By Downtown Dad
My back hurts, I’m always tired and, some nights, I sleep in a crevice between my bed and the nightstand. All this so I can snuggle up to my son, who’s getting so big now that whenever he sleeps with us, both my wife and I are relegated to the far edges of our full-size mattress.
We’ve heard a lot of suggestions. “Why don’t you get a bigger bed?” people ask unbelievingly, as if our suffering stems from our lack of awareness of the California King.
Oh, we know of this “California King.” Unfortunately, our downtown loft bedroom is roughly the size of a cabin on a cruise ship below the water line. And there’s no Captain Stubing giving us an upgrade.
We also get a lot of “why is your kid sleeping with you?” The answer to that is a little more complicated.
When we brought Louie home from the neo-natal intensive care unit, he slept next to our bed in a co-sleeper. We didn’t actually lower the side and co-sleep with him because we’d purchased the wrong-sized sleeper and our bed was too low.
Eventually, we moved the boy into his very own cabin across the loft. And that’s where he sleeps most the time. Except when he wakes up at 3 a.m. and won’t go back to sleep no matter how many times you lay him down.
As I’ve mentioned, we are older parents who get winded easily. After sitting up with Louie for a bit, we poop out and bring him into our room, where we fully intend to put him back in his crib after he’s fallen asleep between us.
And that’s where you’ll find us five minutes later. Fast asleep.
There’s a lot of information floating around out there about co-sleeping. Should we? Shouldn’t we? The fear is a real one in the case of tiny infants whose parent may roll over on them unawares during the night. Suffocation is also a concern if a baby gets intertwined in bedding or squirms himself between the mattress and headboard or wall.
In October, the American Academy of Pediatrics released new recommendations to ensure safe sleep for babies 1-year-old and younger, including avoiding “bed-sharing,” in which an infant sleeps in the same bed as a parent or another child.
My wife and I both agreed with that recommendation.
But now that Louie is 18 months, we made the choice to let him sleep with us on occasion. And if we so much as breathe too much in his direction, he gives a nice sharp kick or a not-so-nice push to let us know we are intruding on his space. That’s how I end up in the aforementioned crevice.
My wife says we should enjoy as much snuggling and closeness as we can, because when Louie is a teenager, the last thing he’ll do is cuddle up to his love-starved parents.
So I sleep in the crevice with a smile on my face, my sweet son snoring gently beside me.
Recommendations for further reading:
New Rules to Fight Crib Death: Breastfeeding and Vaccinations (My Health News Daily)
New Program to Target Unsafe Sleeping and Shaken Baby Syndrome (First 5 LA’s Monday Morning Report)