Tag Archives: Bed

Finding our way

3 May

Just the 3 of us

Last night Sam spent the entire night in his bed with Froggie but I did not expect to have such a range mixed emotions after the fact.

Sam was about 2 weeks old when I hauled him out of his beautifully crafted, mahogany-stained, french-style cot and stuck him in my bed at my boob and manage to sleep. My excuse was that I was breast-feeding. When his first winter came along then I said that it was too cold to kick him out. Summer came back and then I said that at a year HE wouldn’t want to leave so I kicked him out to try but I was too lazy to really see it through. Then winter came along again and my heart was too sore to leave him alone in the cold. And now two and a half years later I’m not that gatvol, I just want it to be different.

Last night while sitting his darkened room, I started to wonder if I had really created the monster that I was now dealing with. Who or what was the real monster? Was it me for letting him sleep with us for so long? Was it him for not wanting to leave? Was it that I had not sleep-trained my only child? Understand that I have issues, lots of them when it comes to motherhood but with the whole sleeping issue, you’ll see from this post that I battle to sleep alone, I love snuggling up to another body. During the course of the day, I was a comment on a blog post about encouraging parents, the comment was that there are no bad parents just bad parenting and I somewhat disagree. I do think that some people should not have kids and that parents do bad things but that should not make them bad parents (excluding abusers and the like). My sleeping preferences have been sanity-saving in my opinion and just because I now want to do things differently, shouldn’t mean I did it wrong to start of with.

And over here I’ve gone on and on about how hectically this year has been already. Apart from that I’ve really been wanting to do more work in the evenings with the emphasis on wanting, not getting to it because Sunny Bunny is still falling asleep at 9:10 PM and then I’m too tired to go back downstairs and work. My hubby just falls asleep with Sam and sometimes even before him so he’s no good at this either.  A while I ago, I stopped laying next to him, now I sit on the floor next to him and let him hold Froggie. This week I had an assignment due on Thursday and I had only started it on Monday. It was either on Monday or Tuesday night that I wanted to knuckle down and I really did not want to sit in Sam’s room for however many hours it took to get him to sleep. After about half and hour of sitting in the dark, I decided to kiss him goodnight, I told him to go to sleep and I walked out. I could hear him start to whimper and then go in to full-on cry-mode. I stood at the door & waited for a reaction. First he stood on his toy box to reach the light, put it on and then he tried to open the door. When he realised that he couldn’t (because I was holding the door shut on the other side) he began to bang on the door. A minute (literally because I was counting) later I walked in, switched the lights off and tucked him in bed again with Froggie, made sure he had calmed down, kissed him goodnight and walked out. And again, the whimpering started, I think you get my point. By the time the banging started, he started calling for Lester. Upon hearing all this commotion, Lester comes upstairs to investigate. I explained what I was doing and why I was doing it and how that we really needed our bed and evenings back as a couple. He seemed to agree and then asked when the torture was going to end. In all this time, Sam was still crying at the door. I go in and repeat the process only for the crying to continue. Lester came up again and “relieved” me saying that he knew I had work to do but he’s make sure Sam settled. You know that meant his heart was very sore for his botjie and that he would do all he can to make sure he was okay. Half an hour later, Sam was in our bed and out cold. Not quite how I had envisioned it. Lester then came down and we had (what I thought was a) discussion about why this needs to be done and how we’d go about it. He “agreed”.

We had try a few hours of sleep-training before Sam turned a year. It was honestly the most traumatic experience for us all. The child cried until he vomited and just would not stop crying after like two hours NON-STOP. By midnight we had decided to call it quits, we couldn’t bear the heart-sore cry and we would wait until he was older. NOW that he has some understanding, I don’t feel so bad. We eased him out, got a single bed in our room, then moved it to his after a few weeks.

