To Co-Sleep, Perchance to Dream… | Teeny Manolo

To Co-Sleep, Perchance to Dream…

By Glinda

We swore we weren’t going to do it with this one.

Little did we know.

When our son was born, he refused to sleep alone.  After many heartbreaking attempts to get him to do so, my husband and I finally gave up.  I’ve always leaned toward attachment parenting, and we just went with it. We had two bedrooms, and one of us at a time co-slept with our son until he was about two and a half years old.

Now, it wasn’t horrible.  The Munchkin was and is still a very sound sleeper and everyone got plenty of sleep during that phase.  Since we “weaned” him off the co-sleeping, he has had absolutely zero sleep issues. He goes to be without a fuss every night and wakes up refreshed in the morning.  No nightmares, no crawling into bed at 2AM, no sleep-walking, nothing.

But, everyone always clucks at you when you let it slip that you co-slept. And yes, usually people don’t own up to the fact simply because it’s easier just not to have to explain to people that no, you are not trying to destroy your kid.  Despite the fact that we were sincerely doing what we thought best for our family, everyone is always out to second-guess you.

When my daughter was born, it all started wonderfully.  She slept alone in her co-sleeper bassinet, (which I highly recommend, by the way) and in her swing. 

She then transitioned pretty well into the crib, although there were some rough nights here and there.  But nothing out of the ordinary.

However, between the sixth and ninth months of her life, she got quite ill from whatever her brother brought home from school, and simply refused to sleep alone.  We tried, we really did.  But she was sick three times in a three-month period, and everyone was absolutely miserable and getting little rest.  Everybody knows that much poor decision making comes from lack of sleep, and we were no different.

So one night we said, let’s just try bringing her in the bed and see what happens.

Worked like a charm.  She’s a bit of a restless sleeper, but if she wakes up she will usually go right back to sleep.  Unless of course it is teething pain, and then all bets are off. She is able to sleep by herself during naps, although she requires someone to fall asleep with her. 

So instead of starting out co-sleeping and then transitioning to the crib, we sort of did it backwards.  Goodness knows, not by design. Would I prefer that she sleep on her own in a crib? Yes.   But sometimes things just work out a certain way, and that’s what happened with us.

And really?  I’ve pretty much stopped caring about what other people think about the co-sleeping situation.  We have made the bed perfectly safe, and she is well past the age of being smothered by blankets or pillows.  She gets her rest, I get my much-needed beauty sleep, and we are all happy.  There is nothing wrong with this picture except for the people who want to get all hot and bothered about things that aren’t really their business. 

We co-slept with our son and he didn’t turn out to be some co-dependent wussy who can’t fall asleep on his own.  Quite the contrary. 

So, if you are thinking about co-sleeping, do what works best for you, and all the rest can shut up and do what’s best for them.

4 Responses to “To Co-Sleep, Perchance to Dream…”

  1. class factotum Says:

    What you do sounds perfectly reasonable. What is not reasonable is a woman I know who would not go to our 15-year college reunion because she co-slept with her 30 month old and he went to bed at 8.

    Also not reasonable: all the drunken baby smothering deaths in Milwaukee that are 1. not prosecuted and 2. vilified as “co-sleeping” deaths. Really? It’s the sleeping with your baby and not the fact that you were smashed or high when you fell asleep on the couch (and the baby)? Excuse my OT rant, but people who get drunk and then kill their children should be in jail.

  2. J Says:

    I kinda think that ‘do what works best for you and don’t worry about what anyone else says’ is the way to go with parenting, period.

    We didn’t really co-sleep with our daughter, but I wasn’t that against it. We didn’t sleep well with her in our bed was all. But often we would get her out of her crib for a 6 am feeding, and bring her to bed with us until 8 or 9, because that way she would sleep, whereas if we tried to put her back in her crib, she was AWAKE.

    I co slept with my mom for many years. We only had two rooms, and my brother got his own (being the boy) and I had to share. I turned out OK, and can go to sleep alone perfectly well. 😉

  3. Karen (scotland) Says:

    Totally agree with you on this issue.
    With my first son, I was SO determined to follow all the official advice ie don’t co-sleep. It was awful – hours of trying to settle him, sad and stressed baby and mamma, child (still) terified of the dark.

    My second son, from the day he was born, wouldn’t sleep at night unless he was against my skin. He didn’t have to be feeding: he just needed his cheek against my skin (maybe he could hear my heart?)
    I resisted for a few days but the utter exhaustion I felt trying to stay awake to sit up to feed him (eldest son was only 18 months and STILL not sleeping through the night) started to feel more dangerous than actually just lying down and sleeping with him. So that’s what I did. At around four or five months, we reached a stage where neither of us were sleeping soundly so he was moved to a crib – no stress, no worries.
    Did exactly the same with my two daughters that followed.
    I’ve had no sleep issues with any of those three.

    Son number one – yeesh… He was still a very stressed sleeper at age 2 so, similar to yourself, we let him back in with us. For about six months, he would come through when he woke up then conk out happily. Just before he turned 3, he reached a point where he would sleep through the night himself.

    Looking back, wish I’d just done what FELT right when he was a baby.

    Always good to hear other mums confirming what I feel and experienced – so many people still judge.

    Really enjoying your blog – been coming here for a few weeks now.
    Karen (Scotland)

  4. La Petite Acadienne Says:

    I used to be pretty much against co-sleeping, due to my sister having a hell of a time kicking her 9-year old (yes, 9 YEARS) old out of her bed. However, after having talked to a lot of co-sleeping mothers, I’ve softened my stance. I figure as long as the parent does their homework and co-sleeps safely, then good for them.

    And yes, those co-sleeper bassinets are fantastic. I’m seriously considering one for our next baby. We had our little guy in a bassinet right next to the bed, but he wasn’t as nice and close as he would have been in one of those things.

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