Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cheek-to-cheek

On my list of things I didn't think I'd dare do is co-sleeping.
Co-sleeping is not promoted here, it was never mentioned during
pre-natal classes. I gather it isn't common in my parts and it wasn't
something I particularly wanted to do. I had wanted to get a crib you
can attach to your bed, but there isn't enough room beside our bed.
Besides, my mother had lovingly re-upholstered the family crib (which
I thankfully didn't know existed until I was 4 months PG).

In the hospital, Linnea slept blissfully in her cot day and night.
Starting with the third night, she cried after her feeds and I only
managed to console her by holding her. With the nursing pillow tucked
around her, I felt it was safe enough to doze off too. Heavenly,
though I didn't manage more than a cat nap. Once the bottlefeeding
started, she slept like a rose in her cot again.

At home, she didn't take to her crib very well. Too lonely? Too cold?
Or just too different from the hospital cot, I'll never know. After
five rounds of fetch-the-pacifier, I gave up and granted her asylum in
our bed. Sprawled on my chest, she went to sleep soon enough.

Lying on top of me was fine by Linnea of course, but I only slept
poorly. As a compromise, I made a little nest for her in our bed. I
could put my arm around her, pop her pacifier back in and soothe her
to sleep and then turn around and get some sleep myself.
First I only used a big rolled up towl to give her her own space in
bed, but I wasn't entirely confident we wouldn't roll on top of her in
the night. After giving it some thought (only a week or so) I upgraded
her to having her own pillow between us to lie on. Not a soft pillow
mind you (Child Welfare Agency says No! Soft! Pillows!), more like a
small bean bag. Truly a bed for a little princess. And that's where
she's spent almost all of her nights since we got home from the
hospital.

At about 6 weeks, I gave the crib another try. It took a couple of
rounds of fetch-the-pacifier, but she fell asleep in the crib. You
would think I'd sleep like a log, but no, when I finally drifted off
to sleep I slept fitfully. I was on edge, something was missing and I
kept straining to hear her breathing (my hearing isn't sharp enough).
The next night she was right back in her nest beside me.

Co-sleeping can't go on forever. Our bed isn't that large and she has
a perfectly good crib all to herself. Since new year, I've made a
habit of putting her into her crib for her morning nap, so she'd get
used to it at least. I anticipated trouble, but she made little fuss.
Inspired by her example (and my not being a morning person), I also
take a morning nap, generally until noon. Oddly, during my morning
nap, I'm not bothered by her not laying besides me. Must sleep.

For the past week or so, I've started putting her in her crib at
night. Some nights she goes straight to sleep, other times she needs
some comforting. I'm almost disappointed that she doesn't feel the
need to be close to me at night. So, in reality, I'm weaning myself
off of co-sleeping, not her. Because I enjoy these intimate moments
with her so much, we're now taking our morning naps together. Enjoy it
while it lasts, everyone says, and that's what I'm doing.

My little girl is 3 months old. Time has flown by. I could do a 'one
year ago' series, but won't. I haven't forgotten, but don't want to
commemorate in anniversary style.

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