Tuesday, May 31, 2016

To co-sleep or not to co-sleep

Co-sleeping munchkin - she's comfy but no one else is!
I know people who SWEAR by co-sleeping – they even go so far as to buy multiple mattresses to put next to each other so that there is room for everyone. They say they get great sleep.
Daddy is comfy to sleep on during the day
I also know people who are 100% anti co-sleeping and who don't understand how anyone could or why anyone would choose to sleep with their baby or their children.
Peaceful munchkin sleeping in nature

I also know people who fall in-between the 2 camps. I am one in the middle – with more of the attitude of “if YOU want to do it - go for it, but I will never do it unless I'm desperate.” And trust me, there have been nights where I've been desperate for sleep and so I end up falling asleep while feeding the munchkin…however it's not my preferred method of sleeping because I don't really get any good sleep. When co-sleeping it’s more a night of exhausted, sleeping hell. You don't understand? Let me enlighten you as to why co-sleeping will never be for me, but I won't stand in your way.
Move her from here and it's 50/50 that she'll wake up
Sleeping facts about me:
  1. I like to move. By move I mean toss and turn all night. This is a well documented fact which most everyone in my family can attest to (because many times when traveling we’d share beds/couches and I was pretty much the person who was picked last because people didn't want to be kicked all night long. I even remember waking up a few times where my feet ended up in someone's face, and other times where I'd wake up stretched out over someone. Rusty has woken up a few times when I've moved because he thinks I'm awake – I sit up, rearrange the pillows, lay back down, and go to sleep – but I'm not awake. I don't move as much as I did when I was younger, but according to my Fitbit sleep cycle info – I toss and turn all night long.
  2. I don't like touching people when I sleep. You know how some people LOVE to snuggle close with their loved one? Yeah, um, that's not me at all. I like space. Don't get me wrong I LOVE my husband, and I sleep better when he's home than when he's gone on a trip…but I love to be able to stretch out and sleep. Could be because I move a lot, but I don't know. I know that as we've had kids I love sleeping without touching someone even more. Why? Because all day I'm being touched, cuddled, hugged, or I'm carrying someone, or someone is clawing their way up my body, or nursing, or….etc. You see – human touch is important and I know this, but there are times, as a mother, I want to scream “It's my body, please don't touch me/crowd me for 5min!!” Because let's face it, as a mom, your kids pretty much consider your body an extension of their bodies…”oh I found a booger, I'll just wipe that right here…thanks mom!” Besides that it’s called “sleep”, it's not called “cuddle”.
  3. A king sized bed is barely big enough for my husband and me…which is probably because I move and like to stretch out.
  4. I hate feeling trapped – in life as well as in sleep. I embrace change. I love adventures. Wanna go do something exciting/exhilarating? Sign me up! Waking up and not being able to feel a limb is not something I embrace/love, it's not something I will ever sign up for voluntarily. If I wake up because my arm is trapped under a heavy bowling ball of a head and I have to choose between going back to sleep and possibly losing a limb in the morning or moving my arm with the strong possibility (pretty much a guarantee) that the owner of the bowling ball head will wake up – I am NOT happy. That is a choice I HATE making, because there is no win! The selfish choice of moving and saving my limb is usually what I choose because I can't sleep if I'm in pain…but that means I'm waking up my exhausted and peacefully sleeping baby – and you know what that means right? That's right it means that I have to wake up a little bit more to try to stealthily move my arm without waking said baby… and if the baby wakes? Well, then that means I don't get to go to sleep because I have to feed her again. See what I mean – no winning.
  5. I don't appreciate being kicked, pushed, punched, scratched, or prodded while I sleep. It's not something I enjoyed while being pregnant and it's not something I enjoy now. (When pregnant I didn't have a choice – but now that I have a choice it's not something I would ever choose.) In fact, come to think of it, I don't really appreciate being a literal punching bag for my kids when I'm awake either. Sure I'm a jungle gym when we play, but that's when I'm fully awake not when I'm trying to sleep.
She naps in the carrier on walks...this might be where the problem stems from!

Co-sleeping takes my sleeping facts and tosses them in the trash (or as they say here: rubbish bin, I think I like that better than trash) which in turn makes for a horrible nights “sleep” and I then wake up at 5am by a wide awake squirming child feeling more exhausted and grumpy…very grumpy.
She seriously does sleep with one eye open!

In addition to that it seems that both our children sleep better in their own beds in their own rooms! It's just the getting the baby from my arms and into her bed that can be a tricky situation, but once she's in bed and in her room – BOOM! She's suddenly sleeping till 6/6:30a!! And waking up less during the night. It's amazing! So the bottom line is – if co-sleeping works for you, by all means do it! But for me and my family – we like tossing and turning, without resistance, too much to sleep together, and so we will go the sleeping route alone...(Okay, so Rusty doesn't toss and turn, guess the kids follow me in their ability to clear a bed!)

First coffee in almost 18 months because of being sleep deprived on "vacation"
Of course when traveling, the munchkin suddenly forgets how much she likes to sleep on her own in her own bed and she suddenly must cuddle/kick/eat all night long...and it usually continues when we get back home for a few days. All because we try to take our kids on adventures!