtle-Love in bed with us.

Turtle-Love has slept in our bed ever sense. Every once in a while I tried to put him in our co-sleeping bassinet but he wont sleep there. I stopped fighting it. We live with my mom, and she of course supports the family bed. Not many other people do. Everyone tells me I need to move him before he gets clingy. Blah blah blah. Everyone has their own opinion and that is fine.

I know bedsharring works for us. I know that on average I sleep for five hours straight, wake up to change nurse and pump, and we almost always go right back down for a nap that is between 1 and 3 hours long, longer if I don't have anything to do in the morning. I'm the envy of my mommy frends whos babies are older than Turtle-Love and eat less frequently but still keep them up all night. I know that I love watching him play right before we go to sleep. He lays between us and coos and wiggles and kicks and throws himself around with his arms. He makes faces at me. Then he lets me know he is ready for bed, or sometimes for a snack and then bed. I snuggle him beside me, both of us on our side facing each other. I trade off which side every two nights or so. I keep the bassinet attached to our bed with a roller pillow on the edge between the bed and the bassinet as our bed rail for now. Toad hardly ever moves in his sleep and if he does I wake up. I guess its an instinct because if Turtle-Love is on my otherside Toad can do flips and it wont wake me. I love waking up to him nuzzling his face to my breast looking for food, usually with his hand in his way. Silly little Turtle-Love.

Anyhow - I guess my point was that I appreciate bedsharring, and while I planned not to do it it is working well for us.


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