Monday, January 11, 2010

End of An Era

A recent Facebook status of mine was:
Jenne's family has reached the end of an era. No more sidecar crib. Its nice to have a place to put my books, a reading lap, a glass of water, etc now. Maybe when I find my phone, I'll have a safe place to keep it!

This came after it was determined that Belle sleeps more soundly when she is not bedsharing or cosleeping. My movements in my sleep disturb her at night. After 4 sleepless nights and some profound stress and exhaustion (and help from neighbors and my Relief Society sisters), we tested a new sleep arrangement where she sleeps in the second bedroom. We tried it out first with a pack and play because we didn't want to move the crib, rearrange two rooms just to find out we were wrong.

It was a sad and difficult decision to reach this point because we are still happily bedsharing with Willem, and I was looking forward to sharing that special nighttime connection with my newest child. I've really loved bedsharing for the most part.

One of the hallmarks of attachment parenting, of course, is bedsharing. But I had to remind myself of the wise words of Dr. Sears "Wherever all family members get the best night's sleep is the right arrangement for your individual family....Attachment parenting implies first opening your mind and heart to the individual needs of your baby, and eventually you will develop the wisdom on how to make on-the-spot decisions on what works best for both you and your baby." For us, it was a matter of finding out our individual child needed.

I believe that the default parenting practices ought to be the 7 B's of Attachment Parenting but there will always be need for adaptation to and respect for the individual.

Our sleep problems aren't solved. Belle, although she had been sleeping through the night and I hadn't been sleep deprived at all--until she was six months old, is still frequently nightwaking. I'm not sure exactly what is causing this although I suspect its a developmental stage. I find that swaddling helps. She may also be a light sleeper so I'm planning to cover the window with dark fabric to keep light out.

However tempting it is to bring her to bed with me, or to lay down with her on the twin bed in the "nursery," its not as effective as nursing her back to sleep in my arms and then laying her down again in the crib. Its not my ideal because not only do I love cuddling with my babies, but it means I have to wake up more fully to attend to her needs.


~Aimee~ said...

Jason slept in bed with me until he was 4 months, and then we found the same thing, he sleeps better in his crib. He still wakes up once or twice a night, and I end up taking him out to the couch to nurse, then back to his bed. But it's the arrangement that works best, so that means it's the best, right? :-)

Carrie said...

My dd is the same way and I was really sad when she didn't want to co-sleep anymore. She really does sleep best when it is dark and quiet. We have a fan for white noise which seems to work well.

Jenne said...

Carrie, how do you keep the room dark?