That title is a little ambiguous, isn’t it? I left it that way on purpose. Because sleeping with a newborn in the house can be a challenge all by itself. And then there is sleeping with said infant, also known as co-sleeping. This is about that too.
Earlier this year I had a guest post on the pros and cons of co-sleeping. Now my third child is here, and I haven’t changed my ideas on co-sleeping one bit. However, I am having some new challenges.
In my first pregnancy, I spent 6 weeks sleeping in a recliner, but within a week I was sleeping in bed again. With my second, I never left the bed. With my third, well, I started sleeping in a recliner in the last week of March, and I haven’t moved back yet. The only position that doesn’t hurt is on my tummy, and that has never been comfortable for very long. Besides which, I can’t very well nurse on my tummy. This time around, whether due to the time I slipped on the bathroom floor reaching for my towel and pulled a ligament or something in my groin, or whether it was just a different pregnancy (maybe a bit of both), I still cannot lay on my sides, especially the right side. And if I manage to get into position on my side, rolling over is almost too painful to be possible.
I’m not complaining. I have a precious new baby, and I know I will heal and be back to normal in a while. But for now I’m still in the recliner. And co-sleeping in a recliner has it’s own unique challenges.
For instance, I can’t very well lay the baby beside me. He has to be on top of me. That is nice and cozy, but on a warm night it can be a sweat-inducing experience for both of us. Thank goodness I’m in the northwest, which has been unseasonably cool this year (while the rest of the country swelters–*ducks and runs*). Also, I have to sit up, which disturbs my sleep more than simply rolling over would (though less than rolling over would at the moment, considering how painful it still is). Nonetheless, I have had my baby with me most nights.
A few nights ago, he slept about 5 hours straight. I thought, Great! Maybe I can just put him in the baby swing that we are using for a cradle and enjoy some positions that are not practical when I am holding a baby. But the next Day, he rode with me to the chiropractor and a couple of other quick stops. The ride lulled him to sleep faster than laying around with the family drooling over him would have, so he got more sleep and less milk during that time. And for some reason he also slept a good bit in the afternoon. So come night he was more hungry and less sleepy. Between 10 and 4 he woke pretty much every hour wanting to nurse. I would nurse him and put him back in the cradle, hoping this time he would sleep for a few hours. Finally at 4 I had had it. I asked Daddy to bring him to me (since I just couldn’t face lowering the foot rest yet again and then trying to get comfortable again with a baby in my arms) and kept him. He nursed briefly, and then slept until about 6:30. And so did I!
So the next night I did start him out in the cradle, but he had been awake for a good hour and a half or more before, and nursed thoroughly right before bedtime. He slept for about half an hour, and when he woke up hungry. I fed him, then had to pee, so I put him back in the cradle. He slept 3 or so hours, then woke to eat again. I got him and kept him with me the rest of the night.
And l slept much better!
So what is your take on co-sleeping? Do you like it? Do you fear rolling over on the baby and prefer to keep him nearby in a cradle? Or does his every peep keep you so alert that you find it better to put him in a nearby room? Tell me about it!