Wherein I stare down the enemy of sleep

You may remember that back when I was preggo, I was kind of obsessed with the creation of our baby registry, mostly because I had no idea what we actually needed and I didn’t want to look like a fool to my friends and family when they saw the ridiculously unnecessary things I had registered for. More importantly, I didn’t want to get stuck with a bunch of contraptions that we wouldn’t need or the baby would end up hating.

Not breaking with any trends in my life in general, I ended up looking like a fool anyway. Yeah, uh, turns out one does not need a high-priced baby food maker right away if one already possesses a food processor. And boobs. Who knew? When I mentioned that I really had no idea what I was doing when I went bananas on the Target website, my friend Meagan looked me dead in the eye and said, “Yeah, I could tell.”

So, when Miss C arrived, we of course didn’t have nearly enough diapers to cover us for a five-hour period, but we did have a proliferation of sleeping devices, which is ironic because at first it seemed like sleeping was the last thing on her mind.

Look, here’s one:

And another:

One more:

And again:

Not to forget:

And occasionally:

But possibly the best:

Luckily, a couple of them have not been totally snubbed by Miss C. Most notably is her father, and for this I’m grateful because she’s really stuck with him for life. She likes the bunny swing, and that’s where she spends most of her down time. She rests/chills in the pink portable playtime bassinet when I’m showering or cooking. As for the crib, we’re not quite there yet. We have had nothing but trouble with the bassinet in our bedroom, which bums me out because it’s so darn cute*. But each time we try to put her down in it, she is up and annoyed within 20 minutes. So now it’s just a prop in our lives.

*Cuteness is now an actual credible factor in my life now. This would have made me throw up in my mouth a little prior to and during my pregnancy, but now it’s just another instance of me eating my words. Yum, yum. Chowing down.

As for the Pack N’ Play, we’ve only been utilizing it for its “play” function as of yet, but once we hit the road for Florida and elsewhere this summer, we will get more mileage out of it. Geez, I’m sorry. The puns are multiplying. I blame my lactation tea.

Then there’s the whole grown-up bed thing. Occasionally I will nurse her in bed. Lately co-sleeping is something I’ve been thinking about (yet not really doing) because it’s a fact of early babyhood that at times they simply don’t want to be put down. They will be all snuggled up in your arms or on your stomach, resting completely soundly*, and then when they are put down in any one of their sleeping contraptions, they know immediately and start to wail. So you start over and get them in a happy, sleepy place and attempt to put them down again. Wailing commences. This little dance repeats several times and can last for several hours until you’re like, “SERIOUSLY?”

*And yes, you’re sure of it because their breathing is rhythmic, their arms are limp, their diaper is clean as a whistle, and their little stomachs are fully sated. They’re out, beyond a doubt.

Co-sleeping – the kind where she’s not just in the same room with you but in actual contact with you – is one of those things that you are warned against about a trillion and a half times when you’re preggo and when you have an infant nowadays, and I get why. If it’s not done properly it can be extremely dangerous. That’s why I think the Back to Bed campaign is an entirely wonderful thing. It encourages parents and caregivers to take extremely seriously the sleep habits of their babies, and it’s helped to reduce the occurrences of SIDS.

Sleep deprivation is used as a torture device for a reason. It’s not fun. It sucks. A few weeks back when we were in the thick of it, I was sleeping and B was up with the baby. I had pumped and he was trying to get the milk in a bottle to feed her. He was having trouble getting the gasket and the nipple to fit the bottle while she screamed at the top of her little baby lungs for it. He called me in to help, and when I couldn’t get the gasket to fit either I took it and hurtled it across the room. That’s the product of sleep deprivation.

When it’s 4AM and the baby won’t sleep unless she is literally touching you and you are operating on a cumulative eight hours of sleep for the past three days, co-sleeping begins to sound like a not-so-bad idea. Even if you have acquired a good amount of rest, there is also the intimacy factor of having your baby snuggled against you. Admittedly, the idea of having your baby with you at all times is definitely not for everyone, but I would argue with people who say that it’s insane and unbalanced to want to have that much physical contact with your baby. Sure, some people want/need their grown-up time, but some others just don’t. If everybody looked the same we’d get tired of looking at each other and whatnot.

