Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sleeping on Baby's Schedule

I put Jude to sleep in his crib last night at 7:00PM. Much to my chagrin I had just barely managed to finish eating my dinner at 8:00PM when he woke up. I went back into the nursery, nursed him in the glider until he fell back asleep, then put him back in his crib.

He woke up and fussed for a few minutes two times during the night but cried neither time and fell back to sleep all by himself and proceeded to sleep until 3:00AM. Six whole hours! Then he came and joined me in bed until 6:00AM. With a shikibuton in the nursery we probably could have slept until 7:00 or 8:00, but complaining forced us out into the living room so we didn't wake Aaron.

Just goes to show you, co-sleeping or letting your baby sleep in his swing (or wherever the hell he will stay asleep during those early months so long as it's safe) will not spoil him irrevocably. You cannot spoil an infant so young. They have no sense of object permanence yet. That's why they cry when you leave the room, because if they cannot see it, it no longer exists. Whatever works so that they get the rest they need and you get the rest you need -- just go with it!

Before having a baby I was convinced they HAD to sleep in a bassinet or they would implode or dingos would come for them in the night, or something else equally horrifying and tragic. Turns out? Not so true. While it is ideal that your little bundle of joy will come home from the hospital and go to sleep in a bassinet for longer than thirty minutes at a time, usually that is not the case. They spend 9 months living inside of you, going through the trauma of birth and then being shoved into what equates to a really expensive basket is of course not going to fly with them very well.

I don't think I slept for longer than an hour per 24 hours for the entire first 4 weeks of my son's life because of this misconception that if my baby was not in his bassinet to sleep I was doing something terribly wrong and he would suffer for it. We were both pretty unhappy. Sleep deprivation will do that to you. Once I realized this wasn't the case, both of us were not only leaps and bounds happier, we were healthier.

My epiphany was thus: A wolf does not create a ring of rocks in her cave for her pups to sleep in so that she doesn't kill them in her sleep.

I'd let him go ahead and fall asleep beside me in bed, where he had the comfort of my warmth and heartbeat and he'd sleep through the night at a month old no issue. Once he was older, to introduce him to sleeping on his own, I would nurse him in the glider or while pacing the house and then put him in his reclining swing to sleep. This way Aaron and I could enjoy some alone time and he would fall back asleep thanks to the gentle rocking of his swing if he stirred. He'd wake up hungry in 3 or 4 hours then join me in bed for the remainder of the night.

Neither "habit" has ruined our baby from sleeping on his own. Neither "habit" has ever put him in harm's way. So long as you do your research, are careful, and don't sleep like a epileptic drunk person your baby should be fine in bed with you. If you do sleep like an epileptic drunk person there are things available to help you with that, so you can still get a full night's rest and your baby won't die. That's a win:win and a much more positive experience than cry-it-out Sleep Training. You train pets, not people.

No comments:

Post a Comment