OK – I admit it publicly – I have always been one of those people who thought that co-sleeping with your kids was absolutely crazy – my reasons included the fact that I like to have my personal space and time with just Chris, that it couldn’t be good for kid’s independence and that it was good for kids to learn to sleep on their own, etc.
My parents have always put Ali’s pack and play in their room when she spends the night with them, and they talk about how sweet it is, and although it sounds sweet in principal, it’s never sounded appealing to me. I like my uninterrupted sleep, away time from being a “parent”, and quality time with Chris too much.
However, since we have been sharing a two bedroom condo with the Spurlings for the last three nights, Ali has been sleeping in her pack and play right next to my side of the bed, and I have, very surprisingly, enjoyed it immensely. I wasn’t looking forward to it because Ali has small bouts of crying in her sleep every now and then (they last a minute or less), and I am in general very paranoid about waking her up. But all four of us went in and out of our bedroom to go to the bathroom each night and never woke her up.
So here is the rundown of how our co-sleeping went:
Saturday night: Ali only cried once, and it was before we went to bed. She slept until 8:15!! She woke up talking to herself and completely content. So sweet!
Sunday night: Ali woke up once in the night, and she was moaning (her night crying is, I’m sure, a result of the fact that I can see at least 5 teeth pushing through her gums right now), so after laying her back down didn’t work, I picked her up and put her on my chest, and we dozed together for a little while – I actually have no idea how long it was – and then I put her back in her PNP. It was really sweet time, and I loved it!! Then she slept until NINE A.M.!!! Again, she woke up happy and talking – we heard a big “HI!!” in a very excited voice, and looked at the clock and couldn’t believe what time it was!
Monday night: She again didn’t cry after we went to bed, but I heard her start to talk around 7:00 am. I was still too groggy to rouse myself, so fell back asleep, and every now and then would hear her talking to herself or tumbling around in her PNP. She was perfectly happy to entertain herself while we slept in (Chris never even heard her). I finally started to rouse myself around 8, and so I rolled over, at which time she caught sight of me and gave me her morning greeting of the most excited “HI!!” ever. I picked her up and put her on the bed with us, and she crawled over to Chris and woke him just as excitedly. So fun!
The Spurlings left this evening, so we put Ali in their bedroom for the last night. Although I’m looking forward to our night of alone time and not having to tiptoe to go to the bathroom, I had quite a big tinge of sadness when we put her to bed. I’m going to miss her happy little voice in the morning, greeting me like I’m the most wonderful person on the planet!!
So, although I will not be changing our routines to include co-sleeping anytime soon, I have learned these things:
1. Co-sleeping is not annoying or intrusive – it is actually very sweet and endearing (at least if your child wakes up as contentedly and sleeps as soundly as Ali does).
2. I am not nervous about having to sleep in the same room with Ali anymore.
3. I have a new understanding of why people would choose to co-sleep with their kids.
For all of you co-sleepers out there, please accept my heartfelt apologies for my former misconclusions (is that a word?) about your co-sleeping choice!! :)
Afterthought: Here’s a picture of Chris covering our ocean view with garbage bags to black out the room, thereby altering Ali’s wakeup time from “with sunrise” to 8-9am. Although it seems a shame to cover an ocean view, isn’t it worth it to sleep in on vacation?