Recently, some other bloggers who I highly admire, trust, and am 100% sure are not coo-coo have left comments and emailed me with their stories in full-contact co-sleeping and how they have navigated it. Their stories have made me a lot more understanding (and I mean, A LOT because I was a total hater prior to them) of the practice of co-sleeping and under what conditions they did/ are doing it safely. I’m still not sure if it’s right for me and my family, but I am certainly much more understanding of it.

This post is troll bait if I ever saw it, and I’m sure there will be someone out there that reads it and decides to notify me of how dangerous sleeping with your baby can be. To them I say, “I KNOW.” I am no expert on the subject and I’m not making any claims or suggestions about what I or others should do. I suppose the main reason for me writing this is to illustrate how parenthood opens you up to a lot of things that you never thought you would consider, and that just like anything used wisely, co-sleeping may be something that when practiced safely and properly can be a good thing that makes life more enjoyable.

I will, however, stand by my statements to proceed with caution when compiling a baby registry.

*****

I am refraining from posting a pic of Kendra and me when we were thirteen because I value our relationship and I know she'd kill me if I publicized our prior awkwardness.

On an entirely different note, I would like to welcome my real-life friend Kendra to the WordPress blogging community! Kendra and I have been pals since we met in computer club in the third grade, so now that we’re both blogging here I guess you could say the high-tech aspect of our relationship has finally reached its pentacle. Her blog is called Over the Spoon and she will be chronicling her love affair with food. Having tried many of her delicious concoctions and eaten at fantastic restaurants she recommended, I would say food loves her back.

Check it out!

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67 comments

  1. For a few reasons, I could not co-sleep. But it doesn’t bother me at all when people do it, if they do it right. More babies actually die of SIDS who are NOT co-sleeping, for those who like statistics.

    We found the bassinet to be a total pain. It was not sturdy, so it rocked a bit whenever the baby jerked. Which woke them completely up.

    The pack and play will be a necessity later, so hold onto it for sure. It’s useful as a corral until they can climb out of it.

    1. It’s so funny; I haven’t received any feedback whatsoever in praise of bassinets. Makes me wonder why we even bothered with asking for one. Oh yeah, the cuteness thing….

      The Pack N’ Play has so far been awesome for, well, playing. She’s just gotten to the point where she is actually interacting with her toys, so the little things dangling from it have become a real treat for her to gaze at.

  2. My hubby is a pediatrician, so we’re generally prone to follow AAP recommendations on basically everything. At the same time, we’ve done a *little* co-sleeping– I’ve napped while snuggling Etta, and I’ve had her in bed with us at night, cuddling her until she falls asleep and I can transfer her to her Rock’n’Play and hopefully avoid her screeching. I know I could easily fall asleep one night with her in bed with us. My husband has confessed that he wakes up a few times in the night, every night, cuddling his pillow like a baby, suddenly panicked that he’s fallen asleep with one of them in bed with us, and he has to pat the pillow to make sure it’s not one of the girls. We’ve both realized how dangerous co-sleeping could be when we’re so exhausted and sleeping so very deeply. Overall, I don’t want to make a habit of co-sleeping, but unlike the hard line I took when pregnant, now I can say we’ve fudged it a little.

    Now that the babies have reached what would have been their 40 week due date, we’re following the advice of Dr. Weissbluth’s “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins.” It’s only been a few days, but it’s helping. I’m pretty sure he has a book for singletons, too. I like that it’s somewhere between hardcore Cry It Out and constantly rushing to comfort a baby– and with twins, really, we have to get them on the same sleep schedule or we’re screwed.

    1. I admire you so much for having to go through all this with twins. I honestly have no idea if I would be up to it. I mean, I guess anyone would rise to the occasion if that were the hand that they were dealt, but few people would do it with such grace and optimism as you have.

      I will check out that book! Thanks for the tip.

