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01 September 2009

Cosleeping, Cribs & Doing What Feels Right

Tonight I put Gretchen down to sleep in her crib (in our bedroom) for the first time.

She has slept in it for short periods of time previous to this, however it's the first time that I've got her to fall asleep (in the sling while nursing) and have successfully transferred her to the crib without waking her and having to nurse her down in our bed.

Does this spell the end of cosleeping? Not exactly. I just want to give her the opportunity to try out the crib and see if she enjoys it -- I hope she'll know eventually that it's a happy place to lay, rest, sleep and listen to music (or her sleep sheep).

A few days ago I moved Gretchen from our bed to the crib for a short period of time when I went to sleep, however, we brought her back into bed with us upon her first waking so I could nurse her to sleep beside me.

I think this will continue to be our method.

I do love sleeping with her and will probably take part in some form of cosleeping for the next few years -- it just feels right to have her close at night. Lately, however, we've been finding that we wake her up more and more at night when we move around, resulting in sleepless nights and a crabby mama/baby duo the next morning. (The boy could sleep through a tornado.)

So for now, our new routine (hopefully) will be to put her in the crib once she falls asleep (either in the sling or while being nursed) and then to move her to our bed once she wakes in the night for some milk time. My thoughts are that we'll both get a little more sleep this way.

Sometime in the future perhaps she will fall asleep without being nursed, but for now, she's my girl, and I'm keeping her close.

A woman on the bus said to me today: "Babies are like vegetables: if you leave them alone they will spoil."

This rings so true to me, especially in a world where everyone is hopping mad to tell you how keeping your children in your arms, beds and against your breast is what will spoil them.

I want to do what's right for my babe, and if that means she never sleeps in her crib all night? Fine. If it means she wants to sleep in our bed til she's ready for a "big girl bed"? Sure. If it means she loves the crib and doesn't need to nurse to sleep? Okay.

If it works for her -- it works for me.

I think the world would be a happier place if we all just listened to our hearts & did what felt right.

It's all about doing what feels right.

Much love, mes amis.

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Blogger verygoodyear said...

I so love your attitude & agree with it one million percent.

Maia is a VERY wiggly little bean at night and she wakes my husband up constantly when we co-sleep. So for most of the time we've had her, we put her to sleep in the bassinet / pack & play / crib next to our bed. But, like you, most of the time I "cheat" and pull her into bed after she wakes up to eat the first time... forget that whole staying awake thing! I'll just side-latch, snuggle, and sleep while she nurses!

I feel, in general, that there's a strong movement (among the women I associate with, even the ones who are no longer of a childbearing age) towards the attachment/natural parenting style. I can't tell you how many women who are grandmas, maybe even great grandmas now, have "confessed" that they nursed their babies even when everyone else they knew used formula, that they loved to sleep with their baby, etc, and that they think it's PHENOMENAL that I do so too! And then there are women like my sister, who is 22 and not looking to have kids soon, who nonetheless love the way I parent and constantly say "I think I'll do it that way too".

I like that you mention wanting to keep Gretchen close at night for years to come. Sometimes I get so sad when I think about moving Maia into her own room and it's nice to know other moms feel the same about their babies.

September 1, 2009 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I too love your attitude on this. I don't know when I'll be a parent but I feel like I've learned so much from your adventures as a new mom! I'm definitely going to take some of this with me when I become a mom, I think :) I think it's great to go along with what's right for your child and not necessarily what's "right" for everyone else.

September 2, 2009 at 2:51 AM  
Blogger Elly said...

I think I say this everytime one of these posts comes up, but I really love your attitude that if it works for you, the roll with it. Right on, I say :)

September 2, 2009 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger Corinne said...

I love what that woman on the bus said to you! It's so true.
We've cosleep with both our kids, when they need it. I'd hate to ever deny them our comfort, so most nights each of us sleeps with one of them. It works :) Might not be conventional, but it works :)

September 2, 2009 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Eclectic Mama said...

It's so sad to me that more new parents *don't* listen to their hearts and do what's right - they believe they need to do what the mainstream books say, which goes against many millennia of cosleeping and holding kids close ... and their own instincts. So sad.

If you're at all dreading the time when your kids no longer snuggle up to you, like verygoodyear, don't worry. Just last night my 9yo was kicking me in the face as he slept. He still comes to bed occasionally, which is fine with me ... except for the fact that he's like a little fresh-out-of-the-oven baked potato!

September 2, 2009 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Its true, do what YOU feel right. Don't listen to society, do what right in your heart.

September 2, 2009 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger erinmike said...

I love to hear this from other mamas!
We do a similar routine of nursing her to sleep then transferring her to the crib about 3 feet from our bed simply because we tend to sleep better and with less sore necks in the morning this way...she always comes back when she wakes in the night to nurse and spends the remainder in with us. Lately, she has been spending the entire night in our bed...we don't have rules or schedules and I know others think we are crazy because of it, but we wnat her close and don't feel inconvenienced by her or her needs and therefore have no need to undermine her own as well as our own instincts.
So nice to meet another mama {local no less!!} with similar values!
So sorry about your bike! If I spot her, I will be to alert someone or take them down myself ;)

September 2, 2009 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 2, 2009 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

averygoodyear: we certainly feel the same way -- and I glad to hear you do too!
there's really only so much time that they want you that close, though I hope Gretchen will continue to be a snuggler for life!

melissa: thanks so much -- I'm glad you're enjoying the blog!

elly: awe, merci, merci!

corinne: that is so nice that you're 9-year-old still wants snuggle time -- makes me hopeful!

amanda: absolutely!!

erinmike: sounds just like our routine, for sure!
and it's nice to meet another local as well!

September 2, 2009 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Jinxy said...

My daughter, Lily is 8 months old and we sleep the same way. A couple of months ago I started putting her in her crib if she feel asleep nursing before we were ready to go to sleep and then when she wakes up to nurse I bring her to bed and we snuggle the rest of the night. I wouldn't want it any other way.

I feel that it helps with our bond and I get to sleep way more then my friends that don't cosleep.

I just found your blog via Tatiana from A very good year and I can't wait to read more.

September 2, 2009 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Nadia said...

A wise woman that was on the bus!

Loved this post, and so very true. I
agree 100%.

Going with our gut instinct is the most important thing for ourselves and our children.

September 2, 2009 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger PhD in said...

We kept our son in our bed until he was one year old, even though he had a crib in his room. The crib was used to store clean laundry and toys.

When he turned one, we got him a double bed with a bedrail on it and starting putting him to bed there instead of in our room. That way we could lay down with him (harder in a crib!) and we could easily join him in the night if he needed us (or bring him to our bed).

This worked really well for us because it meant that there were multiple co-sleeping environments in the house. That way if DS was waking a lot and either DH or I really needed our sleep, one of us could sleep alone and the other parent could take care of the nighttime parenting/snuggling in the other bed.

September 8, 2009 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

That seems like a really great way to go about it!

September 8, 2009 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Johanna said...

beautiful post, well said! and I really like that quote that the lady on the bus said.

November 1, 2009 at 5:41 PM  

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