If you know anything about me, you know that my sleep is sacred, and not something you eff with. This is in large part what drove my hardcore stance about my kids and their sleep and schedule. Plain and simple, they need the sleep to grow their brains. What’s more, the more they sleep, the more I sleep. 🙂
So, it’s been a huge conflict for me, having a kid like Ascher. Unlike Ollie, who, on the rare occasion that he’d wake in the middle of the night, you couldn’t soothe worth a damn and was best left to cry and calm on his own, Ascher LOVES being held and rocked and hugged (how is that for a run-on sentence?). He is the very definition of a cuddler.
With Ascher, we’ve found that the easy path is to take him to bed with us when he wakes crying middle of the night. Amazingly, no matter how hard he was crying, as soon as we bring him to our room, he’ll quiet right away. And, what’s even more impressive, once we dump him into our bed, he’ll start sucking his thumb, ready to settle in and sleep, content as can be. It wasn’t a hard choice — screaming baby in his crib or sleeping baby in our bed.
But the problem is, every time it happened, I’d feel so defeated. Sleeping with them during naps is one thing. THAT, I love. THAT, I can do every day. But nighttime? No. No because I’m afraid he’ll start expecting that every time he cries. No because it takes a good hour before he finally settles and sleep (which means it’s one less hour for me to sleep). No because I don’t want to be tied to the same sleep schedule as my kids (as much as I feel the need to sleep by 8pm sometimes).
After our family trip to Cabo, it was a good two weeks of co-sleeping with Ascher because he’d wake screaming and inconsolable. Every morning, I’d think, What kind of bad habits am I forming for him? All that work getting him to self soothe is thrown out the window. Then he’d finally sleep through the night again. And I’d think, chill, girl, chill. He won’t be sleeping with us every night for the rest of your life. It’s not the end of the world. Kids are flexible. He’ll get back into the swing of things eventually.
But this mom guilt? I need to get a handle on it. Seriously.
I should do as CS does, and just enjoy the cuddles. Whenever Ascher cries out at night, he’d turn to me with a grin and ask eagerly, Should we bring him to bed? He can’t get enough of it. God knows they grow fast. Before I know it, I’m sure I couldn’t pay them to sleep with their mama…
This is him, minutes after waking (in MY bed, ugh). What a ham — AC good morning