An author's note: Benjamin still sleeps in our bed. I hope by the time he is 10 he will be out.
December 17, 2008
Confessions from the bedroom
Now that I have your attention. This post is not about some sexual deviant behavior -- sorry to disappoint. Although, the issue is starting to effect my sex life (Mom, maybe you shouldn't read any further). My confession is: my son sleeps in our bed. A lot of moms our there are probably saying "me too" but my son Benjamin REFUSES to sleep anywhere but in our bed. I mean when we ask him where his bed is he points to my bedroom not his. If I even dare place his precious little head in his crib, he becomes a demon child looking to wish harm on me.
To set the stage, from the time we brought my son home from the hospital, he was never much of a sleeper. However, my husband and I were led to believe by the nursery room nurses that he was an angel -- a model sleeper. I now know those women lied to me. I never was able to tell stories to other moms of how at 2 months my child slept through the night. The only stories I have been able to tell are horror stories of my child's sleeping habits. For the first three months of Ben's life, I kid you not, someone had to hold him at all times. If we even tried to put him in a pack n' play or in his bassinet, no matter how asleep I thought he was, his eyes would flash open, and even as a newborn, he would give me a dirty look. Trust me, I didn't start co-sleeping because I thought it was a great bonding exercise, it was the only way I could get to sleep. Yes, I know how dangerous it is but it seemed to be even more dangerous to have a mother out there with absolutely no sleep. I also knew my child needed to sleep. And the excuses continue....
I always thought, "he'll adjust" or "he'll outgrow this". I also know this to be untrue. I also now believe that he only likes a soft mattress but it is more lies I tell myself to feel better. In the beginning, I tried to get him back to sleep in his crib but each time he would wake up as soon as he was put in the crib. As a working mother, I got lazy and knew it was easier to bring him in my bed with me and my husband. This has proved to be my biggest downfall. If only I was a stronger person who didn't require sleep I could have powered through this, now at 21 months it is too late, my son will be 21 years of age and still in the bed with mom, dad and our dog.
We've tried it all including "ferberizing". Yeah that was a disaster. Once again, I am too weak. The one night we tried this Benjamin first screamed his head off and paced back and forth in the crib like a caged animal. Next to show us how much he was disappointed in us, he actually riped down the video baby monitor and yelled into it -- I'm not exaggerating. I refuse to let my baby cry to the point of sickness. I just breaks my heart so back into mommy and daddy's bed. Another tactic we used was "the crib isn't such a scary place if mommy is in it", yes I crawled in my son's bed but he only wanted out and wanted to leave me there while him and daddy went to the bed.
Now, I just can't take it. I need to do something. The feet in my back and the kicks in the head just aren't cute anymore. I flash forward five years from now and it scares me. Our new strategy is to buy him a big boy bed but I think it will end up being my bed which isn't a bad thought come to think of it now. Hey, and it's more comfortable than the crib (but don't tell Ben I said that).
This is an original post for NJ Moms Blog. You can also find Jennifer blogging on The Kamienski Chronicles.
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