SOME THOUGHTS.



landon is nearing his one-year mark and i can't help but wonder: are we doing the right thing by co-sleeping/bed-sharing?  now don't get me wrong, i absolutely love it. i love waking up to his smiling face in the morning (even if all i want to do is sleep just 15 minutes longer), i love feeling him next to me and knowing that he is comforted just being in the space between me and his daddy, snuggled up against me. and yet, is this the best thing for him? for us? or am i just prolonging the inevitable; the unhappy night(s) where we are going to have to do something different, for all of our sakes? i dread that time. i have no desire to start sleep training, in any form.

on the other hand, i guess you could say that we have done some sleep training. we've trained him that we help him go to sleep instead of just placing him in his crib; we go to him when he wakes up and needs comforting; we bring him into our bed when he wakes in the middle of the night or if it happens to be closer to the morning.  i no longer nurse him in the middle of the night, only the occasional time when he wakes up between four and six, with hopes that it will help him drift off back to sleep, if only for another few minutes.

and then there are the nights where it takes 30 minutes (or longer!) before he falls asleep. or the nights where he wakes up multiple times before midnight, when he went to bed around eight. or the nights where he sleeps for a straight five hours. or the nights where he wakes up no more than an hour into his night, screaming and nothing can comfort him for what seems like forever, when it's really only a few minutes. (i think he has some night terrors, from what i have read about them online.)

neither justin nor myself know if what we have been doing is the "right" thing. we don't know if we should start putting him to bed by himself or if we should continue on with what we are doing. we don't know if we are hindering his ability to sleep soundly because he is unable to go to sleep on his own. all we do know is we are not comfortable with the controversial ferber method and yet, we aren't sure what we have been doing is actually working. where do we find a happy medium? and how do we go about it?

i constantly go back and forth. i want to get good sleep again and i want landon to sleep well also. but i don't want him to feel unloved because we are not comforting him the way he is used to. he isn't going to sleep with us forever, i know that. but at what age do we stop co-sleeping/bed-sharing?

this is something i have been contemplating for quite some time now. do you have any thoughts? suggestions? words of advice? i'll be glad to listen. (so long as you don't tell me to put my baby in his crib and let him cry for hours.)

...

*please note: if you use or have used the ferber method,
i am in no way trying to say you are wrong.
every parent makes the decision that is best for their child and their situation.
i am simply saying that i am uncomfortable with it myself.

4 comments:

  1. Been wondering the same myself, every now and then. But I always go back to: it works for us. We love it still, he loves it. I don't care that he doesn't "sleep 8 hours straight". We start him out in his crib about 8:30, and he usually wakes up again by 10:30 or 11 and I just nurse him (quickly) back to sleep and put him back, and then he'll wake again around 1 sometimes, and I'll nurse, put him back to bed and then go to bed myself, and then he usually joins us in bed around 3:30 or so. I don't like to tell this to other people because they think I should have "sleep trained" my kid by now. Or I get "my kid slept 10 hours straight a night by 3 months old!" Yeah...but you had to let him scream and scream and comfort himself in the mean time. I read something somewhere that really made me feel like what I was doing was right. I read that back in the "olden days", (like primitive days), parents wouldn't THINK of putting their kids anywhere other than right beside them because they had to protect them at night. Because they are little helpless guys and need to feel protected and comforted by their parents. Society only started doing it not too long ago. It made me feel a lot better, even tho we aren't primitive. I think we'll get to the point where we "know". I'm guessing one of these days, Zeek will just stop waking up in the middle of the night. I've already noticed in the last few weeks that he's been sleeping more chunks, like 4-5 hours at a time, which used to be extremely rare. I think he'll just grow into sleeping by himself on his own, and I'm in no rush to force it. :)

    Sorry for my book. I think you guys are awesome parents. Keep doing what's right for you. :)
    Love,K

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    Replies
    1. thanks so so much Kay. I really needed to hear what you had to say. (I was secretly hoping you'd read this post and comment!)

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    2. I have always taken the stand that whatever works for you and your family is the "right" choice. With that said, when it comes to sleep I think that whatever you can do to get your family the most sleep is really what is going to be beneficial to everyone in the end. I was sort of in the same boat, I wanted a happy medium. I didn't want my child sleeping with me but I did not want to put him alone in a room to scream for hours on end. So what we did is use bits and pieces of babywise, the parts that we felt comfortable with. Basically we stopped "feeding to sleep". We changed our daytime routine to eat-play-sleep rather than play-eat-sleep. By doing this Jackson was able to go to sleep when he was tired from being fed then exerting all of his energy rather than just being full. We found that by doing that he slept better and longer during naps and nighttime. We got rid of sleep props and at night we would get him ready for bed. I absolutely do not agree with putting your baby in a crib and letting them scream for hours but I do believe good sleep habits are something that need to be learned, so there is an adjustment period. It took about 3 weeks and the longest he ever cried was 11 minutes and that was once. usually it was 3-5 minutes. We'd check on him every couple of minutes, hold him for a minute, be sure that he wasn't hungry, in need of a new diaper, or agitated in some way like lint on his face then put him back down. It took repetition and consistency but after those 3 weeks crying at bed time was a thing of the past. We put him to bed and he would fall asleep within a few minutes and as he got older the waking up through the night got fewer and far between until they eventually stopped all together. Now he sleeps all night and we sleep all night. I do agree that it is difficult to teach your child how to sleep through the night and how to fall asleep, and it's not fun for a little while...but this was what got our family the most sleep so all of us, especially Jackson, are well rested. At the end of the day advice from other people is only what has worked best for "their" family, You guys need to decide what works best for your family. Good luck, I know it's not easy:)!!

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  2. i think you and justin are incredible parents, and you should do what you guys feel is right in your hearts. EVERY child is different and you two know better than any book or other person ever will about what landon needs.
    sorry that's not really an "answer", but it's just what i think :) no matter what you guys decide, i know landon knows how much you guys love him...it is so incredibly evident :)

    hugs!

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thanks for the input!