Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Co-sleeping contest: Finding out what not cosleeping is like

[April 5, 2010] Good news! I found out I'm one of the winners of the Co-Sleeping Essay Contest. This essay will be published in the book Are You Co-Sleeping? Me Too! and will soon be featured on www.CosleepingSurvey.com. Hooray!

Having shared a bed with my boy since his birth, I never got to experience the alternative to co-sleeping until last week. My husband's head-cold-induced snoring kicked me out of bed, and I had finally drifted off on the couch downstairs when my toddler woke up, crying and summoning me back to our bedroom.

I groggily disentangled myself from the covers I'd purloined, wincing at the cold air that hit my pajamaed body. I was so weary climbing the stairs that I seriously thought I might drop right there.

It was then it hit me: This is what it's like not to co-sleep. This is what most parents I know do every night. No wonder they're all so tired! No wonder they wish more than anything for their children to sleep through the night.

I snuggled back in with my baby, who eagerly slid in to nurse. I kicked my husband (gently!) until he rolled over, and we all drifted back into peaceful sleep.

Bed sharing has been the way our family gets the sleep we need. Well — provided no one has a head cold!

This is my entry into the Co-Sleeping Contest I detailed in this post. I chose the topic of "How you got better sleep."

If you want to enter, submit your feel-good essay at www.CosleepingSurvey.com today (Mar. 23). It's only 250 words (or fewer), so you still have time to crank one out!


Olivia said...

I haven't experience not co-sleeping either. Although my husband always snores, and it's worse when he comes to bed later than 2 a.m. (he does homework late in the night). So, our bed isn't always a full family bed because we have an agreement that he goes to the spare room if it's after 2 a.m.

Recently I came home early from work feeling sick, and I snuck in the back door so my daughter wouldn't see me. As I slept alone, it occured to me that it was the first time since she was born that I slept without her by my side.

Unknown said...

I always wondered where that "you'll never sleep as a parent" thing came from because it has never felt true to me. Sure I've had sleepless nights with a sick baby, but for the most part I have rarely felt sleep deprived as a parent.

I was out with some other moms last week talking about taking turns with our spouses during "night duty." (as an aside I don't like "duty" it implies ...idk, something horrible). I started to say that sometimes when I need pete to cuddle with aellyn i have to wake him up. They all jumped down my throat about how "that doesn't count - she's right there in bed with you."

First, I was offended that I couldn't commiserate just because I made a different choice? Then I just thought, well if you hate getting up all night to go down the hall then why don't YOU cosleep. Here they were complaining about it when there was an alternative staring them in the face.

sigh, I'm ranting aren't I?

Great post. I also entered the contest but with an older post.

Mother Tongue Books said...

Hi, With my first child we were adamant that we wouldn't co-sleep,what a waste of precious sleep we endured. Trying to get her off to sleep, creeping out of her room, standing on squeaky floorboards, starting the whole process again. With my second co-sleeping has become the norm, we never know which bed we'll end up sleeping in, at one time my daughter was the only one who managed to get the double to herself, whilst we slept in children's beds - still not sure how that happened!

But we are fresh in the morning, the children are happy, we're happy, and snuggling next to your little one - such a perfect fit, far beats the snoring husband any day.

Mallory said...

I used to get tired and worn out just from sitting up to change a diaper! I could never be the kind of parent who has a baby in a crib in the other room, and has to get up to parent the hard way at 3am!!!

Olivia said...

Paige, I loved the looks I got when I told people I was more rested after my baby was born than before ;)

All the "war stories" about sleep deprivation had left me feeling terrified that I would be a zombie after my baby was born. That's partly why I researched co-sleeping. I thought we would do it for the first few months just to make breastfeeding easier, but what I didn't know was how much I would truly love it.

My daughter is just shy of 1 yr old and I really can't imagine the time when I (or she) won't want to sleep in the same bed. I know the day will come, but until then I savor every moment.

Dionna @Code Name: Mama said...

What a great comparison! I've never had to leave b/c of Tom, but he has slept on the couch a few times when Kieran was sick and up every 30 minutes.

Lisa C said...

Maybe I'll post my entry, too. I wrote about how it makes me a better parent.

When Michael was a newborn he was in a bassinet instead of in bed with us, but just the process of sitting up to retrieve him was so exhausting! How parents get up and go down the hall to another room night after night, I'll never know. I could see the temptation in letting them cry back to sleep (still would never do it, though!).

Anonymous said...

Good luck in the contest! :)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE co-sleeping. Our little family has adapted to it so well. I get lots of sleep because of it. I get nervous to blog about it because the one time I did, some anonymous stranger told me that she accidently smothered her 5 week old baby. In my experience, it's difficult to smother a baby in the bed since I've been SO aware of him.

I love the pic in the header. I just got an Ergo a week ago and I'm really loving it. Although I feel like I've been cheating on my Sleepy Wrap, lol!

Anonymous said...

I hear you!

Luschka said...

The first three months of my daughter's life I was like a sprightly new woman! I was able to sleep solidly for more than 1 hour at a time, which was as much as I got at any one time during the last stages of pregnancy. I wanted to move in to the bathroom! Lol.
I totally did not understand that whole tiredness thing either. We still cosleep, but my daughter has had a rough time with teething, so I'm more tired now days, but still nothing like the other moms I see. And when I am its because it's 1 am and the whole house is asleep and I'm still reading blogs. yawn. great article!

Alexandra said...

great point! I totally agree!

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