Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Co-sleeping - Great Plans Do Fail
I could never relate to parents who co-sleep with their child, and when I learnt that some are still doing that even when the child is primary school going, I hissed under my breath. Before Zara was born, we were doing rooms allocation and decoration plan for our new house, and I have big plans. We will have a separate room for Zara, she will learn how to be independent from day one. When people asked me where Zara was going to sleep when she's born, I said smugly, "In the study room attached to our master bed room." (this was in the old house). For her cot, I purposely looked for a big one which will be able to cater a child up till 3, 4 years of age. I have never planned for what was coming. As it was nearer to my EDD, I told Daddy the study room would be a bit too stuffy, since there's only a small fan, and no aircon, I suggested that the cot be placed in the master bed room. Then Zara was born, such a fragile and dependent little baby. I was always worried about SID (Sudden Infant Death). In her first month, I consciously woke up several times in the night just to check if she was still breathing (we didn't have a confinement lady as stated here). I started bringing her to bed for night feeds, we just laid side by side, she nursed and I could just lie down and watch her (less taxing on my back), or touch her. Several times, I drifting off to sleep half way, and didn't put Zara back into her cot after her feed. Some how, with her sleeping close to me made me rest better (for one, I didn't have to walk to her cot to check). Then it started to become a norm, if she woke up for her night feed, she would sleep with us till the next morning. Zara slept through starting from her 6th week. She would take her last feed at 11pm, then slept for 6 to 7 hours. This mean she would come to our bed, and have her milk at 5 or 6am and stayed till we woke up. Somehow, she started waking up middle of the night again. Sometimes due to night mare, sometimes I think just so she could come to sleep with us. She would wake up at 4am, cried, and when we brought her to our bed, she would snuggle close to us, and went back to sleep (sometimes she would only go back to sleep if I nurse her). Then 4am became 3am, and 3am became 2am. Lately, at around 1am, she will be awake, stands in her cot, and starts shouting for me. She will stop only if she was brought to our bed. In bed, to feel her head resting close to my arm or just being able to reach out and touch her, made me feel peaceful. Sometimes, she would have her arm thrown across ours, in the mornings, Daddy and I would
competecompare notes on whom she clung on most during the night.
When Daddy is out of town, I would normally sleep with her. I found emotionally I am more peaceful with her next to me. I could always go to sleep with a smile, and wake up with a smile. And for Zara, I noticed that if she slept with me the whole night, she would rarely wake up in the middle of the night fussing, she would sleep through 10 solid hours.
I started finding excuses to get her to sleep with us.
"She seems to be having a slight cough, maybe she should come and sleep with us tonight so I can monitor her."
"I'm very tired today, so I don't want to walk to the cot to comfort her if she cried in the middle of the night, can she sleep with us?"
and lately, no more excuses, I just put her in our bed, and said "lets have her sleep in our bed tonight".
Mind you, Daddy and I share a queen size bed; he's a six footer, and I'm nothing close to being petite. We had to move our bodies close to the edge of the bed, and let her occupy the big space in the centre, but Daddy didn't mind, and I love it. So, she's spending more and more nights in our bed.
I now understand why people co-sleep with their child/children, it's really for inner peace, for the child as well as the parents. As for the room we'd allocated to Zara, hmm, I'm not sure when I'll ever be able to let her sleep so far away me.
Now, I'll probably be hissed at since my great plans have failed.