  3. Samantha · · Reply

    I have co-slept with all of my children mainly because it was more convenient when breast feeding. Now I do not drink or partake in any drugs which is where the real danger lies. I have a firm mattress, do not use heavy blankets or have an excess of pillows. And baby always goes to sleep on their back in appropriate sleeping attire. Now for me the real issue with co-sleeping is getting them out of your bed. I miss my husband. Recently we made the transition from bed with mommy to the crib. It has been torture. I had been spoiled with sleep. Now we are back to waking every hour or so. But my resolve is firm I’m getting my husband off the couch. Being pregnant AGAIN doesn’t help with the exhaustion but I will survive. My new mantra. For me the bumbo, various swings, changing table, and the baby magic bullet were completely pointless. The bumbo was the worst, my twins hate it. It was like some sort of awkward baby torture device. But I do agree eventually the playpen will be your best friend. One of the twins is crawling now and requires confinement when direct supervision is not constant.

    1. I’m in the same boat with co-sleeping and nursing thing. I didn’t think I would do it, but my first just would.not.sleep. unless he was in bed with me. I was single at the time, so it was just me and him in a large bed, and I wedged him in between one of those sleep positioner things just to be sure there was no rolling into each other. With # 2, 7 years later, I didn’t want to co-sleep because it literally took 5 years to get the first one out of my bed so I could start working on baby #2 (lol). Well, lo and behold, 2.5 years later, we have a large toddler in bed between us and a totally untouched Thomas the Train toddler bed in the room down the hall. I won’t be having more children, but if I was, this time around I would admit defeat right off the bat and not even bother with assembling the crib :)

      1. It really is a last resort at times just to get them to sleep. Everyone tells you just to do whatever works but then there are consequences later on down the line. Ugh, can we ever win? :) There are also so many baby things we stressed to assemble and will likely remain untouched…good thing my cousin is preggo so we can just hand off this stuff to her!

    2. It really is convenient when breastfeeding. I tried it for the first time last night and it was a lot more comfortable than sitting on the sofa/chair and breastfeeding.

      I didn’t realize you were preggo again! Congrats! : D When are you due?

      1. Samantha · · Reply

        November 26th is my due date, we are ten weeks. Lol I’m always pregnant!

        1. That’s awesome! : D

          1. Samantha · · Reply

            For me with all my girls except the twins the real game changer was figuring out the whole breast feeding thing. You think it will come naturally. But it doesn’t, not only do you have to learn how to do it but so does baby. And every baby is different. Learning how to breast feed can break your spirit. I remember wanting to give up with each of my girls. I had every issue imaginable at some point. Then when day it just magically clicks. I loved breast feeding. I was one of those crazy advocates. Breast or nothing. Well the twins changed that, lol and the bottle became my best friend. I discovered sleep. I’ll be honest I don’t think I’m breast feeding number 6. I’ve gotten selfish in my old age.

          2. I am probably not even going to post on the comedy of errors that breastfeeding is in our life right now, simply because I’m so tired of even thinking about it. It is a 100% full-contact sport. Suffice it to say that it hasn’t been easy but we are finally working something out. I read a really good blog post about it today. I was thinking of reblogging it:

            http://misguidedparent.com/2012/05/02/when-breast-isnt-best/

  4. We had the crib in our room within arms reach of the bed. It was convenient for nighttime nursing even though it took up a lot of space. Neither boy would tolerate the super cute cradle or the ruffly boy bassinet. More often than not after nursing at night they would end up sleeping in the bed with us.
    I agree with becomingcliche – the pack and play rocks as a traveling bed/safe place to stash a little one in a hotel or at a relatives house.
    I don’t subscribe to any of the parenting books or philosophies out there but instead take a line from a book here or an idea from over there and tinker with them. You will find the mix that works best for Miss C and your family.

    1. Thanks for saying that about taking a line here and there. I sometimes think I’m the only person who hasn’t yet been baptized in the waters of some parenting guru, and who really doesn’t want to be. My cousin is basically a grand poobah in the La Leche League and is also very granola about childrearing and sometimes I’m very hesitant to subscribe wholeheartedly to a certain prescriptive method. It’s good to be hybrid, I think.

  5. Blame it on the lactation tea, haha! Oh Em you make me laugh, I’m sure I will not be laughing when it’s my turn. So glad you are doing it first so I know what to expect.

    1. Dude, that stuff is STRONG. Never underestimate the power of organic tea with fennel seeds in it.

  6. My little miss is seven weeks and has gotten past the sleepy newborn stage. We are experiencing the same “sleep device” situation, although we hadn’t even attempted the crib yet. Putting her in the bassinette has become some kind of sick joke. There may be a few minutes of sleep, but before you know it she’s awake and pissed off. Or more accurately, hungry! She is eating nonstop, and I am breastfeeding her. At night this has become some kind of rare torture that should be saved for traitors and the treasonous.