Back to the story. The following night it was hubby’s turn to put Sam to bed and you guessed it, EPIC FAIL. All my hard work went down the drain. My heart sank when I saw them fast asleep together in Sam’s bed.Last night being my turn, I was going to show no mercy and take no prisoners (in the nicest way). We started off with our usual ritual of reading a book and then saying his night-time prayers. It all seemed to go off well. I turned off the light and sat by his bed side on the floor. While waiting for him to sleep, I prayed, thought about a few things and then remembered my glass of wine waiting for me by MY bedside. What felt like forever actually turned out to be an hour and a half!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the bugger still was not dead to the world so I walked out without even a kiss good night. I marched off the hubby to tell him how he had ruined all my plans. He then followed me back to Sunny’s room because we were waiting for the drama to start and to our surprise, Sam switched on his room light and just sat on his bed without making a sound. After the allocated two minutes, I walked in, put the light off, tucked him in again and walked out. And then there was nothing…. no cries. No flick of a light switch. Not a sound even over the monitor. He had fallen asleep on his own, holding onto Froggie.

I wasted no time, hauled out my iPod because I wanted to watch a few videos and enjoy my wine. Sam woke up once, I repeated the whole process again for like 0.2 seconds and then I was back under the covers next to the traitor. WE ALL SLEPT until our alarms went off a 6 am!!! It was beyond believable! While I then floated in and out of sleep, L went to check in on Sam and he was still snug like a bug in a rug. Around 7:30 he stirred and my helper took over. A full night’s sleep in my bed, snuggled up to hubby was heaven-sent! The reason why I had mixed emotions because I felt guilty for kicking Sam out of the family bed. He still came to love me this morning but then refused to kiss me goodbye when I left for varsity & I swear I nearly shed a tear. Then I remembered that I cannot keep up the whole-laying-in-bed-til-he-sleeps-thing, it’s not because I can’t, hell I’ve done it for long enough but it’s plainly because I just don’t want to anymore.

So tonight, the same process will continue… I’ll give it a week and see from there… wish me luck…. with the traitor that is!!!!

To share or not to share….

14 Aug
Sleeping masks (give-aways from airlines)

Image via Wikipedia

I am all for doing whatever works for you as a parent as long as it’s not illegal or harmful. When Sam was about 8 weeks old, I had decided that he needed to be shipped out of our room and gain some “independence” but he obviously had other ideas and its wasn’t long at all (two days later) when I had decided to put him in bed with us since his cot was in the nursery and I was done with pacing the passage and listening to a ticking monitor that irked me no end. To my utter and complete surprise, we all got to sleep more soundly and feeding became a breeze, so much so that I would fall asleep while Sam was still attached. In the evening, he goes to sleep in his cot but after the second waking, I put him in bed with us – safely that is, he sleeps on his side of our queen-sized bed next to the bed rail covered with his own blankets.

A few months later and once the icy grip of winter was slowly fading, I have considered making him spend the entire night in his cot – still in our room though. Once operation Move Out had begun, he’s night waking worsened to the point where I could have easily medicated a healthy child just to get some shut-eye but my conscience wouldn’t let me – I figured that I’d get him used to the cot before we move him to the nursery. The one night he had woken twice before midnight and I wasn’t about to do the midnight tango with him so it was mommy’s bed for him and yet again, we slept like the dead. I made me wonder what special ingredient did parents beds have that made children sleep like there was no tomorrow, I mean really?!

Modern parenting requires that babies sleep in their own room and through the night from 6 weeks of age. I believe that in the end you have to follow your heart where-ever it leads you and do what feels right for your family. My parents just recently told me that while I slept in my cot (in their room) as an infant, I was only moved out of my bed in their room after I had turned three and my brother was nine months old. Their room (more like their bed) was always a place I found comfort when I had a nightmare and I loved to lie between them from time to time without ever feeling shunned. Sleep is a pleasure for me as an adult (not the same after Sam came along), never had a problem falling off to sleep or staying asleep but I do like having someone to lie next to. There was an article I came across citing a study that revealed kids that co-slept were more likely to be calmer as adults and that they should in fact sleep with their parents until they were roughly five.

Attachment Parenting advocates the practice of safe bed-sharing as well as co-sleeping (we do both) because it fosters positive sleep associations. In all honesty, I sleep better with Sam next to me because I can check on him and doze off again in the blink of an eye.

Even though there are those for and against the family bed, Lester and I are both happy to have him with us because we know it won’t last forever but we are moving him into the nursery soon just to see if he’ll sleep better/undisturbed but at this point we are pretty flexible either way. My friends kids (those that have bad sleepers) have slept through the entire night from around two to three years of age so even if we move him out and move him back in, I’m not alone in my night-time parenting as I’m sleepless in South Africa.

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