So a little back story, when my son Carter was first was born I never planned on co-sleeping. I had always assumed that he would sleep in his crib just as all babies do. It never even crossed my mind that it was a possibility because all I had heard was how dangerous it was to sleep with your baby in your bed. Well one of the biggest lessons I've learned as a parent is that any "plans" you have for your child or how you plan on raising them might as well be thrown out the window because nothing will go as you plan. Nothing. And you probably won't be the parent you said you were, and you'll probably do all the things you said you weren't going to because that's life.
I quickly found out that my newborn did NOT want to sleep in his bassinet. Or in his crib. Or in his boppy seat. Or anywhere other than my arms. This I wasn't prepared for. I remember being told that I wouldn't have time to myself again for many years after having a child and I would joke to my husband that they were all wrong because "don't they sleep?" No, no they don't. Unless of coarse he fell asleep in my arms while nursing. In a state of complete sleep deprivation and exhaustion, I started nursing him lying down in bed, and he would "gasp" fall asleep in my arms, and to my better judgement I went to sleep too. He was a lot safer then you would think in the position we slept in (and to this day I get achey elbows from sleeping like this). But in extreme sleep deprivation, nothing matters. This went on for days, weeks, months, and continued even after we were done nursing. Yes I tried putting him in his crib here and there and he would scream his little head off and my heart would break and I'd go and get him. I liked having him close to me every night. I liked co-sleeping. I also loved waking up in the morning - especially weekends - and we'd all cuddle and be silly. Fast forward to 20 month's later, and here we are, my family of three all sleeping in the same bed. Ugh.
Now I realize the problem wasn't that he wouldn't sleep in his crib, it was that I wasn't ready emotionally and physically to let go. I loved it too much, and wasn't strong enough to listen to him cry and not get him. I did want my bed to myself again though. My husband and I hadn't slept without Carter since he existed, we had zero down time, and our bed was getting really, really cramped.
But time went by, and the longer it did, the more impossible it seemed. I started to think Carter would be in our bed forever. It just seemed like an impossible task. But the urge to get him out got stronger and stronger. The nights became much more cramped and difficult. Carter was waking in the middle of the night and would cry and kick and toss and turn. I'd get him a bottle, rub his head, snuggle him - I'd pretty much do ANYTHING to get him back down. It was exhausting and he wasn't learning to self-soothe. I knew this wasn't good for him nor us, and that we needed a change fast. But weeks and months kept flying by.
Want to read the rest? Head on over to my blog to read the rest of this blog post! Pretty Little Mommy Things: Sleep Training