    I don’t know about other moms, but I have come to the conclusion that those that are exclusively bfing have coslept for at least a short period of time. If it wasn’t for side lying nursing and cosleeping I would be getting ZERO sleep. I guess the AAP says cosleeping is akin to poisoning your baby and blah blah blah but then there are other respected sources that say it’s more than okay as long as you’re not high or drunk (good advice for being around infants in general) and your bedding is not near your baby, etc…it’s perfectly fine. How is it possible for other cultures to do this and Americans are incapable of doing it safely? You go into this kind of “mom-zone” sleep where you are asleep but aware of what’s happening with your little one.

    I have a suspicion that co sleeping happens with a lot of mommies who wouldn’t admit it for fear of judgment. But as we are all learning, don’t judge until you’ve walked a mile on the woman’s shoes who’s baby won’t stop crying unless she’s nursing/holding her 24 hours a day. I have literally not been separated from my little miss since July 8th 2011 (she was born March 10th this year).

    1. It IS a sick joke, although out of some sort of masochistic inclination we are determined to get her acclimatized to the bassinet because it’s completely flat like the crib which she will eventually transition to. And she *kind of* took to it last night. Maybe I’m just projecting my own desires on the situation, though, considering we were up several times.

      I completely agree that co-sleeping is probably happening more than we think it is and that moms just don’t want to admit to it for fear that they’ll be judged to be bad parents. I mean, from the response to this post alone, I would say that it’s a godsend that just happens to be demonized because so many people have done it improperly because they were drunk/drugged when they went to bed with their baby.

      Congrats on your baby and may you both have sweet dreams!

  7. I am much interested in co-sleeping and attachment-parenting and the like for when Jon and I have kiddles. It’s supposed to be wonderful for the emotional development of the child, and wonderful for the parents connection to said children. As so much is, I think parenting is such an individual thing, and no one (even *gasp* doctors) should be telling moms what they “can’t” and “have” to do…other than, you know, feed the baby and change their diapers.

    Do what feels right to you and your situation and what is right for your family. And allow that to grow and change as your family does. Basically good life-sense…makes for good parenting, too…I hope. Guess we’ll see in the future. Best of everything for you and Miss C. She is undeniably adorable, and you are very fortunate.

    1. I like the idea of attachment parenting too for the reasons you noted AND because it would help me get a lot more done around the house! It’s really hard to do laundry with one hand and hold the baby with the other!

      We’re very blessed to have found a pedia whose philosophy is in-line with ours. She’s on the young side and has kiddos of her own so she’s in tune with the culture of raising kids nowadays.

  8. I was very set against co-sleeping too, for all of the terrifying reasons that you’ve already heard. I was lucky that my little guy didn’t mind when I set him back down in his bassinet or crib or, in a LOT of cases, the amazing vibrating/bouncing chair, and so I didn’t have to consider other options. I do think though, if co-sleeping (done safely and yadda yadda, of course) helps Mommy and Daddy get the rest they need to be good, happy parents in the day time, it could really be the best choice. And maybe, as your little sweet pea gets older, she’ll be more open to sleeping in her own little space(s) and the co-sleeping won’t need to happen very long. You just never really know with kids, eh?

    1. You certainly never, ever know! She surprises me more every single day with all the little things she does. From day to day her sleeping patterns change. I guess that’s kind of normal, though, because she’s been going thru a growth spurt AND because she’s still so young.

  9. Sonia slept in the “portable playtime bassinet” for the first 3 months of her life. lol I loved that thing. It was compact and fit right next to my bed. It rocked. I was sad when she outgrew it, and even more sad when we sold it because it felt so…final. Wait until Miss C grows out of her clothes or something. You won’t think you’ll cry, but you will. haha

    Weird side note: is your bed from Ikea? Zach and I are in the market for a new bed and I think we’ve been looking at that exact one in a different color. How do you like it?

    1. It is from Ikea. We like it OK. Of all the Ikea furniture we’ve assembled over the years (and there has been A LOT) it was by far the most labor-intensive to assemble. But we really like the storage underneath since we don’t have room for a dresser in our bedroom. The only thing I really dislike about it is that it doesn’t have a headboard.

