Monday, December 2, 2013

Not Missing Out! (A Co-Sleeping Rave)

^^ toddler sleeping on the carrier! ^^

even though i would LOVE it if Max went down to sleep on his own and stayed there for 10+ hours (soundly and thoroughly), sadly this isn't the case for our little toddler. I started the whole part time co sleeping thing around the time when he turned 4 or 5 months - about the same time I decided it was time to sleep train via cry it out (CIO). Of course, if I hadn't given in to the crying we wouldn't be where we are (i would think) but because I gave in to the crying, Max and I's path took a different turn and created a connection and memories that in hindsight i wouldn't necessarily give back for that good, uninterrupted night's sleep. 

moment's that (part time) co-sleeping created…
  • when Max was still a baby and was swaddled at night, I would sleep facing Max and cocooned him with my arm. sometimes i would catch us face to face breathing each other in and other times Max and i would be temple to temple, or head touching head, or my face touching the side of his face (kinda sweating off of our body heat). at that stage, he was like a little wrapped up doll that you can put your arm across him, caress his face, and really look at the kid's features still visible in the darkness of the night
  • easy and fast night time feeds, i just get up and feed and back to lying down and continue on with our night. even though i was not happy about the multiple wake ups, i loved breastfeeding and it paved the way for an easy transition back to sleep mode. the stillness of the night was all ours without too much fuss or interruption
  • i knew it was time to stop swaddling when the little escape artist, even in his sleep, kept trying to break out of the velcro swaddle. there were times too when he would raise his legs and slam it on the mattress, a little annoying but also signs to upgrade to a sleep sac where he would have some better range of motion
  • even though he's a restless sleeper, his initial sleeping period is marked by us sleeping back to back. the kid is quite exothermic and his back warmth is a sweet comfort at night in the summer and in the winter
  • as he tries to woo himself to sleep, i hear him practice words he's learned or liked for the day. he's not even talking loud, he's whispering to himself and i just love soaking in the baby voice before it changes. last night, an airplane passed by and he was like "aeroplano, airplane.""firefuck" (aka firetruck) of course there are other times when i don't know what he's saying, but still cute
  • he likes to check at night if I'm there so the time when he's still trying to go to sleep initially, i can feel his little palms patting my legs or arms or back. baby hands touching you with meaningful intent, lovvveee!
  • sometimes i get little sweet caresses on my arm or hair, perhaps to see if I'm awake or just because he loves me
  • aside from touching, he likes to confirm the situation too, it's dark it's quiet and he goes "mama sleeping, mama sleep" in his little whispering voice
  • he likes to test sleeping positions and will often use me as a pillow before he goes into his standard sleeping position
  • I've felt him raise my shirt and expose my back, and then pat my skin and then cover me up again with a shirt and a blanket!
  • he randomly kisses my arm or leg or back at night before he sleeps or just after he wakes up
  • when it's wake up time and I'm still pretending I'm sleeping because i don't want to get up but he is ready to, he doesn't make too much racket. he plays quietly beside me or goes down to the floor and plays. he comes up close to my face every now and then and sees if I'm still asleep and if i am, he carries on. although at this time, his movements are rougher so even though I'm pretending to be asleep i can't help but be woken up from his rumbling and tumbling
  • when i am awake, he greets me with a huge smile and says, "Hi! Hi!" (seriously, how can you not start the day off right after that?!)
  • Max saying, "goodnite" and "love you" and giving me a kiss before we go to sleep. I just melt! 
I often say that he's only "so small for so long" when people ask me about our co-sleeping habits, and it's just so true. One day we won't fit in this bed together or that he'll no longer need us and ill be trying to remember when the last time we slept together was. 
I have a love-hate relationship with you CO-SLEEPING, but right now it's mostly love because of these tender times i so cherish.

18 comments:

  1. Good for you Mitzi. Finding what works for your family is really important and it sounds like co sleeping with Max is just that!

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