Monday, November 1, 2010

Sleep, well, more accurately a lack thereof

You know how sometimes you lay in bed at night and compose a whole conversation/email/blog post/etc... and it's brilliant, like life changing. But then when you wake up, you have no idea what it said, heck you might not even remember the topic. Yeah, that's me lately. I'm pretty sure it's because baby E isn't sleeping well at all, thus we aren't sleeping well. Well, to be fair, baby E sleeps great...when we're holding him. However, as soon as you put him down, whether he's been asleep for 5 minutes or 2 hours, he's awake within 10 minutes, and is pretty pissed off about it.

I'm kind of at a loss about what to do about this, well, loss of sleep. He went for about a week sleeping at least one 4-5 hour stretch (going 6hours between feedings). And that was fantastic. But then that was gone, and though he'll still go about 6hours (once) between feedings, he is back to waking every 2-3 hours, needing us to assist him in getting back sleep. It's actually worse now at 5weeks than it was when he was a newborn. And I am exhausted. And so is hubby, who is rather crabby, I might add. I'm sure I'm totally pleasant, though. The kid was definitely a better sleeper than baby E. He simply wasn't interested in sleeping with us. He would actually wake up after about 20 min, fussing, until we put him back in his bed. But baby E is by far cuddlier, which makes it hard to get too frustrated. And he will sleep while we're holding him (that goes with the cuddly factor).

So, I'm torn between "making" him sleep in his own bed and (gasp!) co-sleeping. Coming from someone who worked for public health for nearly 8 years, the idea of co-sleeping makes me akin to the devil, or at least someone who is outright trying to kill her child. My public health roots say that co-sleeping is never, ever, EVER, EVER safe and you should not do it under any circumstances. Now, I never really prescribed to it to that extreme, but it has been pretty well ground in to my (super tired) brain.

But, lately, I've been doing a bit of research and have been surprised to come up with some interesting stuff. Some of the research actually suggests that co-sleeping is very safe, under the right circumstances, frankly, it may be safer than sleeping alone in a crib. I saw one source that said that co-sleeping may be preferred in families where baby is breastfeeding, and that there is little risk to those babies. Public health does have a tendency to issue blanket statements, because it's just easier that way, but that doesn't meant they're always right (double gasp!!!!). And, no, I don't have the sources - remember, super tired momma here.

Now, I have no interest in having a 5 year old sleeping with us, but if baby E being in bed with us for the next couple of months, and not even all night but at least part of it, is what it takes for us all to get some sleep, then I think I'm in. I am no good to anyone in my current state. And I'm pretty sure hubby isn't either. We certainly are getting on each other's nerves more than usual.

Today's lesson - dude, I am tired. And isn't it interesting how good kids are at making you a liar. I mean, I said, "no, I'll never have a kid in bed with me". And yet here we are. Kids are here to remind us that we should never make blanket statements like, "I'll never..." or "We always...", unless we want to be proven wrong, of course. Kids are great at making us eat humble pie. Bring on my pie...


Andi said...

Been there done that with my second child. We wanted sleep we did the co-sleeping thing with child two and not with child 1. You do what you gotta do to get some sleep. Then we went to "go to sleep in your bed and then get in our bed in the middle of the night" and finally at 4 1/2 years old he has started to sleep through the night in his bed. Yes we have made it two weeks in a row! RECORD!!! You do what you gotta do to be sane! Just remember he isn't going to want to sleep with you in your bed when he is 16. LOL! Good luck!

Sarah said...

I have hear the good and the bad of co-sleeping, but we ended up doing it. It is very popular in other countries and if you follow attachment parenting it is actually preferred. We used a sleep positioner with Henry when he was small and it made me feel much safer. Now he goes to bed in his bed, but if he wakes up he is welcome in ours. It works for us and allowed us to get sleep, which was needed!

Erin Fifield said...

We co-slept with both of our babies. No one suffocated. Each child has and likes to sleep in their own bed :) They are both independent confident children. Nursing while laying down sleeping changed my life. Good luck sleepy head.