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This is another golden tip from some book that I read about baby sleep. Seems pretty common sense but you come to find that to a sleep deprived parent, few things are common sense. The Squeaker has been such a bad sleeper that when I figured out I could nurse her to sleep lying in bed, I thought I had hit the jackpot. Problem is now I can only put her to sleep like this. So when we’re all in bed and she starts to squirm and I know she is going to wake up, yes I feed her, and yes, sometimes she is asleep. So I do in fact feed a sleeping baby sometimes but I don’t do it as often as before. Now I wait and see if she can put her self to sleep. Anywho…
There are a few things that I am getting tired of:
1) People talking to me as if I’m stupid for co-sleeping with O.
2) Co-sleeping with O.
So, #1, I guess I run in some pretty hippy mom circles where co-sleeping is valued and seen as good parenting. But recently I have had a lot of encounters with people who don’t have kids and who talked to me as if I didn’t know the first thing about being a good mom. There is really no topic quite as controversial as how you get your baby to sleep. Every single mom feels guilty about the way they get to their kid to sleep. Including me. Every time I tell someone that O sleeps in bed with us I feel like I need to explain why. I feel like they are judging me and think that I am doing the wrong thing.
You know what? That’s it. I’m not going to feel bad anymore and other moms shouldn’t either. I have talked at length to moms about how they get their kids to sleep and every single one of them does something that they feel uncomfortable telling you about and feel like they have to justify it. Moms that have their kid sleep in their own crib in their own room and had to let their kid cry until putting themselves to sleep will say that there was no other way that worked and this was their last resort. Moms that sleep with their baby in bed with them will say the same thing. Moms that put their baby to sleep on their stomach will say the same thing. We don’t need to explain why we do this to anyone. The name of the game is survival. You do what puts your baby to sleep so that you can get just enough sleep not to go crazy.
I do believe that there are a lot of things that moms can do that make them bad moms. Here are some examples: put soda in your kid’s bottle, not giving your kid a chance to like veggies and always feeding them chicken nuggets and quesadillas, letting them play Halo and Grand Theft Auto, etc. But sleeping with your baby, putting your baby in a crib, or letting them sleep on their stomach is not one of them.
So next time I am talking to you and the topic of co-sleeping with O comes up don’t tell me that you think babies should sleep in cribs and don’t tell me that you know someone whose aunt’s hairdresser’s tax attorney’s dog groomer rolled over and smothered their baby after coming home drunk one night. Don’t want to hear it.
#2 I have been thinking for a while that it is time to transition O into a crib. Not because I want her out of our bed, but because she sleeps pretty well when she is asleep in our bed by herself but when I get in bed she wakes up about every hour. I think she would sleep better in her crib. And now that she is starting to be more mobile, I am worried about her being able to crawl off the bed. (It is a commonly known precaution that if your baby sleeps in bed with you you should put your mattress on the floor to prevent this from happening.) Thing is, I just have not built up the resolve that I need to fight this battle. I am very sleep deprived at the moment and the thought of rocking O to sleep for hours and then her waking up 5 minutes after I put her in her crib makes me want to cry. So I’m working on it. Not to mention, we have a queen size bed which was fine until she started getting so big and likes to sleep with her arms outstretched as if she was Jesus.
Just like all families, we are a work in progress.