There’s a lot to be said about co-sleeping. However, this post isn’t to hash out the safety precautions or to rave about the family bed. I simply want to write to share that co-sleeping is how I was able to sleep 7 hours last night.
Seasoned co-sleepers will be nodding their approval I’m sure while others may cringe upon reading the words “family bed”, but my hope is that some where out there another tired Mama might be able to use one more suggestion to help her get a little more rest.
Milestones and Growth
My son is going through many milestone changes all at once. It’s taking what seems like forever to cut his first tooth. Due to the drool and chomping, we’ve been expecting it for over a month now. He’s recently hit 6 months and this past week, his constant eating and excessive night waking surely indicates the 6 month growth spurt.
And now, my 6 month old is mobile! What?! Oh yes! He’s not full on crawling (yet!), but he is army crawling everywhere! It’s incredible. So we quickly did the baby-proofing shuffle. (I attribute this early progress to all the floor and tummy time with Daddy.)
If you’ve searched the web for anything like “why isn’t my baby sleeping? ” and insert the age of the baby, many times you’ll be reminded that during milestones, they just don’t sleep all that well. Needless to say, my baby is feeling a little more clingy than usual.
So while I want to curse the lack of sleep, my “joy comes in the morning” as I realize all the amazing things my son is learning and has achieved. (Praise God for the fleas.)
Our 7 Hour Night
Usually I put my son to bed in his crib around 6:30pm. Then my husband and I are able to spend some time together and relax for the evening. My son wakes up to eat between 10:30 to midnight, then wakes up again a couple times in the early morning light sleep but can usually quickly be put back to bed.
Well, last night was a horse of a different color! He woke up at 9 pm and ate like he was starving! Then we went through the routine of burping and laying him back in his crib. No way, he wasn’t having it. Upon his head (or foot or hand) hitting the sheets, he immediately woke up and fussed. I don’t know how many times over the next hour I tried to lay him in his crib. It was a lot. He was perfectly content and asleep there on my shoulder.
So finally, I gave in to my own need for rest and went into his room to lay down on the mattress (on the floor) we use for his nap times. He stayed asleep. Until 5 am. What?! Oh yes! I didn’t know he could do that either!
Well, I may not have seen my own bed last night and I did miss my husband but getting to sleep without interruption for the first time in 6 months was incredible!
I’m not really sure what’s around the bend. My husband and I discussed it this morning and we think we’re all finally ready to move our son’s crib into HIS room instead of in ours. We considered it at 4 months when he was growing out of the bassinet, but I told my husband I wasn’t ready, so we moved his crib into our room.
We also laughed as we realized, this probably means we’ll all be camped out in his room while he makes this transition. My son, me, my husband, who doesn’t want to sleep alone either, and our two dogs are moving into the nursery tonight!
Go ahead and smile and laugh as you picture it. You know it’s funny.
Right or Wrong
As I continue to post about our sleep/no-sleep adventure with our firstborn, (I say “our” because my husband is definitely in this “together” with me.) it dawned on me all the opinions that MUST be floating around out there.
Every parent does things differently (and from what I hear, differently from child to child as well), but it seems many people want to “put their oar” in without actually listening to the desires of the parent they’re trying to mentor.
There’s so much differing information about child rearing and it can be difficult to sift through it all, and very easy to feel like a failure once you chosen a path and then hear something different or read an article with a differing perspective. It can be downright stressful!
The fact is, God didn’t make us all from the same mold. Throughout creation you can see God’s appreciation for the unique. The individual characteristics and strengths He created in all of us is evident in our very children as we watch them grow. We appreciate these attributes in others, except perhaps it may seem, when it comes to parenting?
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to tell my story. And I love to give advice to others. In fact, I’m known to apologize in advance and give permission for the other person to tell me “thanks, but, no thanks” when I want to give advice!
What I want to encourage here is that the advice we are giving is given out of love. And may I also suggest that the advice given is for the benefit of the other person and not for our own parenting knowledge gold star or feather in our cap.
This isn’t a plug for everyone’s “truth” is right for them. God’s truth is the only truth and He has made that very clear when it comes to right and wrong. God didn’t make us all the same, though he did gave us commandments about certain things.
I think we can all agree that those commandments don’t cover what color I should wear today anymore than whether I should breastfeed one year or two (or, dare I say it, more. Gasp!). I mean look at how different we all are from one another! Naturally we’re going to have different parenting styles as well.
Wisdom in a Multitude of Counselors
Don’t go it alone. There is something to be said for asking for godly advice in all aspects of our life. Proverbs says, there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. So choose a few people you trust and ask for their perspective. They may come up with some good ideas you haven’t thought of yet!
And for those unsolicited advisors, don’t tune them out completely. You may be able to glean some gold nuggets from their experiences. Be encouraged, that their intentions are most likely good, they just aren’t very graceful about how to tell their story or offer advice that doesn’t sound judgmental. Chances are they don’t know how it makes you feel.
So wherever you are in your journey, whatever your challenge, take heart that although we are all different people, you can surround yourself with loving and encouraging people to help you through it. Even if no one else knows what to suggest in your situation, you can always ask them to pray for you.
“Bear one another’s burdens…”
“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
“…Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.”
Let us hear from you!
What advice might you have for my situation?
What, if any, sleep challenges have you had with your children?
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