One of the hardest decisions I’ve made as a parent was the decision to co-sleep. I’ve read arguments for both sides of the co-sleeping “lifestyle” or parenting decision. Or whatever you want to call it. Here’s my theory. I’m a mother who works a full time job. My daughter sleeps better when she co-sleeps. I work better when I get solid sleep. I’m not able to sacrifice my long term sleep for 2-3 years while my daughter slowly learns how to sleep through the night.
Furthermore, not every child is the same. I’m sincerely glad for parents who don’t have to co-sleep. It’s not fun to wake up in the middle of the night with a busted lip because your child sat up in her sleep and head butted you. I assure you I don’t want to co-sleep. What I do want is a happy baby and a happy Mommy. That wasn’t happening with her waking up all through the night.
We tried for months to get Emiliablo to sleep in her own bed. Due to exhaustion she ended up suffering from night terrors. If your child never suffered from night terrors than consider yourself lucky. They are much like a sleep walking person when they have a night terror. They don’t recognize you, your attempts to console them terrifies them, and the best thing you can do is watch them freak out. If you interact with them physically or verbally they will become terrified. The problem with night terrors is that the lack of sleep contributes to their frequency. They don’t sleep well when they have night terrors so you perpetually fighting to get your child enough sleep to prevent the night terrors in the first place.
Diablo and I eventually decided to work out a new plan. When she goes down for bed or naps she is put down in her own bed. She falls asleep in her own bed. For naps she doesn’t co-sleep, she sleeps by herself. She only co-sleeps on the nights that she wakes up in the middle of the night. (After she has already been sleeping in her own bed) If she wakes up in the middle of the night and will not go back to sleep we bring her back to our bed, where she easily sleeps through the night with no complaints.
The problem is Emiliablo’s height is over the 100% mark. Her height is literally off the growth charts. She looks like a 2 1/2 or 3 year old toddler. She also likes to take up the entire bed, which leaves one parent hugging the wall and the other nearly falling out of bed. I was back to being sleep deprived and I was desperate! So I came up with a solution. “Just take off the side rail and put her bed next to our bed”, I said.
This would have worked except for the 4 inch gap between the two beds! She could easily hurt herself in the middle of the night by falling in to this hole. I tried stuffing it with pillows but the pillows only fell through. So you know what I did? I took the discarded side rail and stuffed it under both mattresses. I then re-stuffed my pillows in the gap. VOILA!
We now have one really weird bed big enough for the three of us.
I want to get a foam mattress topper to go across the gap and make it a little smoother. But for now this will have to do. Last night was our first night trying out this new arrangement. She slept on “her” side for most of the night. I woke up with her Dora, Muno, Brobe, Baby, pillows, and “nights” on my head. She had decided to move everything from her bed over to ours bright and early this morning.
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