(Oh, gentle reader, if you are a hard core CIO parent or if your kids have really, truly never slept in your bed and co-sleepers make you crazy – I beg you – please go read the archives today – because this post will totally make you itch and you’ll hurt yourself rolling your eyes, and I don’t want you to hurt yourself. This is all about me wanting to take care of you – clearly not at all about me not wanting you to think I’m a dingbat.)
Okay, so it’s just us now? Here we go.
I had one rule before Alex was born – This kid isn’t sleeping in our bed.
And he didn’t. For 8 weeks. Because one of us slept on the couch with him. Every night until we moved cross country.
It started because I put his tiny self in his crib and he screamed, I put him next to me on the floor by his crib and he screamed. I was tired exhausted about to die because I had 4 hours of sleep in 3 days, and I learned that my mommy paranoia (we all have at least one, c’mon, what’s yours?) was that at 1am, the fear of SIDS eating my baby was going to attack me. And it was going to attack hard and I was going to be helpless in it’s teeth.
I was am deep down scared that if Alex sleeps alone at night that he will be still in the morning. The fear doesn’t shake. No matter how tired I am, no matter how strong Alex is. The fear has.not.subsided.YET. (I say “yet” I’m hopeful.)
I remember being in elementary school and being sent to wake my Grandpa up from his afternoon nap. My Grandpa who I loved more than anyone, ever. I would walk down the hall and stand in his doorway. I would watch him until I saw his chest rise and fall, letting me know that I was not going to find him still, before quietly saying his name and waking him. Always afraid for that moment that he was not going to wake.
It’s the same fear I have now.
The first time Alex slept in bed with us was on the drive cross country for the move. We had no couch so I placed him on my chest and we fell asleep in bed.
And Oh. Mah. Gaw. We had the BEST night of sleep EVER in the history of baby sleep. Okay, so there was no clock in the room that I could see, so at least I didn’t know how often we woke up but I felt fantastic when we got up the next morning.
After that, he was with us. Next to one of us, between us. All night, every night. I was an accidental co-sleeper.
Which was a habit born out of fear. I fully took responsibility for his bad sleep, because I could.not. try to have him sleep in his crib alone. I was scared. And fear does not bring on peaceful parent sleep.
But Saturday night. Holy fuckershit. The kid would not go to sleep, once asleep he would not stay asleep, then at 1145 I shifted him toward me as I went to bed – I was afraid that if he got cold that he would wake up. Of course the movement woke his little ass up. For 45 minutes, Scout walked with him, trying to get him to sleep. As soon as it was safe to stop moving…. he’d wake again. Oh. Mah. Gaw.
I put him in his crib to play. I sat back in the rocking chair, watching him cruise around his crib. Then I watched him sling an arm over the side and LIFT HIS LEG UP to prepare to launch his damn self out of the crib. WTF Evel Kineval baby?
So since we were all WIDE AWAKE at 115am, Scout went and got the tools and lowered the bed to the LOWEST setting (no gradual increments here). And he went to bed. I sat with Alex, I patted Alex, I fed Alex, I patted Alex, I fed Alex more, I patted him.
And he fell asleep.
In the crib.
I got pillow and blanket. Computer and Pump. I made a bottle, and I curled up on the floor next to him. On that same carpet I lay on 6 months and a week ago. Still couldn’t let go of my fear.
Lay there and thought about blogging it fo’ damn sure.
Woke when Scout came in. He sent my incoherent self to bed. It was 445. 2 and a half hours of baby sleep. I had this grand notion of real live baby sleeping through the night since I was trying this.
Yeah, that didn’t happen.
I think I’m pulling a mattress in by the crib. At least the next time I’m ready to try this crib thing, I’ll have a plush pillow top to try it with. Damn this fear has teeth that don’t let go.