Archive for the ‘sleeping’ Category

After coming home with my first baby, every night I would settle down watching television or listening to a book on tape and just sit there. Martin would sleep in my arms, and only in my arms. Every well-meaning person who heard this had a new solution: put him down drowsy, play wave sounds, take a ride in the car . . . you probably know all of them already. But, I swear, no matter what, he would remain asleep only in my arms. I gave up, and just stayed up and held him. He nursed and slept, slept and nursed.

Until that wonderful day when my husband came home with a broken knee.

I guess it wasn’t a broken knee, but something bad happened to it, and I’m not his doctor so I’m not responsible for knowing the details. I was woozy from having a baby three weeks earlier and not sleeping since. At some point, I do remember a surgery, and then some guy carrying a big knee machine into our house, hooking my husband up to it, and instructing him to stay on the couch downstairs. I also remember looking at the empty king-sized bed, and realized that since this little bundle of baby couldn’t go anywhere, maybe he could sleep there. Maybe he would sleep for just a few minutes next to me instead of in my arms if I got really close to him . . . and then it was 6:00 am.

And that’s how I invented co-sleeping. I thought I sort of did, actually, because I had yet to realize, from friends or the internet or books, that people actually did it. Let alone that it was being done for untold years around the world. I just hadn’t thought about it. Why didn’t someone suggest that to me along with the hair dryer and vacuum cleaner sounds?

I figured it out once I found myself lying about doing it. Co-sleeping can be as unpopular with some as it can be life-saving for others. You’ll never get him out of your bed . . . he’ll never wean . . . he’ll never learn to sleep by himself . . . when I heard that enough from some people, I just stopped talking about it–unless I was talking to someone who might have cause to try it or if I was in the mood to really discuss it.

It was an early lesson in doing what feels right, despite what others say (even the pediatrician sometimes) and in looking beyond my circle to trusted sources elsewhere. I needed to find my own parenting advice and support niche. (Thank you, Dr. Sears–this is when I found you.)

I think that even my husband will agree: the broken knee thing was worth the sleeping baby.


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