8.20.2008

Sweaty Puppy: An argument against co-sleeping

I like to sleep, no, I love to sleep.

Our 22-month old has been sleeping in his crib since he grew out of his co-sleeper at 4 months old (yes, he was a "healthy" baby). Last night, whether due to a bad dream or questionable cup of milk, he could not be consoled by the usual kiss, hug, and Pappy-dog. Wedged between two sleepy parents was his nest of choice. I was happy to oblige in order to allow all family members their precious shut-eye.

One problem: Sleeping with a sweaty, restless puppy of a child means no sleep at all. To have a little body using my face as a pillow is more than any sand-man could handle.

When my husband and I were new and still ga-ga over each other, we'd sleep so close he'd wake up with my abundant head of hair in his mouth and up his nose. Gradually over the last nine years, my hair's gotten a lot shorter and the space between us much larger. And god-forbid any extremities should touch in the night! (Unfortunately,) we get far more sleep now.

I had a natural birth, I breastfed, and I wore my babies, but on this issue, I must insist on parenting un-attached. I prefer to have more than sixteenth of an inch between me and hitting the floor. I enjoy tossing and turning at will. Once in a while I even like to roll over and cuddle my husband. But most of all, I - and those who have to live with me - am partial to facing each new, challenging day in mommy-ville with a good stretch of sleep behind me.

So, to all you ardent co-sleeping, family-bed advocates out there, I say "bless you." I understand and applaud your reasoning for wanting your precious ones safely snoozing by your side. But on this one I must let sleeping dogs lie - in their own beds.

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2 comments:

Jessica said...

Pshaw! I am a coerced cosleeper. Can you imagine being this pregnant and still having a 2 year old tossing, turning and kicking you in the gut in the middle of the night? ugh.

toyfoto said...

I just wrote a lengthy piece taking the AAP to task for its campaign against co-sleeping.

But you're right, it's not for everyone. It certainly wasn't for us the first time around. And yet, co-sleeping turned out to be kind of a necessity the second time.

We have to do what works for us, right? I think people should do what works for them and stop beating each other up about it. Then maybe we could all sleep better.