Monday, March 31, 2008

Three's a Crowd

I know the topic of the family bed can be a controversial one. Like any topic that is heavily debated, you will find material to support or oppose the subject. In the end you have to do what is best for you and your family. When Little Man came home in June of 2005, we decided that co-sleeping was an idea we liked. Little Man slept in a co-sleeper "box" in the middle of the bed for about six weeks. This allowed us to get much needed rest as well as be available for his every need. At six weeks of age he moved to his crib and was a great sleeper; taking regular naps and sleeping up to fourteen hours a night. When we brought The Babe home in November of 2006 things were a little different. We lived in a two story house at the time and did not want him to go upstairs just yet. We had a huge master closet so we made that his nursery. Don't worry, there was room for a crib, rocker, changing table, and still room for clothes. The close proximity to us also provided us comfort when he was diagnosed with RSV at seven weeks of age and sent home with an oxygen saturation monitor. The Babe would sleep with us on occasion, primarily when we were so sleep deprived that we could not get up from a feeding or when Daddy was out of town. The Babe moved upstairs to his own room when he was nine months old. Now that we have moved to a one story house we are all on the same level and it is great!

About three months ago Little Man started waking in the middle of the night and crawling into bed with us. We thought it was sweet and did not see any harm in it. When we moved to the new house we did not fight it because we knew he was a little anxious and thought it might help the transition.

Enough is Enough. I want my bed, and sleep back. It might make Little Man feel safe and cozy but I am sleep deprived and grumpy.

I love Little Man and cuddling with him but he has taken to sleeping horizontally in the bed and by the end of the night either Daddy or I end up in his bed. We tried moving him back to his bed when he sneaks in but end up waking The Babe with fits of screaming. We tried threatening to put up the "baby gate" but that didn't work. Daddy thought we should tell him there are alligators under the bed but I thought that might come back to haunt us.

A few nights ago we saw a small glimmer of hope. Instead of putting the gate on his room, we put it on ours. He came to the door and called for us. Then he rattled the gate. We told him to go back to bed. Screams. I got up and gently placed him back in bed. He asked me to lay down with him. I told him I would check on him in ten minutes; of course knowing we would both be back to sleep by then. A couple of hours later the scenario began again but rather than get up I simply told him to go back to bed. He did.

We might be on to something.

I know this is not the end of it. I am guilty of taking naps with him and falling asleep at night when I put him down. We get in bed and tell stories of the day and talk of what we will do tomorrow. This time of the day is my favorite time with Little Man. He has so much energy it is impossible for me to get him to settle down during the day. This seems to be the time he is ready to give me some cuddles and Mommy Time.

We seem to focus on all the firsts that our children experience. What about the lasts? Rather than focus on the fact that this is the last time he will sleep with us I will focus on the fact that I am helping him be independent.

Maybe the ENT surgery will help this too?


Honeybell said...

Goofy slept with us until he was about 9 months, and luckily had no problem sleeping in a crib after that. I tried co-sleeping with the Monkey, but the child wouldn't go to sleep! Even now at 2, the only way he'll go to sleep is in HIS BED, NO LIGHT, ALONE. I laugh at his pickiness, but I think I lucked out.

Law Student Hot Mama said...

Ugh - I'm having MAJOR sleep issues with my little one. Since his daddy left for Iraq, his sleeping just hasn't been the same. So I let him sleep with me . . . . which, honestly, seems to make us BOTH feel better. But . . . I think it's making his night waking and demanding boob time worse. But . . . I sort of see it how you do. It's not like he's going to want to stay in bed with me and get the boob when he's 21 . . . I might as well enjoy the experience now while I can. As soon as the boob is gone, the co-sleeping will be gone, too, damnit!

Heydt Wylie Family said...

I love you but I am laughing.
You get what you give.

Be strong. If you want him to sleep alone he will.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Step by step, I reckon (not that I have any foundation for saying that lol)

Love the bit about the closet becoming his nursery...classic.

A Buns Life said...

When I talk about us NOT having the children sleep with us and how we have such strict bedtime routines and rituals it is not because I am all high and mighty about not co-sleeping or against those who do. I can not sleep with children in my bed. Honestly, if I could kick my husband out of the bed too, I would! I sleep sooooooo good when he is gone. We WILL be one of those couples when we are old that sleep in separate rooms if he doesn't get his snoring under control.