Baby Jail

Joey rolled out of bed (while napping on his own) twice in a week: time to move to the crib, clearly, especially when you add the fact that Mr. Book is ready to be done with cosleeping. The Mister spends a couple nights per week on the futon now, trying to escape the kicking baby. And he does kick—I have tiny bruises scattered across my body, including a now-faded perfect set of toe prints on my thigh. So, okay, it makes some sense to have him start sleeping on his own.

Or maybe not.

After two nights, I gave up and made some changes in our bedroom setup that that make it less likely that Joey will roll out of bed—and safer if he does. Those two nights were brutal; if we checked on him frequently, if we gave him more time on his own, if he had a nightlight or no light, Joey screamed and screamed. Finally, when I went to check on him and found him crying so hard that he was shaking, I pulled him out of the crib and started moving furniture in our bedroom. “You’re acting crazy!” said Mr. Book. “I am having a hormonal problem,” I replied—or agreed, maybe. Joey was a little extra on edge for the next twelve hours or so, screaming immediately when he woke instead of rooting or chatting as he normally would, but he has now settled back into normal sleeping habits. Mr. Book says that we can move him in November; I give him worried, mutinous looks. He points out that we both slept in cribs; I point out that neither of us had happy childhoods. He suggests that this is not a result of sleeping alone; I agree, but say that we’re hardly arguments in favor, either.

We’re not fighting, but we don’t agree. I am happy to have a slightly lousy night’s sleep if it means waking up with a cheerful, well-rested baby; Mr. Book is more focused on the fact that sleeping without the baby is much more comfortable, and that thousands of babies sleep well in cribs. I remember how, when he was a newborn, he didn’t start sleeping well until he slept in the bed with us. I am sure that he isn’t ready. But how can we tell? Before Joey was born, Mr. Book had voted that we cosleep for six months, and I proposed eighteen months—the sixth month is behind us now. We’ll have the conversation again in November, I guess.

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12 thoughts on “Baby Jail

  1. Just remember that the longer he cosleeps, the harder it will be to break that habit later! But for now the main thing is that he actually sleeps, I love a baby who sleeps! Hehe

  2. Most important to Joey’s happiness is having his parents work out their differences even if it’s hard. You can agree to disagree & try different things; you can fight, but you have to keep talking. I think more important than your bed or crib is your working to figure things out together.

    • Well, and I feel fortunate in that we’re just disagreeing—the Mister would choose to stop cosleeping now, but seems genuinely okay with waiting until Joey’s a year old. At that point, I guess we’ll revisit.

  3. Aww, I’m sorry about the awful nights. A few years ago I started having night terrors. I can’t imagine how scared babies get. I’m glad you’re there to help comfort Joey and make it possible for him to sleep peacefully.

    Mr. Book is such a gem…I’m sure it’s hard to be on different pages where sleep is concerned. How has Mr. Book been doing lately? I’m guessing he’s had to stay in town working and studying and has missed out on the few trips you and Joey have taken. I’m sure this is easier said than done, but maybe you guys could go out to dinner without Mr. Snerks one evening or get some quality time.

    • I think in August [!!], when we visit California, we’ll be able to have a night out alone. Believe that my poor husband is counting down the days—to be fair, he’s also counting down to In-N-Out….

  4. I don’t think it’s true that the longer they co-sleep the harder it is to break the habit. At least it wasn’t true for my kids. My first was transitioned to going to sleep in her crib at around 20 months and it wasn’t a huge problem. There was one very sad night and a couple of semi-sad nights but no long weeks of struggle, and I felt like her ability to understand what we were saying when we talked to her about it probably helped. The others slept with us until 2 and then went to sleep with the older sibling, and there was no problem at all, maybe because they weren’t alone. My adopted son arrived totally Ferberized and I just found it very sad that he was used to spending literally half his life alone in a box without complaint.

    All of which is not a plug for co-sleeping. I think kids turn out fine either way and some kids are way too active in their sleep for anyone to rest, and rest is the #1 thing parents with babies need. And my son was in fact very happy sleeping on his own. Just saying I don’t actually think it’s harder to switch them later rather than sooner.

    • See, this is my hope: that being able to explain will make it easier. When I’d go in to rub Joey’s back and try to let him know that things were okay, his thought process seemed to be “Okay, thank goodness, you’ve come to save me! Let’s go to bed! Wait… No mama, no, please!” and he’d start screaming and I’d go give the living room sad looks. Not good.

  5. Weaning (in all of its many forms) is a gradual dance and you guys are dancing — that’s how you do it. You give a little, you pull back a little, you come back and give a little more. It’s a constant dance, really, and it looks different for every family. As long as you’re all doing the talking like you’re doing, checking in and being flexible, you’ll all be ok. There’s just no set way to parent and I think it’s wonderful that you’re managing that tricky, ever-changing balance. Joey will be the better for your respect for him and for each other; I think the context of the decision making is what matters more than the specific decision.

  6. I don’t have any advice, I just wanted to say that I love the image of a baby footprint bruise on your thigh 🙂 (Not that I wish you injured! It is just a sweet image!) Please take a picture that is one to save for posterity!

  7. Could you put a separate mattress on the floor next to your bed for babe to sleep in (twin or crib)? less kicking and mattress flopping but he would still be right next to you. I also have friends who have used pool noodles tucked under the fitted sheet to gently keep kiddo from rolling out and onto the floor. It seems to be a cheap solution 🙂 Our 3 year old is a terrible, terrible sleeper and we still have a toddler bed in our room for her on rough nights. I dream about the day when we have a room all to ourselves!!! I feel your pain.

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