Rachel’s daddy brought up co-sleeping with me today. This had been brought up before after one of the previous times she spent the night with him, before he started having her Tuesday nights. In fact, I believe both he and his mother had told me that I should stop sleeping with Rachel because she wakes up at night wanting arms and won’t go back to sleep unless she is in bed with him. A bed, mind you, that he shares with his 11 year old and 8 year old sons.
I know I know, its a different situation. They are in one room of the house and can only fit one bed so where else are they going to sleep? Whatever. Anyway, he and his mom ganged up on me one day saying that Rachel needs to start sleeping in her crib, and instead of listing all the reasons why she is sleeping with me in a calm and logical manner, I basically told them that if it was an issue than maybe she shouldn’t spend the night over there anymore. He raised his eyebrows at me, I raised mine back at him, and the issue was dropped.
According to him, Rachel woke up 3 times last night, and this is an issue with him. She needs to start sleeping in her own crib. I told him that I’m the one that has to get up with her at night and lose sleep and then get up and go to work in the morning. He said he knew. I told him that when he sleeps over and is there to get up with her in the night every time she cries, then she can sleep in the crib. I think he just kind of blew that response off.
Again, I was pissed and did not calmly and logically go through all the reasons she sleeps with me instead of the crib.
- I still freak out every 5 minutes or so about whether or not she is still breathing. Its easier for me to check her when she’s in bed with me than to get out of bed and go to the crib and check on her every 5 minutes. Sometimes, I just sit there and watch.
- I breast feed her at night. Weaning has been difficult, damn near impossible actually since I enjoy doing it so much, and she wakes up at night looking for the nipple. Sometimes she does it for comfort, and sometimes she does it for food, but since she doesn’t drink a lot of breast milk (or formula) during the day from a bottle, she needs to get the fluids from somewhere.
- If I bottle fed her and she slept in the crib, I would be losing more sleep.
- I have to get up and go to the work in the morning, so I need my sleep.
- She sleeps better, and falls asleep faster, when she sleeps with me. Thusly I sleep better, and fall asleep faster, when she sleeps with me.
She spends one night a week at his home, for one night out of 7 he cares for her during the night time hours. Yes, it pisses me off that he would ask me to do this and make things even more difficult for me when I’m the one that cares for her the other six nights, when I’m the one that has to go to work in the morning. I’m sorry if that one night is an inconvenience for him, but I’m not going to change what works for me 6 nights out of the week to make his 1 a little more comfortable.
Now, I’m not saying there aren’t reasons to not co-sleep. I’ve done some research and it seems like the most popular reasons to not share a bed with an infant is the possibility that the parent might role over on the child and suffocate that child. Lucky for me, Rachel is a big girl (big as in 95th percentile for her age in height, not big as in obese) and it would be difficult to do this. Also, I don’t drink or do drugs so that lowers the possibility of me suffocating her unknowingly while passed out in a drunken/drug induced stupor. PLUS, I make sure I position myself so I can’t roll over onto her. The second most popular reason is that it would be difficult to transition the child from co-sleeping to sleeping in their own bed. Having gone through this with my friend Trini and her daughter Drew, I am very aware of this future problem. The third most popular is that since after babies are 6 months, they kick and wiggle and squirm in their sleep, the parent’s would lose sleep. Well, we sleep well together and she’s almost 10 months old. The wiggling, squirming, and kicking is not an issue.
There are pros to co-sleeping as well, a happier, more independent and self-assured child, and a wonderful bonding experience for the parent that is away at work all day are just a couple of them. Here are some websites if you are interested in looking at the opinions yourself, and if you find others with different information I’d be interested in checking them out:
The point is, she’ll still be sleeping with me. If he thinks I’m going to cowtow to him just because he says that this is the way he thinks it should be, he’s got another think coming. He’s made it clear in the past that he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about me, how I feel about anything, or what I think about anything, or what I have to deal with when he’s not there to help.
I meant what I said, if her sleeping habits don’t work for him, then maybe she shouldn’t stay over there until she’s older. I’ll give it some time as this is only the second week we’ve had her sleep over for quality father/daughter time (and brother time, when they are there on Tuesdays), as opposed to the times she spent the night because “I can’t care for her because I have a migraine and need to either go to the hospital now or kill myself”.
The funny thing is, I do have her sleep in her crib. I put her in there if she falls asleep before its time for us to go to bed and she stays in there until she wakes up wanting to be held or fed. She’s been doing this for a while, and sometimes she sleeps there through the night. Don’t tell her father though, I don’t want him thinking that this is happening because he said it should, he had absolutely nothing to do with it. This has been happening long before he ever mentioned it to me.