When I was pregnant with Kenna, I was sure-as-the-sun-rises-in-the-morning convinced we would not bed-share. I wanted to co-sleep off the bat (separate surfaces for parents and baby) and tackle sleep training later. I sure as heck didn’t want to share my personal marital space with a snorting newborn.
Ha… ha… ha.
The Fourth Trimester
As you are probably aware, parenting rarely works out how you envision. After a traumatic birth experience (which I get into detail about in a post to come), my husband and I arrived home with this little squish we had no idea what to do with. All she wanted to do was eat, sleep (only being held, mind you), and cry. And all I wanted to do was curl up in the shower and cry. There’s a reason they call the newborn stage the Fourth Trimester.
Needless to say, it was just a whole lot easier for her to sleep in bed with us. Babies have some ridiculous sixth sense for when you put them down. Because obviously after you’ve rocked them to sleep for a half hour it’s time to party – it’s common sense.
Anyway, I ended up nursing her to sleep every night for about five and a half months. Naps were nearly nonexistent because I simply did not want to “sleep while the baby sleeps.” Around the five and a half month mark, Kenna discovered her hands and starting rolling profusely, which made for some scratched eyeballs and scared parents. It was just time to get her out of our bed.
Jonathan was working the late shift from home 50% of the time at this point, so it was imperative that our sleep training nonsense took no longer than a week. We settled on the Ferber Method of sleep training, even though neither of us really wanted to hear Kenna cry. No parent likes hearing their children cry, but for us any amount of change was making her upset; we knew it would be
easier smarter just to “rip off the band-aid” as it were.
It took three nights for her to realize that things had changed. She cried. A lot. I got probably six hours of sleep between those three nights, because every time she woke up in the middle of the night, it was the same intervals over and over (for a rundown of the Ferber Method, check here if you aren’t familiar with it). I did the sleep training by myself, by choice, because Jonathan works full time and there was no need to disrupt both of our sleep. Now she’s five days shy of eleven months, and she’s starting to sleep through the night.
All Kids Are Different
Some of us are blessed with great sleepers, and some of us are just dealt a more difficult hand. Kenna is just a terrible sleeper. Whether we created that issue or not is up for debate, and I would never deny that early bed-sharing could have contributed to the situation. But we did what we had to do to survive the early months and we’ve since recovered and are moving forward.
Do what works for your family, and be safe! Drop some stories in the comments about parenting things you had planned on doing, but didn’t come to fruition!
Until next time,