  10. My daughter never slept unless being held when she was a new born, but I did not want to co sleep, just because I actually enjoy sharing a bed with my partner and didn’t want it to become a habit. We never used a basinet either just a cot. Eventually we bought a soother/pacifier/dummy whatever you want to call them and found that she would sleep in her own bed if she had that. So I suggest that! It really worked for us, and we only ever use it for sleep.

    1. As of yet she is not a huge fan of the pacifier. For some reason I can only get her to take it when she’s riding in the car. I am going to try a few more brands and models, though, because she is already developing the habit of only falling asleep when I am nursing her, which means I am basically turning into a living pacifier :/

  11. Our kids hated sleeping in the Pack-N-Play,,,and come to think of it, they didn’t particularly enjoy playing in it either. Why the hell did we buy that thing?

    I like the pic of your daughter sleeping on your husband while he plays on the iPad. Better keep that thing away from her while she’s awake though. My younger one who just turned 2 in March had to show grandma how to use our iPad.

    1. Hahaha Ben has already downloaded a bunch of baby apps for her. I keep thinking that this can only lead to disaster. Or an IT career for her later on.

  12. I was known to fall asleep on the floor while nursing my daughter, so technically, I think we did co-sleep. I was just so darn tired and at 5 a.m., it was my last chance to get some shut-eye before my son was up for the day at 6:30. It worked for us.

    1. The 5AM brand of tiredness is certainly the strongest kind! However, I have been watching public access French language courses at that hour while up nursing her and I must say that all those college courses are coming back to me now :)

  13. You’ve already heard my thoughts on co-sleeping. But I had to say that pic of Miss C in B’s lap made me laugh. What a little pea! That’s what we called are babies when they curled up like that. Our little sweet peas. Ok, done being gooey.

    1. I know! It was your comment that really got me thinking about this, so I thank you! Gooeyness is good. I call her my little peanut when she’s all curled up.

  14. The swing has created a monster…our 3 year old WILL NOT LEAVE IT. It is the only place he will fall asleep for naptime, nighttime, and it’s a handy restraint device for brief time outs (the other 3 were obedient enough to sit in the naughty chair just fine…this one’s a wild hare – the only things he’s done in a timely fashion was chase the cat, potty train and take his brother’s marshmallows out of his Lucky Charms when his back was turned (oh, and we never did junk cereal until well after #3 when the real sleep deprivation set in!). The swing has been indispensible for all 4 of ours.
    We did what you’re doing with the comforting/snoozing, and didn’t put our feet down about solo sleeping until the 3 month mark. Then we planned for and followed through with hell-night, allowing them to cry it out. 3 out of 4 mastered it in one night; the other one was a devil’s advocate and thought he’d try us a second night, and that was that. Definitely harder on us than them. We have, er, slept like babies ever since. Ditto on the pack-n-play as per above. You’re doing just great – do what is right for your family :D

    1. Right now, 8 times out of 10 she only falls asleep when she is nursing/being fed (oh yeah, we totally give her formula when my own supplies are diminished!) so I’m beginning to be concerned that this may set a pattern where food=rest for her. However, I have to remember that she’s only a month old and she will prob grow out of this. You’ve had several kids, and you’re awesome (duh), so, thoughts?

      1. Formula’s more filling, so she may be training your boobs to diminish (sorry to be blunt!) and holding out for the formula before she falls asleep. Either way, you’re right, she’ll grow out of it. Whatever works…she is getting precisely what she needs. We put a couple of ours on a strict schedule per some parenting trend du jour…eat, sleep, play, all in 2-3 hour drills. It worked fine, but we pooped out eventually and threw in the burp rag and let them nurse/feed to content and fretted we were derelict. In the end, love won out all’s just right :D

        1. That’s good to know. Breastfeeding has been such an enigmatic ordeal for us (and by “us” I mean “me” bc I’m sure I’m stressing about it mre than her!) that I can take all the real life advice I can get! Thanks.

