So, having had a baby, I have learned that I would not judge other peoples parenting decisions (parenting decisions within reason of course). I think some of this parenting thing is just treading water and doing the best you can with what you have and the insane amount of conflicting information.
Me? Right now? I'm going with my gut.
So sleep. Ever since I got pregnant it's become HUGE. Like I need it, I love it, I gotta have it. After Eli was born, sleep was even more important. And for a while, it felt like all we both did even though there was never enough of it. When Eli first got home, I couldn't bear for him to be apart from me, I couldn't sleep if he was away from me and *I* didn't know that he was ok. I was his mama and only I could be sure he'd be ok. But he kept on breathing, he was fine while other people were holding him, and my crazy brain settled down on that part. We tried co-sleeping a few times, but our little man had some serious gas issues and wiggled and kicked like nobody's business. So he slept in lots of different places, many times on us. Mostly, we stole sleep wherever we could get it, on the couch, bed, floor, etc. Chris used to let him sleep on his stomach (GASP!) while he watched him so I could get at least a 3-4 hour stretch before he went to bed himself. Babies are hard on a breastfeeding woman, desperate times and whatnot. One night, Chris discovered the swing. And oh, what a wonderous tool that was. From about 7 weeks until about 12-13 weeks our little bug would sleep in his swing, sometimes 9 hours at a stretch, and every so often I worried that we would be rigging up a swing for a 16 year old boy to sleep in, but I got over it. It was sleep, it was LONG sleep, and I was human again. Around 13 weeks, something changed. He had a major growth spurt and all of a sudden the swing was EVIL no good very rotten and scream-inducing. Oh swing, even though I worried about what we were doing to our baby with you, I miss you so much for your sleep inducing ways. So, Eli would suddenly sleep nowhere but in the bed. With me! Which, because he was growth spurting and I was back to work was totally fine, because that little guy was up every 2 hours eating. We were both a little crabby about it too. There was no way I was getting my ass outta bed 5 times a night to go feed him. Growth spurts are hard on everyone. That settled down, although he still wouldn't sleep in his swing. He started going to bed earlier and earlier, until it moved to 6:30, which is where it's at now. He slept in his pack n play for about a day until I went to bed, and then would come sleep with us, and then that was not the answer either. White noise worked for a while, but for about 2 weeks we couldn't figure out anything that worked other than holding him until I decided to go to sleep, where he would sleep pretty well, only waking up about 2-3 times to eat. So now, I put him down in our bed at 6:30, where he sleeps until I come to bed. If you move him to his pack n play, he wakes up screaming within seconds. Not sure why he's decided it's evil, but whatever for now. He's sleeping. I'm sleeping. Chris is sleeping. Yes, he's in our bed, yes my pediatrician has berated me for this. But do you know what? It's working. We're all sleeping. He's not going to sleep in our bed forever. It's safe. And I get to cuddle with my little man every night, which is important for this working mama. People have been doing this since the beginning, it feels like the most natural thing in the world for us right now, and I just don't have the energy to get up every 5 minutes to calm him down from screaming in his pack n play, and I refuse to let him cry it out...he's an escalator (stairs? ha.), and he would only pass out from exhaustion and our hearts couldn't take it.
So yes, I co-sleep. I'm not going to be ashamed of it either. I've found that most people ask me if I'm going to roll over onto him...I just won't and I just don't. There's some sort of 6th sense with him...it sounds crazy but there is. From admitting what we're doing, I've found other parents who do it too. It's all hush-hush and not socially acceptable, but I saw a statistic that 70% of parents do it in some shape or form at one time or another. My baby will still be independent one day, and will grow up way too fast. If he needs to be close to his mama when he's only 4 months old, so be it. So I'm giving it time. It may not work for us tomorrow, it may still work for us in a year. Either way, it works for now.
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