So the title seems harsh, but my emotions have been a bit back and forth. Hayden got the boot out of our bed the other night. Oh yea, I guess it's time to confess to the whole world that he's been sleeping in our bed for the past 9 1/2 months. It's kind of a sore subject and hard to bring up because there is so much debate about it that I feel like anyone I tell is gonna look at me like I'm a crazy person. (Heck, even my own family has rolled their eyes and preached to me about how terrible it is.) So many people have been brainwashed to believe that co-sleeping is such a terrible thing, when in fact it's really quite lovely... and beautiful.
So here's the back story-- co-sleeping/bed sharing with Hayden was not something that we were intending to do, it kind of just happened. We never slept with Leeland. He did sleep in a bassinet by my side of the bed for the first 3 months of his life. Then he outgrew the bassinet and moved to his crib in his room. When Hayden was born, we intended to have him sleep in the pack & play and eventually move into Leeland's room (2 bedroom apartment at the time). But you see, all adults, children, babies have very different personalities, and Hayden was a bit more "needy."
I can't really pin point when the bed sharing began-- when he was first born, I was such a good little patient at the hospital and followed their rules about putting baby in the bassinet while I was sleeping. When we got home from the hospital, my milk was coming in and I was quite literally constantly nursing Hayden so I don't remember putting him down much during that time period, and then I think the 1st time I actually "intentionally" slept with him was when he was put in the hospital for RSV when he was about 10 days old. He stayed in the hospital for 2 days to be monitored because he was struggling to breath and the hospital let me share a room with him-- they sort of had to since I was his only food source. I remember throwing myself a pity party and being so sad because he was so little and he was having so much trouble breathing to even eat, I sobbed and held him all night long. (...and only one of our nurses made a snide comment about it.)
Somewhere along the line it just became easier to bring him to bed. Caring for a toddler and a baby is hard work. I was exhausted and it was easier for me to rest and be able to breastfeed if he was in our bed. Then as months started to go by, he refused to go to sleep without me. I felt like there were a few nights I tried to put him down in the pack & play and it was an hour long fight of rocking, patting, rubbing, bouncing, nursing and it would all be wasted when he started screaming as soon as I put him down. (And I DO NOT believe in crying it out methods!)
When we moved, I thought it'd be easier because he had his own space away from us, but then he started teething and waking several more times in the night so after one night of putting him downstairs and him waking up within an hour, he was back in our bed. (Sorry, but I'm not going up and down the stairs in the dark several times a night.)
....And then finally.... within the last couple weeks he had gotten to where he wasn't nursing to sleep anymore. He would still nurse in bed, but then pull away, hunker down and get cozy and fall asleep on his own. I guess also nine months was my limit, I was starting to feel like we needed some space between us. I'm a stay at home Mom, so it's nice to have that feeling of putting the babies to bed and having "me time", time without kids grabbing at me, or needing diapers changed. I love my boys and I love my job, but sometimes I just need space.... I also miss my husband. With his schedule, it's almost like 1/2 the week we only get a few hours, so the other 1/2 of the week, I want to spend time together-- stay up talking in bed into the wee hours chatting like school girls (haha), or just snuggling.... it was time to try again to put Hayden in his own bed.
So the 1st night, I nursed him and rocked him and laid him down in his crib and he whimpered a bit-- I rubbed his back lightly while "sshh-ing" and within two minutes he was asleep. I kind of am in shock at how easy it was! I guess he just needed to leave our bed in his own time when he was ready.... Oh, and let me not forget to mention that, he slept through the night!! I woke up and it was daylight and I had that freak out moment that something had went wrong. I'm still in shock! I don't want to jinx it because tonight we're only on night 3, but at least I now know that it's possible!
I'm a mixed bag of emotions, I feel so rested, I feel rejuvenated from having "me time," I feel happy and sad that our baby boy is growing up, and at the same time, I really miss snuggling with my boy!
And not that I have permission to even share, but for Daniel to have been so hesitant and scared about us bedsharing in the beginning, it was a little crazy to hear him say that he misses snuggling with Hayden too.-- oh yea, I didn't mention above the fact that Daniel was actually not into bed sharing at all in the beginning. He told me a handful of times that it made him nervous, he didn't sleep well, he didn't like it. He would never say those things in a way of trying to force me to do anything I wasn't comfortable with, he was just nervous because Hayden was so little at the time.
Just so neat to see him growing up right before our eyes-- so many memories and sweet snuggles with our little booger that will never be forgotten. Such a sweet precious time it has been. Resting my head tonight feeling very blessed to have gotten to share those memories with our littlest man.