  15. You have the same swing as us! We had to get rid of that thing–V wouldn’t settle down in it at all. the only thing she would settle for was the Bjorn carrier, in which she spent a year. Co-sleeping can be done safely. My parents had a very inexpensive co-sleeping product that kept the baby (each time) contained between two bumpers (in the middle of a massive king-size bed) so she had tons of space and no oxygen deprivation. The hardest thing about co-sleeping is getting the baby out of the bed when the time comes (about five months for each of them in our case). Definitely lots of pros and cons to the whole business.
    When the kids came along we bears got the boot from the bed, which was good for us psychologically. If you saw my parents you’d understand. They need to sleep with each other because no one else will.

    1. I may have to look into that bumper thing! We have a queen size bed but I’d still be willing to experiment and see if it could fit all of us.

      Froggert has also gotten the boot. He’s peeved, but in a way he’s enjoying his new bachelor pad in the baby’s closet (his choice of location, not ours.) He just dislikes having to share his space with 10,000 diapers.

  16. Dude, you’re totally going to end up using all of that crap, don’t worry! And I have the opposite story – everyone told me that I would co-sleep and that EB would be in the bed with me until she was 2, which was enough of an incentive to make sure I sleep-trained her at around 5 mo. But for sanity’s sake, I totes had her in the bed with me some nights with my boobs pointed towards her. She would fall asleep, wake up, nurse, fall asleep attached, whatever. Just as long as I didn’t have to move too much and get a little bit of a wink of sleep. Eventually I realized that I was too sensitive to her sleep noises and we put her in her own room. I never had a fear of crushing her – because I never fully or fitfully fell asleep. I ALWAYS knew where she was in bed. That’s either a really good thing, or really bad thing. Well, both.

    1. LOL if anything, we can sell the stuff we don’t need and use the money for diapers! BTW have totally been looking back at your post on cloth diapering. I can see this on the horizon for us since we have already spent an ungodly amount of money on diapers and Al Gore probably hates us by now. I am really sensitive to her sleep noises too, where I don’t think I could hurt her unless I drank like a bottle of rum before bed. And that’s not happening. (Breastfeeding has kind of knocked out any chance of me having a guilt-free drink until we’re completely done with it.)

  17. Omg I love all of the pictures! I love the BaBar pics above the crib! So sweet. I love that you have like, 5 cribs. I wish I had 5 beds.

    1. LOL I know. B and I have said the same thing a bunch of times about all her stuff. She literally has more clothes than he does.

  18. krugthethinker · · Reply

    You crack me up! Also, you are awesome. This has been a public service announcement. *Also, really sweet picture of B and C :)

    1. I know, right? They are freaking adorbs together.

  19. I totally co-slept. I was VERY anti-cosleeping, initially. Until one night, after 2 weeks of waking up every 45 minutes, I passed out with her on my chest without realizing it. And FOUR BLESSED HOURS LATER I woke up, terrified. But she was still right there, on my chest, and STILL asleep. After that, I would put her higher than me in the bed, (my face level with her bottom), and fall asleep on the lower half of the bed, I was terrified of rolling over on her. I never could fall asleep in the same way after having her, never completely zonk off, so I woke up easily (and still do).
    You know, sometimes, you just have to do what works for you.

    1. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up terrified for her, even when she was sleeping in the swing/bassinet where I had personally put her! I’ve always been a sleeptalker and sleepwalker so this new experience has completely kicked it up a notch. Poor B can’t get a wink in edgewise with her waking up at night and me yammering on in my sleep about where she is.

  20. sarah · · Reply

    I KNOW, RIGHT? How do they know they’re being set down? Magic?

    I’m glad we only spent $50 on the crib, because Ashelyn hasn’t spent a lot of time in it to date. We were gifted a bassinet on the day she was born, and she napped fairly well in it at first. Now she just wants to sleep on us. But when she does, she goes for a nice 2-4 hour stretch, so whatever. Guilt is a waste of emotional energy.

    I’ve had to eat my words, too, about the bed being my husband’s and mine. Turns out she’s kicked him right out into the guest room! I miss him a ton at night, but I figure we’ll go the first twelve weeks without forcing anything. It’s such a short time that they’re like this, anyway. And in the meantime, we SLEEP.

    1. Totally agree with you on the guilt thing. It’s funny that it IS such a waste of energy, right when you have so little energy to begin with, yet right when you’re so vulnerable that you stress over every little decision that you make. I can’t begin to tell you what an emotional drain breastfeeding has been for me.

