Day 12: What Not To ExpectPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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Officially a Mom

Putting that Backfield in Motion since 2003

Friday, January 20, 2006

Co-sleeping. Co-sucking???

I have been cosleeping with Grace since she was born. That said, I don't enjoy cosleeping nor do I have a philosophical view of parenting related to cosleeping. I guess I shouldn't say that I don't enjoy cosleeping because I do enjoy the closeness after being away from her all day and there are some ultra sweet moments when she smiles in her sleep with her arm thrown across me and I smell her sweet baby smell and know that all is right in the world. More often than not, however, I am sore from sleeping on my side all night (even with the extra post partum pounds I have some bony and protruding hip bones), I long to snuggle however I damn please with the down comforter pulled up to my nose, and I am friggin' cold. I sleep topless so I can nurse and I can only pull the covers up to my waist so not to cover her up and Lloyd MUST sleep with the fan on and I freeze my..... well, I freeze my boobs off.... every night.

I cosleep out of convenience. Grace reverse cycles and does glean a lot of her nutrition from our night long nursing sessions and needless t say, I am useless at night. I cannot be bothered to trek down a hallway to receive a screaming baby and stay awake in a glider for hour long nursing sessions only to put the baby back in a crib to wake up screaming an hour later. Plus, Lloyd works horendous early morning hours so he can not help with the nighttime parenting. It just wouldn't be fair. It is so easy to put her in bed with me and let her latch on to the boob all night even though I drift in and out of fitful sleep all night long.

I had lunch with a fellow Babycenter mama (don't you all wish you all knew who.. LOL!), who, like me, coslept out of convenience rather than philosophical parenting views and we both agreed that if we coslept because it fell in line with our parenting philosophy we would-

a. enjoy cosleeping a lot more
b. have children who slept through the night at 6 weeks

I don't think there are great benefits to be gained from catching some z's next to a baby and I'm not big on the family bed. If I didn't work and could have invested the time into having a child sleep on their own through the night sans crying, believe you me, I would have done it. With the crappy maternity leaves in the US, I had to do whatever I had to do and maximize sleep/minimize fussing and badda boom badda bing, baby in bed sucking on boob all night long. I don't see this as creating bad habits or whatnot as I don't view cosleeping or night nursing as bad habits BUT I do think that given more time before needing to be at work at 7:30 am I could have established another bedtime routine that involved Grace snoozing happily in her crib and me sprawled out with my boobs on Lloyd rather than Grace.

I think cosleeping is great if it works for the family. It works for us only because it beats the alternative, not because we are family bed kind of people. I do wish that in my heart of hearts I felt that cosleeping was an integral part of parenting but I don't. Kudos to those who do but that ain't me. I think the child left to sleep soundly in a crib is just as adjusted and bonded as the one sleeping next to mama.

I feel the same way about babywearing. I wear Grace in a sling or Bjorn because it is easier than lugging a stroller everywhere. It is convenient. Do I love strapping 20+ pounds on me everywhere I go? Not really. I mean, granted, it is nice to be close to my sweet baby girl but I don't think she is any better off than the baby in a stroller. I do it because it is easier not because it ties in with any of my parenting beliefs.

In writing this I realize that my parenting practices are strongly tied to convenience but ironically enough, what is convenient for me falls very much in like with attachment parenting rather than the mainstream. What does that say about me? Honestly? I'm too sleepy to care.

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Anonymous Mama C-ta said...

I feel ya on all of this...while I do the same things for more philosophical reasons as I really believe in the benefits of AP, there are plenty of times when it's the convenience factor that keeps it going!

I sleep in between my husband and Julian so I have the blankets over me but not over him, if you know what I mean. And I sleep in the nursing tank tops, I'd be way too cold right now w/out something. Of course the flaps are down all night long (I tuck them under so they don't get in the way).

10:25 PM  

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