Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
I never intended to co-sleep with either child. I co-slept with my oldest for two years before we finally moved her to her own room, and even now, one of us finds ourselves in her bed in the early hours of the morning. It didn’t start out that way, but when you’re breastfeeding a child that wakes every 2 hours since birth and never stops, it sort of happens. I would wake up with a child next to me because I had fallen asleep nursing her.
I do not take co-sleeping lightly, and I am not reckless. I did not casually fall asleep with a newborn in my bed without proper precautions. There are co-sleeping guidelines for a reason, like limiting pillows and blankets for the safety of your child. There was a crib next to the bed, but our bed was always prepped for co-sleeping, just in case.
My second child is a much better sleeper than his sister ever was. He will give me nice 4 to 5 hour stretches that feel like bliss. I hear about other babies sleeping 8 or more hours at this point, but I don’t want to get greedy. I know what life is like with a restless sleeper, so I’ll take what I can get.
At four months old, my precious boy is teething in a way his sister never did. The child that rarely fusses is now yelling at the top of his lungs, and my good sleeper that would lay nicely in his crib is resisting. I won’t go as far to say he won’t lay in his crib, because when push comes to shove, I win. It can take me an hour, but eventually this little boy will lay in his crib in sleep.
Is that what I want to do at 2am? Or again at 4am? No. Absolutely not.
My second born, that I assumed would have no need for co-sleeping, is proving to be as stubborn as his sister. This little snuggler is more than I can handle in the middle of the night, simply because I am freaking tired. I don’t have the stamina. I’m not a fan of forgetting my cup of coffee for the third time as my toddler runs around naked and my newborn yells for his third breakfast, both blissfully rested. I’ll gladly admit defeat if it will give me a few more hours of rest.
Here we are again, with a second child. I’m not completely dedicated to co-sleeping. If he will sleep in his crib without fuss, I’ll lay him there and not worry about it. I will also not feel guilty about making choices that are good for us both, and sometimes that does mean co-sleeping. We both need rest, and if that’s how we will get it, so be it.
Don’t feel guilty about how you sleep with your child. Other parents in my position would have jumped on the sleep-training train years ago and been happily riding it since. Some would have purchased co-sleepers for the bed and completely dedicated themselves to the attachment process co-sleeping supports. I’m bouncing around in the middle, blindly searching for another hour of sleep.
As in everything when it comes to raising your child, the primary concern is safety. If your child is safe, you’re doing awesome. Leave it at that.