  21. Every baby is different. Here are my two stories. With my oldest we did cosleep for a couple of months or so because she was only happy when attached to my chest. She hated pacifiers – I was her pacifier! It was bring her into the bed with me or die from lack of sleep. She hated the swing at first and the crib was just a room decoration. At about two months I looked at my husband and said something has to change. This kid will never have a sibling if we keep this up! We decided that the reason she woke up when we tried to put her down is that the sheet and blanket were cold. So we started putting a blanket in the dryer and warming it up. It worked really well and we started transitioning her into her bassinet. Life was not perfect but much better and I didn’t wake up three years later wondering why I still had a kid in my bed!

    So when daughter number two came along I was all ready. Ha ha! Completely different kid! She took a pacifier immediatly, loved the swing, slept in our bed only a night or two. From then on she slept in the swing or the bassinet and then on to the crib. At one point I found myself up in the middle of the night with my older one while the baby slept soundly. I remember looking at my two and a half year old and telling her something was wrong with this picture. She just giggled and watched some more Barney.

    I recommend the warm blanket trick and let baby sleep where ever she is happy and is safe. For my older one that was often her bouncy seat. For my younger one that was the swing. Good luck!

    1. That is some really good advice! I see a lot of C in your firstborn. She is also not a huge fan of the pacifier and I have joked that it is I who serves as her human pacifier! I really like the idea of the dryer trick because I think that one of the reasons she doesn’t like transitioning from our arms to her swing and bassinet is because they are cold. Of course, we don’t actually have a dryer bc we line dry everything, but I think a hair dryer would work just as well. Thanks for your advice! These are great ideas! : D

      1. The hair dryer is a good idea. Maybe setting the blanket on a heating pad. What ever you use just check the temp of the item before setting baby on it. I know you know this, but in your sleep deprived state I thought I would mention it! BTW, I used to joke that my eldest would have been happiest if I had just strapped her to my chest with duck tape and she could have nursed 24 hours a day!

  22. Will you believe me if I tell you you are already more than 2/3 of hte way to the 6 week mark where, miraculously, everything will click and everyone will get a decent amount of rest (not quite as much as you’re used to but enough)? I only have 1 experience to ride on but that once I didn’t believe all the people who told me that the turning point is at 6 weeks and I didn’t see how anything could suddenly change but it just did for me. So hang in there. Erm.. I personally say hold out on the co-sleeping idea if you can because you are likely to regret it 1, 3, 10 years down the road but I’m also otherwise known as the cruel mother who leaves her daughter to sleep in a lonely dark room by my own mum so there’s really the whole spectrum of ideas out there and parenthood is a survival game of whatever works!

    1. You know, I DO believe you! The funny thing about almost all the post-pregnancy posts I’ve written is that if I just wait like 48 hours, the problems and challenges I describe in them seem to get solved or at least diminish. Since I wrote this on Monday, we seem to have turned a bit of a corner in the sleeping game (knock on wood!) bc C has had very little trouble sleeping in the bassinet and is only getting up a couple times at night to nurse. It’s kind of amazing! I’m sure that now that I’ve said that, she’ll end her streak tonight, but I’ll still take the last couple nights as proof that things get better :)

      1. I know what you mean by jinxing yourself! I do it to myself all the time but I’m sure it won’t happen to you :)

  23. My sister in law bought me two books to read – one on attachment parenting (which has a great section on co-sleeping BTW) and the other from the La Leche League on breastfeeding. She then wrote a note with both of them that said “Take what you need, ignore the rest” which I think is great advice. (the one book is The Baby Book by Dr Sears and his wife) Since I got pregnant I’ve never received such mixed messages! From doctors to nurses to doulas to midwives to regular moms and dads everyone has a differing opinion! It’s downright confusing for us first timers! So I’m taking safety precautions seriously and going with my gut on everything else. I don’t know what will change once Bean gets here but…well we’ll see.

    Love the pic of dad and daughter though. SO cute! :) Oh, and the new look to your blog is quite nice too! :)

    1. That IS great advice. I’m learning that, as long as it’s safe, you really just have to do whatever works. Everyone has their opinions on what is best, but it really comes down to the individual mom and baby. You’ll hit your stride! When are you due BTW?

