Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The First Year: Marinating Nicely

You are gonna spoil that kid!! Oh boy if I had a penny...

I firmly believe that as parents, you know what is best for your child and what his or her needs are at any given time. I also think that what works for one child or family, is not necessarily what works for the next. So with saying that, I'm gonna come out and say that Dominic sleeps with us most of the time. Some babies sleep better in their own space, mine just doesn't.  The funny thing is, before we had Dominic I never in a million years thought our child would be sharing a bed with us.  But now that I actually have that child, I couldn't imagine anything else.  To be honest, it wasn't my intention. When Dominic was little, we had a bassinet next to our bed. He was so tiny and we just felt safer with him in the room with us. Then he became an avid night-nurser and I would bring him in the bed for the feeding. Often, waiting for him to be totally asleep before putting him back in his bed, I would fall asleep too. And thus it began. In the beginning I actually worried about him sleeping with us as I didn't want to become one of those families, but Geoffrey and I realized that we felt much safer with him right next to us where we could hear his every sound and feel his every movement even if in our sleep. I will never forget one night when Geoffrey said, "Dacia, you don't need to feel guilty about him sleeping in our bed if he sleeps better that way." And it certainly was much easier to nurse him and turns out I got more sleep too. So here are my thoughts on the whole "controversial" topic.

During the day, I, and Geoff when home, attend to Dominic's every need. You know, food, diapers, comfort, and play. So if we do these things during the day, why would we assume our obligation ceases during the nightime hours? I don't consider the night a break from parenting, comforting, or nursing my child. Which is why this whole put him in the other room and let him cry thing may work for some, but it isn't something we have chosen to do. I understand the argument for the "cry it out" method; they have to learn to fall asleep by themselves. Okay makes sense. But out of all the people I know who share selpt with their babies not one of them have a 8 yr old or 2 yr old that doesn't know how to fall asleep on their own.  So babies who share sleep and are nursed back to sleep when the awake learn how it just might take a little longer than a week of crying it out. There are plenty of times when resettles himself back to sleep though so I know he is getting there. So far in the middle of it I don't regret this one bit. I would be lying though if I said it was always easy, my little guy is very active, even while sleeping. And some nights he sleeps great (which for him is waking up only once or twice to nurse), and others it seems I'm up every two hours though not for long. But overall I know that I sleep better with him right next to Geoffrey and I and so does Doc as he wakes up much less feeling safe and secure with his mommy and daddy.

The goal is to gradually get him used to his own bed and then his own room. I'm not sure how this will go or when he will be ready but we will roll with it and take it as it comes.  We do have a crib in our room and sometimes I put him in it to see if he likes it but so far he wakes up wondering what happened to his nice warm spot b/w mom and dad. I'm not worried; he will get to that point someday soon and than I will miss my cuddling time with this very active boy that rarely lets me hold him anymore. Some of my favorite moments with him have been during the night. For now though, I would say not that we are spoiling him, but rather marinating him into a boy who can be confident that his parents love him; that we will always be there to comfort him when he has a nightmare or scrapes his knee.  I believe firmly that at this young age we are building the roots for a relationship of trust. That we are not just rearing a child, but nourshing our family as a tight knit unit that depends on one another.


  1. Lovely. I was just thinking yesterday how Gus has hardly slept in him own bed in the last few weeks. By the time he falls asleep, I am too tired to risk moving him, because he might wake up again and then I would have to put him to sleep *again*. Plus, I love cuddling up to him! I definitely don't know how people can let their babies sleep in a different room--they are just so little, I feel the need to protect him!