Babies are weird.
One day he was waking up at 3am to nurse and I would move him from the crib to my bed and we would nap until 5 or 6. Now he is in his own bed usually by 9:30 and he sleeps until 5 or 6. It literally happened overnight. One day it was one way and the next day it had changed. It’s weird. Its nice because it means I usually sleep a bit more, but it is still very odd. I will say now that I have my bed back I am very unwilling to give it back. I could not be one of those parents that lets their older child crawl into bed with them every night. I was afraid I would be, but I can definitely say I wont.
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed the benefits of nursing and bed sharing for the first couple of months. I brought him home from the hospital intending to do everything the doctor said. He would only sleep in his bed I thought. He would only sleep on his back I said. Ha. Whatever. I knew going into it that was ridiculous but I tried it anyway and guess what…He refused to sleep on his back most of the time and he woke up every two hours to nurse which meant I slept maybe an hour at a time. Since I was by myself a lot of the time in the early weeks except for when Faith was home from work which is a bit sporadic I was having to be the one doing everything for him at night. From 6pm to 6am most of the time I was it. I also couldn’t sleep during the day. I’ve never been able to take day time naps well and I eve laid down a few times when he napped and tried.
All of those factors led me to night nursing. I would put him in bed with me on his side and we would nurse like that. Eventually we both started falling asleep that way and within two weeks that’s just how we both slept at night. After that I just planned on it. We did our night time thing and by 9pm we were tucked into bed together. The first week or so I would wake up in a panic because I thought I might have smothered him or he might have rolled away. Turns out we both sleep like rocks once we get to sleep. Through the next two and a half months at night we both managed to share a bed and it was actually probably one of my better early decisions.
taking a daytime nap in his crib
Fast forward to two weeks ago when I started putting him in his crib at night. At first I just wanted to be sure he could sleep without me but the better he did the better I realized he could do. He doesn’t sleep on his back. He sleeps on his belly. I never let him sleep on his belly those first few weeks, but when he started rolling over I decided he probably wouldn’t smother himself. I think that is the greatest harm we are doing to young mothers right now, in scaring them silly with SIDS. I say this because researchers and medical professionals call it Sudden Infant Death Syndrome because they have no idea what actually causes it… Its sudden..that’s all they know for sure. But on that limited knowledge they preach that we shouldn’t bed share, cause SIDS or we might smother them. And we shouldn’t put them on their bellies to sleep until they are way past the stage where they actually sleep better on their tummies. Call me crazy but until I am handed some better and harder facts I’ll do what works.
And it does work. Carl went from sleeping just a few hours in his crib, from 9pm-ish to 1am or 2am at first to all the way to 5am or 6am in a matter of two weeks. Its incredible but very true. My advice: Do what actually works for your baby and ignore inevitable advice you will receive from the hordes of people who just cant wait to give it to you.