Friday, February 10, 2012

Sleep like a baby

Tomorrow is race day, with lots of (hopefully) good running talk to be had. In the interim, please interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging topics to discuss what I want. After all, it is my blog.

It's one of those days. A day where the Diet Coke and coffee can't flow fast enough. It's the kind where my hand keeps itching for my emergency stash of Jelly Bellys. And my mind, it keeps wondering if it's OK to nap during my lunch break.

And it's all Miles' fault. Or mine. Or both. Whatever. I'll let you decide.

I've briefly referenced to it here on the blog but we are a co-sleeping family. It wasn't so much an active decision, made after careful research and thought. It just sort of happened. There would be a night when Miles woke up at 4 a.m. and didn't want to go back to sleep. Instead of fighting him, we brought him into bed. Once turned into twice. Twice turned into a couple times a week. And now, at some point between the hours of 2 and 4:30 a.m. each night, Miles comes into our bed.

I don't particularly mind Miles sleeping in our bed. He doesn't thrash around, instead choosing to cozy up next to me. If he stirs, I reach for the paci and pop it back in. I also don't worry much about rolling over on him and, as he sleeps between Mark and me, I don't fear that he'll fall off the bed.

However, I've been having the feeling lately that he shouldn't be sleeping in our bed and that we should do something about it. I'm not sure where it came from. It was just like one day I decided that things should change.

And I decided that it should be last night. To say it didn't work out so well would be an understatement.

7 p.m.: Miles goes down for the night in his crib. I go downstairs, make a nasty "smoothie" with a packet (Weight Watchers caramel latte).

8 p.m.: I watch "Big Bang Theory" and amp myself up for the night ahead.

9 p.m.: Go to bed.

10:30 p.m.: Miles wakes up screaming. Give him a bottle and get him to go back to sleep in his crib by 11:10.

1 a.m.: Miles wakes up. I turn on Hushaby Vince Gill and rock him to sleep. Back in bed by 1:10.

2:30 a.m.: Miles is up again. Mark gives him a bottle (4 ounces) but screams. He tries 2 more ounces but Miles still screams.

2:55 a.m.: Exhaustion-induced mini fight with Mark.

3 a.m.: I take over. Give Miles the 2 ounces and get him to sleep. Lie him in his crib and go to bed.

3:15 a.m.: Miles is up. I try popping in the paci, rocking, swaying. Get him back to sleep and go to bed. Repeat till 4.

4 a.m. Miles is finally asleep.

4:30 a.m.: Or not. We say fig it and bring him in.

6:15 a.m.: Miles and I wake up when Denali barks in our face. I swear I might kill him.

As I sit here, wondering what the chances are that I'll faceplant into my Smart Ones Ravioli, I wonder if it was all worth it. Miles does start off in the crib and sleeps most of the night there. In the event that he ever sleeps through the night (I'm doubtful), we should all just grow out of it. Why should we sacrifice sleep and happiness now when it will all just work itself out?

Thoughts? Help!


  1. Oh, honey. You broke the cardinal rule. IF IT"S WORKING, KEEP DOING IT.

    You will know when cosleeping is no longer working for you as a family. But as long as it is, and everyone is happy? Well, if it aint broke don't fix it :)

  2. With my eldest we ended up doing something similar. He always started in the crib and then between 4 and 5 he would end up in our bed. He eventually grew out of it and now spends the whole night in his bed. Our youngest started out co-sleeping with us, eventually we moved him to his crib and he was totally done with our bed. Now if we bring him to bed he thinks it's party time. Anyway. I think if you start him in his crib he'll be fine. Eventually he'll sleep through the night and not end up in your bed. I suggest going with whatever gives YOU the most rest at the moment. If co-sleeping is it, so be it!

  3. As a mom for a mere 22 days, I have little words of advice, but can offer my deepest and strongest commiserations. I've brought C into bed with us twice already for the same reasons, all the while mentally flipping through every time I've heard "them" say "not to bring your baby into bed with you because she/he will probably suffocate and die". When it's 2 a.m., and you're exhausted, and bringing baby to bed is what keeps them asleep, then go with it, I say!

