Monday, May 24, 2010

Co Sleeping??

Of course as new parents I want so badly to make the right choices and not to start bad habits with the little one. My current adventure in parenting with Avery has been the dreaded night time routine. .I will never forget that first week home. Oh the horror of trying to get a newborn to sleep. And when after hours had passed and he would finally get to sleep it seemed he gave me a good hour to sleep before he was screaming at the top of his little lungs again. This is when we decided that the only way to get him to sleep would be to set up the pack and play inside our bedroom..

With this arrangement I could easily get  him at night- feed him- and put him back without having to make my way across the house, wake myself up and spend another 20 minutes getting back to sleep. It worked pretty well at first! At least until the dreaded night that he wanted no part of that pack-n-play. As a matter of a fact, he wanted no part of the crib either! He just wanted no part in being away from me. It didn't matter how long I waited, an hour an hour and a half? He would still be crying... When I'd pick him up he'd stop and slowly drift off again. I'd again try to tiptoe my way back to the pack-n-play, and slowly lay him down only to hear him wail at the top of his little lungs again. It was a vicious cycle. After a solid week of no sleep- I did it. I did it out of utter tiredness and frustration. I took him to bed with me and layed him beside me.Now let me just say, growing up there are about a million things that I hear that are voodoo acts of parenting that are forbidden....That I swore I would never deal with.Letting the little one in the bed was probably number 1. That night was the night that I found a good 7 hours of sleep. Now- I know that was bedtime NO NO rule number 1 ! And I broke it!! Since then, it has been an uphill battle. Who would have knew that a 15 week old could be set in their ways. lol

I will say this though- we have made leaps and bounds in progress. We are now on a pretty routine schedule where we put him in bed around 9 (we are still working the time out- but this is as early as we have got him so far) in his own room inside the crib.. And then usually around 4am he is ready for a feeding. It's around this time that he will refuse to sleep in the crib or pack-n-play. Not sure why... But Avery usually ends up in our bed at 4:30am and stays there until I or Justin gets up for work at 6.....Given we have had a couple of thoes freak nights that he sleeps until 6am or later but those are few and far between.

 I know, this is probably a terrible confession. So lately I have been researching a remedy for this 4am family bed scenario, and have been pretty astonished with some research out there claiming that it's psychologically better to allow your little one to sleep next to you! How crazy is that?  Dr. Sears article claims that although putting your baby in a room and letting them cry is a way to get them to find some independence from you, it actually causes more harm psychologically. He seems to think babies will always sleep better, thrive better, and it reduces the risk of SIDS when sleeping close to a parent.

KIR states that "American studies show children who sleep with their parents as a baby  are more independent than their peers. They perform better in school, having higher self-esteem and fewer health problems. After all, who is more likely to be well adjusted-the child who learns that his needs will be met or the one who is left alone for long periods of time? Dr. McKenna suggest that it is confusing for a baby who receives cuddles during the day, while also being taught that the same behaviour is inappropriate at night"

Now, I am in no way saying that I going to plop Avery right in between Justin and I at night- that just won't work for us. But does it open my mind up to the 4am laying with mom and dad time? I don't know.

 All I know is that the parenting adventure can't come from one book or opinion. It is what it is- an adventure that is as different as one child is different from another.

 I have to soley rely on God and pray that I do right by his standard- even on these little things like bedtime.


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