Regan and I Are a Family!!

Shepherd, Regan, and I Are a Family!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Co Sleeping?

Our second sleeping experiment.
Finally, some sleep! Wasn't she so little back then?!?!
Isn't this precious?!?!
The gratuitous, baby with her rump in the air sleeping photo.

I just read a whole blog and comments regarding co-sleeping and the pros and cons. It's kind of funny to me that there is such hub bub about the whole thing. I must confess though, I was originally very anti-co sleeping (before I was a mom!). When Regan first came home I tried everything to get her to sleep in her crib....or at the very least in her own room. The first three days I tried the crib. She learned to climb out of the crib and became very self abusive when she was in there (to the point you couldn't reason or consule her, she just wasn't "in" her body anymore if you know what I mean) she would bang her head and scratch herself bloody. We then tried sleeping on the floor in her room. Better, but still not great. Finally, we spent a month sleeping together in the hospital. The hospital staff was great about the fact that Regan would not do well in a crib and even though it was against hospital policy, they didn't make a big deal about switching out the crib and moving in a big bed. I just signed a waiver saying I wouldn't sue if she fell out or got hurt in any way. Seeing as how she was sedated and/or hooked up to her central line most of the time, she wasn't moving so much during that time. The two of us sleeping in the hospital bed also had the added bonus of freeing up the only chair in the room (in ICU) so that my mom also spent the night. Again, only one adult was supposed to spend the night, but they allowed my mom to "visit" over night. The hospital staff in ICU was awesome.

After we came home from the hospital, I was just glad to get sleep. In anyway possible. I always say that the silver lining of the hospital stay was that we were a team when we came home. After a month of sleeping together in the hospital I knew there was no way to go back to trying to get her to sleep on her own. My only rule is that she has to be able to go to sleep by herself. I won't go in and lay with her in order to get her to sleep. This rule was implemented after with trial and error I would try to lay day with her to go to sleep. I then realized I was spending several hours each day (nap and nighttime) laying as still as possible trying not to fall asleep myself! When it took longer and longer for Regan to fall asleep because she thought it was playtime, I initiated the mommy doesn't lay down with you rule. My other rationale in deciding to co-sleep is the fact that I am such a deep sleeper (used to be, not so much anymore, but when I"m tired, a train could run through my room and I would be undisturbed). I was very scared that she would wake up in the middle of the night and be scared, get into something harmful, or hurt herself and that I wouldn't wake up to hear her. Especially in the first several months being home when we were getting a tops of 4 hours of sleep at night. When I finally got to sleep, I slept hard! Her bedroom is clear across the house and although our house is not big by any standards, it was still a ways away.

Although we stumbled into co-sleeping, I truly do think it helped to cement our relationship. She knew I was there for her and during a time when she would have night terrors and be inconsolable, I was always there. Now, I love looking over and seeing her sweet little face. I think it is an amazing thing to experience and feel that I would be missing out on a great bonding time if we didn't sleep together. Of course I"m fortunate that I don't have a significant other that adds to the equation when contemplating co-sleeping.

My philosophy is that we won't be sleeping with me until she goes off to college. Eventually, when she is ready, she'll want to sleep on her own and that will be just fine. It is just funny to me that it is such a hot topic in the parenting world. I have learned that different things work for different families. As long as it isn't harmful or enabling, then do what is right for your family situation. Obviously, it isn't right for every family and that's okay. At this moment, it is right for our family.


Jeff and Amy said...

Becky, this is the only way we get any sleep for now anyway, I agree they won't be in our beds forever!!! LOL

Anna said...

Molly sleeps with me too! Unfortunately she is a restless sleeper so it is not a good night of sleep for me. It all started when she got sick and I let her sleep in my bed...