    On the other hand: have you read The Baby Whisperer? That woman swears she's got the sleep thing all figured out (and it doesn't include co-sleeping). I say she's crazy and impractical.

  4. First, good luck on your race tomorrow!

    We also got into the habit of bringing Ella into our room after she'd wake up at 3am. I did it for a few weeks and then realized I had to stop. I had two bad nights, then it was like a lightbulb went off and she started going right back to bed in her own room. I second what Cerise said, if you're getting more sleep co-sleeping, do it.

    Have you read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. ONce I read that and really started paying attention to Ella's tired signals,she started sleeping better. Some nights are still better than others, but the earlier she goes to bed, the better she sleeps.

  5. I believe in sleep training and it works for us. Just the words "sleep training" is a naughty word for some moms so that's all I'm going to say. :)

  6. Hanna has never slept with us, because she refuses to (believe me, there were a few nights where co-sleeping would have been great). But I have had issues with her in the past with getting up often in the night. When Hanna was first born I read the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". it takes you through a childs sleep pattern and how you can correct it , if needs be.
    The book was basically "cry it out", I don't know if you are ok with doing that, but I will tell you that if I am consistent she sleeps better at night. Sometimes I even have to just turn off the monitor for a little while so I couldn't hear her crying. The method is heart wrenching to hear them cry, but it has been the most effective for us. Good luck!

  7. If you are comfortable with it let him stay. If you want him out there is no good way unfortunately that doesn't involve loss of sleep for a couple of nights. They are only little for a short time then don't want ya anymore, at least not that close.

  8. Hang in there - it does get better!

    We didn't bring her into our bed, but definitely struggled to get her back to sleep in 3 AM range sometimes.

    We did a combination of the "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". I wrote about them here

    Hope it helps!

  9. We were also a co-sleeping family. Before Natalie was born I was absolutely against it, I had read all the horror stories and I didn't want to become a statistic. Somewhere along the way though, we found it worked for us. We would would put her to bed in her crib and when she woke up to nurse I would bring her to bed with me. Especially being a breastfeeding mom, it was SO easy and we fell into the habit. I don't think she is any worse off for it. We did the same thing with Daniel when he was born, it was a great tactic for us. Sometimes I would wake up after he dozed off and move him to his crib just because he did thrash around in his sleep, but alot of times he just stayed there with us.

    I say if you and Mark are comfortable with Miles being there there is no harm in it. Most parents are light enough sleepers that they wouldn't actually roll over on top of their baby! Ultimately, only you can make that decision, but I can attest that both my kids survived co-sleeping! Good luck! :)

  10. Do what works! Eventually he'll sleep the entire night in his crib. We would put Ewan down in his crib and then bring him into bed with us when he woke up in the middle of the night. He finally started sleeping through the night around hist first birthday.
    On another note, is he teething? Ewan wakes up every few hours when he's teething. Ear infection? Some kids won't lie horizontal because of the pressure. And finally, there is a sleep regression around 7-8 months. He could definitely be going through that as well.

  11. Obviously I have no advice, but I wanted to leave a comment that includes a gigantic hug!!! I'm exhausted just reading this. Sleep well tonight Healthy Strides family.
    Will miss you tomorrow - but will see you at the race - or should I say "I'll see you in the artic deep freeze" - wow, it's going to suck!

  12. Good luck today at the race!!! Can't wait to hear all about it. I have no experience (yet) with the sleeping issue but I would say, go with what works for you and makes you happy!.

  13. I am a huge proponent of co-sleeping. If everyone is getting the rest he/she needs at night, I think it's good for babies to stay near their mommas. He won't be sleeping with you when he goes off to college, and as you know, YOUR rest is an integral part of your overall fitness and ability to regulate your appetite. Best of luck with race day. Loving your blog!

  14. goodluck!

  15. I am so with you on this. We became a bed-sharing family, never intending it originally. No matter what we tried, it just did not work. Part of it was because our little guy had GERD that went undiagnosed for two months, giving him just enough time to get into the habit of loving getting to sleep with Mama all.night.long. And part of it was simply his sensitive personality. I did try with some success some things in the No Cry Sleep Solution book.

