Just about every night when I lay my head on the pillow and pull the covers up over my bare shoulder and breath out a sigh from the weight of the day and finally close my eyes, a warning signal must go off in Cooper’s room because suddenly he’s all “must.be.held.now!” It’s the strangest thing because if he wakes up earlier in the night, say around 9 or 10, I can get him to go back to sleep with no problems and I sneak out of his room feeling like super mom and do a little dance back down the hallway. But when he wakes up later in the night I just can’t do it. He’s perfectly content and sound asleep in my arms until he’s back in his crib. It doesn’t usually happen right away, but give it a few minutes until he realizes what’s going on and we’re back to square one. And there’s only so much a person can handle half awake at 3am. I do admit that I’ve been giving in a little quicker because as soon as he’s snuggled next to me it’s sound sleeping until morning and well, that’s just delightful.
I’m not one for the whole cry it out thing. If that’s what worked for you, than that’s great. Different strokes for different folks. I tried it once. I geared myself up for it, put him in his bed, kissed him good night, and marched out of his room with as much phony confidence as I could muster. And then I frantically ran to grab the video monitor and managed to watch the tears roll down my baby’s perfect little cheeks for a whole 30 seconds before I raced back in, swooped him up in my arms and promised to never ever do that again. We both apologized and decided there had to be a better way. Little did I know that better way was nestled right between me and big poppa in the middle of our bed.
I was trying to stay up late to get things done, but then he started waking up earlier and earlier at night with no interest in going back to sleep unless his head was on my chest or he was in our bed. At first it was only for a few hours starting around 5:30am when Corey was making all kinds of noise and getting ready for work, and then for a while it was as early as midnight. Last night it was 4:15am (top two teeth are finally IN!). I don’t think we’ve ever made it until 7am in the crib. Maybe once or twice but too long ago to seem real. Any time I told someone about our predicament, “Think it could be teething? Night terrors?” the only thing I got in return was a look full of judgement and a “you’ll be sorry” word of warning. Sorry? Is something wrong?
I immediately jumped online and starting throwing all kind of crap into the Google search bar:
10 month old partial co-sleeping
10 month old waking up in the middle of the night
10 month old will only go back to sleep in our bed
I tried rushing in before he fully woke up, making the room darker, making it brighter, cooler pajamas, warmer pajamas, more pacifiers, a shirt with my smell….none of it worked. And I was getting frustrated because I thought I was supposed to keep trying to get him back in his crib. Then I brought it up to Corey and he was (like always) the voice of reason: “It’s only a problem because you’re making it a problem”. And he was right. Again. But don’t tell him that.
I have no problem bringing my little ball of honey and laying him next to me when he needs it. At least he’s going to bed in his crib and it’s wayyy better than doing laps around his room for 30 minutes only to have to do it all over again in 10 more minutes when he’s back awake and proclaiming at the top of his lungs that the whole house should also be awake. I did a little thinking and finally admit to myself how much I enjoy his heavy breath against my skin and that little hand searching for my face in the middle of the night while his eyes are still closed just to make sure I’m there. Sure, my arm usually falls asleep from staying in one position and it would be SO much more comfortable if only I could turn over, but I’ll have so many days of sleeping however I want that I’ll sacrifice a few now. I can’t imagine that when it’s time to review my life (Defending Your Life anyone? Meryl Streep at her finest!) I’ll be like “you know what I could have done without? Those snuggles! Ugh!”
So for now, it’s not a problem and I’m going to try my darndest to not make it into one just because other people think it should be. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.