      1. June 21 but I have a feeling this bean is coming earlier. Don’t quote me on that though! LOL

        1. I had that feeling too and guess what, I was right! She was a week early. Don’t discount your intuition!

  24. that snuggle picture is beyond precious! Some of my favorite moments are watching Keelin with her daddy. Such a blessing!
    You’re doing great!

    1. Thanks! I know you know how that daughter/daddy interaction is the sweetest thing ever!

  25. Sheila · · Reply

    LOL! My daughter is 9 months and we had nearly all the same ‘sleep devices’. The cradle, swing, pack n play, and (until recently) crib are still like new… But what did work was a Snuggle Nest. We co-slept but she was still protected. It made those middle-of-the-night nursings SO much easier. Good luck!

    1. I will have to look into the Snuggle Nest just to round out our collection! Only yesterday I FINALLY got a Boppy (it only had to take me five weeks) and we’re already in love with it. It makes nursing so, so much easier.

  26. My guilty mommy advice is tummy sleeping. Laura was a sleep champion – so much so that she never latched correctly because she kept falling asleep. I ended up pumping full-time her first 6 months before moving to formula. Jason was a harder sleep case – great nurser, poor sleeper. He would be lights out next to me, but as soon as I put him in his crib, he was up and I was up again. I tried a heating pad in the crib, and it didn’t work.

    We both ended up sleeping together on the pull-out couch in his room, and I was nervous and felt guilty. I kept observing, and realized that when he moved his arms and legs in sleep, it woke him up. The swaddling solution didn’t work because he hated being swaddled, and wriggled out of all swaddles.

    After further anguish, I tried sleeping him on his tummy, first for naps and when it worked, at night. I read articles on SIDS and the risk factors. We were low risk for all, and I was at the point that sleep was more precious then the very small chance of SIDS. My guilt diminished as he reached the age where he could roll over on his own. He still sleeps on his tummy.

    As others have written, you will find the solution that works for you and Miss C. Being a new mother is like trying to solve a 1000 piece puzzle in the dark with scores of people giving conflicting directions on where to go to turn on the light switch.

    1. That last analogy is so dead-on I may have to Tweet it :) So, so true. You are completely right about finding what is right for us. Every day, things are getting easier and more enjoyable. Just in the space of time that has elapsed since I wrote this post, we have developed a rhythm to her sleep (I hesitate to use the word “routine” because we’re just not there yet) that is working really well for all three of us. It’s these small victories that make having a baby so rewarding.

  27. You sound like a full fledged mom. I think there’s a turning point when you realize what works for you might not work for someone else. Let’s face it, it’s all about survival in those first few months! I had some pretty strange routines for Lily that I would be embarrassed to recommend to the rest of the world — but they worked for us and Lily grew up to be healthy and strong.
    I love all the sleeping arrangements – that’s so key and so convenient! Where ever you are, you have a place to put her down. I used to have a hard time taking a shower (separation anxiety) so I’d bring her in the bathroom and put her in the portable car seat thing – 1987 model! haha!

    1. Aww, thanks! I’m kind of beginning to feel like a full-fledged mom! Today I went on a gym tour and the other person taking the tour was a first-time pregnant mom and I couldn’t help but feel like I’ve come so far since I was in her shoes.

      As far as the showering goes, I love having her in the bathroom with me and she seems to like it too! I think the sound of the water soothes babies. We also have an Andy Warhol poster in the bathroom and the baby really likes to look at it.

      You certainly did a good job with Lily :) Glad to see that y’all had a nice visit together!

  28. I am a new mommy and I also have almost all of the “sleeping devices” you mention. I didn’t sleep at all the first week because no matter where she was sleeping I just had to watch her to make sure she was ok. We’ve recently experimented with a bassonette and co-sleeping at night. What I have found, is that the baby movement monitor I bought after the first week is the only thing that has helped me be able to close my eyes and trust that she is ok. It’s a mobile monitor that clips right onto her diaper and measures the movement of her tummy when she breaths, so no matter where she is, I can be sure that it will alert me if by baby has an issue and I can check on her and make sure she is ok right away. It’s a Snuza Halo Baby Movement Monitor – available at http://www.snuza.com. Of all the baby gear we bought, the Snuza was the best investment we made and it will give me peace of mind no matter where she is sleeping!

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