    Eventually, we made peace with the fact that he was comfy and felt safe in our bed. Then when he was two (please don't have a heart attack upon reading that number), we got him his own bed in the next room. I let him pick out his bedding and got him all excited about having his own room with a big boy bed. For the first few months, we had to lay with him until he fell asleep. That was fine, but what was annoying was that he would wake up in the middle of the night and want us to come in again. Losing sleep was brutal. I was getting tired of that, so I went to the dollar store and got enough goodies to last awhile and made a "Brave Box" out of an old boot box. If he slept through the night without needing us to come in, he got to pick out a treat from the Brave Box in the morning. Some days it worked like a charm, and some days it didn't.

    And then one day a few months before he turned 3, I was finally able to do his bedtime routine (story, song, prayer, etc.) and then tell him goodnight and leave the room with just a promise to check on him. It's been mostly blissful ever since.

    It was never our plan to have it take that long, and if you'd asked me three years ago if I would have imagined that I would have croaked. But it turned out to be a sweet season after all, and what was right for our sensitive kiddo and the peace of our family. I consoled myself that he wouldn't still be sleeping in our bed when he was 16. =) I look back on those days and actually remember them in a good light. Granted, if we have another baby, I hope that baby sleeps on.his.own. But if not, we'll live.

    I don't know if this helps or makes it worse, but I hope it at least encourages you to be free to do whatever works best for you guys. There were way too many mamas with opinions telling me what I should do. In the end, I'm glad I just listened to my gut and went with what worked for our family. Each kid is so different, as is each family.

    Bless you on your quest for sleep!

  16. We co-slept with our first and are now co-sleeping with our twins (4 mos) :) The twins go to bed around 9 in their cosleeper and I pull them into bed anywhere between midnight-2am and they usually stay "asleep" until 9am. I say "asleep" because they wake up just enough to eat before falling back asleep. Our oldest stayed with us until he was around 1 and no longer waking up to eat. The transition was pretty painless.

    I never meant to co-sleep, but religiously follow the sage advice to do whatever gets everybody the most sleep!

  17. Coslept with our first and we were perfectly fine with it at the time. Now that he is 10 he still comes into our room scared. We didnt do that with our youngest, and he sleeps all night long in his own bedroom and has the best sleep routine. I feel like it is our fault our oldest son doesn't sleep well. Eventhough it seems ok when they are small, the older they get the harder it is. You are wise to do it now. He will adapt much easier now. Good luck!

  18. First of all, you are an amazing mom for doing all that for miles every night! I hope he realizes how lucky he is. I also hope he starts to sleep longer hours for you at night.

    I think everyone does the co-sleeping thing even if they don't admit it. We totally did when Willa was an infant. Her crib was in our bedroom and after the 4a feeding, I'd bring her into bed and we'd sleep another two - three hours. I absolutely loved it and totally miss it. I felt she was pretty safe and I think she felt that too. But once we moved and she got her own room, she slept in the crib all night. I don't think she'd fall asleep with me if I wanted her too. She likesk her space and doesn't really cuddle much. I think every baby is different and you have to do what works for you. Whatever gets you the most sleep at night is what works. Good luck!

    And I also wanted to congratulate you on the freezing fanny race ;) you did great, mama!!

  19. I agree with what several people said here. After having many people tell me about the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child", I was sold on the "cry it out" method. We fell into co-sleeping the same way you did, and it became such a habit; I was not getting any sleep (too worried about her in our bed, rolling on her etc.) When we decided we were no longer going to bring her into our bed, there was a definite transition period (maybe about a month) of her waking and crying in the night, but it progressively got less frequent and the episodes got shorter in duration. Now, (she is 3) she sleeps through the night like a charm.... and so do my husband and I. I can't tell you how great it is! I say break the habit now. The earlier... the easier. You will see in the book that the author says kids learn at a young age "how" to sleep. If they learn unrealistic habits at a young age (ie, always having someone to sleep with) it will carry over throughout their lives, and cause lasting sleep problems. Good luck! oh...and congrats on your race!