Today’s subject that may produce some ire (or hopefully at least a comment of some sort) is co-sleeping. It’s become an issue around here again since I spent more time with BabyN in bed with me last night than without.
Here’s what happened: BabyN is beginning to show some tummy issues that I suspect will be ongoing for months until he outgrows them. He needs to fart badly about an hour or so after each feeding. He sleeps best swaddled tightly–until the gas hits. Then he wants to squirm and fuss until the farts make their way out, and there is nothing I can do to help him. Oh, and the swaddle keeps him from squirming, so it makes him even madder.
The night before last was bad. I slowly developed a migraine during the night as the little restless sleep I got refused to rejuvenate me the way it was supposed to. I couldn’t take any medicine for the headache either (ibuprofen makes me sick, Tylenol does nothing, and caffeine would only make the sleep issues with BabyN ridiculously worse), and it lasted all day long yesterday and last night. I knew the only thing that would help was a good night’s sleep, and that obviously wasn’t happening with this new gassy issue. I tried to get M to help out during the night, but he couldn’t work miracles and get BabyN to sleep any more than I could.
The only option I had left was to bring BabyN to bed with me. He was much more comfortable nestled up close to my side in bed, where he could squirm farts out when he needed to but could sleep comfortably otherwise. I never sleep as well with him in bed with me, but I was at the point where sleep was sleep and quality was much less important. So most of the night, BabyN shared our bed.
For the record, I hate the idea of co-sleeping. I know it works for some people and some families, but that was one topic I was adamant about. The bed is for M and me; our children need to sleep elsewhere for the sake of our marriage. Besides, the safety issues are some that I just can’t get past, and our bed in particular is awful for infants. Co-sleeping was never even an option for PJ (the constant fountain of spit-up out of his mouth was probably the biggest reason for him, though), and I assumed it would be the same for BabyN.
So why have I gone against something I’m so adamant about? I’ve decided my sanity and health are important enough that I have to compromise sometimes. It’s much less safe for BabyN to have a sleep-deprived mother who is making herself sick than to spend a few hours in our bed with us. I do not plan on making the co-sleeping a regular thing. BabyN will still spend as much of the night as possible in his own bed. But when the situation gets as desperate as it was last night, I’m not going to think twice about sharing my bed with him if it helps us both sleep. And if these desperate situations get more frequent, I may have to make our bed a little more infant-friendly–and I won’t beat myself up for giving in to something I was strongly against.