– Posted by Leah

If you are a sleep-deprived parent, please don’t read this blog post!

Everyone else – I am happy to report that I’m getting a decent amount of sleep! Which is probably the biggest surprise of this parenting adventure for me. I didn’t expect to be getting as much sleep as I do, but Jonah is a super easy baby – he wakes up generally once or twice to nurse for 5 minutes and then falls back to sleep. He’s been doing that for the past 3 weeks. Before then, he was still nursing every two hours, and peeing and pooping about as often. But as he’s grown, he’s started going longer between feedings in the evening and he also doesn’t pee or poop quite so often. Which means more sleep for both of us!

Before Jonah came, I thought we’d use the Arm’s Reach co-sleeper from the get-go. It’s set up right next to our bed, so Jonah can be close by. But then Jonah arrived and he was so tiny and precious, and nursing so often, that he ended up just sleeping on my chest. Even the co-sleeper was too far away – when I would put him in it, I couldn’t sleep. I would just watch him and make sure he was breathing. On my chest, I knew he was breathing because I could feel him. I would prop myself up with pillows, and could nurse him easily throughout the night. And that’s how we slept at first. No, it is NOT the recommended way to sleep. But even the slightest movement from him would wake me up, so I wasn’t worried about his safety – if anything, I felt like he was more safe with me than lying in a bassinet, because I could keep him warm and make sure he was breathing.

Now that he’s sleeping for longer stretches, he sleeps beside me. Still not in the co-sleeper, but I think sometime between 3 and 6 months we’ll transition him over there, and then between 6 and 12 months we’ll transition him to his room. What’s worked great for me and Mark is for me to sleep on my own for a few hours in the earlier part of the evening, while Mark hangs out with Jonah. Then I wake up for a snack (breastfeeding makes me more hungry than pregnancy did!!!), and I take Jonah while Mark’s goes to sleep. Jonah nurses and then we both fall asleep…then he wakes up 4 hours later and nurses again, and falls right back to sleep, and Mark usually gets a full stretch of sleep – 6 to 8 hours.

And that’s what works for us. Which is really the point of this post, other than me being really excited that Mark and I are both getting sleep, period! This is not how I pictured the whole sleep thing working out, but it most definitely is working out for us. This is not what the parenting books say to do, this is not what our pediatrician recommends, but it’s what works for us. And while I understand the concerns about co-sleeping, intuitively this feels right for us, for our family. And practically, it’s allowing us all to get a good night’s sleep. So that’s what we’re doing.

7 Replies to “Wednesday by Leah: Sleep!

  1. Great post, Leah! I am a fan of co-sleeping…we did it with both and it was nothing short of amazing! At 8 and 6, they sleep easily in their own beds, but I am still a sucker for some snuggling when I can get it!

    • Oh, good to hear! I do worry a bit about getting Jonah to sleep on his own once he's used to sleeping with us. So hopefully things will work out smoothly.

    • Leah Tioxon I hear that alot! We started co-sleeping out of necessity (c-sections and breastfeeding do not make middle of the night feedings easy!), but I am so thankful I gave into it. It is definitely not for everyone. I treasured that time, the closeness. I felt that they would not go to college co-sleeping (at least not with their parents!). Moving to their own beds was challenging at times, but it evenutally happened. Now, if they come to be in the middle of the night I tell them they can stay for 5 mintues. Sometimes, I fall asleep and they get a lot longer, but that works for us. Whatever you choose will be right for you!

  2. I could have written this same post (though never as eloquently) for Ethan and John both! Although with John's larengomalaysia (sp?), the doc actually recommended him sleeping on my chest for the first few months, as it apparently helps children with that issue 'remember' to breath by taking body cues from me.

    • I've heard that babies take cues from the mom's breathing…which totally helps prevent SIDS. Plus, I just feel a lot better being able to feel him breathing!

  3. Since you know a "certain little girl", you will appreciate the fact that Johnny and I are currently very jealous of you and Mark. She did not sleep through the night until 2 years old :-))))).

    • Oh my goodness, 2 years old? Yikes!! But I'm sure she makes up for it now with her sweetness and awesomeness.

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