Friday, 1 April 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Co-Sleeping

We've been co-sleeping with Vivian from the start.  Even in the hospital, I snuggled with her in the hospital bed through the night.  The nurses weren't impressed, but I couldn't bear to have her any farther away.  The first week at home, I slept with Vivian asleep on my chest.  After that first week we moved her up to her bassinet beside the bed - big move.  She did well in it, but I would still let her sleep on me if she was too congested to lay flat or just needed an extra cuddle.

A few weeks ago she outgrew her bassinet and moved up to the bassinet part of her playpen (it's one where the bassinet is just a raised portion the size of the whole bassinet, not a standalone bassinet if that makes any sense).  While she seems to really enjoy it, she went through a phase a couple of weeks ago where she would wake up the second you laid her down in bed.  The only way she would sleep was if she was in bed beside me.

I don't mind sleeping in bed with her.  Now that she's bigger, I just snuggle with her beside me with my arm stretched out so if Jagger did roll over, he would roll onto my arm before her.  The problem is, we only have a double bed, so by the time all three of us are in there, there's not much room.  I end up sleeping on a tiny little edge of the bed and can't move at all.  Not the most comfortable.  So, we ended up moving to the bed in the office for a few days to get some rest.

Now she's back to her bed beside us, and will be there for the next couple of months at least.  I'm dreading her move to her own room - even though it's just across the hall.  Even now, when she wakes up in the night to nurse, I just pull her beside me, nurse her, and usually we both fall asleep.  I'll wake up a couple hours later to put her back in her own bed after getting a good snuggle out of it.  My favourite is if she wakes up close to when Jagger is getting up to work - then I just keep her in bed with me and we have a nice sleep-in.  It's so nice to wake up with her beside me, talking to the ceiling fan and waving her arms at me.

I know that co-sleeping isn't for everyone.  I know that lots of people can't sleep with their babies in the room, or they are too scared to sleep in the bed with them.  This is definitely a "it worked for us" kind of thing.  But for me, there's really nothing better.


Joan Crawford said...

Co-sleeping is (in my mind) the most natural and awesome thing ever! I am not big on this "the newborn needs its own sense of independence" thing. Most primary cultures keep their babies with them at all times and babies who co-sleep and are kept in a sling cry a lot less and have lower stress levels - they are also less likely to be a victim of SIDS (when the baby fails to breathe on a regular pace, the mom will be aware of this -even in a deep sleep- and take a huge gasp of air, which then stimulates the baby to breath in as well). I know moms are afraid of rolling on to their baby but really, it won't happen. Unless you have some sort of impairment or are a drunk/drug user, you'll be OK. When was the last time you rolled off the bed? Since you were a kid, yes? That's because even when in a deep sleep, we are aware of our surroundings. Even though I know all this, I too was paranoid about my husband and so when we co-slept, I slept in the middle and the baby on the outside, we had a bed fence on the baby's side.
I was all "Ew, co-sleeping is for freaks! Way to mess up your kid, ya hippie-weirdos!" before I had my own babies. I had no intention of doing it but I had a c-section and so in the very beginning getting up and bending over to get the baby all night was really painful. One night he came in to nurse and that was it. We all slept happily through the night.
It's too bad the nurses were so unprofessional as to show displeasure at your choice (even if they don't agree, it is *your* choice... like to breast feed or bottle feed. Nobody has the right to bully you about making the "wrong" choice, no matter how passionate they are about it), at my hospital both options were discussed and I was provided with a bunch of literature. What I don't get it is - why do people spend all this money on baby monitors (with cameras, even!) so they can see/hear their baby... why not just actually have the baby in the room while they are tiny?
Rant over and Vivian is absolutely gorgeous!

ashlie said...

Totally agree, Joan! Vivian's been doing good napping in her own room during the day, so I finally have started using a monitor! For the first few months, she was always in the same room as I was, so I never used it. Yeah, the nurses gave me a hard time because if I dropped her or fell out of the bed or something, they would be liable because they hadn't put the bed rails up for me. Uh yeah, I wasn't going to roll out of the bed. Like I said, I know there's a lot of people who aren't comfortable with it, but for us it totally works. I'm just way too lazy to get up and walk across the hall to get her in the middle of the night!